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Welcome to our Surfers Sunrise Rotary!

Surfers Sunrise

A great way to start the day

We meet Wednesdays at 7:00 AM
Southport Surf Live Saving Club
Pavilion Restaurant
MacArthur Parade
Main Beach, QLD  4215
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
Now, was that a conference or what!?  Record numbers (some 580 registrations), very exciting speakers and superb fellowship. I've put up a small Photo Album on our website - it's on the right hand side. You will find a comment against each photo.
There is also a massive album up on the District Website www.rotary9640.org - just go to Photo Gallery (at the top) and it's all there.
All the way from Latvia, Al Sirovs' family are having a bit of a family reunion with Dr Dainis Sirovs and his charming wife Egija Sirova visiting our shores.  Dr Sirovs holds a master's degree in Public Health and specializes in Traumatology.  Born in 1962, he has experienced the period of Latvia's Russian (re)occupation in 1944, all the way to the transition to independence and the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia in 1991. Rather than giving us a long speech, Dr Sirovs preferred a Question & Answer session.  But, opening up his presentation, we saw a brief video outlining his native country. Today, Latvia has a population of some 2 Million people, with a very diverse ethnicity: 62% are Latvians, 25% Russians, 31% Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian, with people from fellow Baltic Estonian and Lithuanian descent just making up a bit over 1.3%.  And what is the big difference between the Russian era and today? Freedom! We might take it for granted, but having lived under the threat of being banished to Siberian labour camps - not just individuals, but entire families... Upon independence, some 31% of people of Russian descent left the country, but the Russian influence is still very substantial, with some 34% of the population speaking Russian as their first language. The Russian armed forces conduct regular troop exercises near the Baltic states' borders, and they have very high influence on the local media. According to the Trading Economics organization, average wage is just 738 Euros (approx $A1,130) per month. Still, things appear to be on the rise, in January 2017, it was just 642 Euros.
Yet, some 26 years after independence, there is again a major concern that the political parties aligned with Russia may yet again gain the upper hand. Well financed, they are spending huge sums in political advertising. In a parliament of 100 seats, three parties ('Parliamentary Groups') hold between 20 and 23 seats each, plus another 2 with 13, respectively 16 seats. So, it wouldn't take much to substantially change the balance.
However, Dr Dainis and Egida are here to enjoy a holiday! So, let's talk about sport: Ice Hockey, Bobsleigh, Speed Skating...  Rugby? No. Aussie Rules? What? Cricket? Nope...  Well, there is plenty to show and explain! We wish you a very pleasant stay in Australia!
OK, time to allow our fingernails to start re-growing! After over a year of pre-preparations, dozens of committee meetings and hundreds, nay, thousands of email exchanges (just my small department of organizing the Registrations had well over 500 incoming mails outside the 580 registrations themselves!), we concluded the conference with a 'Paella in the Park' event. Regrettably, the weather was anything other than what one would visualize to go with Flamenco and Salsa dancers, but, hey! we still had a marvellous time out there. The wheelchair boys with help from all over erected the marquees, Graeme Isaacson was in several places at once, organizing the Paella chefs, the ice cream van and the Flamenco Guitar player... 
We had so many remarkable events, outrageously funny and inspiring keynote speakers, award presentations and good old fashioned Rotary Fellowship. So, why would I pick for this bulletin the only event that was truly affected by the rainy and blustery weather and where no grand speeches were held? Well, because there is no way I can report on the happenings of a three day conference in the space allowed in a club bulletin! Wearing my other hat as the DG's Newsletter Editor, I'll make a genuine effort to put together a reportage for the upcoming April edition of 'NINE Six FOUR Oh!' - it will be in your mailbox on or about 29th March. To Jo Gorman, her organizing committee and all the helpers and volunteers: you did a superb job!  Thank you.
Photo: Kate Kimmorley (RC of Gold Coast, who was an "inner cabinet" member of the committee), Tony Winwood (Jo's fiancee) is smiling - he might even again get to spend a few moments with his wife to be, District Conference Chairman Jo Gorman! And Des La Rance expresses what everyone thought about how successful the conference was! Bonza!
If by chance, you missed DG Darrell Brown’s District Conference on the weekend just gone, you missed a Biggy. Though the overall concept was far greater than the few words following, I would like to mention a small part.
You missed seeing speakers, whom you as members have supported and who are fabulous ambassadors of Surfers Sunrise. Honestly, you had to be there! To mention a couple that are directly associated with Surfers Sunrise:
  • our RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program for Enrichment) attendees Jessica Webber and Lucy Thorburn spoke in the Youth segment about their experiences at RYPEN. Both are recipients of the “Lutzy” Award Surfers Sunrise presents to awardees suggested by the Surfers Paradise Surf Lifesaving Club. Great presentation, girls!
