• Club Number 18039
  • District 9685
  • Chartered 1946

Club News

Community Service Report for the Oct-Dec 2012 Quarter

Every year Community services run four Christmas related projects between months of October and December. The following is a report on each for 2012:

Christmas Puddings and Cards
This year Kalma McLellan took on the responsibilities of arranging the Christmas puddings and cards for the members of the club. In the process $200 was raised for the club. Thank you Kalma - job well done!

Pre Christmas Gift Wrapping
The preparation for this fund raiser is going well. After being involved in gift wrapping for the past six years I feel confident that it will be even better than previous years.
Top Ryde City Shopping Centre is providing us gift wrapping supplies (paper, pair of scissors and tapes). In total we have 93 people wrapping gifts. Forty-six students from the Interact Club of James Ruse Agricultural High School are keen on the project. The other 47 volunteers are Rotarians and their partners from Rotary Clubs of Ryde and Eastwood, friends of Rotary, Ryde Inner Wheel ladies and Ryde City Youth Group.

In total there are 31 shifts, all are covered well except for three shifts that need two more volunteers each. Once the project starts, the interest builds up and those shifts get filled with helpers. On Wednesday evening I visited the Rotary Club of Eastwood and I had eight members put their name down to help.

Last year we had only two Rotarians who utilised our wrapping services— we hope more Rotarians will take advantage of our expertise in gift wrapping for a gold coin donation per gift. We will be located on LG1 of Top Ryde City Shopping Centre outside Specsavers. This is the same level as Big W. Start date is Saturday 15 December and we finish on Christmas Eve.
If you are interested to join the gift wrappers, please send an e-mail to me: norartin@hotmail.com or ring me on 0417 699 955.

Tree of Joy
The community and especially the employees of City of Ryde love the Rotary Tree of Joy. I often hear from the public that they are how happy to have the chance to buy a gift or two for a needy person. It is a wonderful idea to expand this project to the corporate world in Ryde district.
On Sunday 3 December our club was offered the opportunity to run the BBQ for the City of Ryde Community Christmas Day. We raised $1,762.00 for our club. 

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Nora Etmekdjian, Community Services Chair

1 December is World AIDS Day - How one Rotarian is making a difference

World AIDS Day 1 December holds special meaning to me. I lost my second born child, Jerry, to AIDS early in the American epidemic (1994). At that time, the disease was so stigmatizing, I felt quite lonely not being able to discuss Jerry’s illness with anyone outside my family. I never thought I’d do anything about it until one day, three years after his death, I felt a tap on the shoulder and a voice in my ear said “mom, get up and get going, you haven’t done anything, and it’s been three years.”


It was an epiphany of a moment that completely altered the course of my life. In 1998, I was propelled into taking the first step to begin a project in my Rotary club. The fact that our club president said ‘yes’ to my idea made me a passionate Rotarian for life!  From the start, I realized that finding partner organizations in the field of HIV/AIDS would be important because Rotarians are not AIDS experts. I created a partnership program with a local AIDS service organization whereby together, we provided AIDS education in the middle schools of Georgia. This sobering program has now been seen by 450,000 students!

My interest ultimately took me to Africa in 2001, where I quickly realized the huge disparities between America and the developing world. I was struck by the hugeness and the filth of the slums in places like Nairobi, Kenya. I realized that there are 20 million orphans living there now because their parents died of the consequences of AIDS. They have little to eat, they are often shunned by their community, and they drop out of school because they don’t have the funds to pay the schools fees or get uniforms.
I was also amazed at the reception given me in African countries by fellow Rotarians who were so glad to welcome an American Rotarian woman who was interested in working on this issue. The year was 2001. I ultimately began a Rotarian Action Group recognized by the RI Board of Directors in 2004.  It was so rewarding to meet thousands of Rotarians out in the world that had an interest in doing something about this disease!

Incredible journey

Today, I look back and realize what an incredible journey I have been on since then. I gained ideas from public health experts, and I met people that I’m sure God put in my path because I didn’t have the knowledge or good sense to even know that I should be meeting them. I have gained mentors in many parts of the world on this issue. I got to thinking that the ‘partnership’ concept was the right way to approach helping the children and their families. We can’t do things alone but must work together to really get something done.

