Posted on Aug 27, 2019
PERTH ROTARY - PRESIDENTS UPDATE - 27th AUG 2019
Fellow Rotarians and friends of Perth Rotary,
In this changing world nothing stays the same in every aspect of life. Starting from business, there are so many new and more efficient ways to reach the markets. Schools have passed from the stage of learning from the books to the experiential learning in a high degree and “Gnosis” (knowledge) can be accessed through a plethora of media on 24/7 basis.
 
Family patterns have changed with a high number of single parent families, partners with children or same sex parents, while school children can even start up and run heir own businesses nowadays through e-commerce, vlogging, social media and establish an income stream from the safety and comfort of their home.
 
Consumers have become extremely sophisticated and knowledgeable and it’s getting harder to win them overtime. The conventional retail model which was replaced by the shopping centre experience is now fading in favour of the global online retailers who sell every possible product and they can deliver it anywhere through high tech logistics, at a fraction of the cost of the typical retail model.
The list is long and of course we all know about this evolution because we are part of it.
 
What remains unchanged in this changing world, is the Human Values that guide our actions and lives. For us the Rotarians, the 4 Way Test is our compass of Values that reminds us of our goal and purpose in life.
This is the message that our District Governor and Past President Graham Peden shared with our Club last Friday. Rotary International encourages the Clubs to:
 
Open up to the Community
Be Modern
Be Innovative
 
Most important, District Governor Graham advised us to become part of the new reality and to embrace and live the change, the Rotary way.
 
His message found our Club in a new formation and very “fit in shape” in a room full of Rotarian families and teenagers who were there with their parents for the inaugural Family Buffet at the Hilton.
 
What a night!
 
A band of young musicians was welcoming us at the entrance jamming and singing. Many thanks to Marco Camer-Pesci, for organising that vibrant entertainment for us.
 
The variety of food was one of the best we ever had at the Hilton! A choice of salads, smoked salmon, cannelloni with spinach and vegetables, two types of meat (hot and cold) and many other side delicacies, while there was a dessert buffet at the end thanks to which I spent the weekend running along the beach hoping for some weight relief…
 
Well done to the Director of Community Services and Communications of our Club Jill Dawson and to Kirstin, our Office Manager for all the arrangements with the Hilton.
 
This festive and vibrant atmosphere was highlighted by a double Paul Harris Fellow recognition to Helen and Vin Keane for their tireless work in Cambodia Family Support , the re-induction of our special member Rhonda Roe and of course by the District Governor’s address to our Club.
 
However, if someone was asking me what was the greatest highlight of the evening, I would say that it was our teenagers who came with their parents, the husbands who came with their wives and the feeling that Perth Rotary is not a Club for the members only but a “home” for the whole family.
 
As it can be easily guessed, although the evening was supposed to close at 7:00 pm, we found ourselves being surrendered to the indulgence of the dessert buffet, the fellowship and the tunes of our musicians till 8:00 pm, when the meeting officially closed.
 
Warm congratulations to everyone who contributed to that special night for our Club!
 
As District Governor Graham Peden said: “Perth Rotary leads the way by demonstrating the Rotary International message in practice.”
 
Looking forward to seeing you all this Friday at the “Meet the Winemaker” evening at the Adelphi Bar at the Hilton, for a night of wine tasting and special fellowship. 
 
Yours in Perth Rotary,
Vangelis Katsaitis
Perth Rotary President 2019-2020
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