  • Surfers Sunrise sponsored a Rotary Peace Fellow, Jackie Kauli, who gave an emotive and passionate presentation of how she was tackling domestic violence aspects of life in Papual New Guinea. She does this through drama sessions to the villagers. 
It was great to see a successful outcome, to what our Rotary Club of Surfers Sunrise programs and support can achieve. Speaking of achievement, I’d like to extend my personal thanks to all my fellow Conference volunteers, as in working as a team, the best and most successful Conference (in my opinion), was achieved, and I was proud to be a small cog in that Rotary wheel. [Ray, among lots of other jobs, was in charge of program planning and execution. Just visualize: the Run Sheet, which details to the minute what will happen, exactly at what time, done by whom: 17 pages of spreadsheet, in small print with no big blank spaces! That is why the conference ran like clockwork. Ed.]
Last Saturday, our Youth Exchange Students Gigi (left) and Benedetta (right) visited our Project Shed to learn all about how to convert unwanted bicycles into wheelchairs.  Here they learning how to trim the plywood to the correct size. WH&S Inspectors: relax, pull your head in: no need for goggles, ear protection, steel capped boots: this was for show only, the machine was not even switched on.  [I hope. Ed.]  Photo by Al Sirovs.
Last Wednesday, we presented a Pride of Workmanship Award to 6 well deserving people.  It was also a great social night, with the awardees and their partners joining with our club members and their partners.  Richard Smith,  in charge of Vocational Service at our club, presented the awards as follows:
NameNominated byVocation
Jody MurrayGraeme IsaacsonPost Office Operations
Dee JohnstonMark TwyfordLogistics Administration
Joel BurnsFranz HuberAir Conditioning Supply and Installation
Janusz RadzkiFranz HuberFurniture Upholstering and Restoration
Dr Stephen CoulsonGerald EastDentistry
Ken HildegrenGerald EastDental Technician
You can find the full citations in the Download Section on the right.
Photo below, from left: Richard Smith (convener), Mark Twyford, Graeme Isaacson, Dee Johnston, Jody Murray, Joel Burns, Gerald East, Ken Hildegren, Dr Stephen Coulson, Franz Huber, Janusz Radzki.
Well done to the gents at the project shed in helping to prepare our first Community Bike Sale. The young person in the photo took ownership of the bike through the Assistance of the Wesley Mission QLD program, Youth At Risk Alliance (YARA). This program assists vulnerable young people and their families in times of need. The young person has been identified as having future sporting potential and this is recognized by her School. A placement was offered to her to join the  AFL sporting excellence program. The bike will assist in not only her transport to and from school, building independence but also enhance her training program. What a great story to "kick" off this local community service program.
You would remember Charmaine Wheatley who recently gave us a presentation of how our wheelchairs make a difference in her neck of the woods in the South African bush?  She will present again at the Project Shed on Saturday 24th March, 10:30 am, so our untiring volunteers also get a chance to see how their efforts make a difference. [And this time we hope to have the projector working for Charmaine... ☺ Ed.]
Last Wednesday, District Youth Exchange Chairman Chris Thurtell introduced us to our latest YE Student from Italy: Benadetta Marniga. Benadetta comes from a small village called Borgosatollo, near Brescia in the northern area of Italy. She will be hosted by our club for the second half of her stay in Australia. Welcome to Surfers Sunrise, Benadetta!
Last Saturday, Ms Toni Kirton of AB Paterson College visited our Project Shed to discuss a new Community Service project her school will instigate. Ms Kirton, in her position of  Director of Positive Education and Leadership is a member of the Senior Leadership Team at the college. Des La Rance introduced her to the various aspects of our operation.  We understand that, initially, the college's students will make 5 wheelchairs for us.  This could be the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship between Surfers Sunrise Rotary and AB Paterson College!
(Photo provided by Al Sirovs)
Do you know that Surfers Sunrise has not just one, but two Baton Bearers running at the upcoming Commonwealth Games?  Here are the details:
DG Darrell Brown: 12:28 pm  
Date: 04/04/2018 Start time: 12:28 pm
Start Location:  200 meters after intersection of Doug Jennings Park Access Road on Seaworld Drive, Main Beach QLD 4217, Australia
End Location:    400 metres further on.
Daryl Sanderson OAM:
Date: 02/04/2018 Start time: 10:01 am  
Start Location: 172 Bayview Street, Runaway Bay  4216
End Location:   153 Bayview Street, Runaway Bay  4216
See you on location to give them enthusiastic applause!
This picture, provided by Fred Hamblen shows "Colonel" Daryl Sanderson OAM addressing the troops at the Project Shed about how they have a container coming for 270 wheelchairs and they need to ensure they have that many ready when the container arrives 9 February...
