Welcome, President Joanne!
Our 2014-15 Rotary Year officially kicked off last Monday night with the handing of the Presential chains of office from President Geoff Mann to Joanne Clark.
In Joanne's words ...
"I am very honoured to be President of Geelong Central Rotary club and I feel particularly privileged to follow on from our immediate Past President Geoffrey Mann.
"As you have heard already this evening Geoffrey has had a wonderful year as President, and we can all see from our Year book it has indeed been a year where Geoff has led our members with a strong action focus that has delivered on Rotary International's Immediate Past President Ron Burton’s theme to Engage Rotary, Change Lives.
"It is together that we can achieve the most – or as RI President Huang said:
Even when there is so much to do,
So many problems in the world,
So many difficulties that we all come across from time to time,
Even then – Especially then
When others would say it is too much, too hard, I am just one person, I cannot make a difference...
That is when being a member of Rotary gives us power."
He said, "The Rotary way is like lighting a candle.
I light one candle, you light one candle -- and so do 1.2 million other Rotarians.
Together, we can do so much more than we could ever do alone.
Together, we can light up the world."
As I now step into the big shoes President Geoff Mann has left -- I notice my own apprehensions -- what if I am not up to it? What if I don’t have enough time? I am acutely aware of all that I don’t know yet.... all those usual fears that come up for us all when we begin a new journey -- and then I realise that being President of a Rotary club isn’t about ME, in fact being a member of Rotary itself isn’t about me either -- it is about the people we help.
In 2014-15, each of us will have the opportunity to light our own Rotary candle – whether it be in an International project in Fiji, Madagascar, New Guinea or in Australia – such as Garrthala in East Arnhem land, the Salvation Army refuge in Geelong, A Habitat for Humanity project, a local school or fund raising event -- no matter where, you can contribute.
Thank you for coming to celebrate the beginning of another wonderful and inspiring Rotary Year and I invite each of you to join us on the adventure as we Light Up Rotary together."
Celebrating Changeover: outgoing President Geoff Mann with incoming President Joanne Clark
More than 50 members, friends and guests celebrated our 2014 Changeover Dinner
Monday was also President Joanne's birthday -- fittingly celebrated with a surprise birthday cake. Joanne and her partner Peter also shared the night with an additional 13 family members -- a great contingent of 15. As Joanne said in her speech on Monday:
"I would like to welcome my family and friends here tonight and thank them for travelling to Geelong to celebrate with me as I take on this new and exciting adventure in Rotary.
We working in the community is something that I, and all my family have grown up with – in fact my Mum Marlene is right now still the Secretary of her local Probus Club.
And although I might cause some embarrassment for them in saying this -- you all know how very proud I am of each of my children, and their delightful partners as they too continue to contribute, serve and make a difference to others throughout their lives, careers and in our family."
President Geoff Mann surprises Joanne with a Birthday cake
New club President Joanne Clark with her proud family and friends
We have an album with 23 images from the night on Facebook (www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.659580687452618.1073741831.522117551198933&type=1) if you'd like to see more Changeover photos!
Congratulations Doug and Ralph
Club Members Doug McDonald and Ralph Menchise were both very deserving winners of a Royce Abbey Award conferred by our club and presented at the Changeover by RC Essendon PP Roger Leask, initiator of the awards.
The Award recognises Rotarians who show Enthusiasm and Commitment to the Object of Rotary at Club, District and International level.
L-R: Doug McDonald, Roger Leask, Ralph Menchise
When an award is made, the conferring Rotary Club contributes AUD$1,000 to the Royce and Jean Abbey Endowed Fund assisting with the provision of further scholarships.
Royce joined the Rotary Club of Essendon in 1954, and was RI President in 1988-89. The awards were created in 2004 in recognition of Royce's long-term contribution and dedication to Rotary. Royce very sadly passed away this past February.