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Good afternoon Rotarians and Guests and a very hearty welcome back to the Sofitel. My name is Peter Dakin and I am your MC for today.

We would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri and the Bunurong people of the Kulin nation and also pay our respects to Elders past, present and future and extend that respect to all Indigenous Australians present today.

By coincidence as the rosters coincided, I am pleased to be also giving thanks on St Patrick's Day.  St Patrick's Day or the Feast of St Patrick is a global celebration of Irish culture and particularly remembers St Patrick, one of Ireland's patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the 5th Century.

The day is celebrated in countries with Irish descent and we do of course have a few key members of our Club who we find at times a little difficult to understand with their accent!!!

COVID-19 has had a disastrous impact on our society and certainly our Club has been severely impacted during the past 12 months.

Reflecting on the extraordinary time in our Club's 100 year history, we need to acknowledge the commitment of so many of our Members and our Office Manager, Jo for facilitating so many wonderful Zoom presentations and most interesting speakers.

To that end, we can jointly celebrate today with our Irish friends and the opportunity to finally catch up again, face-to-face for fun and fellowship.

Let us all enjoy the ongoing Centenary Celebrations! 

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