Thursday, 28 October 2021

A Visit to Copessa in Soweto

New Dawn outings are always fun and the visit to Copessa on Wednesday was no exception. A group of about 20 Rotarians and friends braved the trip to Protea Glen in Soweto to experience at first hand the work being done there.

As with Donate a Loo, the focus is now fully on applying for global grants for these two worthy causes, before the end of the year if at all possible.

                           The visiting group in front of the Copessa offices

A committee is being set up for each of the projects and Carol Stier will oversee the writing of the global grant application for Copessa, with Julian Nagy in the same role for Donate a Loo. The champions of the two causes, chiefly Helene Bramwell and Adele Dabbs for Donate a Loo and Karlien Kruger and Gavin Atkins for Copessa, will also be involved.

There's a Foundation committee meeting tomorrow to map out the way forward. Exciting developments indeed.

The purpose of the visit to Soweto was to try to get to grips with what exactly the global grant application should be aimed at. What do Copessa need funding for most of all and why?

                            Dr Nobs Mwanda of Copessa

Dr Nobs Mwanda, CEO of Copessa, motivated a skateboard park, built by the community as a place to attract young people, especially young boys, where they can be engaged on the ills of child abuse and gender based violence on their own level and where they can be taught useful skills in the construction of the park. And hopefully where future Olympian skateboarders are fostered.

The skateboard park would be on a part of a piece of land over the road from the Copessa offices in Protea Glen, one of the more modern suburbs of Soweto. The whole piece of land could also be developed further for the community, Dr Nobs said.

           Ian Widdop with Gavin and Stefania Atkins in Soweto

This land is also close to the Protea Glen Primary School, where Copessa already runs a successful vegetable garden.

Dr Nobs said there is a lack of safe places for kids to play and teenage boys with whom Copessa is in contact are very keen on getting involved in building a skateboard park. Skateboarding featured in the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in July for the first time and is gaining in popularity all over the world. She pointed out that skateboard parks have been used successfully in many parts of the world such as India and the USA in poverty stricken areas.

            Dr Nobs Mwanda with Rotarians Paul Kasango and Jankees Sligcher

A similar project was recently undertaken by the Rotary Club of Hout Bay in the shanty town there.

Dr Nobs said a skateboard park would be a vehicle they could use to change behaviour (including drugs and alcohol abuse) by involving the community.

"We're asking you to plant a seed. They (the children) will help it to germinate and grow," she said.

             Graham Donet and me at the Coppessa offices

She emphasised throughout that Copessa is not looking for a handout to build the facility, but a partner to join them in the process of establishing a viable safe place for victims and potential victims of abuse and family based violence; and a teaching place where such behaviour can be prevented and the cycle of violence broken.

                The picnic last year at Marks Park

The visit marked the last of the October meetings over which I presided and PDG Jankees Sligcher will take over in running the meetings in November. 

That means that the year is now rapidly drawing to a close, with only one meeting scheduled for December.

The second Wednesday in December is on 8 December and Marks Park has agreed to host us for a Christmas picnic on that date, as we did last year.

They will allow us to bring our own picnic baskets and use the verandah and the lawn in front of it, but all drinks must be bought from the bar. We had a raffle and auction last year and no doubt there'll be more of the same this year, but please come with more ideas to make it a fun afternoon/evening and a fitting end to a great Rotary year.

Meetings will start again on 12 January 2022.

A Thought for the Week: Give neither counsel nor salt till you are asked for it. - Italian proverb

Saturday, 23 October 2021

A Club Meeting With the DG

How many Past District Governors does it take to introduce one District Governor? Well, we had two at the meeting on Wednesday in the form of PDG Eric Kimani (D9200) from Kenya and our very own PDG Jankees Sligcher (D9400).

PDG Eric apparently had a hand in persuading our District Governor, Dr Stella Anyangwe, to make herself available for the position to serve District 9400 this year, as did PDG Jankees, who in his introduction revealed that DG Stella had been up as 2.30 that morning to address a school in New York on Tutu desks, amongst other things.

