President 2020 – 2021 Helen Gibb
Following the disappointments and restrictions imposed by Covid 19 during the early part of 2020, my year as President began more hopefully in July 2020. The cancellation of the previous Easter Art Show and Cycle Dindi left our bank balance depleted and threw us into disarray. Gradually over 2020/21 we learned to enjoy zoom meetings, thanks to Sharon Fox,
John Cannon and Tom Farrell; and devised other ways of keeping in touch. The Bulletin continued thanks to John Cannon.
Post bushfire fencing also continued when permitted in North East Victoria. Our hardy team of Ian Gibb, Ross Thompson, Bruce Hyatt, John Cannon and Bruce Walker (Rotary Club of Benalla) travelled to Dandongadale to stay on a property and assist with fencing there and visit other farms in the area.
The first face to face meeting we held was an outdoors Christmas Picnic at Rotary Park on Dec 16th2020. Joe and Pamela Talia accepted Paul Harris Awards for their help with musical events over the years and their support of Rotary. It was very exciting to be back as a group.
Our first public event was Christmas Carols on December 18th. This was carried out behind security fencing, with extensive covid restrictions. Noel McIlwraith and team worked with the indefatigable Andrew Embling to allow this lovely evening to occur. It was so appreciated by the community that they were reluctant to go home and had to be encouraged to leave!
This was followed by a successful Australia Day Celebration. Bob Flowers and Bruce Hyatt combined with the Murrindindi Shire Council and Andrew Embling to stage an excellent event despite the rain.
Life slowly started to return to normal as we presented Music in the Park on March 13th 2021. When rain was predicted it was decided to move to the Shire Hall. The community turned out with a spirit of determination to enjoy talented local musicians including Soloman and Lacey, Tayla Arnett, Mark Robinson and Pans on Fire. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this free community event.
Our biggest achievement for the year was the Easter Art Show, which provides us with funds for all our other projects. Artists, visitors and buyers alike were thrilled to participate in a cultural event during the Easter long weekend. Melinda Jackson and her team of Chris Jackson, Chris Barry, John Cannon, Tom Farrell, Steve Costley, Helen Gibb, Melissa Lowe, Ian Gibb and curator Cindy Ferguson deserve special thanks, and also the generous Friends of Rotary, members and their partners who helped with the many tasks.
Cycle Dindi has become a much-anticipated event on the cycling calendar.  Melinda Jackson, Ian Gibb, John Cannon and team once again liaised with the Rotary Club of Yea to produce an event with a friendly atmosphere in glorious autumn weather on April 17th. Thanks to everyone who helped. This is also a good enjoyable fundraiser.
Berry jam was again profitable for Rotary and our thanks go to John and Vera Bassett and Pam Thompson who organised the harvesting of the berries and the cooking of the jam. This precious little luxury is sold in local cafes, and over the years at least $8,000 has been made. Unfortunately this will not continue as the berries are too hard to prune and care for.
The Rodeo went ahead this year on 6th March and Rotary assisted on the gates.  We also participated in the Christmas Tree Festival and will be present at the Truck, Ute and Rod Show in September.
Our Annual Golf Challenge against the Rotary Club of Seymour was held on 3rd March. It is always fun to get together with this friendly bunch of Rotarians to share an activity and a meal.
Thank you to my wonderful Board and the Directors of 2020/2021. Without Tom Farrell as Secretary and Ian Gibb as Treasurer my job would have been impossible.  Directors have had a difficult year and have been unable to carry out all their projects, but I thank Bob Flowers, Lynda Robinson, David Dimech, Ross Thompson, John Cannon and Debbie Skinner for their efforts.
Congratulations to Bob Flowers, President 2021/2022. Also congratulations Anne Reid on her position as District Governor.
Helen Gibb President 2020/21
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