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President Thaya's Message

25 August 2021




My fellow Rotarians and friends of Rotary,


Let me start my write-up with this narrative:

The child - "How old are you, Grandpa?"

Grandpa - "I'm 81, dear."

The child - "So does that mean you were alive during the Coronavirus?"

Grandpa - "Yes, I was."

Child - "Wow. That must have been horrible, Grandpa. We were learning about that at school this week.

They told us about how all the schools had closed. And mums and dads couldn't go to work so didn't have as much money to do nice things.

They said that you weren't allowed to go and visit your friends and family and couldn't go out anywhere.

They told us that the shops ran out of lots of things, so you didn't have much bread, and flour, and toilet rolls.

They said that the Easter holidays were cancelled. And they told us about all those thousands of people that got very sick and who died.

They explained how hard all the doctors and nurses and all essential workers worked, and that lots of them died, too.

That must have been so horrible, grandpa!"

Grandpa - "Yes, that is all correct, but I was just a kid back then. But to tell you the truth, I remember it differently...

I remember playing in the garden for hours with mum and dad and having picnics outside and lots of BBQs.

I remember making things with my Dad and baking with my Mum.

I remember learning how to do handstands and backflips. I remember having quality time with my family, even when they were my teachers.

I remember Mum's favourite words becoming 'Hey, I've got an idea...'

Instead of 'Maybe later or tomorrow I'm a bit busy'.

I remember making our own bread and pastry, growing our own vegetables and having fresh eggs from our new chooks.

I remember having a movie night three or four times a week instead of just one.

I remember we got to put our Christmas lights up in the middle of the year, just because we wanted to.

It was a horrible time for lots of people, you are right.

But I remember it differently."

Remember how our children will remember these times. Be in control of the memories they are creating right now so that despite all the awful headlines and emotional stories they will come to read in their future years, they can only actually remember the happy times.


At this time of need, we Rotarians have a great responsibility towards our family, our community, our country and, obviously, our world. Every Rotarian must have the right PERSPECTIVE, with an incredibly POSITIVE attitude and become much more PURPOSEFUL to take our responsibility seriously and make our lives more meaningful.


The world is clearly facing multifaceted crises: a health crisis, an economic crisis, a societal crisis, a racial crisis, an environmental crisis, and rising geopolitical tensions. All these are an opportunity for Rotary to serve to change lives; an opportunity for Rotary to be the catalyst between the haves and the have nots; a challenge for Rotarians to uphold our motto "Service above self".


August is Membership Month, which means it's time to celebrate our Rotary club, our members, and the good we do in our community and around the world. We have all been chosen at one time or the other for membership of this very fine institution, The Rotary Club of STRATHFIELD because of our introducers - like my good friend, Past President Arie Pappas, who introduced me to this club - believed in us to manifest those qualities of head and heart that fit us to interpret and impart the message of Rotary. They relied upon us to carry the principles and ideals of service that they inspired to those who shared our professional activity.


"Rotary takes ordinary men and women and gives them extraordinary opportunities to do more with their lives than they ever dreamed possible."   

Sir Clem Renouf, Past President of Rotary International


Yours in Rotary,


Thaya Ponnia    


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Last Update Tuesday August 24, 2021