Club Information

Welcome to our Rotary Club

Alexandra

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Wednesdays
Alexandra Golf Club
Apologies/Guests Ph: 0417 390 266 or email John Monteath at: jmonteath@bigpond.com . BY TUESDAY 12:
Gordon st PO Box 76
ALEXANDRA, VIC 3714
Australia
First, third and fifth Wednesday 6.30pm for 7.00pm
Home Page Stories

Our meeting on 2nd September 2020 Rotary Alexandra was graced with a wonderful presentation by Libby Kotschet the Coordinator of the Murrindindi Library Service.
As is our custom we began by toasting a Rotary Club from another country. This broadens our knowledge of clubs around the world. Meg chose the Rotary Club of Kilkenny as Kilkenny was her ancestral home. This is the largest Rotary Club in Ireland and has face to face meetings wearing protective masks and social distancing. They run a “Bikes for Africa” project which provides bicycles helping rural children in Gambia to reach schools.
 
Libby then spoke about the Book Butler Program, a contactless delivery service available to all residents in the Shire. Despite Covid, the library service continues behind closed doors, but without access to resources from other libraries. In April, 2013 items were delivered to 400 homes. In August 3451 items were delivered to approx 300 homes. Initially deliveries were made by library staff, but Working for Victoria staff have taken over this task.
How does it work? People phone in to the library (5772 0333), let staff know what their interests are and a bag of relevant items are delivered. Many of the clients are repeat customers. Feedback comments include: ‘so grateful to have this service included in our rates’ and ‘a great big thankyou for taking books to my brother’.
Borrow Box is another option for access to e-books and audio books. Access is via a library membership card. Libby (not our speaker) is an app which allows access to the electronic resources of YPRL and Murrindindi libraries.
 
President Helen thanked Libby for her presentation and the library service for continuing to support our local community throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Rotary Club of Alexandra Fencing Team at Sugarloaf Station
Dandongadale is in North East Victoria’s high country, south of Myrtleford, about as remote as you can get! Sugarloaf Station is just below Mt Sugarloaf on the Buffalo River, in a beautiful setting in the wild country of the Buffalo Valley. Mal and Di Taylor own the property.
The call to help the Taylor’s came through Rotary District 9790. BlazeAid had been contacted but were not able to provide helpers. BlazeAid provided some donated fencing materials, which were transported to the Taylor’s and two neighbouring farms by DELWP. It was a good team effort with Rotary taking a leading role.
Rotarians Ian Gibb from Rotary Club of Alexandra and Bruce Walker from Rotary Club of Benalla visited the station for a ‘reccy’.  Ian and Bruce had been part of fencing teams working around Corryong earlier in the year. Sugarloaf Station’s boundary fencing was destroyed in last summer’s bushfires, but this property had not been able to be assisted by any teams since then. Their cattle had scattered into the high country, fending for themselves. Malcolm and Di had managed to fence some parts of the property by themselves but with only the two of them it was very slow progress.
Ian and Bruce proposed a fencing team to visit Sugarloaf Station over four days to assist with boundary fencing. A small pilot team from Rotary Club of Alexandra was organized. Ross Thompson and John Cannon volunteered to join Ian and it was set up as a Rotary Club of Alexandra project.
The countryside is now green, a far cry from the devastation of the bushfires which raged through the heavily forested property in January! Their fences were damaged and the cattle wandered off into the bush to fend for themselves for the last six months.
Recently they cattle began returning home. About fifty cattle had returned by the time we arrived and Mal and Di were concerned about Indi, their favourite cow, who was due to calve at any moment but was not to be found. It was a real worry as she was a very special cow they had hand-raised – and she was usually boss cow of the herd.
Big Red, a venerable Toyota troop carrier, is amazing! She has done over one and a half million kilometers and still going strong!
We hopped in Big Red with Kya the labrador. Di drove. Mal drove ahead on the tractor. We forded the Buffalo River then loaded the trailer with wire and fencing gear. Mal picked up concrete posts plus a couple of gates on the forklift of his tractor and led the way up into the hills.
We bounced and jerked our way over uneven terrain, through boggy stretches, along fence-lines, up and down steep inclines, through a difficult creek crossing, climbing ever higher till we reached the back of the property, the trailer bouncing along behind.
It was evident that Mal and Di had done a huge amount of fencing themselves over the last six months, but they really needed help to have secure boundary fencing around the entire property to keep their cattle home. Our task was to tackle long stretches of heavily damaged boundary fencing.
There were burnt trees wherever you looked! Mal had moved many of the fallen trees into piles for later burning; ‘pick-up-sticks’, he called it. For the first couple of days we worked high up at the back of the property alongside a road bordering the National Park. On the first day the weather was cold but fine and progress was good. We worked as a team straightening posts, replacing a smashed corner post brace, replacing electric fence wires and some insulators and adding three strands of barbed wire. We also installed posts and braces for two new gates.
New wire needed for Rotary Fence'
 Overnight it snowed on the hills around us. It was difficult to get back to our work site.
The road to the top was slippery. We installed the gates and continued working on the next stretch until lunchtime. As we worked snow drifted down on us. We completed that stretch of fence but the track had become too wet and dangerous to continue at that location, so we moved to a different section of the boundary.
 
