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President Thaya's Message

28 July 2021



My fellow Rotarians and friends of Rotary

When I am out in public, I always try to smile at others. It's my way of reaching out to people who might need to see a friendly face. Most of the time, I get a genuine smile in return. But during this time when I am mandated to wear a facemask, I realised that people could no longer see my mouth, thus no one could see my smile. It is sad, but I'm not going to stop. Maybe they'll see in my eyes that I'm smiling. There's actually a bit of science behind that idea. The muscles from the corners of the mouth and the ones that make the eyes crinkle can work in tandem. It's called a
"Duchenne smile", and it has been described as "smiling with the eyes."

'Baby Steps' strategy
What am I trying to say here? We started this Rotary year with the lockdown and thought we would wait for some time to get our plans implemented. We developed our comprehensive strategic plan last year and thereafter prepared our strategic goals for this year. We also spent the last few weeks preparing our strategic implementation schedule. And now - whether there is lockdown or not - we have decided to execute our plans one by one and step by step. We are not going to wait for the pandemic to be over. In other words, although we can't show our mouths when smiling - we are going to smile with our eyes.

Rotary and COVID-19
COVID-19 has definitely brought the word "perspective" to the forefront for us all. Across Rotary's global network of clubs and its members, COVID-19 has placed us all in unprecedented territory. Far from life as normal, far from business as normal. Members and leaders at all levels of our organization are faced with decisions they have never believed they would encounter, and they are asking for guidance on how to deal with this global pandemic with regards to Rotary. As most of you will agree, vaccination is one of the ways to minimise the impact of this deadly Delta variant. In line with the stand taken by Rotary International which was also supported by our Rotary District - we, at the Rotary Club of Strathfield, are embarking on a project to use social media to campaign for the vaccination. Please refer to the Rotary International Publication regarding Rotary and the coronavirus impact (click)

What is our Club doing?
We have had very lively weekly Zoom meetings this month with interesting and informative guest speakers. Members' attendance was relatively high, and their engagement and enthusiasm was infectious. Whilst spending some time thinking of the opportunities, not just the challenges, we have already started working on a few programs. I have summarised a few activities below for the member's information

  • With the lengthy and productive board meeting on 12 July 21, we have all been busy planning our projects and events for the year.

  • Treasurer Rod, President-elect Andrew and I are working on new formats and templates to plan and perform well financially.

  • A few board members are already applying for district grants.

  • Secretary Nick is getting ready for our second board meeting on the 2nd of August 21.

  • We have already got a prospective member attending the last weekly meeting.

  • Club Service Director Arie and Program Chair Gulian are doing a good job getting great guest speakers. We would like all of you to suggest some good speakers. We can even have overseas or interstate guest speakers on Zoom.

  • Bulletin Editor Bradley is spending many hours on the bulletin as well as Raymond on social media. Please give information as much as possible for the bulletin, to make our bulletin more informative and interesting as our members have plenty of time to read during the lockdown.

Friends, no matter how we come together - online or face to face - we will continue to be members of a club where "service comes before self", always supporting each other, our local communities and the world.

Together, we will get through this challenging time. Stay healthy - and stay safe.

As always, in service above self!

Yours in Rotary,



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Last Update Wednesday July 28, 2021