Water is the driving force of all nature. Leonardo da Vinci
You know I remember vividly one morning when I woke up, turned on the tap in the shower and …no water. Down stairs to see what might be happening outside only to find many neighbours already there discussing the impact of the situation! We couldn’t fill the kettle to make a cup of tea, no shower today, no washing of clothes or the car! Disaster had struck in this part of our world, and then of course the water began to flow freely again. Once you stop and reflect we are so very lucky compared to others in other parts of our world.
So what is happening in District 9800 to assist others in need in relation to improved conditions for water and sanitation? At the moment our District Group Vocational Exchange Team is in the Philippines and should they get to Barra they would see a wonderful initiative of the Rotary Club of Melbourne. GHD, a corporate member of Melbourne Rotary, undertook an extensive scoping study, probono, and designed and costed a facility which would extract water from an aquifer via a borehole and pipe it one kilometre to tap stands in Barra. Work is now commencing on design and construction, which will supply safe and potable water in 2016. In the village of Bosalla in Cambodia the Rotary Club of Brighton through the work of Gerhard Sommer, Barry Hickman and members, wells have been dug to collect rainwater, guttering was installed on the school and some homes together with collection tanks. The Rotary Club of Werribee have overcome many challenges to develop plans for a ground bore water system. This system will supply a safe and sustainable water supply for students and staff at the Sir Tito Winyi Secondary School as well as 1600 people in the surrounding villages near Masindi in Western Uganda. This is really only the tip of the iceberg, pardon the pun, and we cannot imagine a world without water, so it fortunate that we have so many of our wonderful clubs working together to secure Foundation funds to bring potable water to those in need.
As part of the planning for Major Events in this year, where we are asked to Be a Gift to the World, I invited every club to celebrate the anniversary of our amazing organisation. I asked that, for this period of time, we “take Rotary from the Inside Out” and I wonder how many of you took the opportunity be Loud and Proud and tell all those who will listen about our achievements as Rotarians. Have you told them that we will eliminate Polio later this year? Do they know the impact that you have in your community through your work? Do you share your successful projects with the local media and potential partners? Do you keep your Facebook page up to date and do you share that page with others.
I want to congratulate the Rotary Club of Glen Eira for their initiative in starting an annual Award for Women in leadership in Glen Eira. The women nominated were successful in their professions, humble in accepting the nomination and inspiring in their respective speeches. They, along with sponsors for the evening, family, work colleagues and friends now understand the power of Rotary in their community.
Then we have the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne Sunrise on the 23rd of February provide me and others in attendance with an opportunity to listen to Simon Longstaff from the Ethics Centre provide a thought provoking talk about right versus right, choice and trust. Such a wonderful segue for all we aspire to be and do in the name of Rotary. The annual Silk Miller Scholarship was presented to Senior Constable Zac Bull from Swan Hill who is not only a respected member of Victoria Police but a teacher as well!
Please send me photos of the way in which you celebrated Rotary and I will put each on the District Governor Facebook page that has attracted readers from around the world.
I am so pleased to let you know that your District Governor, subject to an appeal time of one more week, will be Bronwyn Stephens. Bronwyn will join the DGEN as the District Governor Nominee from the first of July, and up until then will be lovingly called The Designate! I feel really privileged to have had our Immediate Past Governor Murray as someone to shadow and then to have Neville, Peter and now Bronwyn as supporters, guides and friends during this special year as your District Governor. We are a team, your Support Team, so continue to make use of our time, talents and commitment to your Club and our members, partners and friends.
I want to give a big shout out to the most amazing team of Assistant Governors that I have the privilege of working with and I will always appreciate their good will, hard work and personal support. Your Assistant Governor can be your greatest asset…..they sure are mine at the moment.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
Enjoy Rotary as you are……. a Gift to the World.
Ubuntu: I am, because you are.
Julie Mason District Governor