Any member who attended our meeting last Thursday could not help but be impressed by our guest speaker, Hal MacDonald. Hal is an 18 year old student who saw a need to help the Community during the Corona Outbreak (see Juris' notes below).

Another reminder that the Club will be holding a Planning Day on Sunday, 20th June It is important that as many members as possible attend so the Club can plan a clear path ahead for the 21/22 Rotary Year (see Warrick's notes below)

If you have not done so already mark Thursday 1st July in your Diary which will be our Change Over Dinner at the Royal Canberra Golf Club.

Twelve Club Members attended the joint meeting with the Canberra Club this Monday which was very interesting(See copy of G-G speech below).

President Eric


There are three school tours set for June at the Peace Bell. If any member would like to observe our tours you would be most welcome to attend (see Club Events below)

Would you like to attend the World Peace day ceremonies in Hay on the 17th of September? The International Day of Peace Ceremonies in Hay have been finalised for Friday 17 September (see Michael for details).

Michael Rabey


The Doris Women’s Refuge in Canberra provides crisis and medium term supported accommodation and transitional support for women and children leaving domestic or family violence. I have been associated with them for a number of years and they recently invited me to visit the refuge and meet some of the social workers. I took the opportunity to take Sue Lloyd, our new Secretary and a very experienced Rotarian with me, in case there might be an opportunity for our club to assist them in any way. Sue’s knowledge of Rotary grants and programs far exceeds mine.

The coordinator for the refuge spent a couple hours of her valuable time with us telling us about their services and the ever increasing demand from victims of domestic violence for assistance in the Canberra region. She has worked at the refuge for 19 years and both she and her team are clearly committed to the women and children they support.

The coordinator, originally from Brazil, is very familiar with the ideals and services of Rotary. She was a Rotary Exchange Student from Brazil to the USA and credits this experience with changing her life. She is forever grateful to her neighbour, a Rotarian at the time for nominating her and also encouraging her parents to let her go.

Locally, the Woden and Belconnen Rotary clubs have provided support to the Doris Women’s Refuge, usually through Christmas presents for the children. There are always ongoing requirements for activity packs (educational and otherwise) for the children. The women could also benefit from such items as ‘pamper packs’. However, there are many different areas in which assistance could be provided. She identified that some of their accommodation is in need of repair and updating. Perhaps this is an area in which we could potentially assist?

It was confronting to hear the stories and statistics of women and children in need but also uplifting to see the passion that the workers had for the domestic violence women and their children.

I look forward to having a discussion with the club next year about how we could support the Doris Women’s Refuge and make a difference in the lives of so many in our community.

Sharon Green


Sunday 20th of June

10:00AM - 3:00PM

Location TBA

Get your ideas ready so we can discuss them and plan some great activities. Topics will include: Meeting formats; Planned activities as well as a workshop on an upcoming Multi-club project.

Warrick Howieson


Our speaker on 3 June was Hal MacDonald, the creator of Project Wattle. Hal got the idea while still at secondary school and started it when he was 18. He doesn’t look much older than that now. Hal was inspired by the community pantry he saw at Hughes and the evident need to help the disadvantaged, especially through the pandemic. He decided to build one himself and to inspire others to do the same, by providing plans and ideas for implementation.

Besides running a pantry himself, the project has two other arms, accessible on the internet. One is to encourage other people to build community pantries. The other is to encourage people to help their vulnerable neighbours by using his outreach template.

Hal built his own pantry and found that the exercise wasn’t exactly cheap – it cost him some $500. In setting it up, he hit a few snags because he didn’t consult with others before launching his project. However the idea was sound. He ironed out the glitches and eventually gained very welcome support from Terry, the owner of the IGA supermarket at Deakin.

The big mistake to begin with was to set up the stall at night secretively, chaining up the community pantry to a pole, without talking to the IGA owner. He found out that it was against the law to occupy the space without permission and that it was unsafe because of the risk of vandalism. Once Terry was onboard with his project, the pantry gained wheels, courtesy of Hal, and was wheeled into the IGA at night, courtesy of Terry.

