Monday, 11 February 2019

Three Aussies Tackle South Africa

There was a great turnout at the meeting last week to provide a quorum (two thirds of the membership) to change the club bylaws in line with the requirements of an application for Public Benefit Organisation status.
     This entails an application to the South African Revenue Service for tax exemption, which is in process and the application will hopefully be lodged fairly soon in line with what other clubs in the district are doing.
Ringing in the changes ... Julian Nagy explaining the procedure

     Julian Nagy explained the procedure to the members and the changes were voted in by a show of hands and duly minuted.
     PBO status will allow Johannesburg New Dawn to operate within set SARS guidelines without having to pay taxes on the proceeds of our fundraising.
     Most of the rest of the meeting was taken up by a trio of Australian paramedics, in South Africa to receive training in their chosen field.
PDG Jankees Sligcher with the three Aussies, Damien Barfolo, Liam Flint and Phat Kevin Nguyen
     They explained the difference between paramedics as practised in their home country and in South Africa. Predictably the main theme was that the Aussies are orderly, everybody obeys the rules and the South African situation is chaotic.
     With about 200 road deaths annually in Australia compared with 160 in Cape Town alone in December, that is hardly surprising.
Damien Barfolo is a member of the Rotaract club at Western Sydney University and the other two say he, true to Rotary tradition, has put a bit of pressure on them to also join
     They said the most surprising to them was that road users don't bother giving way to ambulances and other emergency vehicles in crisis situations and drivers often become abusive. This obviously includes minibus taxi drivers.
     In Australia their work is more about treating medical conditions and helping the elderly and sick, whereas in South Africa most of the work is about trauma and violence. In Australia Aids is almost unknown whereas South African paramedics are regularly exposed to HIV and other communicable diseases.
     There were a number of other visitors, amongst them prospective members. Helen Bramwell of The Mask paid a return visit while Nick Bell came for the last time in a while, as he and his wife are off for a holiday to Namibia before returning home to his retirement in Holt. He has promised to visit again the next time they visit their daughter in Greenside.
Tony and Carolina Reddy expressed an interested in joining Rotary
     Also there were Tony and Carolina Reddy, who said they're scouting clubs to see where they fir in prior to joining Rotary. We did our best to persuade them that they need look no further than New Dawn.
     Tony said they had decided to become involved in community work now that their children have become independent. They have three daughters and one grandchild and live in Birdhaven.
     Tony runs an investment company involved with technology and private investment and Carolina works at Standard Bank. They've been married for 25 years.
     Judy Sligcher's brother, Harman Gonggryp, was also a visitor while Tina and Kate Stucke attended as Kate is interested in becoming a paramedic.
Nosipho and Lipho Bekani
     The final two visitors were Nospiho Bekani and her daughter, Lipho, who attended to get to know Rotary a bit better. Zipho attended an interview for a stint as a short term Rotary exchange student after being interviewed by club members just before the last board meeting.
     Everyone agreed she'd make a ideal participant and we hope all goes well with her during the interviewing and matching process.
     Lipho is a Grade 11 student at Parktown Girls across the road from the golf course and could provide the motivation for the creation of an Interact club at the school.
Elvis Munatswa is the speaker on Wednesday
     The speaker this week has visited the club before and is a member of the Johannesburg North East club. He is a registered psychotherapist focusing, in his own words, on the wellness of individuals in corporates, families and in daily life.
     Elvis practices in the Westdene area. He has been through the Rotary mill, starting in Interact, moving up to Rotaract and now as a full-blooded Rotarian.
     Elvis says he hopes to popularise conversations that normalise mental health through seminars, radio and TV programmes.
     The theme of his talk will be overcoming depression in the modern world.
     A Thought for Valentine's Week: The best thing to hold onto in life is each other. - Audrey Hepburn (1929 - 1993)

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