The action group (now known as Rotarians For Family Health and AIDS Prevention) is in its third year of doing a huge health event in Africa, which takes place in May 2013. We will provide free health care services of all kinds (from HIV Testing to Polio immunization, tuberculosis and malaria screening, etc.) to 200,000 children and families at 400 different sites in three countries, all during a three-day event led by Rotarians from 365 clubs. The action group has obtained partnerships with The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, the Center for Disease Control, USAID, at least 100 non-government organizations who provide the medical work, Delta Airlines, and the Ministry of Health in each country. Can you believe it?

I’m certainly not a genius and have faced many challenges along the way. But I have never lost my passion because I remember all the challenges that my son realized when he was alive. That drives me as it would most moms. But most importantly, I have been able to achieve this work because of the power of Rotary’s brand and the respect it receives everywhere. I am so proud to be a part of this organization!!

By Marion Bunch,
Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (formerly RFFA)

School of St Jude - Dare to Dream

Right now, 150 of the brightest and poorest children in Arusha are being selected to start their education at St Jude's next year. Let me tell you about one of them – Adolfina.

Adolfina is seven and lives with her mother, father and two brothers in a mud house without electricity. She shares a mattress with her siblings and a bathroom with her neighbours. Her father sells vegetables from a wooden stall and her mother gathers water and washes clothes for people in the village.

At school, Adolfina shares a classroom with 128 other students, limited resources and a poorly trained teacher. In spite of this Adolfina is one of the top students in her class and her passion for learning continues at home where she often teaches her brothers. The few school notebooks she has are wrapped carefully in old newspapers to keep them clean since her house is always dusty. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she says,"I want to sell bananas."

Recently Adolfina’s mother heard about St Jude's from friends. After taking reading and writing tests with thousands of other hopeful children, Adolfina received a place at St Jude's to start in 2013. Her and her family now have a chance to escape the poverty cycle.

By receiving a free, high-quality education at St Jude’s Adolfina can now DARE TO DREAM – a dream beyond selling bananas. No longer will she be bound by the cycle of poverty that her parents and grandparents have endured. Adolfina is one of 150 new students who will start at St Jude’s in 2013.

That’s 150 new dreams. By investing in one of these children you will empower a young child to reach beyond their dreams and you will play an active role in the fight against poverty in one of the world's poorest nations.

Sponsor a dream today:
$120 per month - Student and Boarding Room Sponsorship
$110 per month - Student and Teacher Sponsorship
$60 per month - Half Sponsorship of a Student
Thank you for your support,
School of St Jude
PS: School starts on the 9th of January 2013, so please share this with your friends so our new 150 students have sponsors to share their journey.

Community Service Christmas Report

Christmas gift wrapping is back again this year! Top Ryde City Shopping Centre Management is very appreciative of the service we provide for their shoppers. This year they have decided to give us a spot close to where most shoppers will pass by — on Level 1.

It is a location that is highly visible from any level. People on the travelators can watch us wrapping gifts, and hopefully the funds we raise will be much higher.

As every year the Centre Management will provide the paper, the tools, tables and chairs. We have a good number of Interactors from James Ruse Agricultural High School who are looking forward to the event. They usually cover well the weekdays. 

We will need Rotarians and wives/partners to help during the two weekends — 15 and 16 of December, 22 and 23 of December and also on Christmas Eve, 24 December - the busiest day.

Starting time each day is 10.00 am and finishes at 5.00 pm (except Thursday 20 December, Centre opens until 9.00 pm).  The duty roster will be passed around each week - have fun, add to the ‘treasury’ and enjoy the Christmas spirit!

