5 June 2019
Volume 58 Issue 46
Next Meeting Responsibilities
Chair:             PP John Rosenthal
Fellowship:   Di Sheepers
                        Sharmaine Squire
Attendance: Gary Castricum
                       Bob Lay AM

The Rotary Club of Berwick normally meets
on Wednesday evening at
Holm Park Reserve
(Beaconsfield Football Club)
Emerald-Beaconsfield Road
6.30 for a 7.00pm start

Bookings and Apologies
Please email your apology
or book in your guest to
All bookings and apologies
To submitted by 10.00 am on
Tuesday prior to the meeting.
Upcoming Events
Exchange visit to India (Casey presents)
Jun 05, 2019
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Presentation - Roteract (Rotary Club of Seaford)
Holm Park
Jun 12, 2019
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Windemere Kids on Track Program
Jun 19, 2019
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President Elect
International Service Director
Youth and New Ideas
Rotary Foundation Chair
Vice President
Membership Chair
Public Image Chair
Club Administration Chair
Avenues of Service Chair
Fundraising Chair
Club Protection Officer
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Peter Batterham
June 21
Rodney Bowman
June 24
Berwick & District Benevolent Society Inc.
Since 2015, the Rotary Club of Berwick has had responsibility for management of the Berwick & District Society Inc. 
The current  Office Bearers are:
President:   PP David Collyer
Treasurer:   PP Peter Batterham
Secretary:    Sam McCurdy
ClubRunner Mobile
Berwick & District Benevolent Society Inc.
Bert Rea OAM summarised the history of the Berwick & District Benevolent Society and its link with Casey North Community Information & Support Service (CNCISS)
He stated that the activities of the Society began in an informal manner in 1959, as the suburb of Doveton was being developed. 
Bert’s mother and father used to collect clothes and food for the residents of Doveton, who were mainly employees of the local factories.  They also raised funds by collecting rags and selling them for re-cycling.
Eventually, the Berwick & District Benevolent Society Inc. was formed in 1961.  
Bert indicated that in addition to providing a range of support services to the community, the Benevolent Society was also instrumental in forming the Casey North Community Information & Support Services (CNCISS) and the Berwick Opportunity Shop. 
Since then, the role of the Benevolent Society has been to provide emergency relief support to the CNCISS.  In summary, the Society has acted as the collector of funds, food, toys and other items for distribution to those in need within the community, via the CNCISS.  
In 2015, due to the advancing age of its' members, the Society negotiated with then President Gus Dominguez for the Rotary Club to take over the management of the Society.  
Bert concluded his presentation by expressing a hope that this arrangement would continue.
Presentation of a Paul Harris Fellow
President Geoff outlined the purpose of a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF), which is the Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for a someone whose life and achievements reflect its' purpose and mission to promote good in the world.  It is named for Rotary’s founder, a Chicago lawyer, who started Rotary with three business associates in 1905.
Geoff then called a very surprised Susan Magee, Executive Officer of the Casey North Community Information and Suppport Service (CNCISS) to the podium. 
Susan commenced her work with Casey North Community Information & Support Service in 1997.
At that time the original steering committee had just been successful in lobbying for funding to establish the centre and had registered as a Board of Management.
Since that time Susan has established the service to be one of the primary services in Casey, responding to the vulnerable and disadvantaged in the community.
Susan has formal qualifications, including a Bachelor of Arts and an Advanced Diploma of Welfare Studies together with a wealth of experience, as she has worked in the community sector for over 30 years.
In response, Susan stated that she felt unworthy of this honour, as she is simply doing her job.  She added that CNCISS would not be as successful at what its does without the support of other organisations, such as the Rotary Club of Berwick and the Berwick & District Benevolent Society. 
She thanked the Club for this PHF recognition.
Berwick & District Benevolent Society Inc.
PP David Collyer outlined the work that the Benevolent Society does with CNCISS.  David is a member of the CNCISS Board.
He stated that since its formation, CNCISS has grown to have approximately 40 staff and handles a budget in excess of $1.3 million.  However, the available funds are never enough to meet the demands of those in need within the community.
Since the Rotary Club took over the activities of the Benevolent Society in 2015, it has mainly raised funds for CNCISS, through donations from the Magistrate's Court and the congregation of the Cardinia Presbyterian Church. 
In addition, the Society has collected food, toys and other items for distribution to the community through CNCISS.  This is particularly true during the Christmas period each year.  These collections are made from six Secondary Schools and several Shopping Centres.
In fact, just before Christmas 2018, the collection was so successful that CNCISS had problems finding sufficient storage space for the items, prior to their distribution.  However, larger premises will be used for storage this year.
The Benevolent Society now has a 7-member committee, which has met four times already this year and they have plans to increase the list of benefactors and to continue working with CNCISS for the benefit of the community.
Correction to my report on David Whiting's presentation:
Contrary to what was stated in last week’s bulletin, David Whiting is not a member of the Organising Committee for the 2023 Rotary International Convention in Melbourne.
Although David has done some work for the Committee, he is not actually a member.
I apologise for this error in the bulletin.
Sam McCurdy
Casey North Community Information Support Service (CNCISS)
