President: Andrew IrvineWe meet Tuesdays at 12:30 at the Commercial Club at 77 Gurwood St. Wagga Wagga.
Wollundry is home to the Wagga Sunday Markets, the Farmers Markets and the Wagga Food and Wine Festival.
Tim Barter introduced Donna Goodwin, and highlighted her previous association with Rotary – Donna was in Rotaract in her early days in Wagga, knows some of the Rotarians, and promised not to tell about parties in Buckhorn Street.Donna is the Redevelopment Change Officer for Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, and came along to tell us about the facilities that are being built on the Edward Street site.
We are not just getting a new hospital, we are getting a much larger facility, with some areas almost doubling in size. Some of the figures that Donna quoted were:
Donna has had practise talking to community groups, and although we gave her a tight timeframe, she was able to pack in many facts and figures, and was helped by a very well produced slide presentation. The funding arrangements were also explained, and the $282 million dollars required for stages one and two are “locked in”. These two stages are the mental health unit, and the acute facility. There is a third stage which will require further funds in 2017.George Thomas gave a vote of thanks (see photo).
The Cheque presentation to Wagga Wagga High School, the proceeds of the 2013 Food and Wine Festival, was held at a school assembly on Wednesday 8th May, with around 900 students, including Nelson Alverado, watching on.
The School Principal, Michael Powell, welcomed the contingent of around twelve members of Wollundry Rotary, and Mark Hillis was also attending in his role as principal of Riverina BMW, the Naming Sponsor of the event. He explained to the student body that the school had submitted an application for help, been selected, and that students, teachers and parents had worked alongside the Rotarians for three days at the festival site. Michael noted the positive work done by Rotary in the community, and the theme of satisfaction through work for others.
Wollundry President Andrew then presented the cheque, and the students seemed to be very impressed by the size of the “dollars” involved. A presentation back to Andrew from some of the students in the special education classes followed.
The centres employ four advisors from a variety of backgrounds, with special advisors employed in the key areas of accounting and marketing. These are the two areas which businesses have the most issues with. BECs have branches in Albury, Griffith, Deniliquin and Wagga. They provide great services such as Interactive Bechmarking; Valuing of Business; Business Diagnosis (Health Checkup). The service also gives access to 40 plug-ins to assist businesses.Graeme final message was that businesses much use measures to ascertain how successful they are. Around 70% of customers leave a business because of indifferent service.When something goes wrong, it is not the end of the world and rather this negative can be turned into a positive!Service given to fix an issue means that in many cases these customers become your business' greatest advocate!Peter Crozier thanked Graeme on behalf of the members.
Wollundry Rotarians were well represented at the 2013 Leeton District Conference this past weekend. The photo above was taken at the Saturday night Art Deco Dinner.
The conference was well attended and you can see more photos by clicking here.
The Member for Wagga Daryl Maguire, Wollundry President Andrew Irvine and Wagga Mayor Rod Kendal officially open the Wollundry Rotary shed in North Wagga Wagga. The shed will house Wollundry Rotary's Trailers and Markets equipment.
Both Daryl and Rod spoke very highly of Rotary and in particular Wollundry Rotary and expressed the willingness of both Council and State to assist our club. The land is leased to us at a peppercorn rate, as well as other grants, and the State government gave us $30000. This shows a huge vote of confidence and recognition for Wollundry. It needs to be stated that Rob Pearson who is a club member put in an amazing effort to erect the building, and donated his time to the club. In the past Chris Nash did the same by allowing us to use his garages on the Leagues Club site. A big vote of thanks to each of these. There were others too who put in so that this would be a success. Col Duff showed off his impressive solar system that will pay for itself in a few short years, and all those who were able to lend a hand to make this a reality deserve credit. Another milestone.
It was on last weekend...the Riverina BMW Wagga Wagga Food and Wine Festival...and everybody was there. Click here for more photos, courtesy of Greg Conkey.
Graham Barrow, our newest member gave his "this is my life" talk at Tuesday meeting. His home is WA. He came to Melbourne in 1970 to come to University where he met Hugh Campbell. They both got degrees in Agricultural Engineering.
Graham joined the Soil Conservation in NSW. He then returned to WA where he spent 15 years. He is a former member of APEX in Busselton and was President.
