• Club Number 18039
  • District 9685
  • Chartered 1946

Club News

Latest News from Borjegai Schools Project in Afghanistan

Our popular Project Officer, Ali Reza Yunespour, received a most enthusiastic welcome on his recent visit to Kabul, Borjegai and Jirghai.  Apart from attending and being an honoured guest at two weddings, an area wide horse racing event was organised with around 500 people from all the Borjegai sub-villages and most areas in Jirghai too.  

The opening ceremony for the Salman-e Fars School had been delayed until Ali arrived and was a well attended event.  Many speeches including those of influential Mullahs and some school principals from neighbouring Jirghai were made.  There were plenty of opportunities for Ali to talk with people associated with all the schools in Borjegai at the opening and when he visited each and every school.  
The community expressed its gratitude for the continued support provided over the past ten years by indigo foundation and the Rotary Club of Ryde.  

In Kabul, Ali talked with many of the university graduates and current tertiary students in Kabul who completed their secondary education in Borjegai schools.  Some of these graduating students have returned and are now working as teachers and principals in the Borjegai schools - a true demonstration of sustainability in support for their education system and infrastructure.

Red Shield Appeal 2013 Another Great Success

The Rotary Club of Ryde has been helping the Salvos for the past 17 years to raise funds during Red Shield Appeal.Once again James Ruse Agricultural College Interact Club and the Rotary Club of Ryde combined efforts to door knock on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May. This year 80 students door knocked in Denistone and Eastwood suburbs.

Five vehicles were used to transport the students over the two days, three of the drivers were Rotarians and we had help from four community bus drivers who were happy to donate their time to help the Salvos.

The three car dealers in Ryde area that offered help by providing a vehicle or sponsored a vehicle were Ryde Toyota, Tom Kerr Auto and Brad Garlick Ford. Every year these generous helpers offer more when they see the effort the community puts in to assist the Salvos. My sincere thanks go to both Rotarian drivers
 and Rotarian collectors. Together with the
 students we raised $8,050 for the Appeal and
 this is an increase of $1,600 from last year. 
Thank you also to three Rotarians from our club 
for spending time at Top Ryde Shopping Centre to mind the Salvation Army bucket. 

This year I had the pleasure to work with all community groups in the Ryde area to encourage them to help the Salvos. It is a great feeling of satisfaction to assist a devoted group of people like the Salvation Army who help the needy and marginalised in our society.

Nora Edtmekdjian

Primary Schools Public Speaking Competition Finals

On Tuesday 28th May our club meeting hosts the Junior School Public Speaking Competition Final: it is a partner’s night, and a list will be circulated to members this coming Tuesday to gauge attendance.

Please ask your wives, husbands or partners whether they would like to attend: it will be a memorable night, with four children competing, and with their Parents and Teachers attending. 

The finals will be held at our club meeting place: Level 2, Next Generation Club, next to Ryde Aquatic Centre, 504 Victoria Road, Ryde, on Tuesday 28th May, 6pm. Teachers, visitors, parents and siblings are welcome to attend for our normal dinner charge of $30 each. We need the numbers for the caterers, and the names of all attending for our President’s welcome to guests.  

Please advise numbers and names as soon as they come to hand, but no later than noon, Friday, 24th May to AllenJohn.Horrell@Bluescopesteel.com. If you do not register your intention at the club meeting.

 Payment is to be made on entry; as we do not have EFTPOS or Credit Card facilities, payment is by Cash or Cheque only. Our preference is for one cheque from each group attending.

Post-Conference Message from Ryde Rotarian DG John Dodd

Dear Rotary Friends and Friends of Rotary - At this stage I should be ebullient, but tired. The exhausted part is right on after the Conference last weekend, the build-up and the follow up. "Relief" is a term that comes to mind. The Conference was terrific (if I say so myself): a great combination of all those who made it a success including the Conference Committee, Past RI President Bhichai, the Avenue of Service Chairs, entertainers, presenters, MC Chris Joscelyne and the DG (great speech on the Sunday!).  My thank you messages will be delivered for months to come.

