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
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
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
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
I remember Mum's favourite words becoming 'Hey, I've got an
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.
ordinary men and women and gives them extraordinary opportunities to do more
with their lives than they ever dreamed possible."