Posted on Oct 22, 2019
Fellow Rotarians and friends of Perth Rotary,
“Diamond is a solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure called diamond cubic. At room temperature and pressure, another solid form of carbon known as graphite is the chemically stable form, but diamond almost never converts to it. Diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any natural material, properties that are utilised in major industrial applications such as cutting and polishing tools. They are also the reason that diamond anvil cells can subject materials to pressures found deep in the Earth. Diamond also has relatively high optical dispersion (ability to disperse light of different colours). Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years. Most were formed at depths between 150 and 250 kilometres (93 and 155 mi) in the Earth's mantle, although a few have come from as deep as 800 kilometres (500 mi). Under high pressure and temperature, carbon-containing fluids dissolved minerals and replaced them with diamonds.“  - Wikipedia
Last Friday we had the pleasure to host Alan Linney and his son Justin as Guest Speakers and although the topic was about the history and the highlights of their great jewellery business which started from the 1970s and still flourishes and expands substantially, Alan also provided us with some food for thought.
Firstly, we were excited to hear how Alan slowly through the years conquered the markets of pearls, gold and diamonds. We were amazed by the many design awards his jewells have won and we admired his skills in having established already the future of his business through the next generation within the Linney family. He gave us so many lessons about having a vision, setting goals, being persistent, daring to take risks and pursue our dream and most importantly putting the family as number one priority.
However, his extensive knowledge about diamonds provided us with so much information about these rare and precious stones that in my mind an allegory started forming…
Each one of us lives a life full of diamonds! We are blessed living in one of the richest economies in the world, surrounded by the wonderful landscape of the West Coast, without worrying about the food, the water, the day after. Our only worry is how we will make the lives of our families better and easier every day and although most would think that this good life itself is our diamond, it is not. 
Spoiled by the advantages of our comfortable routine, whenever we need to deal with anything that ruins our “polished” life, we find ourselves falling in despair. Family problems, sicknesses, business challenges and money issues are the main disruptors of our routine. These “problems” though are the real diamonds.
“The solid form of carbon would never convert to a diamond at normal room temperature and pressure. And if it doesn’t convert to a diamond it will never have the hardness and thermal conductivity that a diamond has and it’s the highest of any natural material.”
All this pressure in life and the disruption that we receive in our routine is part of the processing that will reinforce our qualities to resist, to try harder, to survive the unexpected and finally to thrive and shine like a diamond. The most severe problems in life for most can be a divorce, the death of a loved one or a serious sickness or injury and each of these is enough to send our mindset kilometers deep where depression and pessimism take over. However, similarly the depths are where carbon converts to a diamond, in particular between 150 and 250 km or even deeper up to 800 km!
All these challenges in life are precious gifts which come badly “wrapped” and can upgrade our skills and qualities, so that at the end we find ourselves being stronger and more valuable as partners, as parents, and as friends.
After Alan’s presentation it was time to welcome the updates from some of our very own “Club diamonds”, the Path of Hope and Vienna Pops.
Laura, our gorgeous Youth Exchange student shared with us the highlights of her surfing adventures, she traveled us to the cosmopolitan beaches of Brazil by comparing our west coast with Brazil’s east coast beaches and she revealed her dreams about her future career.
Rebecca reminded us the importance of donating Christmas gifts to the children and mothers - victims of the domestic violence - while Stephen invited us to the brightest Vienna Pops concert ever, the night of 31/12/2019.
We welcomed  Past Honourary member Valery Fricker-Hampton who recently returned form London and who shared with us her memories from The Rotary Club of London and how Perth Rotary was in earlier years.
Finally, Ashley Ladner shined through his initiative to participate to the Drive In – Sleep In fundraiser for the homeless, where he managed to get ranked first on funds raised (well above $4,000)!
This Friday, instead of our normal meeting, all our Club members have been invited to participate to the United Nations Association of Australia (WA division) Gala for the United Nations Day (Duxton Hotel 6:00 – 9:00 pm). Perth Rotary and the UNAA (WA) are currently establishing a Memorandum of Understanding to work together for the Rotary Path to Peace project and for further opportunities arising soon.
We already have a good number of members representing our club to this Gala but considering the size and the significance of it, I would expect that you are all coming and make Perth Rotary shine like a diamond in the night!
Yours in Perth Rotary,
Vangelis Katsaitis
Perth Rotary President 2019-2020