When you travel you meet the most amazing people. The same can be true when people travel here to meet us.
 
A group of members of various Canadian Rotary Clubs arrived to Drysdale recently and what a joy it was to show them around our great Bellarine Peninsula. Other Rotary clubs took a turn and the group of 10 got to see a fair bit of Victoria over a two-week period.
The 10 Canadian Rotarians sharing a glass of wine with Drysdale Rotary Club President Caroline Rickard (left) and Bellarine Winery guide (centre)
Just another part of Rotary many people have no idea about. A return Friendship Exchange has now been offered to participating Clubs to Canada for August this year.
 
For me it was an opportunity not only to meet some new friends, but it was a great reminder of what we have right on our doorstep. We took a boat out in the harbour and showed them seals and gannets. We took them on the Great Ocean Road and showed them the waves (most of them live near the centre of mainland Canada). We took them to our own Bellarine Estate where they had a lesson in cool climate wines and of course got to taste them. We exposed them to a home BBQ where we enjoyed getting to know each other and our cultural differences and similarities.
 
I can’t wait to book a trip to see their side of the world.
 
Rotary is not just about cooking sausages to raise funds it is also about building friendships and relationships through this world wide organization of around 1.2 million members. Have   I tweaked your interest? Just moved to the area and looking to meet some friendly people? Why not call Terry Baker for info on meetings etc. 0411 452 509?
 
Some Canadians came to visit we really had some fun
A short time spent together and many hearts were won
You rarely get a group you meet that together hit it off
An easy interaction and not one of them a toff
 
Meals were shared and trips were done seeing many a sight
This made sure the visitors all slept really well at night
Our hosts were just amazing and welcomed with open arms
And would have our visitors back without any qualms
 
We saw amazing lighthouses and even climbed some stairs
Not two-many at a time and definitely not in pairs
Jacqui faced her fears and climbed right to the top
The view she said was worth she’s glad she did not stop
 
We travelled past the ocean and travelled inland too
The sea was blue and the trees were tall no sign of kangaroo
We took them a boat to show them our own bay
A visit to the seals and gannets oh the smell what can we say
 
Australians can’t have visitors without a BBQ
Wally is a wizz with pav he can tell you what to do
Lamingtons another Aussie treat
Leila is a wizz at them now our tasks complete
 
Now to wrap this poem up with a massive thanks
Hosting Rotary Friendship Exchange has moved way up the ranks
Maybe you can go visit them right back
August is the time to go off the beaten track