The venue and the occasion were the first of many highlights of a year that had its challenges, but has proved to be a giant step on the upward curve that RCJND has embarked on over the past five or so years.
|Julian Nagy and Carol Stier both became Paul Harris Fellows at the induction|
This was followed by President Judy bestowing honorary membership of the club on Frayne Mathijs at her first club meeting as president at the Parkview Golf Club.
At the meeting on 21 August Hannes Dressler and Adele Dabbs were inducted as members.
|Dr Nobs Motjuwadi with the shattered wine glass|
She made such a great impact on Karlien Kruger that Kalien has been advising Copessa on how to run their operation more smoothly and has now even started the process of identifying a specific project with Copessa that can be used to leverage a Global Grant.
|Steve du Plessis and Jankees Sligcher welcome Spring|
September is also the time for the annual Jozi Book Fair and as she had done for the past few years, Frayne Mathijs set up stall there to tell as many people as would listen, all about Rotary, about New Dawn and about the Humanitarian Distribution Centre in Bedfordview where she spent so many hours sorting and choosing books for those who need them the most.
|DG Maurice Stander inducting Stella Dees during his official visit to the club, while President Judy looks on|
|Realema's Pier Myburgh, ex-CEO of Standard Bank Ben Kruger, Standard Bank head of compliance Ian Sinton and Carl Chemaly at the meeting|
It's an incredible programme, with Carl's sister-in-law Pier Myburgh as the driving force, and worthy of Rotary support.
|Katya and Hannes Dressler at their home in Parktown West|
A notable guest that evening was Paul Channon, who has since become a very valuable member.
We also learnt from PDG David Grant that R5000 had been donated to the Polio Fund of The Rotary Foundation on behalf of New Dawn, following a very successful dinner and concert at the Balalaika Hotel in July. New Dawn took a table and Helene Bramwell another one that evening. The donation was over and above the $1000 that New Dawn donates to the Polio Fund annually.
|Another anti-polio milestone|
|The induction of the Interact Club at the National School of the Arts|
|President Judy and PDG Jankees Sligcher at the annual Christmas dinner|
|Guests helping themselves to food prepared by New Dawn members|
The year 2020 kicked off with a different kind of tragedy, though. The death of Frayne Mathijs in a car accident on her way to do charity work, came as a profound shock. She was the best kind of Rotarian, always willing to help others.
At our meeting at the end of January Lucille Blumberg spoke about Covid-19 and warned of things to come.
The District Governor paid the club another visit to hand over the certificate that marked Johannesburg New Dawn as the club in District 9400 that contributed the most to The Rotary Foundation during the previous Rotary year. That was made up of the $1000 to the Polio Fund and $100 per member for the Every Rotarian Every Year effort.
He also welcomed Jankees and Judy Sligcher as Major Donors to the Foundation for having donated a minimum of $10000.
We also learned that after tireless effort by Julian Nagy, the club had been granted Public Benefit Organisations status and declared tax-exempt by the SA Revenue Service.
|PDG Jankees and President Judy Sligcher at their function to see in the new year|
|Marja van Leeuwen, the Sligchers and Bert Ettekoven|
|Meeting on Zoom|
We've since had our first inductions on Zoom (Christoph Plate and Sarah de la Pasture), first speaker (Rudi Swanepoel) and first board meeting.
New Dawn, under the leadership of President Judy Sligcher, has also tackled two major projects related to Covid-19. The first was helping the Alexander Education Committee, under the guidance of Paul Channon, to fund some of their students that have been hardest hit by the lockdown. The second is an inter-club effort to sanitise taxis and taxi ranks and to disseminate information on the coronavirus.
There have also been countless smaller efforts by individual members, such as Joan Sainsbury's work at Leeuwkop Prison and now the seed procurement to help disadvantaged communities to grow their own vegetables.
Coming up is the first virtual induction on Saturday, 4 July when Ian Widdop takes over the reins from Judy Sligcher.
Remember that there is no meeting, Zoom or otherwise, tomorrow morning.
It has been an eventful year and in many ways a difficult year to manage, but we'll all agree it has been done masterfully. Well done, Judy!
Yours will be a hard act to follow.
A Thought for the Week: History is a vast early warning system. - Norman Cousins (1915 - 1990)