Nora Etmekdjian

Sad news of the passing of Val and Reg Style - Funeral Details

I'm saddened to inform you of the death, last Wednesday, of former Rotarian and Past President of Rydalmere Rotary (1997-1998), Val Style. Val was well regarded in local Rotary circles (through Rotary Down Under) and in assistance to Past District Governor Les Whitcroft. Ryde Rotarians helped to do a pre-sale de-clutter of Reg and Val's home in Telopea as Val was in a nursing home in Dundas. She died peacefully at John Whiddon Masonic Home on Wednesday. Reg had been in Campbelltown Hospital recovering from a brief illness. Sadly I also have to tell you that Reg passed away Sunday night (21 October).

There will be a funeral service for Val and Reg on Thursday 25th October 2012 in the North Chapel of Forest Lawn Crematorium, Camden Valley Way, Leppington at 9.00am for a 9:15 (sharp) start.

The commencement time has been advanced to accommodate the double ceremony. Val's family (who are organising both services) have asked that I convey likely attendance numbers to them as soon as possible because refreshments will be served after the service. It will help with catering if we can give the organIsers approximate numbers by Wednesday of this week. 

If you intend to go, please let me know by phone or e-mail so I can pass on the details. Click here to generate an email to me or phone one of the numbers below.

I'm sending this e-mail to all Ryde Rotary members and friends and also to the e-mail addresses I have for former Rydalmere Rotarians. I would be grateful if you would pass on this news to anyone who knew Reg and Val and, likewise, let me know if they are planning to attend the service.

David James
Tel (Home): 02 9712 7290
Mobil: 0419 628 850

Graffiti Removal Day Success

Graffiti Removal Day last Sunday the 23rd September was a huge success.  We had over 50 volunteers working at 3 sites across Ryde last Sunday. 

A big THANK YOU to all Rotarians that assisted plus Gladesville Police, Macquarie Rotaract Club, Youth Exchange student Onni, members of the public, John Alexander MP, Victor Dominello MP.  A special thanks to the site managers; Geoff Brennan, Adrian Hallett & Duncan Taylor.  Also, thanks to City of Ryde Council for their support and David Johnson for attempting to get the TEN news crew there.  

Other Graffiti Removal news; The $5000 grant from the NSW Attorney General & Justice Dept. has been received and the custom built trailer is being ordered.  We currently have to load and unload equipment from our storage facility (donated by Kennards Storage Rydalmere) and this trailer will eliminate the lifting and give us more time for removing graffiti.  

The Tank Factory www.watertankfactory.com.au have generously donated a 450L water tank for our trailer.  This is required for the high pressure water blaster where there are no taps available. 

Our mentoring program partnership with the Attorney General & Justice Dept. Forum Sentencing is working well with our current offender nearing his 25 hours community servicing.  We received a $200 donation by a shop owner in Top Ryde for previous work done by our team. 

Welcome to Catherine Dodd and Robert Senior who have joined the Graffiti RemovalTeam for our monthly clean ups; first Saturday of every month, meet at the Church Street Council Car Park at 8am finish by 10am.

Charles Kilby

Ryde Rotary enters a Dragon Boat into the Ryde Rivers Festival this Sunday

The annual Ryde Rivers Festival is on again this Sunday and promises to be bigger and better than ever. This year, the Rotary Club of Ryde has entered a boat in the Dragon Boat Challenge.  It promises to be a huge event for young and old as all the local Rotary Clubs battle it out for supremacy. 

Organised by the Rotary Club of Gladesville to celebrate the historical significance of the waterways to the City of Ryde, the festival is a free annual fun-day for the whole family and its purpose is to raise funds for Ryde Hospital, tertiary bursaries for worthy young people to assist with tertiary education and other Rotary projects.

The City of Ryde is mostly surrounded by the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers and in the 1850′s crowds in excess of 100,000 spectators travelled by foot, horse & cart or by boat to the place now known as Kissing Point Park in Putney to witness the Australian and World Rowing Regattas, which were then Australia’s premier sporting events. The area was later named Kissing Point because when berthing, the old vessels used to slide their bows onto the shallow beach until the bottom of the boat was ‘kissing the sand.’ Kissing Point Park is also the site of the first brewery built in Australia.

