With Christmas arriving all to fast and 2014 coming to a close, District Governor Gerard McMillan, reflects on the last six months of D9670. Having visited all of the Clubs far and wide across the District now, DG Gerard congratulates all clubs on their diversity and looks forward to an exciting 2015 of growth and fun...

 

As 2014 comes to an end I reflect on the past six months and these feet of mine have taken many steps but the highlights of my role as your District Governor has made every single step worth taking.

I am relieved to say that I have now visited all the clubs within my district. Each and every one has its own point of difference and this is demonstrated in the huge diversity in the projects undertaken in each area.

Every project is of great value and so important in their own right for example the "Hay Drive Cobar Project" by our Dubbo West Club of which I would like to make special mention. A massive 33 semi-trailer loads of hay was delivered with Rotarians from the area involved in that delivery and the additional catering for some 70 people on the day. This project is making a difference in the lives of struggling farmers, a practical concept and the result of Rotarians identifying a need and making an appropriate response. Congratulations to Dubbo West on this initiative. I ask you all to look around your communities, if there is a need ask yourself, if Rotarians can assist and make a difference in the lives of others.

2015 is shaping up to be a fantastic year in Rotary with many events that will take the ideals of Rotary out into our communities.

"Light Up Newcastle" is one such event. Yvonne and I encourage Rotarians, their families and their friends to be a part of this great occasion. The Singleton Ladies Probus Club happened to be meeting at Singleton Diggers Club when I received the information about this event. I took it into the meeting to share and by the end of the meeting the ladies had booked a bus to go. If this is any reflection on how our communities will react, this is certainly going to be a night that Rotary will shine the light on its great work and values.

To be held on the Newcastle Foreshore on February 21st, the event will mark the Chinese New Year and will see people walk along the foreshore carrying Chinese lanterns with dragon boats on the water similarly lit. It will be a spectacular sight with proceeds of the night to go to the Newcastle Mission to Seafarers Newcastle.

On March 7th, we will charter a new Rotary Club at Lake Macquarie and it is always a great celebration when a new club is chartered. This event will be held at Club Lake Macquarie at Argenton and I encourage Rotarians within the area to come and be a part of this great occasion. I acknowledge the diligence of Duncan Burck for making this happen.

Of course we have the upcoming conference which is really shaping up to be a hugely inspirational event. The Theme "Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity" has messages that will inspire us all. Without giving away too much, there will also be a special tribute to the centenary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli. Make sure you book early, especially your accommodation as I hear it is starting to book out. Remember, if you book before the end of December you will go in the draw for the chance to win a case of wine...so do it today.

This is an opportunity to hear from new initiatives and I would like to acknowledge my own club without being too self-focussed and the work of one of our relatively new members. Cathy Gee came up with the idea of a Santa Fun Run as part of our town's annual Christmas celebrations. Cathy owned the idea and put a tremendous amount of work into the event to ensure it was a great success and it was. No doubt it will continue for years to come.

Earlier this month Yvonne and I attended GETS and Institute in Wellington, New Zealand, with other district governors and 27 district governor elects from throughout Australia and New Zealand to help in their preparation for the international

conference in San Diego next year. It gives me great faith in human kind when you see the people who will carry the Rotary flag in the future.

May I leave you with some words to consider as you take a deep breath and forge ahead into 2015.

"There is no passion to be found in playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." (Nelson Mandela)

Yours in Rotary

Gerard McMillan