The Year That Was - President's Report 2021-22
2021-2022, what a year for our Club and our community, COVID19 driven distractions continued to impact on our day-to-day operation and still we “Carried On”. This ebbing and flowing of the Covid19 situation during this past year was even more disrupting than the previous year.
This year we had a new set of words enter our lives, Snap Lockdowns, hastily implemented at very short notice. We lost a large degree of certainty for forward planning due to the lingering threat of Snap Lockdown Restrictions. Face Masks, Social Distancing, Sanitizer and Snap Lockdowns did in fact become our new “normal”.
Despite all of these challenges and in fact because of these challenges, we have once again risen to the occasion and have had a successful year on many fronts.
Our regular weekly meeting attendances have remained strong, delivered both virtually via Zoom and Face to Face with a sensational array of speakers to entertain and inform our members and guests. We hosted District Governor John Clue where he shared a number of his experiences throughout his year as DG. We were also happy to host a visit from the RVFR (Recreational Vehicle Fellowship Rotarians Southern Region group) a lively bunch of caravan enthusiasts. A highlight meeting was a presentation by Rotarian Ken Hutt who was planning to paraglide off the summit of Mount Everest to raise awareness of the eradication of Polio throughout the world. Unfortunately, Ken’s mission to paraglide off the summit was unsuccessful due to the fact that he contracted pneumonia whilst attempting to reach the summit of Mt Everest for the flight. But the ”End Polio Now” banner was unfurled at the summit by members of his team and they all returned safely.
Fundraising:- Our club was very fortunate to receive a personal donation of $2,000 from Warrnambool surgeon and inventor Phillip Gan and his wife Ping. This donation was quickly allocated to a request from the Warrnambool and District Find Your Voice Collective for a Defibrillator machine to be available at all their activities.
Restrictions heavily impacted our fundraising efforts throughout this year with many planned activities being cancelled due to Snap Lockdowns.
Our BBQ equipment slumbered for quite some time this year. After a number of cancelled events we are now active, generating income, providing fellowship opportunities for both our members and our customers, at the same time raising our Club and Rotary’s profile within the community.
Once again, our marquee fundraising event the Annual Hole-In-One competition was a spectacular success. This year, the possibility of Snap Lockdowns created even greater uncertainty around running an uninterrupted month-long event in January. We went ahead with the planning and preparation with great optimism. Our sponsors were happy to support the event and our members like never before, rolled up their sleeves and enthusiastically supported the event contributing in excess of 1200 hours. This event is a club activity that requires a whole of club buy-in to successfully stage and we certainly got it. A special thanks to Chairman Peter Reeve and his Hole-In-One committee, our sponsors and our members. We are rightfully very proud of this event. Look for a more detailed report further in this Annual Report.
Again this year 2021-2022, we found ourselves in similar circumstances regarding uncertainties in fundraising possibilities and income expectations as last year. Therefore we used the same successful methodology in setting our committee budgets, where our committees were asked to set “Ghost” budgets framed in HOPE and with a ‘Local’ first approach in the event of projected fundraising income shortfalls.
Hope! applied to our events running, the success of these events and the levels of support we would receive. We were confident that if our events did run, they would provide community engagement, fellowship and promotional opportunities for our Club and Rotary.
THEY DID!. The events ran and were spectacularly successful, particularly considering the circumstances and challenges. This success enabled us to not only support all the budgeted items outlined in the following committee’s reports, as prepared by our Directors. It also gave us the ability with our members approval to support a number of additional requests that came our way, the Tongan Tsunami relief appeal, Australian Flood Relief, End Polio Now campaign, the Ukrainian War relief appeal and $9000 worth of blankets for people in our city who were in great need, to name a few. Our club is extremely pleased and proud to have generated these funds allowing us to respond and to provide this additional relief at very short notice.
Membership:- We began the 2021-2022 with a membership of 45 Active members and 1 Honorary member. Our club has experienced some movement across our membership with 4 inductions, 9 resignations (1 member Ian Heard, resigned and was immediately granted Honorary membership) and 2 deaths ending the year with 38 Active members and 2 honorary members.