In his introductory remarks PDG Eric, of the Rotary Club of Muthaiga North and a Rotarian for 33 years, said Rotary is for him a passion. It is also a school of discipline in work and in life; it is enlightenment, a community of friends, amongst whom he counts DG Stella and PDG Jankees and many others. It is an opportunity to be a citizen of any country in the world, a network like no other, a retirement package, a school of leadership and of public speaking.

Most of all, it has taught him the value of service above self, he said.

      District Governor Stella Anyangwe addressing the club on Zoom

In her address to the club, DG Stella quoted RI President Shekhar Mehta's theme for the year: Serve to Change Lives. This doesn't only mean to change the lives of others, she said, but of ours as well.

RI President Shekhar, a Rotarian for the past 36 years and from the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar,  has stated his three main aims for his year and has a pithy slogan for each one.

The first is to grow Rotary, pointing out that when he was a young Rotarian, Rotary had 1,2 million members. DG Stella said when she joined Rotary ten years later, Rotary still had 1,2 million members. The current membership is also about 1,2 million.

                                   RI President Shekhar Mehta, a man of many slogans

Rotary is like a revolving door, DG Stella said; many join, but many also leave for various reasons such as attrition, death and often disenchantment.

"We're told people only hear about dues after they've joined a club. How is that possible?" she said, adding that a thorough fireside chat is a very important part of the recruitment process.

RI President Shekhar's slogan of Each One Bring One would double the Rotary membership, but perhaps more realistically D9400 asks of each club to grow by just 2 members this year. D9400 membership was less than 1200 in June, but has since grown by 80, so that a membership of over 1300 by June next year looks like a real possibility.

           PDG Eric Kimani on screen

The second aim of the RI President is Giving to the Rotary Foundation and DG Stella emphasised that money for the Rotary Foundation comes from Rotarians; Rotary doesn't have mines or factories to generate income.

His slogan of Give More to Do More to Grow More should resonate with every Rotarian. "The more money we give, the more we will get done," DG Stella said, pointing out that there are more than 20 clubs in D9400 with fewer than 10 members.

"The more people see us doing things, the more they would like to join Rotary," she said.

"People seem to freak out when they hear the D-word; Dollars, but the expectation of the Every Rotarian Every Year plan where each Rotarian contributes $100 to the Foundation each year, is not a very onerous one. Fundraising funds can be used for this (as New Dawn does), clubs can hold special fundraising events for their contribution, or ask members to pay it themselves."

"If you don't have $100, then at least give something. We don't want non-giving clubs in D9400," she said.

                      Adele Dabbs, Helene Bramwell and Jankees Sligcher with a Tutu desk

"The third aim is to increase the impact of service projects across the world and the slogan is: Dream Big. This has led to the introduction of Projects of Scale (with a grant of $2 million) that will potentially affect thousand of people or, as in the case of the D9210 with their malaria campaign, millions. Only one of these is available per year" DG Stella said.

In echoing PDG Eric, DG Stella said it is up to clubs to make Rotary a fun experience with the slogan: Enjoy Rotary.

Added to his 3 aims are 3 initiatives that the RI President is passionate about, DG Stella said. The first of these is to empower girls; the second is a series of 6 presidential conferences all over the world and the third is to showcase Rotary by setting aside 23 February next year where clubs can go out and tell the world about Rotary.

One of the Presidential conferences will be in Maputo, Mozambique on 4 and 5 March next year. RI President Shekhar will attend personally. 

She said her District Conference is planned for 16 - 19 June next year at Bela Bela.

Meeting next week: Please follow the messages on WhatsApp to find out about the visit to Copessa in Soweto next Wednesday (27 October). We will meet at Parkview at 10h15 on Wednesday to travel to Protea Glen, Soweto, together. This takes the place of the normal meeting, so THERE WILL BE NO MEETING EITHER IN PERSON OR ON ZOOM AT 7AM.

