Posted by Vina Chubb on Dec 21, 2021

WOW! Well what a year this has been. One for us all to remember.

It started with the devastating bushfires up and down our east coastline and the smokey days down at the lake reminded us what others were facing. Our Club donated $2000 to an appeal run by Taree Rotary Club – given in $1000 vouchers to people in that district who had lost their homes.

Our Rotary year was soon into gear, with a Vocational visit to the Red Frog, providing services for families with autistic children. After an interesting talk and tour of the premises we dined at Warners at the Bay.
 
A large group of members attended the Launch of “Pollie”, the Iron Lung Lady, before she was to venture on her state tour, unfortunately only reaching Taree before spending COVID19 lockdown in a shop. After isolation, she was released and is now on a road trip in SA.
 
Our annual assistance in the community was Clean Up Australia Day, our CLub member volunteers organised by Ross - McDonalds site has never looked cleaner!
 
MHERV was also put into isolation during lockdown and Les and Robert are in the process of organising the district tour again.
 
Our annual bike ride, The Loop Charity Ride, was held on 8th March with the riders exploring the modified new route on the east side of the lake. The Loop Charity Ride added some needed funds to our club, enabling us to donate to John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Camp Quality and The Rotary Foundation – thanks to the organisation of the Loop Charity Ride Team and members efforts.
 
Kerry organised a gift, donated by The Greater, to new mums at John Hunter Private and Public hospitals and a pleasant morning was spent by club members delivering them ... no, not the babies!
 
Then we were faced with the news that COVID19 had spread and was now on our doorstep, consequently impacting the lives of our holiday makers returning from overseas.
 
Before we knew it we were in lockdown. Isolating, wearing masks and sanitising became the norm. Leaving our homes only to do essential shopping and tasks and exercising had become our lives.
 
The cancellation of our District Conference was heart breaking for people like our past District Governor Graeme and his wife, Sue. This is usually the highlight of a Governor’s term in office. This, of course in the scheme of things, paled into insignificance when we started to hear COVID19 was claiming lives not only in our country but worldwide.
 
Our Rotary club could no longer meet in person, so Zooming became the in thing.
 
Our usual activities could no longer be held but Les, our then President, kept us meeting on a regular basis with the assistance of our clever tech team Erin and Glenda.
 
Thanks to Katrina, the editor of our In the Loop newsletter, was able to keep us in touch with one another and Rotary doings.
 
Some members participated in our virtual Leckie Poetry Competition and this year Cardiff were the winners with Eleanor’s poem. Welcome to the Cardiff members who have joined us tonight.
 
Not long after our virtual changeover, our new, enthusiastic, President Barry managed to find a willing venue so we could meet face to face again, as restrictions were lifting and here we are at Club Macquarie.
 
Activities of the club suddenly took off. The weekly evening bike rides down at Speers Point park attracted some keen members and a local couple, who regularly attended ...it is so pleasing to see them here tonight... welcome Natalie and Craig.
 
Kerry organised a roster for interested members to cook BBQ breakfasts at Survivor’s R Us once a fortnight and some members have attended Oz Harvest at PCYC to pack food boxes for people in need.
 
The Saturday markets restarted. Glenda organised a stall for our club to sell books and CDs, but the market spot was soon taken over by the Christmas Trailer and the beginning of selling those 10 thousand tickets. The Christmas Trailer was a new initiative for fundraising, driven expertly by Chris and John. A trailer was purchased and gifts from various businesses were sourced, together with donations by club members, and soon we had a trailer full plus a second and third prize.
 
Our major recipient is Survivor’s R Us – supporting victims of Domestic Violence and people doing it tough.
 
Many members have been busy selling tickets at the markets at Warners Bay and Speers Point and at Mt Hutton shopping centre. Apart from being a huge financial success it gave members the opportunity to spend quality time together during roster time and a very important opportunity to meet our local community. Many stories were heard and things like helping a dear old lady who had dementia who was lost so Julie helped her find her family again and another incident when, after purchasing a ticket, another cheerful lady sang to us. And no she wasn’t on anything, simply a happy soul enjoying the moment.
 
All of us no doubt have stories to remember. This was a great club effort and many thanks to all the Rotary hours members gave and especially to Chris and John assisted by Barry for their great organising skills and time.

Congratulations to Erin for securing our first Club sponsor. Well done.

Out of all of this we have been able to attract a new member Phillip who found us on our web site. After having a coffee with Glenda he decided to join us. Warm welcome Philip.

Plans for 2021 are already in the making, starting with a Bunnings BBQ. Gail’s peace project is gaining momentum and last, but not least, our planned Autumn Fair in May.

Finally, Katrina organised our annual vouchers & certificates for citizenship awards for our local Primary schools, and delivered them in time for their presentation ceremonies. Just this morning Glenys and I had the privilege of attending Glendale Technology High School to be part of their Presentation ceremony. We have a long standing connection with this school through the Agricultural Project and the mentoring programs.

Fortunately, as this year draws to a close, our members have escaped contracting COVID19, for that we should all be very thankful. It is good to see Peter and Margaret here tonight and that he is behaving himself and doing ok at this moment. Our thoughts are with Ian and Judy Klein as Ian is battling an infection back in hospital and is hoping to soon continue his treatment which will enable him to have his transplant in the New Year.

Lastly... Congratulations to you all for being involved in the DOING this year and for making another successful year under difficult circumstances being part of Warners Bay Rotary Club and I wish you all a happy healthy, safe break and a special thanks to Glenys, our President-Elect, for organising another great fun Christmas night.