The pantry has welcome acceptance from the community. The location, next to a supermarket, is ideal. People often buy something extra to put into the pantry, and people who are in need take a few items as needed. The supermarket has become the guardian of the pantry and its presence lifts its trade. Also, it’s been a good learning experience for Hal, engaging with others to achieve his goals.

Hal recognises that places such as Queanbeyan and Tuggeranong are doubtless more in need with more homelessness than inner Canberra, but lacks the resources and time to do anything there. He hasn’t built any more pantries because it’s quite onerous to look after just one. The pantry needs regular cleaning and maintenance. Instead he spreads the idea and the means of setting up a pantry through his web-based promotional material, which he hopes others will use to do the same. He knows of at least two other such pantries set up in the vicinity of Canberra since his venture but doesn’t have any feedback on his site as to who might take up the challenge of building and running a community pantry. Evidently, his aim is to promote the idea, not to gain personal recognition.

People like Hal are inspiring and show that young people can have the energy and ideas to make the world a better place. His presentation was very welcome and very instructive.

Juris Jakovics


1) There are 12 members that have indicated they will be at every meeting, if you are one of these and can't attend you must advise Russell that you won't be there.

2) If you are not one of the 12, you must email Russell by 5.00 PM the Tuesday before the meeting advising you will be attending.

If you don't turn up and we are expecting you, you will be receiving an Invoice from Ross, as the Commonwealth Club will be charging us for your meal.

Russell's email address is:


DUTY ROSTER (CC= Commonwealth Club)


June 17th

June 24th



via Zoom

Speaker/ Topic


Mercy Ships


Ross Brown



Andrea Conti

Michael Rabey


Ron Rabey



Russell Dew



Eric Carmody

Bill Andrews

If unable to attend on a day you are rostered, please organise a replacement.



10 June, 3 pm: Hay Primary School(NSW) at the Peace Bell

15 June(Tue., 12.15pm: St Vincent’s Primary(Aranda), at the Peace Bell

15 June (Tue.), 10.30AM: Women's Event at the Arboretum.

20 June (Sun.), 10am-3PM: Club Planning Day (location TBA)

21 June(Mon.), 4pm: Clermont School(Qld) at the Peace Bell


13 June (Sunday) 2.00PM: Baltic Remembrance Day at the Polish White Eagle Club (Turner). Main address by Ieva Apine, Chargé d´Affaires of the Latvian Embassy (contact Juris for details).


Given that we have so much international contact with ambassadors, overseas Rotary, local non-English etc. it behoves us to learn some foreign phrases. When we have French-speaking visitors:



How are you?

Comment allez vous? (formal)

My name is Sharon

Je m'appelle Sharon

Thank you


You're welcome

Je vous en prie


Au revoir

(Thanks to Sharon and Monica)



Glass takes one million years to decompose,which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times.

Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.

Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numbers.

Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn't smoke unless it's heated above 450F.

Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean.

The banana cannot reproduce itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man.

Warner Communications paid $28 million for the copyright to the song Happy Birthday which was written in 1935.

The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times when knights in armour raised their visors to reveal their identity.

In ancient times strangers shook hands to show that they were unarmed.

The moon moves about two inches away from the Earth each year.




His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

Rotary Club of Canberra Lunch Meeting


Dhawura nguna Dhawaru Ngunnawal.

Yanggu ngalawiri dhunimanyin Ngunnawalwari dhawurawari.

Nginggada Dindi wanggiralidjinyin.

This is Ngunnawal Country.

Today we are all meeting together on this Ngunnawal Country.


We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Elders.

Ladies and gentleman, it’s a pleasure to be with you today.

Looking around the room I see some familiar faces – Linda and I have enjoyed the opportunity to get to know many Rotarians over the course of this year.

