Weekly newsletter for Rotary Club of Parramatta City 23/09/13

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Weekly newsletter for the Rotary Club of Parramatta city for 23/09/13

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Weekly newsletter for Rotary Club of Parramatta City 23/09/13

  1. 1. Rotary Club of Parramatta City MEETING 23/09/13  Rotary Four-Way Test The Four-Way Test challenges Rotarians, in everything they do, to ask themselves: Of the things we say or do: Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? Our guests Glenn Gardner introduced his guest, and a friend of 15 years standing, Martin Addleman, who was visiting Australia. Martin, who comes from Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, and has a wife hailing from Wahroonga, met Glenn during one of his visits to Australia. Professionally, martin had a business, the Irish Linen Company, founded in 1875, which turned out everything from ladies’ handkerchiefs to tablecloths for State banquets. He retired about seven years ago. John Surian introduced Lauren Meredith, newly married and for more than two years Commercial and Property Manager for the Parramatta officer of Raine and Horne. She had come to the meeting to “have a look” and to meet Joy Gillette (who was not present). Malcolm Brown introduced Tony Sonneveld OAM, former managing director of Termimesh Pty Ltd, which pioneered the market in Sydney with an effective termite treatment that did not use chemicals. Tony, now retired and a terminal prostate cancer sufferer, is a former Army officer and has led the way in almost any field he has entered, including the Officer Training Unit Association, the Australian Institute for Non-Destructive Testing and in later years the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, of which he is chairman of the NSW Board. Valentine’s Day Function Natalie reported that the Valentine's Day function is still ticking along. The committee members have decided to hold a much smaller function, cocktail party style. Next steps are to get the website and Facebook pages up and running to create expressions of interest in the evening. The committee will need all members of the Parramatta and surrounding Rotary clubs to Like and Share the Facebook page so as to help raise interest in the event. ROTARY CLUB OF PARRAMATTA CITY DISTRICT 9675 COMMUNITY NETWORKER
  2. 2. Rotary Club of Parramatta City End-of-Year Social Function Natalie also requested an expression of interest from the group for an end of year function involving a dinner and show night at the Riverside Theatre. Many hands were raised so Natalie will research and advise further via email regarding dates and costings for the evening. She said there were a number of options for shows to see and members should indicate their preferences. Sausage Tossing Phil Brophy said a number of members had put their hands up for the Harris Community Centre function on Wednesday this week. They were Malcolm Brown, Vandana Setia, Barry Antees, Johnny Ching, John Stamboulie and possibly John Surian. Members should be at the venue, At James Ruse Reserve, Parkes Street, Harris Park, by 11 am. Coming events September 25. Harris Park Community Centre – Neighbourhood event, BBQ September 26. District 9675 Training at Liverpool Catholic Club September 30. Club Meeting – Club Assembly October 2. A scheduled meeting of the Christmas Tree Committee Apologies and Guests Apologies to Joy Gillett on 8837 1900 before 9.30 am on Monday morning. This is the latest time apologies can be accepted as numbers must to be given to the hotel by this time. If you are bringing a a guest please also advice this to Joy by that time to ensure a meal is prepared. The Club is required to pay for the number of lunches ordered. Invoices for the cost of a meal will be sent to members by Vandana if you do not apologise for none- attendance by the time stated. Prostate Cancer Tony Sonneveld said he received the bad news that he had contracted prostate cancer after undergoing a routine blood test. He asked how many members present had had similar blood tests. Happily, 90 percent of members put up their hands. Nobody present was aware of having prostate cancer, but the club had had members in the past who had it. Tony went though the barrage pf tests he was then subjected to before receiving the news that he was “too far gone” for radical prostate surgery. “I had 35 sessions of external beam radiation and then I was told that I should not waste my deposit on trying to walk to Kokoda Track,” Tony said. “Ten years ago to the month I did go on the track, with some Army mates.” Tony mentioned that there had been a predisposition to the disease in his extended family, His father, uncle and father-in-law had all died of the disease and two brothers had undergone surgery for it in the last two yeass.