However, we had 400 to over 500 in attendance at different times over the weekend. Great crowd, but maybe 300 Rotarians (plus partners) out of a District membership of 1850+, or a bit over 15%. Of course not every regular Conference attendee goes to every Conference. But I wish that the other 75 odd per cent had (took advantage/could afford/could spare the time – whatever reason) the opportunity to experience the best Rotary has to offer. I feel the benefits of attending a Conference to be enormous and add significantly to the experience of being a Rotarian.

Perhaps that's the nub of why we fail in Membership numbers: not in gaining new members, but in retaining those we invite to join out Clubs. For those who have experienced a District Conference, it would be hard to leave an organisation that showed the width and depth of programs that Rotary has to offer. It would be hard not to be impressed by those presenters and partners in Rotary who are willing to give their time to attend and address the Conference. It would be hard not to want to be one of those really useful people laying bricks in the road to Peace.

We need to engage and involve our members in the joy of Rotary. I have attended the last few Rotary Leadership Institute Seminars and the consistent feedback (other than the excellence of the course) runs something along the lines, "I've been in Rotary 10 (or 15 or 20) years and I've learnt more about Rotary in the last three weeks than in all that time". What about all the members we've lost before they had reached that understanding?
I can be pleased that the Leadership Institute courses are filling up for the rest of the year: a real credit to PDGs Barry Philps and David Rands as well as many other presenters. However, it is clear we must involve our members early and regularly in the great feeling of doing good in the world. Whether it has been hosting Youth Exchange Students, running Red Shield Appeal days, or adjudicating kids in public speaking, I get a real buzz out of Rotary. 

It might seem odd, but I also get a real buzz out of putting partners together to effect projects and helping with Insurance problems. Not exactly "Rotary moment" events, but utilizing my experience to advance projects. My work this year on Probus and Marketing has been all behind the scenes, but still very satisfying. We can all bring our capabilities to do good in the world. To involve our members to the point where they would be crazy to leave, we need to work in a formulaic method.

As with Membership recruitment, we need to be systematic in our processes and not leave anything to chance. Our Membership chairs and committees must play real and relevant roles in ensuring every Rotarian in every Club has the opportunity to experience what Rotary has to offer. It will be only with a depth of commitment by Rotarians that we will be able to stem the tide of reducing membership. 

I wish DGE Graeme the best for his one day Conference at Chatswood Concourse in February next year. All the excuses about time, cost and distance can be forgotten and there should be a great attendance. I sincerely hope many of our District's Rotarians get to appreciate the best that Rotary has to offer. 

Then I will be really ebullient (look it up)!

Yours in Rotary

John Dodd

District Governor 2012-13

Vale Past President Eric Bond A.M. - who passed away on 1 March 2013

Ryde Rotarian. Eric Ernest Bond, 9.2.1918 - 1.3.2013, passed away peacefully at home.  Late of East Lindfield.  Much loved husband of Pat, loving father and father-in-law of Cathy and Ross, Julie and Garry. Cherished grandfather of Nicholas, Alexander, Hannah, Rebecca, Kate, Natasha and Sarah. Devoted companion of Sam.

Family and friends of ERIC attended his Funeral Service, held at Macquarie Park Crematorium, North Ryde, in the Camellia Chapel on Wednesday March 6, 2013.  Eric was one our our most esteemed members, having been awarded an A.M. and having a scientific career that was responsible for phenomenal improvements in food production and nutrition across the globe, as a lead scientist at the CSIRO

From Eric's biography, that he provided our club in 2012:

All my working life, covering some 50 years, has been associated with the cereal industry – wheat, flour milling and bread.  Starting as a young laboratory assistant in 1934 – the tail end of the great depression – with a company making then newly developed compressed yeast for the bread industry, where I was delegated to assist with testing required by the 1934–36 Royal Commission into the three industries. 

From there I was appointed Cereal Chemist with the Victorian Dept of Agriculture.  At the outbreak of war I was appointed Chief Chemist of Bruntons, a large flour milling company in NSW and Victoria, setting up central laboratories in Sydney as part of wartime food control.  After the war, another Royal Commission into the Bread Industry resulted in the establishment, in 1947, of the Bread Research Institute of Australia to which I was appointed founding Director.  The BRI worked closely with CSIRO which, in 1957, established the Wheat Research Unit with me as Officer in Charge.  I remained in those dual positions until my retirement in 1983.