Susan Magee outlined the work that CNCISS does for the community, adding that this is not the complete story as there are lots of programmes.  This summary is just a snapshot of the main activities.
Emergency Relief:
This is really centred around the old city of Berwick.  In the year to date, 1,680 families have sought assistance and visited CNCISS 5,509 times.  This is mainly due to mortgage stress and debt.
Research has shown that the communities within the post codes of 3803 (Hallam), 3805 (Narre Warren) and 3806 (Berwick) have the highest levels of mortgage stress in Victoria.   CNCISS can only provide $10 food vouchers and the maximum financial support that has been provided has been $70.  
Children's library:
This was started by donations of children's books by the Rotary Club during the Basic Education and Literacy Month of September.  It has proved to be very popular.
Winter coat drive:
Each year there is a collection of winter coats made available for those in need.  This year they have been going like "hot cakes".
Susan reported that homelessness has increased in the local area by 75%.  CNCISS helps where they can by providing swags, or directing people to refuges, where possible.
Financial counselling:
This is a increasing need in the area with high levels of mortgage stress and other debts that can't be serviced.  In fact, the demand has increased by 400% and presents CNCISS with its biggest challenge.  The Financial Councellors provide advice on how best to cope with the debt situation and how to develop realistic domestic budgets.
Flu injections:
CNCISS has provided free flu injections to the disadvantaged in the community, with help of the Monash Medical Centre.  This will be an annual service.
In conclusion, Susan stated that the partnership with the Rotary Club and the Berwick & District Benevolent Society is critical to CNCISS, particularly at Christmas.
At this point, PP David Collyer presented Susan with a cheque for $4,500 from the Benevolent Society to assist the CNCISS in its great work.
On behalf of the CNCISS, Susan expressed her thanks for the donation.
Friendship Exchange to India
Our main guest speaker this week was Denis Heslin Jnr, who talked about the Friendship Exchange in January to India.
The Friendship Exchange involved 12 members from District 9820, who represented 8 clubs.  Over 14 days, they were hosted by Rotarians from District 2980, the anagram of District numbers was found quite humorous by our hosts.  Aside from being guests of honour at many Club Meetings, including 6 Cluster Meetings, they were guided to many Rotary projects within the State of Tamil Nadu.  
Denis reported that the hospitality of their hosts was very generous and food became an issue, as when they cleared their plates the host would produce more food thinking that they were still hungry.  Therefore, they quickly learned to leave some food on the plate to signify that they were finished.
The Rotary meetings were all very different, some were very structured, alcohol free and vegetarian, yet others were very informal banquets.  Furthermore, gender equality has a long way to go in India.  Generally, their Rotary Clubs are either entirely male or female.
One club owns approximately 160 acres and provides housing in ‘nursing home’ style for the elderly.
Adequate education is a problem in India, as teacher salaries are very low.  As a result, mothers tend to do the teaching.  It costs $260 a year to teach a child.  Schools make use of "Smart Boards", which are linked to a computer presentation on a rear projector.  In this way, they try to standardise the education.
Denis's favourite visit was to the SOS Children's Village in Nagapattinam.  SOS is located all over the world and helps in creating a family unit for children to live under the house guidance of a ‘house mother’, who is more than likely a woman who is a widow, or has been subjected to domestic violence and is in need of a safer environment. 
He plans to return to SOS Nagapattinam in 2020 to provide a sporting program to local schools that he has recently established with some like minded friends.
The Pongal Festival was celebrated while they were there.  Pongal is the celebration of harvest and is a time for families and communities to gather for four days of celebration.  The energy and atmosphere they experienced at these rural festivals was a highlight of the trip. The local people were so giving of their environment with no expectation of anything in return, other than for the visitors to enjoy their culture.
Denis found the experience very humbling.  The Indians were very easy to bond with, particularly on the subject of cricket and he found their energy amazing, regardless of their age or level of wealth.
One interesting point he discovered was that both Australia and India celebrate the 26th January.  Australia Day celebrates the arrival of the British, whereas the Indians celebrate their departure from the sub-continent.
One of the best outcomes of the Friendship Exchange in his view, was the fellowship generated between Rotarians.
Jokers Wild 5-6-19
With the Jackpot sitting at $532.75, this weeks' winning ticket was held by PP Garry Cooper.
Garry carefully selected a card from the deck to discover that it was the Queen of Diamonds, so the Jackpot is safe for another week.
There are now 43 cards plus the Joker in the deck.
Make sure you purchase your tickets before the meeting starts next week and PLEASE HAVE THE CORRECT MONEY!
Link to the Debutante Ball Video
PP Peter Batterham advises that the following provides a link to the  recent 2019 Debutante Ball video: 
Weekly Photos
 (Photos provided by Sandi Tarant)
St John of God Hospital in Berwick are hosting a free Men’s Health information evening at the hospital with Cardiologist, Dr James Sapontis as part of Men’s Health Week – see poster below for details.
Tuesday 11th June
5.30pm – 7pm (light bites & refreshments on arrival)
Granada Room, Level 1, 75 Kangan Drive
Please RSVP to me by Tuesday morning (11th June).
Ph: 03 87845009
Note The Dates





12 June
ROMAC presentation by RC of Seaford Holm Park Reserve 6:30 - 8:30 pm
19 June
Kids on Track Programme -  Dr. Lynette Buoy Holm Park Reserve 6:30 - 8:30 pm
23 June
District 9820 Changeover Gumbuya World 12:00 - 3:00 pm
26 June
Changeover Night Holm Park Reserve 6:30 - 8:30 pm