A Thought for the Week: Be humble for you are made of Earth. Be noble for you are made of stars. - Serbian proverb

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Sweet Success for the Golf Day

It was records all round at the Johannesburg New Dawn Golf Day at the Wanderers on Friday and no doubt quite a few headaches the following morning too.

Yes, there were a few hiccups, but overall it was the most successful Golf Day New Dawn has ever had, not bad for a club without an overabundance of corporate contacts.

A full costing still has to be done, but total income was more than R150 000 and total payment to the Wanderers (for green fees, the halfway house meals and pizza supper) less than R50 000, in other words across the board about R30 000 more than our previous best Golf Day at the end of 2019, before Covid.

    Adele Dabbs with the raffle winner, Hanlie Jacobs, who won a week at Adele's fabulous beach house in St Francis

There were many winners on the day, not the least of them Hanlie Jacobs, who won the raffle prize of a week for eight people in Adele Dabbs's beach house in St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape, worth R24 000. Lucky her, it is a truly wonderful house in a truly wonderful village.

The raffle netted more than R50 000 thanks to great efforts by a number of people, like Adele Dabbs, Helene Bramwell,  Linda Vink, Sarah de La Pasture, who sold for well over R6 000, and Nola Ostle, who netted more than R3 000.

More than a dozen club members helped with selling raffle tickets by taking lists home and selling to friends, family and contacts. 

    Helene Bramwell, Adele Dabbs and Linda Vink with a very happy Paul Channon

The second raffle prize, the wheelbarrow of booze, was won by a very chuffed Paul Channon, who said he never wins anything at all. He did this time and will no doubt have a very merry Christmas this year. Paul had eyes only for the booze in the barrow and has donated the wheelbarrow itself to the club to be used at the next Golf Day, no doubt in March next year.

The aim with the Golf Day was to collect the equivalent of at least $5000, or about R75 000 to help with applying for a global grant for Donate a Loo and that we've definitely achieved.

                                           As easy as 1-2-3; Dave Marshall with the bucket of balls

There were many Herculean efforts on the day. Dave Marshall raised almost R2 500 out on the course with his umbrella and bucket of balls, where golfers had to guess how many balls there were in the bucket. Two people guessed correctly: 123.

A number of members helped on the day: Helene Bramwell, Adele Dabbs, Judy Sligcher, Carol Stier,  Linda Vink, Karlien Kruger, Wendy Challis, Nola Ostle, Jennie Lobel and Sarah de La Pasture were tireless, organising and cajoling and making sure things went smoothly while Mike MacDonald organised his 27 four balls, also a record number of golfers (108) after one or two dropped out at the last minute.

Helene and Adele also contributed the lion's share of the about R25 000 we had in hole sponsorships, far more than we've ever had before.

    A winning team ... Sarah de La Pasture and Karlien Kruger manning the registration/raffle ticket desk
      Dave Marshall relaxing after his day in the sun with myself and Hannes Dressler
                                PDG Jankees Sligcher at the presentation
                                 Karlien Kruger with our mutual granddaughter, Julia Kruger, who came for
                              a visit with her parents, with PDG Jankees Sligcher

There were many compliments on the quality and sheer volume of prizes, something that should lure many of the golfers back to our future Golf Days. Many thanks to everyone who contributed so generously.

By the way,  Hannes Dressler arrived at the Wanderers with good news; he and his family will be staying in South Africa for another year at least, to allow for time to plan his next posting properly.

Speaker: District Governor Stella Anyangwe will be the speaker at the meeting bright and early tomorrow morning after meeting with the council/board last week.

Next week: There'll be a site meeting with Copessa in Protea Glen in Soweto at 11.30 am next Wednesday, 27 October. There will be no ordinary meeting at 7am that morning.

Friday, 10 December will be set aside for the Christmas/Festive function which will probably be in the form of an outdoor picnic at Marks Park again as we did so successfully last year. That will mark the closing of the Rotary year and the first meeting in the new year will be on Wednesday, 12 January.

