Friday, 3 December 2021

A Notable Meeting in a Busy Week

A private workspace where everybody in the club can join to edit documents, add information, have the use of personalised emails for club business, check calendars, watch videos of meetings where you couldn't be present, even access the blog and many, many other functions is what's on offer from Google Workspace for Nonprofits. Best of all, it's all free.

This is the message Gavin Atkins brought to the club this week on the how and why of using this tool. Amongst the benefits of not using your personal email for club business is better privacy and better protection of personal information.

                              Gavin Atkins putting his IT skills to good use

Gavin has been researching Google for Nonprofits and did a presentation on how, for example, club committees can use the workspace not only to conduct business, but also to store documents that can easily be retrieved for later use.

Each user gets 30 MB storage space and in case you didn't see it in the opening paragraph, it's all FREE. Each member can also store, search and access these files as well as being able to store their own files and artefacts.

                               Google workspace is a very useful tool

A few other advantages is that you can add unlimited users to your account and each gets 30 GB of storage space. Google also offers advertising grants to promote your website on using keyword targeting.

This is all stuff that members should be thinking about over the coming holiday season, as we should be transitioning onto the new platform next year.

                                       Sarah De La Pasture at the podium

It was a notable meeting on a few other fronts as well. Not only was it the last formal meeting of the year, but also the first with Sarah De La Pasture as interim president, running the meeting. Sarah will also preside over the three meetings in January.

For those who need reminding, the meeting next Wednesday starts at 4 pm at Marks Park and takes the form of an end-of-year picnic. There's plenty of space and the idea is that groups gather around their own picnic baskets and blankets and stay safe.

        Welcome back! Nick Bell was greeted by Helene Bramwell, Jeni Lobel, Paul Kasango and Mike MacDonald       

Another notable special event was the arrival of Nick Bell at the meeting. Nick told us he and his wife had been on the very last Virgin Atlantic flight from Heathrow in London. He said their flight was scheduled to leave at 10.30 that night. At 9.30, shortly after the news about the new Omicron Covid variant was released, they were given the option of cancelling and staying in the UK.

Because they had planned to stay with their daughter and grandchildren for at least three months, they opted to stay on the flight. Nick says quite a few of the people on the flight did get off and go home.

      Rotary leaders of the future. The group for the RLI training course

Last weekend and the weekend before, a group of New Dawn members attended the Rotary Leadership Institute training programme at our Twickenham Guest House in Auckland Park. Joan Sainsbury arranged that the trainers would come to us, giving participants the opportunity to undergo intensive training not just in matters Rotary (Foundation, applying for global grants, exchange programmes and membership, etc) but also in leadership techniques.

Everyone concerned, and that includes the trainers, were very complimentary about the course, about the arrangements (Joan and co put in a lot of hard work with goodie bags and the like) and probably most of all, about Mayshree Bim's delicious chicken curry.

         The quiz team hard at work at the Sligcher home

On Tuesday evening a New Dawn team (the Sligchers, Donets, Carol Stier and Janice Angove) took part in a Foundation quiz hosted by the Rotary Club of Rosebank and presented by PDG Francis Callard of the Rotary Club of Northcliff, a man who knows everything about the Foundation.

The team scored a very creditable 66% average and reckon that put them into the top 3 teams. Well done.

In her Covid report Lucille Blumberg said cases were already rising rapidly in Gauteng (this you can see if you have gone past any testing centre this past week) but as of last Wednesday it was still not known how seriously ill people are getting who have contracted the Omicron variant.

Her advice, as always: Get vaccinated, keep your mask on, maintain social distancing and sanitise often and regularly.

In the light of the new fourth wave now crashing on our inland shores, and on the advice of Professor Lucille, a final decision on the picnic will be made by Monday. It'll be expected of those who attend that they follow all the necessary Covid protocols, but as mentioned, the picnic will be outdoors (there's a covered veranda if it rains) and there's ample space inside and outside.

A Thought for the Year End: There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker. - Charles M Schulz (1922 - 2000)

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