The Ryde Rivers Festival gets under way at 8.15am with the 1km Kids Dash as part of the Fun Run. The spectacular Dragon Boat Challenge starts on the water at 9.00am and runs continuously throughout the day, while the Billy Cart Derby commences at noon and the Children’s Fun Games get under way at 1:00pm. We also have family entertainment, kids rides and lots of food stalls and other displays. Please enjoy our website and whether you are a participant or if you just want to stroll around the beautiful grounds while taking in some fresh air and enjoying the events, we look forward to seeing you at the Ryde Rivers Festival, urging us on to victory! 

Graffiti Removal Day - Sunday 23 September 2012 - Website is Live

The Graffiti Removal Day 2012 Website is now live.

Graffiti vandalism is a problem across New South Wales and costs local communities millions of dollars each year. The New South Wales Government is committed to reducing this vandalism by encouraging local communities to get involved in the fight against graffiti.

To support this goal, the Government has established a state-wide graffiti removal and prevention day known as “Graffiti Removal Day”. The aim of the Day is to encourage people to volunteer their time and get involved in the removal and prevention of graffiti.

This year Graffiti Removal Day is a joint initiative between the New South Wales Government and Rotary Down Under, and will take place on Sunday 23 September, between 10am and 4pm.

To know more about the day or get involved, visit the Website or call Graffiti Removal Day on 1300 665 310.

District Governor John Dodd's August Message

Dear Rotary Friends and Friends of Rotary

Sometimes it’s good to stop and take a “reality check”. The first draft of this newsletter was a JWD travelogue of my adventures as DG, but there have been a number of developments that have brought me back to earth. 

This morning with PRID John Carrick, PDG Don Durie and Past Foundation Chair Lindsay May, I had the honour of presenting Past District Governor Ken Boyd with his membership of the Paul Harris Society.

Ken is a member of the Lindfield Club and an Honorary member of the Rotary Club of Nowra. He is not well and the prognosis is not good. 

Ken was a newsagent who operated several agencies of many years. He joined the RC of Kempsey in 1961 and later moved to the Bega and Nowra Clubs. He was DG of 971 (South Coast and Canberra) in 1985/86 (PDG Peter Perry’s year), National Chair of Youth Exchange in 86/87 and a member of the RAWCS committee 1987-89. Ken actively participated in International Service joining teams to Indonesia, PNG (twice), Nepal and the Solomons (where he stayed for 3 months helping reconstruction after a cyclone).

With over 50 years of fantastic rotary service and in ill health, Ken contributed (another) $1,000 to the Foundation a couple of months ago leading to the Paul Harris Society membership. We sought to lift his spirits by making the special presentation. He sure lifted mine. 

My journey to earth had started a few days ago, with some magic crossing my screen and some special events. There are too many examples to list here (and my apologies to those not mentioned), but here are a few:

  • Sue O’Neill (Kenthurst) reported back from her recent 3 week trip to Kenya and Uganda on assisting in slum areas, presenting a $25,000 blood count machine to an AIDS clinic and visiting the Katuuso School for Life Primary/Vocational School.
  • Barry Lumby (Dural) has just returned from Fiji where he has been assisting Rotary Pacific Water for Life Foundation whose Chairman wrote, “Having you as a volunteer giving your time and much more for free has allowed us to extend our work to areas where we could not have gone otherwise due to lack of resources and time”.
  • Ron Marcus (Castle Hill) and a volunteer Glen Stanyer are off to Ulaanbaator to repair a catheter Xray machine.
  • I had the pleasure of presenting PHFs to AG Jayne Mote and Rotarian Barbara Burrell on behalf of Central Coast Rotaract to recognise their great assistance in getting CC Rotaract off the ground.
  • The Rotaractors ran a great Trivia Night on 11 August and I think they had every Central Coast Club in attendance (it was won by a bunch of PDGs because they bought the most answers!)
  • I visited Donation in Kind where President Miriam Jacka (Winston Hills) gave a guided tour followed by intense discussions with DGE Graeme Davies and International Chair Lyn Davies on how we might get Foundation funds to assist in transport costs (PDG Tony Castley, Foundation Chair will run the idea to Evanston).
  • Vocational Chair Peter Kirkwood organised a terrific Presidents Meeting on 10 August, addressed by Brian Wexham, Chair of National Skills Week and CEO of SkillsOne TV.
  • My daughter Kathryn (now a member of Ryde – Architectural Design) ran the City to Surf in under 2 hours with Rotaract District Representative Brett Sham, Jaqui Fogarty and “Black Rob”, raising awareness and over $4,000 for End Polio Now.
  • Membership AG Roseanne Gallo reported on her visits to Eastwood Club giving them an outside view on how to increase their membership and PR.
  • Helmut Buss (District Probus Chair) and President Graeme Peters (Wyong/Tuggerah) inaugurated the 151st Probus Club in the District at Berkley Vale (apologies I could not make it).

