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President Thaya's Message

8 December 2021


My fellow Rotarians and friends of Rotary,

Strathfield Christmas Carols

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2021 Strathfield Christmas Carols. We kicked off the festivities with a visit from Santa, performances by community groups, dancers, and singers, as well as a special movie screening of a Christmas Carol and Australia's first drone light show!

The Rotary Club of Strathfield partnered with the Strathfield Council to successfully celebrate Strathfield Christmas Carols last Saturday, 4th December 2021. More than twenty of our members and their spouses participated, and a few members brought their kids to help us sell the raffle tickets.

The Rotary Club of Strathfield Christmas Raffle was one of the event's main attractions as we had lovely prizes. First, three prizes sponsored by Richardson and Wrench Strathfield - pioneer real estate agents in Strathfield - were a Smart TV, Smart Phone, and Smart Watch. Ten consolation prizes were sponsored by the Arie Pappas family and the Paul Anton family.

It was the first BBQ fundraising we did after the loss of the late Peter Smith. Arie and Rod took over the BBQ trailer and the BBQ station together with all other related utensils. However, we were all made to realise what a legend Peter was to handle so much equipment alone in a meticulously organised way. Our sincere gratitude to Mrs Marlene Smith for storing all the Rotary stuff at her garage even after Peter's death.

We also appreciate all the efforts put in by Keith Byrn to repair and give a facelift to our BBQ trailer. It was a completely new look when we saw the trailer on Saturday.

Thanks to Roy Ellis, we can now park the trailer at his home and store our BBQ related equipment.

We are also thankful to Arie Pappas, who took a few days out of his busy life by picking up the trailer, pink slip, registering the trailer at RMS, coordinating plumbers and gas fitters, and testing the trailer. Arie was also the first to come and last to go, organising bread and sausages and cleaning up the trailer with the help of Roy Ellis.

Our Christmas raffle was a great success this year. Rod McDougall, Rick Vosila and Nick Hamilton-Kane worked very hard, from designing and printing the tickets in no time, to distributing and selling the tickets and disbursing the prizes to the relevant winners. A special thanks to generous Chris Virgona, who donated the first three prizes for the Raffle and helped me to draw the raffles at the Carols.

Charles Pitt, Rod McDougall, Mathew Ellias and Kimberly helped us with cash and accounts handling from raffles sales and BBQ sales. Thank you very much.

Paul Anton and Roy Ellis were busy with the BBQ station, while Rotarians Janelle Watson and Trudy Ho ably staffed the sales counter, together with Kimberly. We appreciate all your tireless efforts.

We also had our professional photographers Bradley Ayres and Steven Argyris, capturing every action. Thank you for your commitment despite the rain at times.

Thank you, Raymond McCluskie, for posting this event on social media and for your presence and for looking after the logistics. Our 'BBQ man' Andrew Aravanis - we appreciate all your efforts in planning and providing items free of charge, even though you couldn't be present.

A special thanks to Homebush Boys School Interactors and Rotaractors for helping us sell the raffle tickets. We are also grateful to the teacher in charge for interactors, who is also the spouse and sister of our own Rotarians, Georgia Anton.

All our Rotarians who brought their spouses and the kids - kindly convey our gratitude for their assistance and encouragement.

Finally, a massive thanks to our team leader Marvin Manrique-Velasquez, without whom our event wouldn't have been a great success. Marvin was very attentive to details, well organised, and always ready to help.

Although we are finalising the accounts, I am sure we would make more than $5,000.00 from this event. Given the pandemic restrictions and adverse weather conditions, I call this a great success. It was an excellent example of what a few generous Rotarians can achieve under any circumstances with determination, commitment, and hard work. I was personally amazed by the positive vibe and the unity in diversity I saw that night. No one builds community spirit better than Rotarians!

"Rotary changes us and those we serve. I believe we can change the world one life at a time".   

Paul Harris (Founder of Rotary Movement)                                                           

Yours in Rotary,


Thaya Ponnia    


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Last Update Wednesday December 08, 2021