Monday, 21 January 2019

Ten Years On, New Dawn Rocks

It was a double celebration on Sunday when we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the induction of The Rotary Club of Johannesburg into the Rotary International family on 20 January 2009. Sunday was also the birthday of Peter James Smith, a founder member and second president of New Dawn, who turned a lot more than 10 years old!
     The year started with a bang with a braai under the trees on the front lawn of Tower Lodge, one of our guest houses in Auckland Park.
Peter James Smith sparkled on Sunday
     Peter and his wife, Jean, were amongst the guests at the lunch where PDG Jankees Sligcher complimented New Dawn for notable achievements over the past two years, not the least of which was delivering a District Governor in the person of Jankees himself. He could not have done it without the wholehearted support of the club, he said.
     Graham Donet toasted the club and reminisced about the early days in the months leading up to 20 January 2009 when he, Peter, Don Lindsay, Arthur Begley and Paul Kasango met at the then Wellington's Restaurant in Parkview before the formal induction with 19 members.
The gathered guests at the long table at Tower Lodge were treated to perfect weather, perfect food and lots of wine and other drinks
A smiling trio of Kasangos; Susan, Paul and Felicity enjoying the sunshine
Amina Frense with husband Ronnie Kasrils and Julian Nagy
Carl Chemaly brought wife Jacquie and their two sons, Dan and Joe along
PDGA Margie and PDG David Grant and Brenda McCallum were amongst the guests
Adriaen Sligcher and Abi Barrell were guests this time, but both have pledged to become members. They're having a baby and getting married in this year.
Julian and Debbie Nagy were also there
Graham and Joan Donet enjoying the lunch
Nick and Carol Stier enjoying the company
     Now that the festivities are over, it is time to start looking forward to the second half of the Rotary year, one that promises to be as busy as the previous six months.
     We started off with a seminar on our NPO/PBO/CSI status given by PDG Grant Daly in Midrand and attended by Jankees Sligcher, Linda and me and Julian Nagy.
     We gained valuable insights into the process and, as Julian reported to the meeting last week, have ascertained that our next step is to apply for PBO status. To do this, we have to accept amended club bylaws, which will be done at the first meeting in February, a business meeting that will double up as a Club Assembly. The amendments must be passed with a two thirds majority of club members, so please try to be there.    
Helene Bramwell of The Mask Skin and Body Clinic in Parkview
     PBO status, which is basically an application for tax exemption from the SA Revenue Service, is compulsory for any organisation working within the welfare and charity sector, so this is a bullet we cannot dodge anymore.
     Julian and I will submit the application once the amendments for the bylaws have been approved.
The band of brothers (and one sister) at the seminar, from left to right are PDG Anton Meerkotter, Julian and myself and in the back are PDG David Grant, Jankees Sligcher and President Linda Vink
     Another task to kick off the year is our Global Grant, which has been approved but which will only be paid out once our bank accounts are in order (District 9400 has to feature in the name). This will be done soonest while Ian Widdop recuperates at home from what sounds like rather painful surgery.
     The first meeting of the year was a business meeting, lightened up by the presence of Helene Bramwell, owner of The Mask Skin and Body Clinic in Parkview. Helene has expressed interest in the goings on at the club and who knows, we might be able to persuade her to become a member.
Simona Flavio is thinking of joining
     We added five new members after July last year and already have a few more waiting in the wings, like Adriaen Sligcher and Abi Barrell and a friend of theirs, Simona Flavio, who was also at the lunch on Sunday. David Marshall, who has promised to attend the meeting next week, is another prospective member, as is Dale Fortuin. Both of them were brought to the club by Mike MacDonald. It would be a massive coup if we could add another five members before the end of June.
Carol Stier with the Rotary International logo for next year
     Watch out for a Rotary Minute at every meeting from Carol Stier, who kicked off this reinstated regular last week by introducing the incoming RI president and his new logo and slogan: Rotary Connects the World.
Steve and Jenine donating books at Paternoster
     Thanks also to Steve du Plessis and Jenine Coetzer for once again donating books from the Rotary Humanitarian Distribution Centre to the St. Augustine's School in Paternoster along the West Coast.

Money in the Bank
     The fundraising events at the end of last year were highly successful and we were able to bank R70000 from the Golf Day, R25000 from the Christmas dinner and almost R11000 from our efforts at Winex.
     Next up is the Bridge Drive on Thursday, 14th March, which could bring us close to a total of R150000.
     We're also looking forward to a busy speaker schedule in the coming months and many ideas were tossed around at the lunch on Sunday, the ideal setting for some creative thinking.
Yvonne Chaka Chaka has offered to speak at a meeting
     One possibility is an old friend of the club, the singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who coincidentally attended a seminar at one of our guest houses this week and who has promised to come and speak to us again.
     Yvonne is well known for her charity work and has been a good friend to Rotary and more specifically to New Dawn, over the years.
Please sir, can I have some more ... of Graham Donet's delicious trifle, says Peter James Smith
     The blog ends as it began this week, with Peter James Smith, who will be our speaker at the meeting this week. Peter is now a member at the Rosebank club and spent many years in radio journalism as an expert on a wide range of matters, notably food, drink and religion (not necessarily in that order). It promises to be an interesting talk.
     A Thought for the Year Ahead: Many people die at twenty-five and aren't buried until they are seventy-five. - Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

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