Club Information
Welcome to our Rotary Club
Alexandra

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 7:00 PM
Alexandra Golf Club
Gordon st
ALEXANDRA, VIC 3714
Australia
First, third & fifth Wednesday 7.00pm Apologies/Guests 0417 390 266 John Monteath : jmonteath@bigpond.com BY Monday noon. Secretary Tom Farrell 0431887842 tfarrell@dkc.net.au
Home Page Stories
Lift the Lid on Mental Illness is Australian Rotary Health’s National annual fundraising day for mental health research.
Each year approximately 1-in-5 Australians will experience a mental illness and in order to help future generations of young Australians, we need to look ahead through research and find out how we can prevent this type of illness occurring.
Support Rotary Alexandra’s effort to highlight this issue and raise research funds by wearing your most eye-catching hat on Wednesday October 6th. You can financially support this wonderful initiative by making a donation in any of the collection containers in our wonderful local stores.
For further information, please contact Helen Gibb 0419893370
The Alexandra Medical Centre ran an efficient Pfizer Clinic on Saturday afternoon, September 11th. Approximately 150 people were vaccinated . The Rotary Club of Alexandra supervised 2 marquees where they helped people register for a vaccine or observed people afterwards. The booked patients generally arrived on time and waited happily for their turn . We thank the attendees for their patience and cooperation .

Brazil

Marcos Madeira spoke at the Rotary Club of Alexandra this week. He is an outdoor educator, born in Brazil, who spoke eloquently about the country of his birth.

Why is he in Australia?- Because Australia chose him! He spent 2 years looking for work abroad, and OEG answered first, so he now spends his working days introducing young Aussies to the great outdoors. Brazil is an amazingly beautiful place, and he is both proud and ashamed to be Brazilian.

A few facts- geographically, Brazil is bigger than Australia with a population of 215 million people (Australia almost 26 Million). It is a constitutional republic with Executive, Legislative and Judicial arms, but functionally a mess as the various arms jostle for control of the country. GDP in 2019 was 1.84 trillion. The country has abundant forests, agriculture, water, soil and people.

The main language if Portuguese, plus over 300 different first nations (native Indian) languages.

Religion- predominantly Catholic, but many African influences also.

In 1494 the Treaty of Tordesillas divided the New World of the Americas between Spain and Portugal. The Tupi federation comprised 9-10million Indians under their leader Cunhambebe (Quonambec), who resisted Portuguese occupation. They killed the invaders, and literally had them for dinner (cannibals). The Portuguese established a fortress in Rio. To this day, there are still some tribes which have had little or no contact with European settlers.

Economic activity followed several cycles-

Sugar Cane  1550 to mid 17th century

Gold cycle 1640-1760. Paved roads were built to transport gold to the coast, then offshore. It has been said that ‘Gold left holes in Brazil, temples in Portugal, and industries in England.

Coffee cycle 1800-1930 was followed by the

Rubber cycle 1879-1912, with a brief revival 1942-45

Remaining gold reserves exist in the Amazon Forest, so there is conflict between environmental and mining interests.

Slavery was common until relatively recent times. Marcos remembers the same housemaid working in his grandmother’s house for 50 years. African slaves worked on plantations during the sugar cycle, until 13th May 1888. Italians and Germans fleeing post war Europe worked as tied labourers. Racism was prevalent.

Environment 5 main climatic zones; Equatorial, tropical, High altitude tropical, sub-tropical and semi-arid, are linked to 6 biomes or ecosystems; Amazon, Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, Caatinga, Pampa and Pantanal.

Culture – very multicultural, with distinctive music, dance and martial arts, Samba, Bossa Nova Capoeira (Martial art disguised as dance)

The population is friendly and resilient, having endured many crises. There is no financial security. Marcos earns less in Australia, but lives better here. Education in Brazil is underfunded.

Although Marcos misses Brazil and its many shades of green, he is happy that his kids are growing up in Australia, which is where he wants to be.

Our Rotarians found his informative and entertaining.

