The President's Report

I am sure that all members who attended our meeting last week will agree with me that the talk given by Kersti Eesmaa, the Ambassador of Estonia, was one of the most interesting that we have had for a long time. Although Estonia only has a population of 1.3 million people and is the size of Tasmania it seems they are very well advanced in the digital world and Australia could learn a lesson or two from them. See the notes from Graeme for details.

Once again I would like to congratulate Peter Judge on his milestone birthday. He may be the oldest member of our Club (only just Keith is catching up) but he is still active in Club activities and is still keen to help out whenever required. Well done Peter.

I have sent out a separate email advising of our planned dinner at the TAFE College on the evening of the 29th April. Full details will follow closer to the evening but I ask all members to please make every effort to attend (with partners) and make it an enjoyable social gathering.

President Eric


Duty Roster for March, 2021


Thursday 11th

Thursday 18th

Thursday 25th






Ross Brown

Ross Brown



Olek Gancarz

Liz Scrivener

Greg Gibbs


Tony Brickwood

Ron Rabey

Ross Brown


George Wilson

Sharon Green

Michael Rabey


Warwick Howieson

Olek Gancarz

Robert Laine





Last Week's Speaker

We were privileged to hear from Her Excellency Kersti Eesmaa, Ambassador from Estonia.

Ambassador Eesmaa has wide experience and qualifications in international trade, politics and law. She commenced her career with the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996.

Estonia is now an independent county, having broken from the soviets in 1991. Its population is approx 1.3 million, about the size of Tasmania. Being such a small country they need as many friends as they can muster to live well and independently.

As a country starting essentially from scratch in 1991, they were able to focus on new frameworks such as implementing an advanced digital society. It would appear that Estonians “don’t like each other”, we were told. They don’t like queues so they built up many on-line transaction based systems to deal with their business and social needs.

Banking and taxes were the highest priority to be digitised. ID cards are compulsory in Estonia and in 2005 they digitised voting. E-health is very popular as well, in contrast with Australia. Now 99% of services in Estonia can be provided on-line. ID cards are, it seems, a multi-purpose tool that can be used digitally and physically i.e. to scrape the snow and ice off your windows.

She posed the question “why is Estonia so successful with its digital society”? Two major contributors are Trust and Transparency. In 2007 they realised the importance of cyber security when the Russians hijacked their data. Now cyber security is part of the general education curriculum. All servers are backed up in independent countries, and their data is decentralised across 1360 databases external to Estonia. Their cyber data policy minimises the duplication of information entry and holdings by linking different data sets so no information needs to be provided twice.

Ambassador Eesmaa was a very inspiring speaker providing us with a clear view of her country’s approach to developing their digital society.

Graeme Howieson

Upcoming Events

Rotary Aussie Peace March (26-28 March)

CIT(TAFE) dinner (29 April)

STOMP 2021 (probably in July)

Marwonga Indigenous project as a result of successful fundraising in December

Hay War Memorial High School indigenous students visit (later this year)

Interesting Bit of History

In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of Washington showed hm standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms.

Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are "limbs", therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression "Okay, but it will cost you an arm and a leg". (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint).


NewsNotes is produced each week. Please send items for inclusion by Monday noon to
just click on the above email to send Robert a message.
Please add to your safe sender list or address book.
To view our privacy policy, click here.
102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
ClubRunner Mobile