Club History 2021 - 
Carol Hogg  Year of Office 2020 - 2021
 
Rotary Theme: Rotary Opens Opportunities
Secretary: Ian Sichlau
Treasurer: Russell Hogg
Community Service: Terry Hubbard
 Art Show Director: David Anderson
 
As the 2020-2021 Rotary year ends it is time to reflect on my past year as President of our great Club.  Looking back, I think it is fair to say, “what a strange year it has been”.
We started out unable to have our usual Changeover due to COVID restrictions and this was no doubt a disappointment for outgoing President Sue who had to wait until December before it was held. Now, six months later we are having another Changeover, this time welcoming new President PE Paul Kellett, as I bid you farewell.  The Chairs of the various service arms have been busy where possible, although Youth, Membership and International roles have been curtailed due to restrictions preventing activity, no doubt these will become active again in the new Rotary year.
The club has certainly been blessed with the calibre of our inbound exchange students and certainly this is true of Louis who left us and headed home to France on 9th July. Louis grew from a rather nervous school student, with little command of English, when he first arrived, into a confident, much larger and charming young man. It was a pleasure to host him, and he will be missed.  Sadly, due to COVID, we were not able to welcome a new exchange student for the first time in many, many years.
Zoom meetings were with us for a while, but one of the positives of meeting in this way meant we were able to organise meetings with anyone in the world.  Starting a little closer to home we a zoom meeting with Craig Lloyd from Murrindindi Shire who discussed some of the realities in dealing with the lockdown and the following week we had the annual meeting with DG Bruce Anderson, which required little organisation compared to other years, but was nonetheless productive.
A highlight of the meetings was the gathering with members of the Rotary Club of Rustenburg Kloof in South Africa and the people from Dayspring Children’s Village on 13th August.  A culmination of the work and persistence of our members in bringing Ruth’s vision to fruition as the build at Dayspring commenced and with the benefit of Rotary Foundation’s Global Grant funding doing good in the world was realised.
When the wearing of face masks became mandatory, Rotarians sprang into action organising, along with David and Daisy Ngo and the pharmacy, a supply of disposable face masks to be delivered to the medical centre for those people who could not afford to purchase masks.  Also packets of masks were delivered to letterboxes of people in the flats and CWA houses and additional handmade masks were donated by other talented, kind souls in the community.
On 10th September we had a zoom club assembly, then an interesting presentation from Lynn O’Connor (a friend of Glenda) who is DGE District 5080 – this is northwest USA and Canadian district.  Lynn bravely got up at 2.00 am her time to talk with us about the response to COVID 19 in their district.
Thanks to Program Director Glenda various interesting speakers met with us via zoom during the rest of September and October and then – HAPPY DAYS.  Our first face to face meeting since the lockdown happened on 5th November where 28 of us gathered in the rear courtyard of the Royal Mail Hotel.  The next meeting on the 12th  of November reverted to zoom for a long time organised arrangement with PIP Ian Risely - but then back to the Royal for face to face meetings up until Christmas!!  Many thanks to Rodney for taking responsibility for making sure our signs, banners and regalia were always ready for us, no matter where the venue was – it has been much appreciated.
Because of a decision not to have a Senior Citizens dinner in 2020 a cunning plan was devised to send a gesture from Rotary to all the Senior citizens who usually attend the Christmas dinner.  A food gift package was assembled prior to Christmas and hand delivered to each person.  Lollies (always a favourite at the dinner) were donated by Paul Bannan and bagged up, Rotary Christmas cakes were purchased, and Bobby made 400 shortbreads.  The parcels were packed and wrapped, then various club members volunteered to deliver them, and they were well received and appreciated.  Well done, Bob, Glenda, and Julie.
Paul Kellett brought an idea to the club from his brother’s club the RC of Monbulk and a voucher was modified to offer support for local businesses who had been struggling. $100 was given to eight eateries in town and 10 x $10 vouchers per café were produced to redeem a coffee and cake.  The vouchers were distributed via St Luke’s Christmas Hampers, so they reached those in the community who were most in need of a little cheer.  Much work went into achieving this result which was appreciated.
On December 17th we held our belated Changeover and Christmas break up at Beaufort Manor, it was a successful evening despite being restricted as far as numbers went.  We were entertained by Bobby Valentine, who with his offsider Bob Dewar proved a big hit. 
Our first meeting in 2021 was a delightful picnic evening on the banks of the Goulburn at David and Tippy’s home - what a beautiful spot.  Then followed an evening of Bowling at the Bowling Club with pizzas – all of this got us back into ‘working mode’. Raffle tickets were sold in lieu of the cancelled Art Show, with a first prize of a lovely painting donated by Julian Bruere. 
By February we were back meeting weekly in the Golf Club, once again enjoying our face-to-face meetings at our home base and providing fund raising opportunities to our valued local caterers.  In March we said farewell to our resident barman, PHF Terry Chaplin who moved on to Kilmore after 17 years of friendly service.
Cycle Dindi was held in April and what a successful day that was, it is an event that grows more popular each year, enjoyed by cycling visitors and Rotarians alike.  It was only the second fund-raising opportunity in my year and did very well! A fun Trivia Night at the end of May held in Beaufort Manor was the final opportunity to catch up a little on a year of COVID-cancelled fund-raising events. But it was pleasing to note that our annual disbursements were not detrimentally affected as our club continued to ‘do good in the world’.
As another changeover approaches at the end of June it is interesting to think back on what a full year of activities for our club has enjoyed, despite the COVID restrictions. We have had to come up with different ways to do things and as always, a big thank you to members who have risen to the task.
Finally, my heartfelt thanks to my fellow Board Members who have been supportive throughout this challenging year and also to all club members who once again have answered the call when needed.  I trust that incoming President Paul Kellett will also enjoy the same loyal support in the 2021/2022 year and I wish him every success.