Newsletter 29 08-2011


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Rotary Club of Parramatta City Newsletter for Monday 29 August 2011

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Newsletter 29 08-2011

  1. 1. Rotary Club of Parramatta City COMMUNITY NETWORKER ROTARY CLUB OF PARRAMATTA CITY PRESIDENT MESSAGE AQUABOX AUSTRALIA Last week Dr Mai Nguyen, a very small Vietnamese women wholectures at the University of Netherlands in applied Science told us ofher plans to spend twelve months travelling through the middle east tounderstand and show that a young, female, single non-Muslim womanwith no particular power can embark on a world trip with deep Aquabox Australia is a project of the Rotary Club of Eltham andinvolvement within the Middle Eastern life in search for ultimate is a variation of the Aquabox projectunderstanding and intention and to share this understanding conceived and developed by the Rotary Club of Wirksworth in the U.K. Gutsy, yes and she travelled through the Originally, the Rotary Club of Eltham invited donors to fill boxes with center of Africa already on her quest to humanitarian aid from a long list of items that included clothes, personal demystify misunderstandings. items and toys. Our members showed concern for her However, following an agreement with our Government’s aid agency welfare, because she is small, alone and the AusAID, a prescriptive list of components is now supplied and perception of a female travelling in a land that packed by the Club before the filled we have heard of some many stories of box is sent to AusAID’s holding station in Brisbane. From there, mistreatment. AusAID provide shipment to disaster zones where the boxes can help I remind members that we have witnessed provide potable water to needy communities. in Rotary many Rotarians that have been What is an Aquabox? .alone and determined to undertake what others said as impossible. • It is a 78 litre container containing water purification equipment andAustralian Rotary health, ROMAC and perhaps the biggest Polio. I humanitarian aid. • It is able to purify 2,000 litres ofwould like everyone to take some courage from Mai and perhaps if not polluted water.change the world, but you can change some person’s life in our • Aquabox 30 is a version which contains only water purificationcommunity. We have so many programs that affect people’s life’s equipment (able to purify 33,000 litres of water). Since 1992 over 85,000within our reach, lets reach out and grab them and be engaged. Aquaboxes have been distributed to disaster areas around the world, I ask members to reserve Saturday afternoon September 17 th for a providing in half a billion litres ofclub visioning day between 1-5pm. David Ross is working on a location potable water. The Rotary Club of Eltham adoptedto facilitate this and we may also need members to home host the Aquabox as a project in 2001 and since that time boxes have beenfacilitators who have travelled some distance to assist our club. distributed to disasters in Nepal, Iraq, There will have to be a very good excuse for members not to attend Cambodia, East Timor, PNG, Niue, Chad, Bangladesh, Colombo, Sriand as I am expecting 100% attendance. If you want our community to Lanka, Samoa and Philippines. The Club even provided 110 boxes tobenefit from having a Rotary Club in Parramatta and for our club to go the fire affected townships in Victoria following “Black Saturday” In the firstforward and grow past our 39th year of operation, be there. weeks of October 2009 over 400 Aquaboxes were distributed to disaster affected areas in Samoa and Philipines. The 2009 agreement with AusAID to store and transport Aquaboxes to disaster zones in our region has added extra impetus to the Club’s program. The Club has leased premises in Eltham to enable it to store, pack and prepare boxes for shipment
  2. 2. Rotary Club of Parramatta CityCALENDAR OF EVENTS August 29 Prashanth- The Wedding with all its glory and splendor September 5 Andrew Best-PPYC 17 Club visioning afternoon 18 Walk with me- BBQ Kings School 10am to 2.00pm 26 District Governor VisitGUEST SPEAKER Prashanth Paramanathan Bachelor of Business- Charles Sturt University The Branch Manager of Westpac South Parramatta Branch, he is specializing in Retail & Business banking, Home finance, Relationship Banking, Leadership and mentoring coaching, public speaking and business management. Prashanth speaks fluently three languages (English, Tamil & Sinhalese) and a limited working proficiency in French. He developed these skills while attending Parramatta High School.Not only is he on the Board of Rotary Club of Parramatta City, but also on the board of the ParramattaChamber of Commerce. But today Prashanth will be presenting on his highly staged managed wedding inSingapore and the honeymoon tripping the islands of Bali and the Pacific.MEMBERS MATTERSJohn Jenkins is in Concord Hospital and his daughter is now looking for a nursing home where better carecan be taken of him. John would enjoy a chat with members. We have a visiting Rotarian Susan Okroglic from the Rotary Club of Dardanelle, please make feelwelcomed.