My work has entailed a great deal of time overseas.  As President of the International Association for Cereal Chemistry with headquarters in Vienna, from 1970–72 – the cold war period, I spent much time in countries east and west of the Berlin wall.  As well there were many visits to overseas countries – established and prospective markets for our wheat.  Consider these three situations in the work place:

It is 1970 and I am in Santiago, Chile.  I receive an invitation from a large company in the Argentine to come up to Buenos Aires for the weekend.  Buy a ticket, fly up to BA, I am stopped at customs – no visa.  I was being ushered away to the transit lounge when a small, dark, man steps forward and whispers conspiratorially to the customs man.  I am released.  ‘Nickinson’, the said man, whispers to me “all we have to do now is sign a false declaration and then off to BA for the weekend”.  Was it the truth?
It is 1973, I am in South Africa in the days of Apartheid – I am attending a meeting of the South African Wheat Board as a consultant.  I place before it a recommendation made on behalf of senior scientific staff that a black worker in the laboratory, doing excellent scientific work should be recognized, and classified, as the lowest grade of technical assistant and not, as currently classified, labourer/cleaner.  There was a stoney silence from the Board of predominantly Afrikaaner farmers then ‘Next Business’.  Was it fair to all concerned?

It is 1969, I am in Moscow, in the office of my good friend and predecessor as President, of the International Association, Prof. Trisviatsky, Director of the Soviet Union Grain Research Organisation.  A staunch member of the Communist Party, he is concerned about a delicate decision he is to take as President.  I suggested a way out of his dilemma (a democratic way) would be to appoint a sub-committee to recommend.  He requested that I arrange it.  I take the result to Trisviatsky – it solves his problem.  Relieved, he jumps up, takes a bottle of Vodka from a cupboard and we drink a toast to what he describes as a very democratic solution.  Did it build goodwill and better friendships? and Was it beneficial to all concerned?

2013-14 Rotary International Assembly Speech Book available

Get ready for the 2013-14 Rotary year by using speeches, news articles, photos, and videos from this year’s International Assembly, the annual training meeting for district governors-elect held 13-19 January in San Diego, California, USA. 

Download the speech book from the event here

For all the links, including video, blogs, graphics and photos, click here 

Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi receives award at Rotary Global Peace Forum

Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar's democracy movement and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, delivered the keynote address at the Rotary Global Peace Forum held in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 25-27 January.

She was honored with the Hawaii Peace Award for her longstanding pursuit of democracy through peaceful, nonviolent means. After 20 years of house arrest, Suu Kyi was released in November 2010, and last year was elected to Myanmar's parliament as a member of the pro-democracy opposition party.
Suu Kyi told the attendees that absolute peace is an unattainable goal, but one that we must nevertheless continue to endeavour toward. She said that democratic institutions are necessary to guarantee human rights.

“The kind of peace we want is very simple. We want permanent peace,” said Suu Kyi.
She also noted that young people have an important role to play. The Honolulu forum emphasized the importance of getting youth involved in the peace process.

“We must help our young people so that they may be able to take over our task of nation building,” Suu Kyi said. “We depend on our young people to take us forward.” Read more and watch a video of the address.

News Flash – The Four-Way Test Song Now on iTunes & Amazon

The Rotary Club of Ryde is proud to announce the release of the Four-Way Test Song.  Ryde Rotarian and composer Stefan Sojka, with the help of the entire Rotary Club of Ryde providing the backing vocals at their annual changeover dinner, has composed a version of the Four-Way Test, to inspire all Rotarians ...and help us remember the words!

A rousing marching-band-style anthem is sure to get everyone singing along and asking themselves the four vital questions of the things we think, say or do.

The song project has been created as a fundraiser, with 50% of all net revenue from Apple iTunes and Amazon being donated to Rotary Foundation.  Buy your own copy now and send the link to all your Rotarian friends and family.  Raise some money, raise your voices and raise the roof!


Buy the Album – Both Versions

Buy the Single – Vocal Version

Buy the Single – Instrumental Version


Buy the Album – Both Versions

Buy the Single – Vocal Version

Buy the Single – Instrumental Version

Go to our Four-Way Test Web Page to find out about how it all started.

