MEETING REPORT 10th JUNE
Chair – Gerard Hogan | Sergeant – Michael Bromby
Reporter – Neville John | Photographer – John Price
Visitors: Visiting Rotarians from the RC of Melbourne President, Keith McNeil, Marion Macleod, John Peberty and proposed new member Stella Avramopoulos.
Guest Speakers: Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp and Sergeant Ali Gurdag from Victoria Police.
Induction of new member: President Doug inducted Stella Avramopoulos as a member of the club with the vocational classification of Community Service. Stella’s mentor is Neville John and she will serve on the Community Service committee chaired by Neville Taylor. Stella is CEO of Kildonan Uniting Care, mother of two boys and is married to Con Matsamakis, a serving member of Victoria Police.
Our newest member Stella Avaramopoulos.
- Frank O’Brien - a call for volunteers for the next DIK project, Saturday 14th June at the Alfred Hospital.
- Neville Taylor – Club changeover on Friday 27 June at the Athenaeum Club. [Editor, Register NOW please.]
- Neville John – Victoria Police Leaders Mentoring Program 2013/14 Closing event 17 June. Event is booked out.
- President Doug advised with regret of the resignation of Brian Downie from the club. Brian was present at the meeting and received warm acclamation for his service to the club over many years.
The Sergeant’s session revealed to everyone’s interest (not), that Donald Duck turned 80 years old today. The feature was a recap of “the epic poem”, which thankfully came to a close this morning with the final contribution from Yanpu Zhang. Who would have thought that a cad like Darcy could ever have become a Paul Harris Fellow. (I’m handing mine back).
Andrew and Ali talked about the Melbourne Muslim communities and the importance of support, leadership and structure. In particular they talked about the importance of Iftar.
Muslims fast for 30 consecutive days during Ramadan, from dawn until sunset. Iftar is the special meal prepared daily at the end of the day when the fast finishes. Muslims are encouraged to reach out, to build bridges and to work with colleagues and neighbours around them who are not Muslim, to share their faith and build on their shared values. The Iftar meal is a special time of day, as this is when Muslims open their fast and give thanks for the food they are eating.
Victoria Police have been hosting Iftar dinners for six years and this has helped develop a positive relationship with the Muslim community. The dinners are even broadcast back to Turkey.
Ali spoke about the success the ‘adopt a cop’ initiative which had developed from the Iftar dinners and has further positive impact.
Alan Seale advised that our club is hosting an Iftar dinner for the Australian Intercultural Society (Turkish community) at their venue is St.Kilda Road on 15 July 2014. This initiative is also aiming to develop a strong relationship between Rotary and the Muslim community.
Ali kindly offered to provided the club with a guide of etiquette relating to Iftar that he has developed through his experience.
The Chairman presented Ali and Andrew with the usual token of our thanks and the meeting was closed by President Doug.
The relevance of Iftar in Melbourne.