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