Indeed, when we were asked to serve as Joint Ambassadors for the Centenary of Rotary we had two initial reactions.

Firstly, having met many Rotarians, an awareness of just how busy we would be kept.

Secondly, as we thought about 100 years of Rotary, amazement at the number of outstanding men and women that must have been involved during that time and the scale of what they collectively had contributed to Australia.

Over the last few months both of these reactions have been justified.

We’ve been kept busy as Ambassadors – and it has been an absolute pleasure.

And, having had the opportunity to learn more about Rotary’s local, national and international projects, we have developed an even greater understanding of and respect for Rotarians’ impact in our community.

We’ve come to appreciate that no matter the specific initiative or focus, it is inevitably underpinned by characteristics such as care, compassion and a determination to make the world a better place.

These characteristics are very much on display in the members of the Rotary Club of Canberra.

The club and its committed members make a very real difference in the ACT, across Australia and, indeed, the globe.

For example, here in Canberra, projects include:

  • Supporting young people: by providing access to safe, affordable accommodation, as well as through the Global Youth Exchange and Rotary Youth Enrichment Programs

  • Purchasing UV lights for jaundice affected babies in Canberra Hospital Ambulance

  • Keeping people connected through the popular Albert Hall Seniors Concert

  • Encouraging local philanthropy, such as the donation of uniforms to an Ethiopian orphanage.

The Rotary Club of Canberra has also:

  • Provided hay during drought to afflicted farmers

  • Supported Blaze Aid to help communities rebuild after the devastating bushfires; and

  • Send donations to northern NSW Rotary Clubs to assist flooded families.

Linda and I have spent time in communities affected by drought, flood and fire – and I can tell you firsthand how much the generosity and support from fellow Australians means to people in their time of need.

Internationally, the Club has helped those most in need in a variety of ways:

  • Providing Rotary Global Grants of $75,000 modern sanitation for two rural schools in Zambia

  • Purchasing a restore baby unit for the Beirut hospital

  • Funding 10 secondary school children’s return to local school after the 2020 cyclone in Fiji

  • Supporting women market traders in Uganda impacted by COVID by providing a $10,000 grant

  • Helping two Indian Rotary Clubs to buy oxygen for hospitals and food for the poor in lockdown.

It is a remarkable list.

Whether locally, nationally or internationally focussed you have delivered outcomes that have helped people.

Some of you may have heard me mention the 1921 descriptions of a typical Rotarian when I launched the centenary.

A typical Rotarian, they said in 1921, is a go-getter and a practical idealist.

As I said at the launch, implied in those descriptions are:

  • A positive attitude.

  • A preparedness to think big and to not be afraid of tackling the big projects.

  • An ability to see a project through to the end.

To put it another way: you get things down and you make a difference.

You epitomise and exemplify the richness of spirit that underpins our community.

If I can finish my remarks with a general comment about our community and share some of my perspective of where we are as a nation as we – hopefully – emerge from the pandemic and continue to recover and rebuild from recent disasters.

I am unashamedly optimistic about our future.

In my job, it would be almost impossible not to be.

That is because day-in-day-out, Linda and I have the great privilege of seeing firsthand examples of our goodness.

For example, I mentioned our time in the communities impacted by the devastating 2019-20 bushfires and other natural disasters.

We are constantly struck by the calibre of the response to these life-changing incidents.

By the way individuals respond: when they have lost everything, are down on their knees but remain unbowed. When they, in fact, remain focussed on others around them.

And also by the response of the broader communities – the way Australians opened their hearts, homes and wallets in response to the bushfires.

Being optimistic does not mean being blind to the challenges that we face.

Of course, there are challenges and big problems that we need to address.

But as Rotary shows, we can think big.

We can deliver and we can change the world around us.

I know that there is another common characteristic amongst Rotarians (and Australians generally) – humbleness. None of you serve or give for recognition or thanks.

But you deserve it.

Thank you for all that you do.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and hard work.

Keep it up.



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