His wife wanted to return to NSW and they returned in 1990’s. He is currently with Enviro-Ag Australia in Wagga. He consults on Enviromental and Agricultural Issues.
Graham has two daughters. One is doing a Masters in Arts at Melbourne University and she and Graham are attending the Neil Young concert this weekend. Another daughter is working in her chosen field in Wangaratta.
Dick and Gail Smith were our hosts, and their pride in the winery that operates from their home was obvious and well deserved. The yard and home was a
great venue for entertaining, and the opportunity to wander through the vines before we saw the winemaking process added to our understanding of what “boutique” means to a vigneron.
Once we had split into two groups, Dick showed us the various stages of fermentation that occur to grapes with in a week of picking. The two vats undergoing fermentation were at different stages, and Dick was able to demonstrate the characteristics of each variety and level of maturity.
The equipment that Dick uses was fairly simple, and hopefully that means fewer things to go wrong. Dick made the point that his output is less than Casella Wines, but he doesn’t have the marketing muscle yet, and sleeps better at night.
Nelson Alverado our newly arrived 16 y.o. exchange student from Peru was Guest Speaker. His Host Mother, Deb Graham had snuck in to see the presentation, and was welcomed by Pres. Elect Phil. Nelson used a powerpoint slide show to illustrate many of the points that he told us about Peru, his homeland, and about Lima, his home city, the capital of Peru.
We saw family photos, architecture, culture, flora and fauna, ancient ruins, lines in the desert, beaches without much surf, and tourist destinations like Machu Picchu, the newly rediscovered Inca site in the Andes Mountains. There were the inevitable claims made about various sites in Peru, and among them:
· Lima – most beautiful City outside of Spain· Puru has great beaches, but surf had gone missing on day photographed.· Peru has the biggest city built from Mud – Built around 400AD· Lines in the desert visible from Space· Peru has 84 out of 135 recognised ecosystems in the world and is the third most biodiverse country.· Peru is the most diverse cuisine in the world, with influences from Peruvian aboriginal, European, African and Asian.
A speciality is Guinea Pig, which will upset the kids – don’t let them read this!!!!!!
The presentation on Peru and Lima was very well put together, with great photography and was very well researched, a great effort from Nelson after just three weeks in Australia.
Michael Knight provided the entertainment at this week's meeting with one of his music quizzes. Each table was asked to listen to and name 35 songs and performers. Scattered through the quiz were questions of general interest/knowledge!!! Some controversy erupted after the meeting when Michael was "quizzed" about one of his answers. The singer of "You're the Best", was it Tina Turner or Jimmy Barnes?
Out of a mark of around 50, the provisional results are:John Mason's table 40Andy Irvine's table 40John Smith's table 37Greg Conkey's table 36GJMPHKB table 31one table-no result
Thanks Michael for another highly enjoyable and educational music feature.
He went on to explain that there is a Cadre of Rotarian experts who closely monitor the actual projects that are approved and actively ensure that projects are sustainable. This service is freely given by the Cadre volunteers who use their expertise to make sure that the Foundation and therefore the Rotarians get the best value possible for the money that is spent. There have been situations where money has disappeared or been misappropriated by unscrupulous Rotarians (even!) and the New Vision is actively trying to stop this happening. There are 21 Australians involved as well as some 120 from other parts of the world. While this might in some cases add to the cost of a project, it ensures that those in need are actually getting the help they deserve.
Rotary has an unenviable reputation that we can be very proud of. Every cent that is donated goes to the causes we choose. None is spent on wages or commissions, or advertising. It all goes where it should go and that is because of the volunteer nature of the members.
Dear Friends, you may recall when I spoke to you in September that I was optimistic about the security of the Pygmy community with whom I am involved at Mubambiro in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
While other Pygmy groups had been massacred in an upsurge in the ongoing violence in the region, they were safe. The situation has changed drastically now. The M23, one of the 20 militia groups involved in the conflict, has been taking towns in the area and making threats on the city of Goma for several months.
