Chairman Bill Hewett introduced Andy Graham by noting that he had been a member of RCWE for some years, including President in 2006-2007 and again in 2013-2014. He was presented with a Paul Harris Fellow Recognition in 2004-2005 and shared the first ever Dumesny Award with fellow member Darren Smith in 2009-2010. Both were based on Andy’s commitment to the supply of clean water to villages in Timor Leste.
Andy began by noting that RCWE involvement in Timor Leste began in 2004, thanks to the influence of Dr Noel Bayley and his wife Yve, who have both received PHFRs from the club in recognition of their work. Andy mentioned in passing that Dr Bayley had made 38 trips to TL over the years.
In March 2005, Andy along with Darren Smith (plumber) & John Taylor (electrician) carried out works at the Bakhita Medical Centre in Timor Leste. They found it difficult to obtain materials, but the Rotary Club of Darwin Sunrise were of great assistance.
Andy related several anecdotes relating to various trips and activities. He emphasised that a critical part of the work done was to train the local people to do the work, which means that they have the skills to carry out maintenance when ex-pats are not present.
Andy paid tribute to the enormous work done by our local contact, Eddie de Pina, PHFR, who co-ordinates all local activities.
He noted that RCWE has been involved in 14 projects in TL which have provided clean water to some 8000 people. Ready supply of water means that children don’t have to carry 
carry supplies from the nearest spring, allowing them to attend school regularly. Further, the women are freed of their water carrying duties, meaning more time to care for their families.
Also, a ready supply of water allows the construction of flush toilets which are of enormous benefit to all, and especially the women and girls.
Andy estimated that RCWE has so far contributed $42,000 to projects in TL.
He made reference to the fact that tanks are not available in TL, so they were made at his workplace in Warrnambool, dismantled and shipped to TL, where they were reconstructed. Andy also referred to the three large tanks from Port Fairy Hospital, which were disassembled by RCWE and RCPF, shipped to TL and rebuilt in three different locations.
Once some infrastructure matters are resolved, another very large (270K litre) tank will be available for disassembly and reconfiguration to three smaller tanks for shipment to TL. Our assistance will be requested at that time.
As Andy indicated, the story of RCWE involvement in TL could have gone on for much longer.
Bill thanked Andy for his address and his work in TL, all of which was greeted with generous applause.