A Thought for the Week: A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience. - Miguel de Cervantes (1547 - 1616)

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Green Shoots of Recovery

Her primary objective as HM Trade Representative for Africa was to promote UK trade with Africa, to support trade and investment and to expand business between the Uk and the African continent, said Emma Wade-Smith OBE, the speaker at the meeting last week.

Emma is wrapping up her job here after five years in South Africa and will soon be moving to New York as British trade representative in North America and UK consul-general in New York.

     Emma Wade-Smith addressing the meeting

She thoroughly enjoyed her time in South Africa, but Covid threw up many challenges, she said. Before March 2020 her job consisted to some degree in receptions, breakfasts and other less formal gatherings. Covid changed all that and she and her team were faced with the real challenge of trying to contact people all over Africa to put them in touch with British business leaders and potential investors.

She said the UK government has been working hard to promote free trade agreements all over the world post-Brexit and emphasises a strong development angle to the free trade programmes involving Afric.

"Trade instead of Aid has has become a strong mantra," she said.
    Emma discussing trade matters with Nola Ostle, Paul Kasango and Jankees Sligcher

South Africa is the UK's largest trading partner in Africa, but Covid has slashed trade levels by almost two thirds. The UK has invested some £50 million in Africa, while South Africa has investments of about £3,5 million in the UK. South Africa ranks 27th largest trade partner of the UK.

Africa is in recession for the first time in a generation because of Covid, but "we're starting to see some green shoots of recovery. There are really exciting possibilities" for trade between the UK and Africa, she said.

"It has been an enormous privilege to have lived and worked in this beautiful country."

    Gavin Atkins, Amina Frense, Sean Schoombie, Helene Bramwell, Olivia Schoombie, Linda Vink, Janice Atwell, Wendy Challis and Nola Ostle formed one of the groups at the assembly

The week started off with a club assembly on Saturday, attended by about half the club's members. Club assemblies are held three to four  times a year and are meant to give the club an opportunity to consider the broader picture about where the club is going.

President Ian Widdop divided those attending into three groups and each considered three questions: what is working, what is not working and what, if anything, would you change about the club.

This led to some heated exchanges and some very interesting perspectives. A group of six people, two from each group, will take the discussion forward with Ian.

Upcoming meetings: The meeting tomorrow morning will be about the prospect of applying for global grants for Copessa and Donate a Loo and the final arrangements for the Golf Day on Friday.

The District Governor, Stella Anyangwe of the Rotary Club of Pretoria West, attended the monthly New Dawn council meeting on Tuesday morning. DG Stella will be the main speaker at the meeting next week, 20 October.

A visit to Copessa is planned for the meeting on 27 October, most likely for later in the morning than 7am. Karlien Kruger will give us the details.

And finally, good luck to those taking on the Rotary Club of Rosebank in a quiz tomorrow evening. They beat us last time out, so there's a sweet smell of revenge in the air. Carol Stier has the details.

A Thought for the Week: Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. - H.G. Wells (1866 - 1946)

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Green Gold Could Save South Africa

Hydrogen has an enormous potential to be the main source of power in the future to replace power generated with fossil fuels like coal and petroleum, the cause of much of the global warming that the earth is experiencing.

South Africa is in a unique position to capitalise on the rapidly developing use of electrolysers to split hydrogen from oxygen in water to "harvest" the hydrogen. South Africa has a rich source of sunshine to use solar power for the process and also a rich supply of platinum, which is used to keep the two elements separate. Much of the expertise needed is already available at Sasol.

                       Lael Bethlehem and Babette Gallard

There are other countries, especially in North Africa and the Middle East, which are equally well placed to capitalise on these developments, which means the time to act is now, said Lael Bethlehem, our speaker at the meeting this week.

She was suggested as a speaker by Babette Gallard.

Lael is an investment executive at Hosken Consolidated Investments, and has been involved in the development of Karoshoek Solar One, a solar power project in the Northern Cape which feeds power to Eskom. HCI is a part owner of Karoshoek.

