Hmm. A slow week or was it. Staying at home presents all sorts of challenges that are different for different people.

I hope everyone is faring ok within their homes. If there is anything we can do or anyone that you know needs help, reach out and let me or someone else know and we will help however we can. I was heartened to see one of my old colleagues put a statement out on linked in encouraging people who had lost income to reach out to him. A truly generous gesture and one that as Rotarians we should be proud of:

"If anyone is not getting a salary or in financial hardship at this difficult time, please do not go hungry, don't be shy, embarrassed or afraid of reaching out to me. I am happy to share. Just know that these tough times do not last forever."

I think we can all recognise this kind of service and it is good to see it going on in Canberra.

I did manage to get out for my 1 hour of exercise most of the week, the hill above me is slowly drying out, but I suspect my next ascent of it will be more difficult as the rains are coming.

It was great to have such an open and honest Q&A session with the Guatemalan Ambassador. I hope we can collaborate with him in the future.

Stay safe

President Warrick


The Board at its meeting last week discussed the issue of Club meeting etiquette, especially in the context of Zoom meetings. Members are reminded to shut down the visual and mute if they wish to eat, move around or do other things while a guest speaker is presenting at a Zoom meeting. With face-to-face meetings, please show courtesy to whoever is speaking by not conducting separate conversations and/or interrupting the speaker.

Monica Garrett


Notes on the Presentation by His Excellency Ronald Recinos, Ambassador of Guatemala to Australia

The Club welcomed His Excellency as guest speaker via Zoom.

The Ambassador prefaced his presentation by commenting that there were two Rotary Clubs in his hometown in Guatemala and that he had had dealings with both of them. He suggested the possibility of establishing contacts between Rotary Clubs in his country and Australia, and also his wish to maintain contact with our Club.

We were told that he has been Ambassador in Australia only since October last year, heading up a small Embassy of two, plus two locally engaged staff. He is also Ambassador to New Zealand, but to date has not been able to visit that country because of COVID restrictions.

The Guatemalan Embassy in Australia was established in 2015, and aims to promote friendly relations and trade between the two countries. There is a diaspora of some 3,000 people of Guatemalan descent living in Australia.

The Ambassador provided a snapshot of the geography and history of his country, and spoke about the indigenous Mayan population who comprise over half the total population of 17 million people. There is significant emphasis on preserving the Mayan culture, which is seen to be a big drawcard attracting tourists to the country.

He commented that Guatemala is a functioning democracy, which has experienced stability for over thirty years.

His Excellency referenced SICA, the Central American Integration System, an economic and political organisation of Central American states established in 1991. Guatemala was one of the six original countries that became part of SICA, which is affiliated with the United Nations.

In response to questions from members, the Ambassador spoke of the significant impact of climate change on his country and also the current figure of some 4,000 cases of COVID each day.

We appreciate the time the Ambassador gave to informing us about his country and his willingness to respond to the many questions from our members.

Monica Garrett


We will hear from Prof. Mark Howden on Climate Change and the need to respond effectively, progress with the IPCC and the forthcoming COP meeting.

The link for this ZOOM meeting will be open from 12 noon (Canberra time) to enable exchanges of how we are coping with this lockdown. The meeting will begin at 12.30 and last to1.30 PM.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 868 8305 5273

George Wilson







Andrea C.


Robert L.


Liz S.


Michael R.


Bill A.

If Unable To Attend On A Day You Are Rostered, Please Organise A Replacement.


One of our past members, Faye Powell, has contacted us to see if we could help out with the setting up of trestles at the Farrer Goodwin aged care Market day on Saturday 30th October. She would like a few volunteers to assist as the elderly clients are unable to do the work.

They need 2 to 4 able-bodied people between 6.30 am until 8.30 am with a trailer to pick up chairs and tables from a church hall in Curtin.

Then they need a couple of volunteers from 2.30 to 4.30 to help return the tables etc in the afternoon.

Could we please have a few volunteers on the day.

Peter Davies


Save the Date

The Rotary meeting of the year, The Membership Workshop, has been scheduled for the 23rd of September 2021. This is the opportunity to have your say about what you love about being a member of this club, feedback and a chance to get together with members that you may not have seen in awhile.