At the Official Visits at the Beaches and Northern District Zones, I have heard of Balgowlah getting a roster together to transport a mother and sick child from the Spillsted Centre to Westmead; Dee/Why Warringah embarking on an Indigenous Mentoring Program; Manly looking to assist Bo Hospital; Manly Sunrise furnishing the Pioneer Clubhouse; Beecroft embarking on an indigenous project in Brewarrina; Carlingford marking its 40 years by allocating $40,000 to a local family where the mum has MS; and many more.

So, I’m playing my role as DG by lots of talking, dealing with zillions of emails, encouraging, leading and putting ideas together. I’ve never been as busy or as tired. But, the REAL work gets done by Rotarians (like Ken Boyd) and their Clubs in so many facets: some local, some international, some helping other Rotarians do their work better. I see my role as helping that happen.

One of our initiatives this year has been to try and form Coffee Clubs as a different way of experiencing Rotary that might be more amenable to younger members. We are starting with some pilots, but that should not restrict the plan. Please click on the link for PP Mike Hallen’s latest – it might be an idea that could work in your area.

Yours in Rotary
John Dodd
District Governor 2012-13

2012-2013 Ryde Club Changeover Report

THE Rotary Club of Ryde has welcomed its new President and executive board.

Burkhart Foertsch takes over as president from Arch-Deacon Ken Allen, who has filled the position for the past 12 months. Last Tuesday’s changeover dinner at the Ryde-Eastwood Leagues club saw Rtn. Adrian Hallet announced as Club Administration Director, Vice President and the President Elect for 2013/14. 

Mr Les Whitcroft, a former District Governor of Rotary District 9680, proposed the Toast to Rotary International, which was replied to by prominent Barrister and Rotary District Governor Elect John Dodd.

In his President’s address Ken Allen thanked his team for their efforts over the past year, listing some of Ryde Rotary's major projects over the last year, including their Christmas Trees of Joy, The Ryde Junior Schools Public Speaking competition, and their building and continuing support of a 1000 pupil co-ed school in Afghanistan.

The club donated a total of $ 44,990 to several local organisations in the past financial year including money for the Australian Rotary Health Fund, Men’s Shed, the Eggtober Foundation, the Prostate Foundation, Riding for the disabled, Ryde Hospital, Operation Hope, the Erin's Place Woman's shelter, and several Youth programmes. 

They also donated $9,415 to the Rotary Foundation, $1000 to the Biblioteka Ermera library in East Timor, $10,760 to the Tamil Nadu educational project in India, $3,260 for sewing machines for the Maringa Leste project in Brazil, $2000 to Shelterbox International and $8,000 to the Borjegai School in Afghanistan.

As his final act as President Mr Allen presented a Paul Harris Fellow recognition to Rayne Small for her 6 years' service to Ryde Rotary, and to Ryde Rotarians Allen Horrell and Doug Thompson.
Paul Harris Fellows are individuals that meet high professional and personal standards set forth by Paul Harris, the Chicago attorney who founded Rotary International in 1905. All three recipients were presented with a certificate and gold pin as well as a gold medallion on a blue-and-gold ribbon in recognition of achieving the honour.

There was then a changing of the Guard, with new President Burkhart being inducted and presented with his President's collar and pin by now Past President Ken. German-born Australian President Burkhart humbly accepted his ascension to President with the words "You don't have to call me 'Your Excellency', a simple 'Kaiser' will do!"


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