She said although there have been many breakthroughs in developing the technology required for the process, especially in the past five years, energy from hydrogen still costs about three times as much as that generated by fossil fuels.

Set-up costs to build plants are, however, already lower than that of coal generating plants and the market for so-called green hydrogen is developing rapidly in the shipping and aviation spheres, which will serve to bring the cost down. Much research is also being done in the automotive industry.

                               Paul Kasango with Nola Ostle
In the meantime arrangements for the Golf Day on Friday, 15 October at the Wanderers Golf Course, are proceeding and the field of about thirty 4-balls is filling up rapidly.

Quite a few members have been helping with selling raffle tickets, amongst them Linda Vink, Nola Ostle, Joan Donet, Sam Devernieul, Helene Bramwell, Janice Angove, Amina Frense, Judy Symons and Adele Dabbs. More than R15 000 has been collected thus far and there will be more selling attempts over the weekend and on the day.

Adele has donated a week at her holiday home in St Francis Bay as the main raffle prize and that seems to be attracting a lot of interest.

The organising committee, led by Mike MacDonald, has asked for more contributions for prizes and leads for sponsorships. It costs from R2000 to sponsor a hole where the sponsors can advertise by putting up banners, etc. The committee has also asked each member to sell one raffle sheet.

The funds raised will be used as seed money for Donate a Loo in applying for a Global Grant.

Another fun fundraising initiative was highlighted by Julian Nagy, who paid a welcome visit to the club with his daughter, Paula and her fiancé, Nick.

This is the Power of Pennies initiative, where participants each contribute R100 a month, which gets put into a kitty for a quarterly draw where the winning number gets half the uptake - the balance goes into  club funds. To encourage members and their family and friends, a minimum of R5 000 has been set as the prize in the first draw.

This will be on 1 December at a function still to be announced, so sign up and join in the fun. Sarah de la Pasture has all the details.

Important dates: On Saturday from 9 - 12 there is a club assembly at Twickenham Guest House in Auckland Park, a meeting to discuss the way forward for the Rotary Club of Johannesburg New Dawn. Please join us!

Club assemblies are compulsory for clubs and all members are urged to join and give input on the direction the club will be taking over the next few years.

The assembly will start at 9 am and hopefully be finished in time for the rugby at noon. The venue is Twickenham Guest House at 66 Twickenham Ave, Auckland Park. There is safe parking and the entrance is in Greenlands Road just around the corner from Twickenham Ave.

                                 Emma Wade-Smith OBE, the speaker next week

On Tuesday at 7 am the club council will be meeting on Zoom with the District Governor, who every year meets with the leadership of all clubs in the district as part of their duties.

The speaker at the meeting on Wednesday is Emma Wade-Smith, the first ever Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Africa, representing the UK Government's Department for International Trade.

Emma, who has been in South Africa since 2016, will be speaking on trade relations between the UK and Africa. She'll be introduced by Nick Bell from the UK.

A Thought for the Week: Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then neither does milk. - John Wayne (1907 - 1979)


Thursday, 23 September 2021

Heritage Food More Than Just Boerewors

If you think South African heritage food consists of bobotie, boerewors and malva pudding, you need to broaden your horizons, Hillary Biller, food editor of the Sunday Times, told the meeting this week.

The newspaper's Lifestyle section featured South African chefs this past weekend who each spoke about their favourite South African dish and their choices are very different from the above three examples.

Hillary told the club than until fairly recently traditional African food had never been properly documented and there have been very few cookbooks that reflect these recipes. This is all changing.

                      Old friends ... Helene Bramwell introduced Hillary Biller at the meeting

The popular foodie Zola Nene, originally from KwaZulu-Natal-Natal, featured lamb chops in her dish of lamb chops (very traditional South African fare) with isigwamba (mealie meal with spinach) and chakalaka.

Anel Potgieter, food editor at Rapport, is a Vrystaatse meisie who loves melktert (who doesn't!) She chose curried tripe and trotters as her heritage dish of choice and the photograph features on the front page of the Lifestyle section. It's not for the faint-hearted.