  3. 3. Rotary Club of Parramatta CityCLUB INITITIVE John Surian’s walk/stroll/run/crawl Friday morning event at Parramatta Park is now in it’s second weekwith a brave set of four commencing their walk at 6.00am. John is looking for a name, so for the member offriend that can come with a beaut name, John is offering a prize to the lucky one. Otherwise be there nextFriday again at 6.00am. (Ample parking is available at that time on the RHS before you get to the Queen Stgate.)OUR COMMUNITYWALK WITH ME - PARRAMATTAYou are invited to take a step towards making a difference in the lives of people withdisabilities by participating in Northcotts annual Walk With Me event in Parramatta.Hundreds of people of ALL abilities are coming together to walk side by sideto encourage us all to see a person first and not their disability, as well as raise vitalfunds for respite services.Walk With Me is a great way to spend a Sunday morning, with entertainment andplenty of sporting and family-focused activities.What: Walk With Me - ParramattaWhen: Sunday, 18 September - 10:00am to 2:00pmWhere: The Kings School - Doyle Oval, North ParramattaTo register for the walk contact Tony Warner, otherwise John Ching is looking for BBQvolunteers to operate the club BBQ on the day.OUR YOUTHAt the recent Board meeting approval was given for four young people to attend thisyears Rypen course. Great work Tony and we look forward to hearing from theseyoung people at one of our meetings.OUR INTERNATIONAL SERVICE School of St Peters, Uganda I hope this e-mail finds you well. I am writing to confirm that we have received the money transferred to our bank account. Theamount received is $ 21,005.00. We will sit down as a club and implement the project accordingly. I willlet you know of the progress. I want to that you and members of your club for supporting this project tohelp war affected children. God Bless You All ………………………..Robert Hardy Opira
  4. 4. Rotary Club of Parramatta CityFACEBOOK We have now available for the club a new facebook page the shortcut is Please visit, make comments, open discussions and for your initial visit please hit the “like button”. Thereason is the more members who like the page, we receive additional features. The Facebook page is not asubstitute for our website, but more of an additional way to reach our audience.QUOTE OF THE MONTHALBERT S ADAMS –RI PRESIDENT 1919-1920Rotary Club of Atlanta, Georgia, USA―Never take in a man for whom you will later have to make excuses, and never take in a man merely forhis bigness in material success unless it be sure that he is a Rotarian at heart. It is better to have 15 goodmembers than 75 members who are Rotarians in name only.‖—1919 Rotary conventionREGISTER FOR 2011 ROTARY-UN DAYThe annual Rotary-UN Day will be held on Saturday, 5 November, at United Nations headquarters in New YorkCity.Organized by the RI representatives to the UN, this year’s event will feature presentations from seniorUN staff and Rotary leaders as well as panel discussions on health, water, literacy, and youth.High school-age students, including Interactors and Rotary Youth Exchange participants, can attend aspecial youth program in the morning and join the adult program in the afternoon.