We remember with sadness the passing this year of 2 distinguished and decorated Rotarians John Clarke and Ralph Ludeman, they are both missed greatly and will be remembered for their friendship, their service to our club, to Rotary and our community. We send our thoughts to their families.
Rotary 100 years in Australia celebratory project:- Our Club was proud to support two projects in conjunction with the other Warrnambool Rotary Clubs to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rotary in Australia.
One project was the purchase of 2 Personal Water Craft for close in-shore rescue from Torquay to Portland. This project has been completed with these craft housed in Warrnambool.
Our second supported program continues to be constructed. It is the creation of an Indigenous meeting place of cultural significance at Lake Pertobe in Warrnambool. This development containing paved areas with sculptures, totems and ground works incorporating indigenous plants and a curved stone seating area surrounding a metal bowl to be used for ceremonial purposes. It will be open to all and will be constructed on a small island within the Northern end of the Lake Pertobe area. This project is being funded by Rotary Clubs in Warrnambool, the Warrnambool City Council and the Victorian Government. We look forward to its completion and handover.
Dr John Birrell Award:- This is an initiative established by Rotarian Bill Hewett. This year’s recipient was Sgt. Darren Smart a highway patrol officer from Hamilton. Darren was a very entertaining speaker with a lively question time following. Darren donated the $2,500 award to the Hamilton Base Hospital towards the purchase of an MRI machine.
Anzac Day:- Our club laid a wreath at the Warrnambool War Memorial on Anzac day. Rotarian Noel Kenna and myself represented our club at the dawn service; it was indeed a privilege to be part of this important recognition.
Club Recognitions and award:- The Paul Harris Fellow Recognition and the Stewart Dumesny Award.
Once again we have four Paul Harris Fellow Recognitions, three members of our club and one member of our community. Details will be disclosed at the Changeover Dinner.
The Rotarian to receive the Dumesny Award this year will also be disclosed then.
Congratulations to all our worthy recipients, take pride in your recognition and the knowledge that the Foundation committee has chosen you to receive these prestigious awards.
The successes that have come out of this Rotary year are largely due to the efforts of all Club Members to contribute to the best of their abilities. You cannot ask more of anyone than to do their best whatever this is. When this happens, it creates marvelous results. 
Reflecting on this year 2021-2022 there have been many challenges and many great achievements that have exceeded even our own expectations. As Rotarians we are trusted by our communities and the individuals and organizations we deal with. This expectation of those around us, is one of many things that keep Rotarians grounded and focused.
We should never forget that this TRUST has been earned by Rotarians everywhere through our efforts and interactions. We should never underestimate what a valuable asset that trust is. We have all had examples of people overpaying for our services at BBQ’s and our Hole-In-One. They continually say “keep the change, we know what you do and we trust you”.       You cannot BUY this sentiment but you can EARN it.
We have been Nimble. We have been Flexible. We have been Determined. We have been United.
To our Board, What a crew! Thank you for your support and contribution throughout the year. We have had many items and situations to work through. Via Zoom our meetings continue to be conducted in a calm, considered and respectful manner, our board is very aware of its responsibility, keeping the wellbeing and continued effectiveness of our club is at the forefront of our decisions.
We have one retiring Board member. Glen Riddle is stepping down from the Community portfolio after a number of terms in this position. On behalf of everyone who has been helped through the work of Community thank you so much. Glen you have led Community very well indeed and you are handing over this portfolio to Tim McLeod in very good shape.
To Incoming President Greg Wood, I wish you all the best for your term. I know you will do a fantastic job, you have a great Board and a great Club and I know everyone will give you their full support.
  • Collin Brinkmann, again your guidance, your support and your friendship over the past 2 years has been most appreciated.
  • Ray Welsford the ‘guru’. You have always made time to discuss anything that has come up, and have always had an answer. You are amazing. Thank God, that this club has you.
  • To my wife Heather, you have been my main support, my counsellor, my P.A. I cannot thank you enough.
“SERVE TO CHANGE LIVES” was our guiding Mantra. We have certainly done this. Well done everyone, without you, it quite simply would not have happened.
Cliff Heath
President 2020-2021 & 2021-2022