Mopani worms from Venda are also not and obvious choice for many diners, although those who've tried these easy snacks swear by them. They feature in the dish created by chef Lufuno Sinthumule of mopani worms wrapped in sweet potato strips and served with an avocado dip. Avos are of course plentiful in the northern provinces.

                  New recipe books reflect the changes in mainstream South African and African cuisine

Carrying on with the theme of a rainbow cuisine, Verushka Ramasami, a lecturer in tourism and hospitality, features samp and beans Durban style, which obviously means the addition of the spices traditionally used in curry dishes.

Mokgadi Itsweng, author of the book Veggilicious, features dikgobe sorghum grain, a heritage food, with cowpeas in her recipe, which she claims is the origin of samp and beans.

The celebrated chef, food historian and author Cass Abrahams, now retired, doesn't really like the term Cape Malay food and rather talks about African food infused with dishes from other countries.

                  Delicious looking Rex Union marmalade

To round off her talk Hillary shared some interesting facts and trivia about a number of other typically South African foods like rooibos, Ouma rusks, Mrs Balls chutney, peppermint crisps and Durban bunny chow.

She also told how the South African Slow Food movement had been instrumental in saving the 50 or so remaining Rex Union orange trees in the vicinity of Hunter's Rest near Rustenburg and then held a draw for club members for three recipe books (pictured above) and three jars of her own home made Rex Union Marmalade, said by aficionados like Graham Donet, Ian Widdop and Adele Dabbs to be the best in the world.
                   Sarah de La Pasture, Helene Bramwell and Adele Dabbs at the meeting

Carrying on with the theme of food, Brendon Martens said in an update on the seedling project that the Urban Agriculture Initiative has visited about a dozen urban farming projects proposed by Rotary and given advice on how to grow and water the seedlings being grown at the National School of Art site in Braamfontein.

Three of these sites have so far put in orders for seedlings, despite the fact that they are very well priced. About 15 000 seedlings are growing at the moment out of a capacity of 90 000, meaning that the uptake has been relatively slow.

                   Lucille Blumberg at Parkview Golf Club

Lucille Blumberg reported that the country is now moving out of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, but that it is up to all of us to prevent a fourth wave, expected around December.  This will only happen if enough people get vaccinated before the traditional Christmas holiday gatherings and if people keep to  masking, sanitising and social distancing, she said.

She said that despite there being a plentiful supply of vaccines, the vaccination rate is still not high enough.

"We need to get the economy back and we need to get tourists back," she said.

                                    Joan Donet, Linda Vink and Helene Bramwell selling raffle tickets

Golf Day: The first session selling raffle tickets outside Parkview Spar last Saturday was a success, with Linda Vink and Joan Donet being joined from time to time by other club members, most notably Nola Ostle and her friend Grace, Amina Frense and Helene Bramwell, in selling more than R4 000 worth of tickets.

There'll be more ticket sales tomorrow and Saturday from 9 - 12am and volunteers are welcome to come and join in, even if it is just for a while.

Power of Pennies: The first draw, with a first prize of R5 000, which will help no end with your Christmas shopping, for this fun fundraiser will be held on Wednesday, 1 December. If you haven't joined yet, get moving by contacting Sarah se La Pasture, who'll register you and explain how  you can pay your R100 a month.

Next Week: The speaker is Lael Bethlehem, who'll be speaking on the hydrogen economy, a global movement using hydrogen as a low-carbon energy source to eventually replace fossil fuels.

A Thought for the Week: If moderation is a crime, then indifference is a fault. - Jack Kerouac (1922 - 1969)

Thursday, 16 September 2021

The Shattered Dreams of Abused Kids

Instead of talking about herself and her career as other members have done over the past few months, Karlien Kruger opted to use her turn at the microphone at the meeting this week to bring the club up to date with developments at Copessa, the NGO tackling child abuse and gender based violence in Soweto that she has been consulting with for the past more than two years.

