President Carol welcomed DG Bruce Anderson and partner Marilyn to the meeting.
DG Bruce had limited time due to another meeting to go to but emphasised that he was hoping to get to each club in the District in person but was starting with Zoom due to Covid 19.
He talked about the District Conference scheduled for 18-21 March 2021 in Wangaratta and the opportunity to party post Covid. Subject to spacing requirements the Conference would welcome everybody’s involvement and if Covid is still causing problems there could be a limited number of attendees chosen by ballot and supplemented with Zoom coverage of conference proceedings.
DG Bruce asked us to diarise the District Conference and also the RI Convention in Taipei in June 2021
Marilyn spoke about a proposed partners program which has been stifled due to Covid so is on hold till the end of 2020 but proposed that we put together a District book with a couple of pages from each club. This would be a Rotary Centenary celebration
Another suggestion was that each club spruce up signs in towns to promote Rotary. There will be a release of coins and postage stamps in 2021 for the centenary.
DG Bruce and Marilyn then introduced Ozzie the Mozzie – District conference mascot and highlighter of the Malaria eradication project. He’s hoping that when clubs can get back to fundraising any leftover funds can be donated to this project which is aiming to create a Malaria free shield across the top of Australia.
Do we need to keep members engaged? Rotary Foundation suggests supporting the environment as a new area of focus. DG Bruce sees it as a way to promote Rotary, engage and recruit younger members and identify and complete local environmental projects. Phil Clancy is to set up a task force and funds should be available from July 2021.
On the subject of new members Rotary International President, Holger suggests focusing on their suitability for the club rather than on gaining numbers.
Last but not least was the End Polio project. DG Bruce said that Covid is preventing us to maintaining the vaccination program and that it will also take away funds, energy and awareness from the project. We will know the likely impact in 6-8 weeks.
Questions Terry Hubbard asked about the lack of promotion of Rotary on the Community Service Announcements being shown on TV at the moment. DG Bruce said that funds had been raised and messages organised just before Covid hit so this will be reviewed.
David Anderson asked whether we could get more funds and more impact by combining with other Districts on this project. DG Bruce said YES! A Combined District Meeting is coming up this weekend and he will bring the idea to it.
Russell Hogg asked that the DG – who has considerable experience in virology give us his ideas on COVID. DG replied
100 outfits are working on a vaccine and Oxford is going to next phase as of today.
Even those who’ve had the disease have demonstrated that their immunity system does not hold immunity for very long which means we would have to be vaccinated frequently.
Marilyn then added that immune cells have been shown to have memory so tend to act faster if attached by Covid again.
President Carol thanked DG Bruce and Marilyn and we all said goodbye.