December 2017
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Welcome to the Rotary Club of Pakenham!

We meet Tuesdays at 6:15 PM
Pakenham Golf Club
Oaktree Drive
Pakenham, VIC  3810
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Presidents Report 15 Dec.

Another busy Rotary week has passed. While we have been enjoying ourselves here at Pakenham, important decisions have been made at a higher Rotary levels such as:-  The Council of Resolutions has adopted 17 resolutions to recommend to RI Board. The RI Board of Directors will consider all resolutions that the Council adopts. There was a wide range of resolutions on varying topics. The first resolution passed was “To request the RI Board to consider recommending that each club have a strategic planning committee.”

For more information and to see all the resolutions go to:-


I have received an email from Janne Speirs who is already putting her team together for next year. PP Carol Crewe from the Rotary Club of Hazelwood has accepted the role of Youth Exchange Chair for District 9820, commencing in July 2018, following the indication by PP John Reeve from the Rotary Club of Peninsula 2.0 that he will not be continuing in this role after the 2017-2018. Carol has suggested that a letter of request for Youth Exchange Committee members be put out to all Clubs in D9820. What they envisage is a Committee including a minimum of one person from each of our seven Clusters. Anyone interested must have a current Working with Children qualification and is hold a current Voluntary Youth Declaration registration. They also need to show commitment to, acceptance of and willingness to work within the procedures and policies of Youth Exchange as directed by Rotary International and the Victorian Registration and Qualification Authority (VRQA) which is the program’s overarching governing body in this State. Carol’s desire to ensure that training for the Committee is started as early as possible in 2018. Anyone interested please contact or Carol at by the 20th January 2018 so that training can be undertaken from February.


Oh and lets not forget that Wal was the luck one in the Joker's Wild draw, but of course we all left happy as Wal failed to find the Joker and so the hunt goes on and the prize pool grows.



That’s about it for now,


Regards to all,



Last Week’s Meeting.
In 1967 we hosted Cathy Mitchley, an International Youth Exchange Student from South Africa.  Cathy stayed with Doherty’s, Russo’s, Wilson’s, Elliott’s and Rook’s.  Her Counselor was Roy Armitage.  Gary and Alma Elliott were Cathy’s last host family and have continued to keep in close contact.
In October 2017 Cathy, now Cathy Vorster, came and spoke to our club about her experiences as an exchange student, her life in South Africa and especially the plight of Rhinos.
Last week we were fortunate to have Cathy’s daughter Jessica as our guest speaker.
Jessica started by reading the following letter from Cathy:
Good evening Mr. President, Rotarians and Guests.
Some of you may remember me either from 2 years ago, when I was asked to address you all briefly on the occasion of my visit to Pakenham, or some of you may remember me from being an exchange student in your club 30 years ago, some of you will have never heard of me.
By way of introduction, I have sent my proxy – my daughter Jessica to read this to you as a greeting from South Africa and to express my best wishes to you all for the upcoming Festive Season. 
At the tender age of 18, I landed on he doorstep of Roy Armitage, suitcase in hand, proudly representing my Rotary Club in Newcastle, South Africa, this was 1987.  Politically I wasn’t embraced by all Australians, if you recall our political landscape was a lot different in the 80’s, but I have to say that almost everyone who got to know me at the time, were very supporting and I was embraced into the heart of this wonderful club.
The Pakenham Rotary Club and its very special Rotarians singlehandedly changed the course of my life.  My horizons were broadened by the amount of travel I was fortunate enough to experience during my exchange year, the people that I met along the way provided me with the confidence to represent myself in any situation and I developed an understanding that communication was the one skill that can join cultures, cross political and religious divides, and tolerance to accept those of beliefs and practices.
Fast forward to 2017 and here before you stands my beautiful daughter who decided to retrace my steps and gain some understanding to the stories, the legends and the history of this little Shire that influenced her mother’s life so profoundly – I hope she is doing me some justice.
I feel this is like what is called “paying it forward”.  Jessica has recently qualified with an honours degree as an Advanced Life Practitioner – loosely referred to as a paramedic but with the skills of a fine surgeon.  She’s probably blushing s she is of a very modest nature.  The nature of her work is rather unpleasant as we live in a very violent and sometimes dangerous country and her safety is always at risk.  However, it is the desire to “fix” the world that drives her to be successful in this somewhat risky career path that she has chosen.  I would like to think that her community service is somehow derived from or in a small part due to my relationship with Rotary and the worldwide community work which is the pledge of each Rotarian, to make the world become a better, healthier and safer place.  We have a lot more work to do I’m afraid.
For the sake of time and in closing, I’d like to thank you for your role in changing my life and providing me with the friendships that have stayed with me most of my life.  To the Rook family who I know are still deeply involved with this club, thank you as always for the impact you made in my life and I have make special mention that if it wasn’t for Marcia’s sewing skills, I may have never had any clothes to wear as the generous Australian hospitality was so well received by me that I grew out of my clothes at the rate a 5 year old grows out of shoes.
Finally to the Elliott family who are such an intrinsic part of my life and my own families lives, and have been over the span of 30 years.  Your
kindness, generosity of nature, your warmest of hearts that have kept me dear, have often left me without words, (if you know me that’s an unusual state) but it’s love that we share that has brought my child to your doorstep, with her suitcase in hand and the desire to embrace the Aussie hospitality.
Thank you for your kindness, I hope she behaves herself (but no too much).
Merry Christmas to you all, may you have a prosperous 2018 and if you ever find yourself on the Southern tip of Africa and in need of a place to rest your head, our home is always open and I welcome you one and all. 
I can attest to the fact that South African hospitality is just as good as yours however our exchange rate is very favourable.  Come and enjoy some of our first class wines.
Thank you and good evening, Cathy Vorster.
 Jessica then went on to tell us about her role as a First Responder.  She does not drive an ambulance, she responds alone in a BMX sports car, having reached speeds of 220 k/h on the freeway. On arrival her first task is to assess the safety of the situation and if necessary wait for police back up to arrive.  She than attends to those involved in preparation for the ambulance.   Her training included such things a cliff and mine rescue and helicopter work.
We must commend Jessica for the outstanding and courageous work she is doing.
Once again the Pakenham Rotary Club was volunteering at the Pakenham Cup to transfer people from the Car Park to the gates at the start of the day and then the return journey at the end of the day.  Of course the Rotarian's were well behaved and very courteous and did their job with a smile.
These pictures show just some of the workers going about their job, and to all the volunteers we say thank you.  We also would like to give a big thank you to those who volunteered to help sell the Trailer Raffle tickets at the Races as well.
There is of course a brand new Hospital which has been built in Berwick and the Pakenham Rotarian's were invited along for a tour before it opens so on the 14th of December a number of Rotarian's went along for a look.
We would like to thank the Hospital for the invitation and hope that all the Rotarian's that attended were on their best behaviour and enjoyed the Tour.  
So here a few pictures of the tour.
And of course someone had to test the bed didn't they.