Kangaroo Hill fence was somewhat easier to access, winding in and out the trees, many dead, most struggling to recover with green epicormic fuzz growing along their trunks, to a long stretch of badly damaged boundary.
 It was straight-line fencing through up and down steep country. Much of the wire was re-useable when it was untangled. Ross was brilliant at that.
A couple of large trees had fallen across the fence. Mal manned the chainsaw to cut and remove enough to clear the fence. Some strands of wire were able to be joined with a ‘figure 8 knot’, some were replaced with new wire. Three strands of new barbed wire were run out and attatched. We worked section to section, from strainer post to strainer post.
For most sections the posts were still there.
Many posts needed straightening. A few were broken and needed a new post driven in alongside to support them. Most of the wire was still there, much of it  Lots of wire needed untangling, then rethreading through the insulators, rejoining and straining up.
We continued working on this boundary on our final day.
“The job isn’t complete though.” Ian said. “We have contacted other farmers in the same area who also need help. This area appears to be a pocket that has been missed by the bushfire effort elsewhere.”
 
A Phase 2 Rotary expedition is being planned for October depending on Covid 19 restrictions.
John Cannon
Rotary Club of Alexandra
INTERNATIONAL / FOUNDATION
Director 2019 – 2020 Debbie Skinner
Thank you to members: Meg Dunn; Chris Jackson; Sharon Robinson 
Budget: $3,000. It was a small budget, percentage wise, in comparison to other clubs which supported Foundation projects - $100 per person at Alexandra Club, and the Birthing Kits ($1,000) activity which had been planned in the previous financial year and not undertaken.
Our members provided the International toasts from the club and this was divided between members as much as possible and they could pick a club / country of interest to them personally.
Putting together two hundred birthing kits was our major activity this year and was supported by a few members. The finished kits were distributed to India, Dr Congo; Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia missions and distribution centres. This supported the Rotary Foundation area of saving mothers and children.
Director Debbie also attended the conference Aug 2019 for and joined the Rotary RAM (Rotarians Against Malaria) Foundation area of fighting disease as a speaker for future events. This will be ongoing in the next financial year. Debbie & Meg attended the International District Workshop in Oct 2019 led by Kerry Kirk with the aim of increasing group cohesion and possible joint project. 
With COVID -19 affecting us all in the way we function, further meetings were attended via Zoom and other planned activities had to be cancelled.
Debbie Skinner
YOUTH
Director 2019– 2020 John Cannon
Once again Rotary Club of Alexandra has invested in the youth of our district as a major priority. We have a range of programs which cover both individual and group activities:
National Youth Science Forum
I would like to recognise the outstanding contribution made by science teacher Kathy Zerbe to the NYSF program over many years! Kathy has retired and will be missed! I feel this is one of the most important individual programs we support with far-reaching benefits to the student and science in general.
It was disappointing that no-one applied for the NYSF program this year. I feel it is an opportunity of a life-time, to be able to meet a like-minded group who are interested in a future in the science field; sharing like interests, participating in a variety of life – altering experiences provided by world leaders in their fields- and forming lasting friendships with other students from all across Australia. It is uncertain when the next forum will be held.
Primary School Encouragement Awards:
It is always a highlight of our Rotary year. This year the Primary Schools Encouragement Awards were presented to:
Eildon Primary – Brandon van Grinkel
Marysville Primary – Ashton Cowell
St Mary’s Primary – Emily Van Lierop
Alexandra Primary – Danielle Nadj
Buxton Primary – Chikita Richter
Proud family and friends heard each teacher speak of why their student was chosen; their virtues and their contributions to their schools and to their fellow students. Our congratulations to each of these students! We wish them well in your entrance into secondary education.
Alexandra Secondary College Citizenship Award
College Principal, Nigel Lyttle, thanked Rotary for supporting young people in the area so generously such as the Alice Sloan Program, Young Men Old Mountains, NYSF, the mock interviews, and especially these awards.
Sophie Bowe and Tom Rouget were presented with their awards and a FitBit watch each.
Alice Sloan and Young Men, Old Mountains
We give financial support to the Alice Sloan Trust which gives young women in Year 11 from the Alexandra Secondary College. We also give financial support to youth with the Young Men, Old Mountains program for students also from Alexandra Secondary College. Both these programs are run by OEG staff.
The opportunity to participate in an expedition which promotes personal growth and skill development and is the platform for participation in the Youth Leadership Award. Their visit to the Club allows them to practice their public speaking. It is inspirational to see and hear these young adults speak so enthusiastically and confidently about their experiences.
Jam! Thanks once again to Vera and Pam!
For many years Vera Bassett and Pam Thompson have again been making their special range of jams for sale across our community to raise funds to support our local youth projects – this year the Cathedral Cluster Primary School Awards, the Alexandra Secondary College Year 12 Citizenship Awards, and the Alice Sloan and Young Men Old Mountains expeditions. Thanks to Pam and Vera they have raised thousands of dollars towards our Rotary Youth programs – an amazing effort!.
John Cannon PP PHF
 
Wood Auction – this Saturday, July 27th:
Ian, Sharon, Melinda, Chris, Ross and Bob cut and split 5 cubic metres of wood - 2 cubic metres to be in Saturday’s Wood Auction at 10am Perkins Street.
Club Board
President
President Elect
Treasurer
Secretary
Community Service
Vocational Services
Vocational Services
International Service
Immediate Past President
Membership
Public Relations/publicity
The Rotary Foundation
Executive Secretary/Director
New Generations
show liaison
Music in the Park
Attendance
Public Officer, Historian & Bylaws
Property loans
Wood
fire emergency committee
Bowel Scan
Sergeant-at-Arms