The President's Report

As I was away last week my report for this week wilI be very brief.

I was very disappointed that very few members showed any interest in the Barefoot Bowling Function. I thought it would have been a great deal of fun and a good social get together.

Another social event proposed is an evening meal at the TAFE College, more information to follow.

President Eric

Duty Roster for February 25th, 2021



Thursday, February 25th, 12.15pm for 12.30pm


On Zoom


Ross Brown


Tony Brickwood


Warwick Howieson


Graeme Howieson


Robert Laine


116 Years of Rotary

On Tuesday, 23 February, Rotary celebrates 116 years since its founding by Paul Harris in 1905. Current Rotary International President, Holger Knaack, has commented as follows on this anniversary of the founding of Rotary:

We have lasted 116 years because of our strong ethics, our passion for Service Above Self, and our unique approach to problem solving. One of our greatest strengths is how we reach across our communities and across national, ethnic, religious and political divisions to unite people of all backgrounds and to help others.”

Monica Garrett

Foundation Director

Last Week's Speaker

Tony Maple of Canberra Heritage & History Researchers and President of the Rotary Club of Weston Creek gave us his second talk with overhead slides on his heritage research in Canberra and the region. He also runs monthly heritage walks in the ACT under the auspices of the ACT chapter of the National Trust. The topic this time was: "Hidden Aspects of Canberra's Design".

Tony spoke of what amounted to the mystical influences playing out in Griffin’s design. His wife Marion did a lovely rendering of the plan for Canberra. Parliament House, when built, was to be capped by a stepped pyramid, a ziggurat. Both Walter and Marion were highly influenced by two well-known world movements at the time, called Theosophy and Anthroposophy. The key concepts deriving from them, particularly from Anthroposophy, were design principles based on fundamental geometry connecting the landscape, incorporating axes and intersecting circles. These principles can be seen applied in a number of other cities, both in the ancient past, such as in Rome, and in cities such as Paris and Washington.

Mt Bimberi in the Brindabellas is the ACT’s highest peak, but it is a long way to the south of Canberra and can hardly be seen from here, except when its peak glistens in snow. One axis in the design of Canberra runs from the top of Mt Bimberi to the top of Mt Ainslie. The other major axis is perpendicular to it. Democracy is integrated into the design of Canberra via three vesica pisces, ancient sacred geometry applied to intersceting circles, representing the judiciary, the legislative and the executive arms of government. This is also cosmological symbolism, in terms then described as God, Christ and Man.

Tony mentioned that there is some conjecture about the intersecting circles. However in that case there does seem to be an abundance of coincidences. The influence of the contemporary American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, with his philosophy of beauty in utilitarian simplicity is palpable. There is also evidence of the use of the symbolism of the tetractys – a triangle composed of ten dots. The circles on the floor of Parliament House may be a further reference to the same theme.

Both Walter and Marion ultimately became leading members of the Anthroposophist movement. Its founder, Rudolph Steiner of Steiner School fame, postulated the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world.

We were also regaled with what may seem trivial: the National Sewer Lid is at one of the major intersections of circles in the design. One could surmise that it carries some symbolism!

Juris Jakovics

Upcoming Events

Rotary Aussie Peace March (26-28 March)

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)

Peace Bell bookings (currently flooding in)

Interesting Facts about the Planet Mars

  • Mars is home to Olympus Mons, which is the largest volcano in our solar system, standing 21km high and 600km wide across the base.

  • Mars gets its red colour from the iron oxide dust on its surface.

  • Mars gets its name from the Roman god of war of the same name.

  • Mars is the second smallest planet in the solar system, after Mercury.

  • On its one-year anniversary, NASA’s Curiosity Rover sang the “Happy Birthday” tune to itself on Mars.

  • To date, only 4 countries/group have been able to successfully send rockets to Mars: The USA, European Space Agency, Russia and India.

  • Mars has two moons: Phobos and Deimos.

  • Unlike Earth, Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field.

  • Mars’ seasons are twice as long as those on Earth since it takes Mars 687 days to orbit the sun which is twice as long as Earth’s 365-day journey.

  • The first successful Mars flyby was achieved by Mariner 4 in 1965.

  • In 1976, Viking 1 became the first human spacecraft to successfully land operational on the surface of Mars.

  • India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is the cheapest Mars mission ever costing just $72 million.

  • The Hollywood movie Gravity was more expensive than India’s Mars Orbiter Mission.

  • Mars lacks an ozone layer, as a result each time the sun rises, Mars’s surface is bathed in a lethal dose of radiation.

  • Mars has the largest dust storms in the whole solar system which can even last for months.

  • Mars’s specific gravity is about 37% of earth’s specific gravity. Which means that you can jump on mars nearly 3 times as high as you can jump on earth.

  • Sun appears half the size on Mars as what it does on Earth.

  • The sun appears half it’s size when viewed from Mars, as compared to Earth.

  • In 1609, Galileo Galilee became the first person to observe Mars through a telescope.

  • Mars is the only planet to be solely occupied by man-made robots.

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