As they advanced on the city 2 weeks ago the Pygmies fled. Sake, the market town nearest the Pygmy village was taken with fierce fighting. One of our pre-school teachers managed to get out in time and reported bodies littered the road. On November 20 the rebels entered Goma - a city of a million people with another 750, 000 refugees on its outskirts. 4000 UN troops watched unable to intervene given their limited mandate. 60,000 people fled across international borders into Uganda and Rwanda - countries which the UN has accused of supporting the unrest in the area - and specifically of supplying the M23 with weapons and men - for their own ends.
The eastern provinces have been on the verge of chaos for more than 10 years - a lawlessness which allows international interests and multinational companies which are exploiting the country's rich resources to evade regulations and taxes. The DRC is a failed state - the weak and corrupt central government can't protect its borders. For 3 days people in Goma dared not leave their homes in the bombardment. People live day to day and most had little or no food on hand, no power, water or way of communicating.
A journalist went out to try to get some photos for a story to submit to the international media and came across the body of his daughter who died trying to get to the lake to get some water. Staff at HEAL Africa Hospital stayed to keep the hospital open - the only one in the city that did. The chaplain risked his life to collect wounded - but many wounded civilians had no way of getting help. One 5 year old boy with a bullet in his bladder writhed in agony for 24 hours before he got to the hospital - the family didn't even have any bandages for his wound. And now at the hospital - short on all essentials - no one has the skill to remove the bullet.
When Goma was taken, the hospital director was in Rwanda buying supplies which were already low due to the weeks of fighting preceding the capture of the city. He managed to get back with a car load of antibiotics, dressings, painkillers and some fuel to keep the generators going for limited power and water supply to the operating theatre. The latest news from my friends is that there are 110 wounded civilians still at HAH - many of them children - but they are having to turn people away as they have no beds and few supplies left. The rebels let a few trucks with loads of potatoes into the city but banks are closed, so no one has access to funds, no cash to buy and the potatoes have gone bad.
On December 1 after a truce brokered in Uganda the rebels agreed to withdraw to a buffer zone 20 kilometres from the city - as they left they looted everything in the city of value that the Congolese army hadn't looted when they left 10 days ago. Some apparently stopped off in an area of the refugee camp where the Pygmies are (with a total of 28,000 families averaging 6 members to a family) raped 7 women and abducted 12 adolescent boys to serve with them. Moreover, I am told many of the rebels merely removed their uniforms and remain in the city and the truce may not hold. Meanwhile, as they wait for the Congolese army to return, civilians are at the mercy of 1200 prisoners released from the Province Gaol by the rebels. And even while it is hoped that the banks will re-open soon, the uncertainties and disruption to the local economy means many people who have no savings are without means to survive.
I sent a bank draft of $5000 on November 19 which was meant to complete the pre-school building in the Pygmy Village. I have now instructed the lawyer and the chaplain who are volunteers working with me to use it for emergency assistance when the banks re-open. I retain some hope that the situation will improve and even that the Pygmy village will be intact. Before they left the Pygmies all put stout padlocks on the sturdy wooden doors and window shutters of their homes! And hopefully, some aid agencies will be able to bring emergency aid in to save the desperate population.
Our guest speaker today was Chris Nash, a principal of Nash Bros Constructions. This was a vocational visit to the new retirement living complex The Grange, and it proved a very interesting event.
Chris and his brother Scott thought of the idea to build this facility several years ago. It took four years to get the idea through council! But persistence has paid off, as we were presented with some forty houses built, in a complex that will one day (soon) hold 192. Already they have built some forty, and have deposits for a further 62! The average time frame from visit to living is about five years.
The facility has a vineyard and subsequent wine making facility, a men's shed mooted, a caravan storage site foreseen, and a bowling green to be laid out. All that and a facility for assisted living as maturity sets in.
The place is pet friendly and soon there may be a pet cemetery, possibly on the edge of the golf course.:)
An innovative suggestion of signaling methods from John Flynn went down very well, but seemed to lack much support from the partners. Maybe they are a bit wary of fireworks!
Chris went on to list those club members who had helped him on the journey. The list included some fifteen people whose professional expertise either in advice or service had made it all possible. From legal work, to engineering , to water to fencing and all points in between, it makes you realise just who and what our club members represent in this community and the depth of the expertise we enjoy.
An undertaking such as this needs a lot of research and sifting of knowledge. It also needs a cool head. Well done!!