Mining in South Africa.
Roger Gibson gave a presentation to Rotary Alexandra members on Mining in South Africa. South Africa is home to over fifty gold mines, some of the deepest in the world, mining deep level hard rock. Gold seams are embedded in quartz, covered with multiple layers of sedimentary rock. The Western Deep Level mine, part of Witwatersrand complex goes down to a depth of 8,000 feet, and employed 30,000 people. It took one and a half hours to travel from the surface to the work site, then six and a half hours work before returning to surface. Gold was removed from the seam by blasting, so all workers had to clear the blast sites before detonation of explosives.
Underground, the temperature rises by 1C for every 1,000 feet deep. Rock temperature at bottom level of the mine was 55C. There are risks to miners from adiabatic compression, so shafts and leads were reinforced with eucalypt timber. Ventilation was vitally important for those working underground. An underground massive refrigeration plant pumped cold water through lagged pipes to cool the air into the working areas of the mine - it produced 8,000 tons of ice each day. Drilling and blasting into the hard rock produced 300,000 tons of ore per month which was chemically processed using cyanide to extract the gold.
To conclude his talk, Roger read one of his poems:
 
Down the Mine
Descending down, deep, harsh and bleak
Beneath the bare and hard-rock hanging,
The twisted timbers brace and creak.
Bright light beams strobe the solid dark
As watchful eyes, of those who work
 
Search for wealth in winding mazes.
With dripping sweat on red-hot skin,
In narrow stopes and long hot raises
The strident screech of drills unfolds
The rich reefs guarding hidden gold.
 
With heaving chests, in stifling heat,
Deft hands set lethal nitro charges.
Ignite the fuses! Quick! Retreat!
Explosive blasts  shake acrid air
With pulsing surges. Beware! Take care!
 
Climbing upwards to dazzling light
as fresh air fills, now, gasping lungs;
out of the mine, blue sky in sight,
refreshing showers, then homeward bound
to loving families, happy sounds…
then….
Prepare for next shift, underground

 
Geoff Leslie is almost a local, currently resident in Yea, who served as Baptist pastor in the Barham - Koondrook parish for nineteen years from 1993.
Geoff spoke of his experiences supporting his rural community through the challenges of the millennial drought, collapse of the dairy industry, creating sustainable farming systems and providing social support for local communities. Farming systems in the Barham - Koondrook- Wakool areas had to adapt to zero water allocation and lack of fodder. In the red gum forests near Barham, the trees are drought-deciduous, losing leaf in dry times, leafing up again when it rains sufficiently. But the drought cycles are shortening - no longer thirty years apart. Half the red gums in the forest died.
Geoff was instrumental in establishing ‘Your Community Cares’ organisation which facilitated community events to bring people together (and off the farm) to build community cohesion, to gather the isolated, to inform and educate the community about drought support, and improved farming systems, etc .
‘Your Community Cares’ applied for and received a $300,000 Federal Government grant which has been used to support the football club, Scouts, local schools, men’s and women’s mental health nights and a community theatre group. The latter staged seven performances of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at $5 per head to an audience of 1400, in a township with a population of 1200!
Geoff’s presentation included recitation of Banjo’s Clancy of the Overflow, followed by his own re-imagining of the city-country comparison in present day, and musical items.
 
Speakers
postponed
Sep 29, 2021
postponed
Hat Day and CEO Murrindindi Ms Livia Bonazzi
Oct 06, 2021
Our Shire. Wear outlandish Hat
No Meeting
Oct 13, 2021
Meet 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesday 6-30pm
Damien Cocks
Oct 20, 2021
NBN
Board
Oct 27, 2021
Directors
Various
Nov 03, 2021
Pride of Workmanship
No Meeting
Nov 10, 2021
Meet 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesday 6-30pm
TBD
Nov 17, 2021
Helicopters
Board
Nov 24, 2021
Directors
TBD
Dec 01, 2021
Primary
No Meeting
Dec 08, 2021
Meet 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesday 6-30pm
Santa
Dec 15, 2021
Christmas Celebrations
No Meeting
Dec 29, 2021
Meet 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesday 6-30pm
members
Jan 05, 2022
Social Night Welcome 2022
No Meeting
Jan 12, 2022
Meet 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesday 6-30pm
TBD
Jan 19, 2022
Reflections
Directors
Jan 26, 2022
Board
Committee Leaders
Feb 02, 2022
Rotary Midterm Committee reports
No Meeting
Feb 09, 2022
Meet 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesday 6-30pm
recipients
Feb 16, 2022
Pride of Workmanship
Directors
Feb 23, 2022
Board
TBD
Mar 02, 2022
Grow Well
No Meeting
Mar 09, 2022
Meet 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesday 6-30pm
Seymour and Alex Rotarians
Mar 16, 2022
Golf in Alex
 
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wood
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