We (the Membership Committee) acknowledge that perhaps we may not have given sufficient attention to the outcomes from our October workshop last year, but fear not, it hasn’t been forgotten.

Call to Action: Peace Cranes

Following the success of the ceremony at the Peace Bell to recognize and remember the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, now is the time to extend a call to action to all of our own members to make Peace Cranes for future ceremonies to be held at the Peace Bell. This is a simple exercise that could be done during a meeting and for those who feel that they might need some help with origami, Juris’ granddaughter Lily has offered to provide expert instruction. There are many tutorials available on YouTube, so by all means get started by yourselves.

Please contact Sharon directly if you would like to get actively involved in this initiative.

Call to Action: Octopus for Preemie

Member Sue Lloyd has been actively involved in the “Octopus for Preemie” project and we are now expanding this to any interested members. For those of you who are not aware, this involves knitting or crocheting an “octopus for a premature baby” hence the name Octopus for a Preemie. Since 2013, Danish volunteers have donated more than 20.000 octopus teddies to be used as calming aids for preemies in Danish hospitals. The action is widely known all over the world and volunteers group are active in many countries as Canada, USA, UK, France, Poland, Spain, Italy, South America, and Sweden.

Please refer to the photo below showing some completed octopi with a tag showing the donation details of the Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin.

For the male members of the club, you may wish to investigate the activities of the men living on Taquile Island, in Lake Titicaca, Peru.

Taquile is most famous for its woollen products. The techniques and patterns have been handed down through generations. Beginning at a very young age needlework is taught to boys. Not because of the meagre revenue they can make by selling their wares to tourists, but because it serves a very important social function.

When a young man wants to marry a girl on Taquile, he is set with the task of knitting an extremely fine hat (not the one in this picture). This hat has to be presented to his future father-in-law. He will fill the hat with water and only if it doesn’t leak a single drop, he will consent to the marriage. Once engaged he will wear this hat for a certain time. Should his wife die, or he’ll become a grandfather or chief of the community, a different hat will have to be knitted by himself – all with the wire-thin needles and featuring the extremely elaborate patterns. The hat is a status symbol. Not one of material wealth, instead it tells of a lifetime of experience. It is little wonder that UNESCO thought these knitting techniques needed recognition.

Please let Sue Lloyd know directly if any of you, your partners or friends would like to join us in this club initiative.

Let’s Celebrate Hat Day in October

The Membership team is looking forward to encouraging everyone in the club and all friends of Rotary to participate this year in the “Lift the Lid on Mental Illness” by participating in Hat Day.

Lift the Lid on Mental Illness is Australian Rotary Health’s National annual fundraising day for mental health research.

Each year approximately 1-in-5 Australians will experience a mental illness and in order to help future generations of young Australians, we need to look ahead through research and find out how we can prevent this type of illness from occurring.

We can help Australian Rotary Health’s to Lift the Lid on Mental Illness by hosting a Hat Day event during Mental Health Month in October.

In the zoom meeting last week, I raised this idea and within moments many members had found the most interesting, artistic and fanciful headwear seen in some time.

We can help by simply registering our Hat Day event on the Australian Rotary Health website. It could be for our club, sports team, friends, family – whatever!

Once our Hat Day event page is set up we can share the link and let everyone know how they can help by making an online donation.

We’ll be able to set a ‘Hat’s Off’ target to reach by the end of October and keep track of the progress whilst we plan for a big celebration on the day.

We may try to incorporate out Hat Day with a barefoot bowls event.

Watch this space.


Aug 24 Ukraine Independence Day

Aug 25 Uruguay Independence Day


Aug 23 (1305) Scottish patriot William Wallace was executed for high treason by Edward I in London

Aug 24 (410) Rome was overrun by Visigoths under Alaric I. Seen as the fall of the Western Roman Empire

Aug 26 (1682) English astronomer Edmond Halley first sees comet named after him.

Aug 27 (1883) Krakatoa volcano west of Java, Indonesia, erupts with some 40,000 people killed

Aug 28 (1963) Martin Luther King Jr. delivers “I have a dream” speech addressing the civil rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington D.C..


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