Freshly uploaded into the Download Section on the right: Col Laurensen answers the 33 Questions.  [Gina Lollobrigida? Well before my time! NOT.] See if you can guess which one of his answers to Question 33 is correct?
At last Wednesday's meeting, Assistant Governor David Baguley presented Past President (2016/17) Simon Brook with two banners from The Rotary Foundation (TRF) for our club's special achievements in his year. Our club was recognized for punching well above our weight when it comes to supporting The Rotary Foundation. Quoting from a letter from TRF's chief Philanthropy Officer, of a total of 35,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide, we are one of just 1,573 (4.5%) clubs scoring in the Top Three Highest in Per Capita Annual Giving, and one of only 5,034 (14%) clubs worldwide to attain status as an Every Rotarian, Every Year club. And we are one of only 4,136 clubs (12%) to become a 100% Foundation Giving Club. To achieve this, the club must achieve an average of giving US$ 100.00, with every member personally contributing US$ 25.00 or more to TRF.  Well done, fellows!
Update: Alissa has arrived in Minnesota! Looking forward to her first report.
At last Wednesday's meeting, Matt Lott introduced his charming daughter Alissa to the club. Alissa has been selected to represent our club in Janesville, Minnesota for the 12 months starting end of January 2018. She is (was) a student at Emmanuel College, and naturally, she is very much looking forward to the experience. "To be given the chance to live in another country and culture and become a member of their community is a truly unique experience and I am so, so grateful for you giving me the opportunity to participate in this program". And what are her expectations (other than having a good time of course!)? Only a couple, she said: Go into the exchange with as an open mind as possible, be ready to try everything and become part of the community. Alissa epxects that it will "allow me to get out of my comfort zone". [you can bet on that! Ed.]
We are very much looking forward to receiving your reports, and don't forget, your Surfers Sunrise Bulletin Editor is always looking for quality material to publish! So, let's hear about it! ☺
I've uploaded a video which beautifully outlines what Rotary is all about. Go on, have a look at it. It's only a bit over 2 minutes, but very well done. Go to this link to view it:
August is Membership Development and Extentions Month. Can you remember when you were inducted into Rotary?  Have you considered why you were proposed by your sponsor? What made you to decide to join?  Did you feel a sense of pride, of achievement, to be invited to join an organization of the highest international repute?  Did you feel that your sponsor did “The right thing” by considering you to be potentially a good Rotarian ? Did you feel a little bit overwhelmed, sort of “am I really up to this?” You did? 
“The more hands Rotary has, the better and more effectively the ideal of service will be achieved.  Hence the importance of membership.”  These words, spoken by one of Japans foremost Rotarians, Kanejiro Matsumoto put the point very straight.   I put it even straighter: If we are to spread the workload of running this club, if we are to achieve our aims on the local scene (Youth Service, Vocational Service, Community Service), if we are to pull our weight on the International cart, we have an obligation to not only maintain, but increase membership. Whom have you asked lately to come along to one of our meetings?
District Governor Darrell Brown, on his "official" visit to his own club Surfers Sunrise, outlined his priorities. Not only is it a special year for us to have one of our members at the helm of District 9640, but we also have an Australian, Ian Riseley, in the top job as Rotary International's President.
These are the major points for Rotary International:

1. Support and Strengthen the clubs: Improve the Gender Balance! We are, on average, still very low (and our club is no exception).  Contrary to that, the Mt Warning AM club started off as purely female, even though they now have inducted some male members as well. But in our club, what talent we have. For example, Jo Gorman, who not only will be incoming President next year, but will also
Geoff Croad sent me a very interesting article, written by Michael Bucca, a 32 year old member of the Rotary Club of Central Ocean Toms River, New Jersey, USA. 
"You might think that I, a 32-year-old member of a 110-year-old organization, would be preoccupied with trying to modernize my club’s way of doing things. But remarkably, my experience in Rotary is teaching me to spend more energy convincing my generation – which keeps trying to reinvent everything – that there is much to be gained in the lost art of personal connection...." ... Think of this as a real-life Facebook status combined with a weekly GoFundMe campaign."
Well worth reading! You can access the full article from this link: http://blog.rotary.org/2016/01/06/what-30-somethings-need-to-know-about-rotary/
$100 for a wheelchair for a disabled child
Club Executives & Directors
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President Elect
Vice President
Director-Club Administration
Director-Service Projects
Coordinator-Vocational Services
Director-Public Relations
Director -The Rotary Foundation
Director-Youth Services
YEP Club Protection Officer
Deputy Sergeant at Arms
Sergeant At Arms
Chairperson-Wheelchairs Trust
Coordinator - Social Media
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Rotary Club of Surfers Sunrise Inc
P O Box 6695, Gold Coast Mail Centre QLD 9726
A great club for members and a fun club to visit