Chair:  Frank O’Brien
  • Marjorie Gerlinger announced that it is only 7 weeks until the changeover. The changeover dinner will be held at the Amora Riverwalk Hotel in Richmond on Friday, 1 July.
  • Peter Duras stressed the need for blankets or sleeping bags for the homeless.  A lot of the requirements for warm clothing have been met, but only about half a dozen blankets received. Donations of blankets can be brought to the Club, or, if emailed, Peter will arrange a pick-up.
  • Frank O’Brien reminded members of the District Assembly on Sunday, 15 May at Melton.
  • Rob Hines made two announcements regarding upcoming International Committee events:
    • the DIK activity on Saturday 28 May
  • the Echuca Steam Rally on the Queen’s Birthday weekend. Frank is still attempting to arrange for accommodation in conjunction with the Echuca Rotary Club. For further information contact Frank O’Brien. 
  • Frank O’Brien announced that Brian Downey has been undergoing knee reconstruction in Cabrini Hospital, Malvern.
  • President George paid tribute to the late Richard Stone. Around 15 Rotarians attended Richard’s funeral and listened to details of the rich and varied life he led. He has left his footprint in the sand of life. Vale Richard Stone
    • Brighton North will be holding their President Breakfast this Sunday
    • Tony Thomas is selling his newly published book to members at a discount price. The official book launch will be at Il Gambero Restaurant in Carlton at 6.30 p.m. on 19 May. Congratulations, Tony.
The Swindle
The Swindle pot having been carried away at the last meeting, those who drew cards this week and failed to win were not deeply disappointed.
Director’s Report: Rob Hines, International Team
  • The $1,000 worth of clothing sent to Fitzroy Crossing was well received and everything sold very quickly.  Thanks to Marjorie and Tess who magically turned $500 into $1000.
  • 10239d-fiji1-1Two family survival kits were sent to Fiji immediately after the recent cyclone. [PHOTO Disaster Aid Australia] 
  • $1,000 has been donated to Interplast.
  • $3,000 was raised at the recent wine auction – sufficient to cover the funding gap for the latest  school renovation in Laos. Special thanks are due to Kevin and Herb for their efforts in making the auction a successful, entertaining night.  
Laos Trip.
In March, Annie and Roy led a group of 16 including the Hines’ and Jones’ members plus 10 non Rotarians to Laos and Cambodia.
Two days were taken to look at schools that had been previously funded by Rotary, namely the primary schools at Ban Houai Yen and Ban Houai Thao and the Hue Khang High School.  
This report is continued in a separate item in the Bulletin 
Guest Speaker Presentation:
Rob Hines and Roger Thornton
"The 7th Biennial Garden DesignFest – Nov.2016"
The objectives of GardenFest are:
  • to raise as much money as possible for charity;
  • to further enhance the public image of Rotary;
  • to promote our partners – landscape designers, sponsors, charities, and
  • to just enjoy a weekend of open gardens
Over the last 14 years, it has become an iconic event, with 70,000 garden visits.  Over $400k has been raised for Rotary Projects, the average over the last 3 years being  $100k p.a. 
Three Rotary clubs are partners to the GardenFest: Kew, Brighton North, and Central Melbourne – Sunrise.  The Committee for 2016 is chaired by North Brighton and has been working for 6 months already, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
The 2016 GardenFest will take place as follows;
  • 12th and 13th  in Metro and Mornington Peninsula (Bayside S.E. Suburbs, Mornington Peninsula, Eastern Suburbs and North Eastern Suburbs) and esigners on-site. It is anticipated that there will be 14,000 garden visits. 
  • 19th and 20th in Rural Victoria (Euroa, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo).
There will be 30+ hand-picked, professionally designed gardens open from 10am to 5 pm each day, with high profile landscape designers on-site. It is anticipated that there will be 14,000 garden visits. 
The MOU allocates responsibilities as follows:
Brighton North will be responsible for gardens in the Bayside and Mornington Peninsula and one regional area (if available);
RCCMS,  for gardens in Euroa region and one regional area (if available) and
Kew, for the balance of Metro and one regional area (if available).
The price of tickets will be $5, $8 or $12 per visit or $50 for all gardens.  
Each Partner Club is nominating one charity to be the focus of the fundraising and publicity for the GDF.  Unless otherwise agreed, not less than 50% of monies raised will go to the nominated charity. The Euroa garden owners, whom we work with, have asked that some contribution go towards a new hospital building at their small community-owned (not-for-profit) sub-acute hospital and aged care facility – both now old and out of date and this will be respected by our club.  The first 12.5% of profits will go to Kew club, the originators of GardenFest,  and the balance will be divided equally. It is anticipated that the RCCMS share will be $25,000+.
Help is now needed with regard to mobilising:
  1. Sponsors ($2,000-$15,000),
  2. Advertising in the Garden Booklet (full A5 page @   $1,000 and half A5 page @ $500)
  3. Raffle prizes (5 ranging in value from $500 to $2,000). Raffle tickets also need to be sold - 5000 tickets @ $2 each.
RCCMS Volunteers will be predominantly needed for the 2nd weekend in Euroa, but possibly for some metro gardens as well. The aim is to have 10 volunteers per garden to allow for rotation, breaks oof duty and other garden visits. This means that 40 people over 2 days will be needed. Volunteers might stay overnight in Euroa (the alternative being to depart from home very early). In addition a driver, 2 BBQ operators and cooks will be needed to man the RCCMS trailer.
Registration of interest is now sought from people willing to become:
Garden Captains, with responsibility for liaising with the garden owner & designer, ensuring that the volunteers understand roles, liaising with the Area Coordinator, handing over money to Area Coordinator and managing and reporting on incidents
Garden Volunteers, with responsibility for protecting owner’s garden, maintaining safety around hazards, collecting monies and selling raffle tickets, and managing garden access, traffic & parking.
In addition, one more member is need for the GDF team for planning, etc. 
The meeting was closed by President George.