Posted by Roy GARRETT

As always (Covid/Zoom excepted) we met for our annual event.  This year we were at Amora Riverwalk again and were well looked after with ample nibbles and drinks to set the scene, followed by a sit-down dinner plus the formalities of our annual presidential baton-change.

MC Michelle, who also carries the mantle of President Elect, ran the show in her usual warm and articulate form. She opened with welcome to members and guests, including:

  • District Governor, Amanda Wendt and Greg Harbour. As a brand-new District Governor, this was Amanda’s first official function in a year destined to contain a great many official functions

  • Assistant Governor, Murray Anderson and Lindy

  • Visiting Rotarian, Uttam Ganguli past District Governor D3291, Past President of our sister club, Rabindra-Sarobar and most important of all, father of our members Suvam and Puja.

  • Honorary Members, Lorraine Meehan, Heather Walklate and Marjorie Gerlinger, Aris Imbardelli

  • President Elias and Niki

  • President-elect Rohan and Sue

Michelle then made a very moving Acknowledgement of Country, with a level of truth and insight beyond this reporter’s expectations.

As expected, Michelle then exhorted us to buy raffle tickets.  “Every time you buy a drink, buy a ticket”.  No pressure….

DG Amanda Wendt then proposed the toast to Rotary International.  Amanda said that our club has once again contributed to District very fulsomely with several members of RCM involved in District activities.

President Elias was called to review the past year - a full copy of which is referred to elsewhere in this special BULLETIN.

MC Michelle then invited President Elias to formally hand over the Presidency. Elias asked President-elect Rohan and Sue to come forward and then read the Induction Charge.  The President’s collar was passed on to Rohan who also received his President’s lapel badge, new meeting badge and theme pin.

Job done, Rohan asked Niki to join Elias and then presented him with his Certificate of Service.  Elias has served as President during an exceptionally difficult year.  He has shown a warmth and calmness in this time which has kept our club moving forward with the same commitment, same directions as always.  Sue thanked Niki for her support and contribution and instead of presenting her with the customary flowers, announced instead that a donation had been given to Doctors Without Borders.

Rohan then outlined his thoughts for his coming year of service, firstly by announcing the Board members and presenting them with the 2022-3 theme badge.

He then went on to talk about his own thoughts, ideas, plans, starting with an introduction concerning Maurice Sedak, who as a young American boy in 1940 went to see the Disney film Pinocchio.  The appearance of Jiminy Cricket in this film and his song “When you wish upon a Star. (Makes no Diff’rence Who you Are)” influenced him greatly to later write the story “Where the Wild Things Are”, a book for children about growth and survival.

That song and its message is strong for Rohan and Rotary and says a lot about directions to take and destinations to target.

Rohan also spoke about the value of members inviting and encouraging their friends to come to Rotary events – maybe relevant club meetings, maybe club activities.  A useful way to grow the reach of our Club and Rotary overall, but also undoubtedly a vehicle for club recruitment.  We can all remember the realisation coming that “Rotary is a thing I want to be involved in.”

During a break in the meal we were entertained beautifully by the Harambee A Cappella vocal group.

After a necessary adjournment for dessert, Michelle called upon Herb Greenwood to draw the raffle.  Naturally this was not destined to be a simple process of plucking tickets from a big ticket-bag, but also involved a secondary pluck from another small bag to match the first pluckage with one of the mysterious prizes located at the other end of the room.  It seemed to work quite well and lucky recipients seemed well-content.  Of course the club was most content when Herb announced a fund-raised tally of about $1,500!

So ended another memorable handover evening.  Many members stayed on to chat but by about 11:00pm we had all headed for home.