Posted on Oct 08, 2019
Fellow Rotarians and friends of Perth Rotary,
As we all know very well, Rotary sits above and beyond any political or religious dogma and unites people under the 4 Way Test and the Rotary culture of providing service to those in need. Rotary believes in inclusion, diversion and equality among the people and Perth Rotary demonstrates these principles through its members and their actions.
Under this spectrum, last Friday our Club exemplified its title of the Leading Club by organising a meeting that will be remembered for its impact to the community.
Close to 100 members and friends of Perth Rotary gathered at the Hilton for a lunch meeting with Celia Hammond MP, Member for Curtin. Celia’s visit didn’t have a political character. Her presentation was a life-journey of her early years in the family farm, her days and her achievements as Vice Chancellor of the university of Notre Dame, up to her recent successful election in the state government as Member for Curtin with the Liberal party.
Celia’s narration and speaking style were very indicative of her qualities as a person. Honesty, simplicity, informality, humour, high emotional intelligence and care for the others were the characteristics that became apparent from the first minute of her speech. Celia was introduced by our Board Director Nitin Vashisht and thanked by our Past President Kathy Kusinski.
Among the many important guests who honoured our meeting were the Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Liza Harvey MLA, the Hon. Judi Moylan AO, Former Minister for Family Services and Minister for the Status of Women in the Howard Government, our Past President and former Governor of WA, Dr. Ken Michael AC, Professor Melinda Fitzgerald and Fabienne Vonarburg from Curtin University, the Hon Consul of Sweden Ms Lisa Jahrsten and of course our Past President and District Governor Graham Peden with a long list of visiting Rotarians from other Clubs and from our District.
The flair of “Women in Power” continued with a very exciting announcement and presentation from the Chair of the Path of Hope and member of our Club Rebecca Tolstoy AM. Rebecca presented a video about Rotary and the Path of Hope and following that she and her team presented the Salvation Army officers with a cheque for $93,585! From the Salvation Army we had the pleasure of having with us Lieut-Colonel, Chris Reid, Divisional Commander, Salvation Army of Western Australia, our very own Perth Rotary member Warren Palmer Public Relations Secretary, Salvation Army of Western Australia, Major Margaret MacDonald, Deputy Chair for the Women’s Council Executive and her husband Major Alan MacDonald.
The other highlight of that meeting was the double induction of 2 very special members: Prof. Jorg Imberger and Mr. Lachlan Ottley. Past President John Garland AM being the mentor of these two new members was also their introducer to the Club while Past President George Etrelezis delivered a very inspirational induction charge which received a very warm applause. We are looking forward to having Prof. Jorg and Lachlan as active members in our many projects.
Past President Larry Hirsch delivered the Sergeant’s Session which was found very entertaining by all the participants and in particular by those who were fined by the Sergeant. Rumors say that the Sergeant is organising a breakthrough in raising funds by designing and implementing a very creative plan.
What we witnessed last Friday was a mix of the elements that make Perth Rotary big. Some people think that it’s the Club’s history, some others think that it’s the high number of members. In reality, it’s much more than these. Perth Rotary is a reflection of its membership and it has formed a unique culture over the years which inspires our community and connects the Leaders. These pillars of this culture are the generosity and the passion of its members and these elements secure a bright future for Perth Rotary.
I look forward to seeing all our members at the forthcoming AGM next Friday where you will have the opportunity to discuss with the Board, your views, your questions and your ideas about the future of our big Club!
Yours in Perth Rotary,
Vangelis Katsaitis
Perth Rotary President 2019-2020