2012 Christmas Gift Wrapping Wrap-Up

2012 Christmas gift wrapping at Top Ryde City Shopping Centre was a successful fund raiser for Ryde Rotary. During the ten days (87.30hours) of gift wrapping we raised $5,468.95. The project was a good promotion for Rotary, we were able to display our banner in the shopping centre and we had a radio advertisement on 2RRR played leading up to Christmas. We were surprised when we had television coverage by SBS TV on Christmas Eve.

Ninety five volunteers participated in gift wrapping and in total they donated 560 hours and 45 minutes for this project. This year 65% of the participants were school and university students from James Ruse Agricultural High School and Ryde Youth Council, who enjoyed the experience and they were keen to spend long time gift wrapping. Apart from our Club members, Eastwood Rotary and Ryde Inner Wheel members came to help.

Here is a breakdown of the groups who helped and how much they contributed:

Rotary Club of Ryde
15 Rotarians + 7 family members - 198 hours and 25 minutes

Rotary Club of Eastwood
4 Rotarians - 20 hours & 25 minutes

Ryde Inner Wheel
3 Inner wheel  ladies - 8 hours & 50 minutes

James Ruse Interact Club
50 Interactors - 176 hours & 40 minutes

Ryde Youth Council
12 Ryde youth members - 141 hours & 55 minutes

Friends of Rotary
4 friends of Rotary - 14 hours & 30 minutes

The activity was highly appreciated by the management of Top Ryde City Shopping Centre and they are happy to extend our involvement to run other community projects in the Centre. All supplies (paper, ribbon and tapes) were donated by the Shopping Centre.  At the start of the project we were given two tables and by Christmas Eve we were using four tables

The success of this project was primarily due to the eagerness of the volunteers to help and the good location offered by the management of the Shopping Centre. 

I sincerely thank every Rotarian and their family members who came to help. My special thanks goes to Kalma McLellan, John Brown, Robert Senior, and Artin Etmekdjian who devoted over 10 hours each to gift wrap.  I would take this opportunity to mention James Camilleri and Carla Kassab from Ryde Youth Council who devoted 49 hours jointly to the project. I enjoyed working with both of them, when they turned up they were in charge of the project and making sure no one leaves the Centre without having the gifts purchased wrapped by Rotary volunteers.

Finally, I kindly ask you not to throw 2012 Christmas cards in the recycling bin, please give them to me to re-use as Christmas gift tags for 2013.

Thank you to all.

Nora Etmekdjian
Community Services Chair

Ryde Christmas Wrapping Update

I am writing to update you on the Christmas gift wrapping at Top Ryde City Shopping Centre. Today was the 6th day and went very well, I am grateful to all the volunteers that are helping Ryde Rotary. We raised $1,935.65 since we started last weekend. It has been a perfect promotion for Rotary and visitors to our website will increase.

The next 4 days will be busier, we were wrapping gifts until 9:30 pm today (Thursday). I am very grateful to Kalama and Julie who offered the best support thus far.

I have been non stop all day with the students for the past 6 days. I urge you all to make an effort to devote 2 hours of your time to come to Top Ryde City Shopping Centre to be with the students. I have over 102 volunteers and the majority are students, today I had year 7 male students. 

You can come anytime from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm from this Friday to Monday.

Assistance is required not just in wrapping but for those who do not wish wrap please also come to be there with the students and give me the chance to have a break. The next 4 days are the busiest and we should do our best. Some of you can come and just stand or sit down on a chair. This is all I am asking for.

We are located on LG1 of Top Ryde Shopping Centre, outside Specsavers.

We will easily make over $4,000.00 at the end of the project.

Thank you.

Nora Etmekdjian
Mobile: 0417 699 955


Download Now

You're Invited to
our next meeting

We meet every Tuesday
evening at 6pm.

Find Out More

Connect with us

A Global Service Network

Rotary International, the world's first service club organization, is made up of over 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Its members form a global network of business and professional leaders who volunteer their time and talents to serve their communities and the world. Rotary's motto, Service Above Self, exemplifies the humanitarian spirit of the organization's members.

Make a Donation

Using the secure engine of GiveNow.com.au