Our guest speaker on Tuesday was our own PP John Smith. John is a beekeeper, also called honey farmers or apiarists.
John brought along hive boxes to show the members. Typically one queen lives in bottom. The entrance is at the front. Excluder keeps the queen in bottom box. John actually brought some live Queen bees along. He passed them around. (see photo). Queen bees live for three to four years and have a longer abdomen than workers or drones. Drone bees mate with a virgin queen. A hive can have 50,000 worker bees (all females) in it. When the hive gets overcrowded, the bees swarm and start a new hive.
John showed members photos of various stages of the growth of a hive and of the development of a queen bee. See the Photo album of the Nov 13 meeting for more pictures.
Ken Taylor gave a vote of thanks.
Rick McCarthy from the Bradman Foundation was back to run another very successful cricket day for children with disabilities. Gadarra School from Tumut traveled down to join students from Tolland, Lake Albert and Willans Hill Schools. The venue at Bolton Park was an ideal setting for a day of planned activities, followed by a sausage sizzle provided kindly by Wagga Wagga Rotary Club and culminating in a day of "Run Out Cricket".
Thanks to our "Cricketing Tragics" for their dedication and cooperation during the day. The bar at the Commercial Club was a welcome site at 4pm to rest aching backs and sore knees, but the smiles and thanks we received during the day more than compensated for these small discomforts.
It was a day that provided the very best of what Rotary in action in our community does so well! Click here for more pictures
PP Doug Conkey was our guest speaker at Tuesday's meeting. He has just returned fron a ten weeks tour of America and he spoke about the Battlefield of Gettysburg. Doug had obviously researched his subject with a full two days of touring the site of the battle.
He spoke about the environment that brought about the Civil War between the North and the South. There were three and a half million slaves in the South. The North was mainly industrial and slavery was the main reason for the start of the war in 1861.
The first few years of the war were favorable for the South. In 1863, Lee moved his Confererate Army North to take the battle into the enemy territory. The Commanding General of the South was Robert E. Lee and the commanding General of the North was George Meade.
Doug described in detail the battlefield and the movement of troops prior to and throughout the battle. The three day battle involved 150,000 troops. One of the most significant battles of the civil war was Pickets charge. This involved 12,000 Confederate soldiars charging the Union lines. 7,000 men were killed or wounded. The battle was called the High Water Mark of the war. Lee retreated and there were 17 miles of wagons and carriages of wounded soldiars. Meade was outvoted by his generals and did not attack the fleeing Confederate army.
Doug provided old maps and many photos he took of the battlefield. Click here to see the presentation photos.
PP John Smith gave a vote of thanks.
James Hamilton 1st place
John Gray 2nd place
Wal Paton 3rd place
Our guest speaker today was Mark Hillis, “raconteur extraordinaire” and worthy of acknowledgement in Ripley’s Believe it or not.
Mark agreed with some reluctance to help his wife Chris’ realise her dream of a trip to the big game country in South Africa and Namibia. Mark openly expressed his fear of large animals and Africa is full of them. As he later revealed he came to meet up with one in a much closer encounter than he had anticipated.
Sonya Gee is a multimedia journalist and artist who is relatively new to Wagga Wagga and keen to get to know her new surroundings. Sonya contributed to Dazed and Confused AUS/NZ magazine and completed a newspaper internship in Seoul, South Korea before making the switch to multimedia journalism. She has been an online producer for SBS, working on ‘Insight' and ‘Living Black' and has contributed to a number of online arts magazines.
Sonia is the Riverina Producer for the Open project and conducts training and information sessions to educate regional people in the areas of digital photography editing, video editing, audio editing, smartphones, blogs and social media.She presented three videos that were exceptionally well done. The first was about the Adelong Creek flood and the challenges for a local family. Then, there was a heart warming 30 second video of a boy and his grandfather, followed by a powerful short movie from the Aftermath Project detailing the Murrumbidgee Flood and the personal experiences of one couple.Sonia was given a vote of thanks by John Knight.
President Doug presented Paul Milde with the Wollundry Rotarian of the Year award for his work for the club and in particular for the Food and Wine Festival.
We meet Tuesdays at 12:30 PM
77 Gurwood StreetWagga Wagga, N.S.W. 2650Australia