  5. 5. Rotary Club of Parramatta CityDownload the registration form for RI-UN Day and the youth program.For more information contact Brad Jenkins.FROM RUSSIANS, WITH LOVE by Daisy SindelarThe Rotarian -- August 2011I n the tiny Russian town of Beloomut, a pensioner named Vyacheslav is lucky to be alive. He hadminutes to escape before a wildfire tore through the village, 80 miles south of Moscow, last August.When he returned several days later, nothing remained – neither his house nor a lifetime’s worth ofmodest possessions. ―We fled with nothing more than the clothes we were wearing,‖ he says.Stories like Vyacheslav’s played out in villages throughout western Russia last summer as recordtemperatures and a prolonged drought sparked weeks of deadly forest fires. By the time it was all over,tens of thousands of acres of pristine birch and pine forests had been destroyed, thousands of houses hadburned to the ground, and more than 50 people had died, trapped by the fast-moving walls of fire, someof them stretching as long as 3 miles, with flames as high as 130 feet. (The heat wave itself claimedthousands of people, most of them elderly, who succumbed to the choking smog and high temperaturesthat smothered Moscow for more than a month.)The government was slow to respond to the disaster. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who has honed hisimage as a relentless man of action, appeared on national television comforting victims and copiloting afirefighting plane over burning tracts of forest. But such images were not enough to placate anincreasingly angry public.Then an unexpected new resource filled the gap: a swell of public support, volunteerism, and charity.The massive relief effort by private citizens was everything the Kremlin’s was not – organized,effective, and humane. One of the most active groups was Spravedlivaya Pomoshch, or Fair Aid, a three-year-old charity based in Moscow. It accepted hundreds of donations a day, ranging from single toothbrushes to carloads of bottled water, clothing, and canned milk and meat. Natalya Avilova, a coordinator at Fair Aid, says the group’s strategy was to identify precisely what was needed and where – and then to ensure that those supplies went directly to the people who needed them, not to local bureaucrats. ―We don’t use a middleman,‖ she says. ―We don’t work with local administrations or people who
  6. 6. Rotary Club of Parramatta Cityconsider themselves the heads of things. We work directly with the people who need the help and handthings straight to them.‖A natural impulse toward charity has not often been on display in today’s Russia. Although civic unitywas idealized during the Soviet era, many people grew accustomed to relying on the paternalistic state,not their fellow citizens, in times of need. The collapse of the USSR left Russians reeling, emotionallyand economically. Any vestiges of communal spirit rapidly hardened into a practice of looking out foryourself and your family – and no one else.In the 1990s, pensioners who had spent a lifetime serving the country saw their meager savings vanishovernight with currency devaluations. One devastating war in Chechnya ended and another began.Prices skyrocketed, and so did crime.The response of the average Russian was to turn down the volume. ―The thing that will bury us is thatwe simply have no compassion for each other,‖ a Russian friend once told me. ―We never have, and wenever will.‖But as living standards rise and frustration with the government mounts, compassion is emerging. In thebeginning, Fair Aid was hoping to collect enough supplies to assist a single fire-ravaged village. But thegroup’s efforts proved so effective that it was able to deliver help to several dozen towns across threeregions.―There’s never been something of this magnitude,‖ says Tatyana Protsenko, a lawyer who took a leaveof absence to answer phones and sort through supplies. ―People are simply helping each other. This isthe kind of situation where you have to put your own affairs aside for a while and deal with somethingserious and important.‖Avilova credits much of her organization’s success to the Internet, which it used to disseminate reliablenews and advice. Fair Aid’s Elizaveta Glinka, a physician who maintains a blog under her nickname,Doctor Liza, posted lists of needed supplies. ―The next day,‖ Avilova says, ―Internet users would bringus exactly what we asked for.‖Such communication handed enormous power to Russia’s web-using public, particularly at a time whenthe nation’s highly managed television stations were slow to react. Volunteer firefighters could turn tothe Internet for accurate information on what clothing and equipment to buy, and for the GPScoordinates to get them to the blaze. And, perhaps most crucially, Fair Aid and other groups were able topublish photographs and testimonials proving that donations had been delivered into the proper hands.Olga Serebryanaya, a Russian Internet expert, says these events have given her countrymen back theirsense of community. ―All the social connections that used to exist between people have fallen apart inrecent years,‖ she says. ―And a moment of calamity like this has somehow shown us that we need tocreate new connections. I see in this not only a need to help but a need to experience solidarity.‖A year after the wildfire crisis, Russia’s charitable mood remains strong. After a terrorist blast killeddozens of people at Moscow’s busiest airport in January, volunteers immediately began offering freerides to stranded passengers. And in a New Year’s message on her blog, Doctor Liza listed Fair Aid’smany 2010 achievements, which included helping to raise 50,000 rubles in aid for deaf and hearingimpaired children, donating funds and supplies to orphanages and homes for the elderly, and providingmore than 10,000 hot meals to homeless people at a city railway station.
  7. 7. Rotary Club of Parramatta City―Without you, none of this would have happened,‖ she wrote to donors and volunteers. ―We not onlysurvived the crazy summer of 2010, we came to know an enormous number of people with whom we’vefallen in love and with whom we’re continuing to work now, in the cold. It means we’ll survive thiswinter too.‖