  3. 3. Rotary Club of Parramatta City Tony said that today there were huge developments in treatment, one being alternatives to the radiation which came from various angles to focus on the target area but did some damage to other organs like bowel and bladder before it got there. He had undergone treatment, which included quarterly implants of medication at $1,300 a time. He had endured side effects, including panic attacks and hot flushes, and losing a lot of his external body hair. “I have put up with all this, but I am alive to talk about it,” he said. Tony said the impetus to form the Prostate Cancer Foundation had come from the one- time TV newsreader Roger Climpson, who belonged to the Lane Cove Rotary Club. Tony had been diagnosed initially in 2003 but in 2006 it had metastasised into the sternum and spine. He had responded positively and aggressively to the Androgen Deprivation Therapy, having had his 25th implant that very morning. In 2007, he had joined the NSW board of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) and a year later had been appointed chairman, a position which he holds to this day. He had worked unceasingly to bring greater public awareness of the disease, raise funds for research and get drugs put onto the Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme free list. He had used the media and political lobbying and had achieved wonderful results. He had talked to so many Rotary Clubs he felt like a Rotarian myself”. PCFA funding received from the Movember Foundation over the past six years had been dedicated to ground-breaking research. Movember funding also financed the Prostate nurse program in capital cities and regional areas. The Federal Government recently committed more than $7 million to extend the program over the next three years. “Women had stolen a march with breast cancer and have the whole of the medical profession to support them,” he said. It had achieved results in better treatment regimes and new drugs. Last year, the incidence of breast cancer death was the lowest ever in Australia. Deaths from prostate cancer were now higher than those from breast cancer. “We are following down the same path as the women,” he said.” Men now talk about health issues including prostate cancer and are more proactive in having annual medical checkups and subsequent resting for various diseases.” DG-elect Barry Antees, thanking Tony, said it was “a magnificent presentation from the heart, which is more important.” I might add that eight years ago Tony was given “from two to eight years to live”, and he has now reached his seventh year with plans on hand to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. He skis internationally, travels internationally and is Tony Sonneveld
  4. 4. Rotary Club of Parramatta City doing his very, very best to smoke himself to death. But nothing at all seems to faze him and as I said such is his dynamism that eventually Prostate Cancer will have to raise the white flag. Asylum Seekers Almost 20 years ago, on a journalistic sortie into the far west of New South Wales, I was guest of a grazier, outside Enngonia, on the Queensland border. The grazier took me and my son Stewart out shooing with him, a late afternoon routine where he was to clear the kangaroos and pigs from his property. In that vast, parched stretch of Mother Earth, his property, with its artesian bores, was a Garden of Eden for the wildlife in that desperate environment and naturally they made their way there. He was a good shot. When he felled them he went up to their struggling bodies with a lump of steel and bashed their skulls in. One was “full of arms and legs”, having a joey in the pouch. He pulled the joey out. It saw the iron bar descending and grunted defiantly before the blow landed, and it was no more. The grazier said it was necessary to preserve his property and maker a living from it. But I was privately appalled. The relevance of this now is just that these desperate people, ling the desks of these flimsy fishing boats in this perilous dash to Christmas Island, are just like those animals on that far off Enngonia property. They are asylum seekers, trying in desperation to get away from environments that hold out no hope for them and trying to find a better life for themselves and their children. And what are we doing? Lining up naval vessels to intercept them! The Government has said it will “turn back the boats” and Lieutenant-General Duncan Campbell, in charge of Operation Safe Borders, says it is a matter of judgement for the naval commander intercepting a fishing boat to decide what to do. Well what on earth can such a commander do? Turn them back to Indonesia. Indonesia does not want them. Send them to Manus Island or Nauru. And then what? Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the asylum seekers will not be allowed to “settle” on these places. So where to do they go? It seems to me the blanket cover-up of news is intended to make the problem disappear from the public agenda. That solves nothing. I met some of these asylum seekers who made it to Australia on bridging visas under a previous regime. They were simple, honest people with thoughts and feelings, dreams and aspirations, just wanting a chance. I was appalled when the Department of Immigration used what one couple told me in an interview with me as a means of denying them permanent residency. I forget what they said, but it was not remarkable. I can still remember the little girl in her head scarf and bare feet running round nonchalantly in the park outside her home, like any little girl anywhere in Australia. But soon she was to become, with her family, a human chattel, to be shunted from one place to the other. Nobody wants them. There are too many of them out there, in a world with a population of seven billion there are a great deal more, one way or another, on the way. But have we any right to turn anyone away? Have we any right to retain our privileged, affluent lifestyle in a world full of such horrific poverty? Have we the right to use Papua New Guinea or any other Third World country as a dumping ground to process people who want to come here? Maybe we do not have a right, so then it comes down to force, just as the Enngonia grazier used to get rid of the problem of the orphaned joey. The deployment of the military is a resort to force. And if we use it now, perhaps one day someone “out there” will come to us and return the compliment. Malcolm Brown

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