What an amazing couple of weeks and then there was our birthday on Wednesday 21st April.  We not only showcased Rotary and our R100 projects but we managed to show our club off in its very best finery.  We saw the future outlined by our two outstanding MUNA graduates, Lily Willmott & Manik Barak (who may have wagged school for us!). 

We had a wonderful, warm, and engaging Birthday party that all of us are very proud to have participated in.  It was a collaborative affair, filled with the great ideas of each of the team members and the respectful engagement of all concerned.  It played to every one's strengths and as they say, ‘success has many parents, but failure is an orphan?’ We stirred the pride of the club and there were very many proud parents everywhere.


I thought I’d share with you all, my own personal thank you to the Organising Committee and all those involved as I think it covers the sentiments of all those who attended from our club and who sent their own congratulations:


Dear Colleagues,                         

I, like David Kram, am buzzing and proud, and want to take this opportunity to thank you all for a tremendous production.  The accolades have been coming in thick and fast.  You deserve a good long drink – perhaps see if you can get an invite to Trevor and Millicent’s! (they won the very special Grange)


You all took this from inception to execution with absolute professionalism and with the Rotary spirit at heart.  Our club projects wowed many of our guests, as did the slick professionalism of the team. 

Everything proved to be an equal highlight from Adrian Nelson and Dorothy Gilmour’s visual delights; the information provided by the Past Presidents: Chris Wang, Phil Endersbee, Bob Glindeman, Mary Barry and Robert Fisher;  the superb Mc’ing from Bev; the marvellous, tenacious and good spirited coordination of Chris Stillwell; the detail management of Jo; the book of "100 Moments in 100 Years" written by Dorothy Gilmour; and all the behind the scenes vox pops, photographs, and efforts of Sandra Hills, Peter Jones, Kerry Kornhauser and Richard Dent; the lovely welcome to country from Ian Hamm and Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Joy Murphy; our MUNA representatives; and our "Dad’s Army" under Peter Washusen, who faithfully pulled our ‘on stage’ look together.  Not to forget the work of the communications team including Ari Talantis, the financial support from Peter Hanlon and David Carruthers (what a number $14.5 million!) and the time-keeping of Peter Shepheard.


We all shone through all of the projects of the club and I think we may have found some new members.  This is what is best about Rotary. Sydney revealed that they will take on board some of your execution ideas – ‘Imitation is the highest form of flattery‘ - and I noted that a number of guests were capturing signatures in Dorothy’s book which clearly identifies that they saw this as a momentous occasion to mark and be proud of.


David Kram’s musical treats with Claire Patti’s harp, and the very clever presentation by Fem Belling and Monique diMattina through the journey of Rotary, created an ambience of cameraderie that was felt by everyone.  Everyone was proud to be there and the cutting of the cake showcased our diversity, past and future.  The alternative photo got everyone to loosen up and the atmosphere became electric.


We revealed our very best strengths and what a team can do and our projects did likewise.  As Richard said – “an excellent event: a balance of celebration, humility, reflection, history, fellowship, societal and global context … and consideration of how we are called towards new opportunities for a better world”. Wonderful.  Our Board were equally proud and Mikaela, who is the busiest person I know, took time to share with her board colleagues the wonderful feeling the day left her with. 


Some others sent me notes in the same spirit and I think they can be summed up in Garry Fowler’s note – ‘You really nailed it, and you made us all proud to be part of Melbourne Rotary.’


Many regional clubs sent a note – ‘that they had toasted our good health’ – and I’m sure you all felt their warm thoughts reaching out to us – and so the bonds of collaboration strengthened through the great work of Jim Orchard, Pam Brown and Norman Talarud-Bay.


There are so many others I’m sure that I have missed but please feel included in the pride in your club.

We were very saddened not to have Peter Hollingworth and his close associates but their messages to us were recorded and will form part of the shared memory, and our deepest sympathies go to Peter and his family at this time.


I’m sure there are many more Centenary messages, thoughts and photographs that will continue to come, and Jo and I will try to collect them all and place in a folder for posterity and for everyone to see.


Thank you once again and now on to the next 100 years!


Our Birthday was followed by a Peace Symposium that had some of the most stellar thinkers of our time and was surprisingly optimistic even with our Doomsday clock so close to midnight.  Again, all of our members and their contributions were showcased and gave us much food for thought.


Nobel Laureate and Hon Member Tilman Ruff with Tania Militec (Peace Symposium)

Kind regards, 


Share this with your friends