Sunday, 15 March 2020

Rotaract - a vision of what Rotary must become

This week we featured two speakers - Nadine Mitchely (Incoming Rotaract President) and Cara Kotze, our Short Term Youth Exchange Scholar (STYE), who visited France in December last year.

Pres Judy opened the meeting (to our new seating layout) saying that March is the month we celebrate Rotaract in Rotary and read excerpts from RI President Mark Maloney's speech on Rotaract.

Pres Judy reading from RI President Mark Maloney's address on Rotaract
RI President Mark Maloney said that "March is the month we celebrate Rotaract.  Last Spring the Council on Legislation (CoL) elevated Rotaract in our Constitution.  RI is now the association of both Rotary and Rotaract Clubs.  Then in October, the Rotary Board eliminated the artificial Rotaract age limit and took other steps to break down barriers that are preventing Rotaract from growing in some parts of the world.  These steps were long overdue, because Rotaract is a vision of what Rotary must become.  Not only do we need to open our doors to our young colleagues, but we also have to open our ears and minds to the Rotary experience they find most engaging.

This is one of the best ways we will meaningfully grow Rotary.  Rotaractors provide the opportunity not only because they can transition to Rotary at the time that is right for them, but also because they understand what it will take to attract others like them. 

Ultimately it will be up to Rotaractors and young Rotarians to create new Club models that are most meaningful to the next generation"

Nadine Mitchely
Nadine (who has just recently been awarded her Masters in Strategic Management (Cum Laude) at UJ), spoke on the current status of the Club.

"We currently have 10 members, with 4 new members about to join.  Our membership is a diverse group with some from other countries in Africa. Our focus is on growing the Club to enable us to do more.  We have a joint project with Rtn Judy Symons at the Johannesburg Children's Home, where we are assisting Judy with the sorting of books for their Book Shop.  We also have a joint project with the Rotaract Club of Wits University on the Twilight Children's Home - a home for young boys where we have a need for clothing - all donations will be welcome.

We also will be assisting the Meriting Project with skills to assist their students and are also working with the Interact Club of the National School of the Arts.  We also plan to provide a New Dawn stand at the annual Jozi Book Fair to keep the legacy of the late Frayne Mathijs alive.

On a personal note I will also be taking up my Phd".  Nadine currently lectures at UJ.

From the top:  Cara Kotze speaking to Club on her experience in France; Cara with her school friends at the French school; Father Tiaan and Cara Kotze;  Loube's family who hosted Cara
Some of you will remember our incoming Rotary Exchange student, Loube Montcomble, who spoke to the Club last year.  She was hosted by the family of Cara Kotze, who recently returned from France after being hosted by Loube's family, and spoke to the Club on her experiences in a very cold french countryside. She spent 6 weeks in Northern France near Amiens with school hours (including the bus ride), from 6am to 6pm!  She learnt to become independent and to "take nothing for granted"!  She thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Rtn Hannes Dressler looking none the worse for wear after meeting Chancellor Angele Merkel in Angola as part of a business trip
Rotarians at Work:

Hannes Dressler gave feedback on his recent trip to Angola where he manned a SAP stand, marketing their involvement in a massive Gas Project; he said it was a great networking opportunity.

Paul Kasango gave us feedback on the relocation of the Jungle Gym from Woodside Sanctuary to Rays of Hope in Alexandria, a project facilitated by Rtn Paul Channon.  Mike MacDonald has referred Paul to a Landscaper who will assist in creating a garden in the space at Woodside.

Graham Donet announced that our next Youth Exchange student, Anya Brink, will be going to France at the end of the year and our second student, Felicity Kasango, will be going to Hungary.

From the top: Rev Nick Bell saying goodbye to the Club; our new table format; a reminder of the upcoming Golf Day at Wanderers (we still need prizes and 4-balls); our donation of Lego to the Johannesburg Children's Home
Please keep Robin Widdop, who has recently undergone a serious back operation, in your thoughts. We wish her a speedy recovery.


  • Please don't forget to keep a record of the hours and/or money spent on Rotary projects (no matter how small), since July last year to the end of February.  This can be volunteering, visiting other clubs, training, project meetings, etc.
  • We appeal for boy/men's clothing for the Twilight Home, a box will be available.
  • Easter Eggs for the 5 Cees, Johannesburg Children's Home and Woodside Sanctuary
  • Important dates:
    • 18 March: David Furniss (Frayne's son), Associate Professor, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Science, will be the guest speaker
    • 25 March: Ian Widdop will be setting goals on My Rotary for the 2020/21 Rotary year
    • 31 March: Board meeting
    • 1 April "April Fool's Pizza evening at the Club, 6.30 for 7pm - so NO meeting in the morning
    • 8 April - Meeting Cancelled
    • 15 April - Business meeting

Thought for week:  "We make a living by wat we get, but we make a life by what we give"  Sir Winston Churchill   1874 - 1965

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