Karlien estimates that she and fellow club member Gavin Atkins have done the equivalent of R335 000 worth of consulting for Copessa (Community-Based Prevention and Empowerment Strategies - South Africa) led by the inspiring medical doctor Dr Nobs Mwanda.

Copessa deals with the aftermath of violence against children and child abuse, and more recently gender based violence, and attempts to prevent conditions that can lead to violence.

Karlien and Gavin's efforts have revolved around putting proper administrative structures and practices in place to help the organisation to run more smoothly and enable it to concentrate on projects and fundraising.

These projects include a soccer league designed to keep mostly young boys off the streets and transforming dumps where children are often in danger, into play areas, a holiday schooling programme, a library unit, a sewing project for women and health parks, amongst many other efforts.

When the successive lockdowns started at the end of March last year, Copessa also set up a feeding scheme distributing food parcels and have started a garden project for food security to address poverty. This has been so successful that they are already supplying the local Pick n Pay with fresh vegetables.

                                  Dr Nobs Mwanda

These are all major achievements given that raising funds for all their efforts has become more and more difficult over the past almost two years, something that we at the Rotary Club of Johannesburg New Dawn know only too well.

With the work that they are doing, Copessa is a prime candidate for a Global Grant (along with Donate a Loo), something which President Ian Widdop will be addressing over the next few months with input from club members at a Global Grant meeting for which we've set a Wednesday meeting aside during October.

                                   Hannes Dressler

Hannes Dressler told the club that by next month he and  his wife Katya will have been in South Africa for three years. They're unfortunately leaving South Africa at the end of the year as Hannes's contract with SAP in South Africa has expired and he'll be deployed elsewhere, although he doesn't know where yet.

Hannes told how he'd seen the New Dawn sign up at the Parkview Golf Club soon after arriving in the country and decided to pay the club a visit. A hearty Guten Morgen! from Graham Donet and a genuine greeting from fellow German Frank Odenthal, who has since left the club, sealed the deal for him and he joined soon afterwards.

Hannes had met Katya when he moved to Moscow where she was HR head at KPMG and introduced him to the company and country. He says although they were expecting a posting in Europe, America or other similar places he was given the option of China, India or South Africa.

They were sent on a scouting tour of South Africa and both immediately decided this is where they wanted to be.

He said South Africa is in many ways similar to Moscow, where you have to be a member of the inner circle, whether in the country, in your community or club to be anyone. Rotary has, however taught him that the more open you are as a club or community, the better ideas you get and the more creative you can be.

                                   The poster for the New Dawn Golf Day raffle first prize

Hannes also pledged 4 bottles of the finest whisky from the Bottega Café Whisky Club in Parkhurst as a first prize for the Golf Day coming up on Friday, 15th October, as well as a case of wine.

The Golf Day is in aid of Donate a Loo, the other project in which New Dawn is involved for which the process of applying for a global grant has started.

These two projects will have to find an overseas sponsor club and New Dawn would also have to contribute. As mentioned, Karlien and Gavin for Copessa and Helene and Adele at Donate a Loo will be involved with President Ian in identifying the specific projects, the overseas contributors and the writing of the final proposal.

Time will be set aside, probably during the second club meeting in October, for members to join in the discussion.

Dates to Diarise: This Saturday and the following one we'll be selling raffle tickets for the Golf Day at the Spar in Parkview. Contact Linda Vink (082 782 4628) if you want to volunteer to help.

The meeting next week will be a morning meeting and not an evening one as originally planned. The speaker will be Hillary Biller, food editor at the Star, talking about heritage food.

The meeting the week after (29 September) marks the DG visit to New Dawn.

There'll be a club assembly at Twickenham Guest House in Auckland Park on Saturday, 2nd October.

The New Dawn Golf Day, in aid of Donate a Loo, is on Friday, 15 October at the Wanderers Golf Club.

A Thought for the Week: The purpose of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. - Henry Miller (1891 - 1980)