President’s Note

Numbers were swelled at the regular Tuesday meeting this week with visitors from a number of clubs who had come to hear Katrina Flinn share her World of Differencetravel experiences in Cambodia and Laos. More later in this Bulletin. 
It was a delight to once again have as our guest District Governorand World of Difference Committee Chair, Bronwyn Stephens (RC Melbourne South). It was also a pleasure to welcome Jenny Foster (RC Essendon), Barry Hickman (RC Brighton), Joy Millen (RC Fitzroy) and Bronwen Foley (RC Upper Yarra) who, by the way, runs frequent trips for school students to Cambodia.  What a fabulous educational experience for the students. Also, with us was Katrina's brother James. The number of visitors compensated for the unusual number of members who are away, are unwell or have had family members to look after.
Among the late withdrawals from Tuesday's meeting was Noel McInnes, whose car became sick on the way to the club meeting and had to be nursed to the nearest BMW dealer.
Among the travellers is Peter Lugg who, while we were talking about Cambodia in Hawthorn, had travelled there to celebrate the Cambodian New Year (Choul Chnam Thmey).
I notice later in this Bulletin, the Shadow has commented on other travellers, Simon O'Donoghue and Dennis Shore, who have been in the US. At Augusta, Simon witnessed history as Tiger Woods finally returned to form to win the US Masters; his first major win since 2008. Dennis, on the other hand, after freezing in Chicago and attending what I am sure was the riveting RI Council of Legislation meeting, has more recently been enjoying the warmth and culture of New Orleans.
Other recently returned travellers include Kevin and Jane Rose, who have been in Sri Lanka, while Phil and Wendy Stewart have recently returned from the UK where they dropped in on Phil's 'old mate' Charles for dinner.
While the travellers have been gallivanting around the world, some of us have travelled little further than Hawthorn.  Sheridan Brown recently returned to one of the Servant's community houses to complete the weeding we had started a couple of weeks ago. Noel H and I went to Swinburne to talk to Digital Advertising students about upgrading the look of our web site and social media presence.
Looking to the future, a reminder that there is no meeting next Tuesday (23 April) with many members away or with grandparenting duties during school holidays. Also, a reminder to book online on the web site under ‘Upcoming Events’ for the visit to the Australian Jazz Museum on 14 May.  Noel McInnes tells me that this is no ordinary museum with static displays, but an active place where historical recordings are being digitised and music archived.  This should be a fascinating event. Invite your music-loving friends.
Finally, I wish you and your families a very pleasant and restful Easter break.
Ian Bentley


PP Katrina Flinn reported on her recent “World of Difference” Tour to Cambodia and Laos. Her talk focussed mainly on Cambodia.
Cambodia is a country located in the southeast of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, it shares borders with Vietnam to the east, Laos in the northeast, Thailand in west/northwest, and the Gulf of Thailand is in southwest. The area of  Cambodia is about¾ the size of Victoria. It has a population of about 13.4 million inhabitants. The capital city is Phnom Penh. Spoken languages are, predominantly (90%) Khmer. 
Cambodia is one of the world’s poorest economies with development being hindered by the loss of an estimated $2.5m or 25% of the then population at the time who were killed during the Pol Pot regime including the vast majority of the nation’s educated people. 
The Cambodian Genocide was the result of a social engineering project by the Khmer Rouge, attempting to create a classless agrarian society. The regime would ultimately collapse when the neighbouring Vietnam invaded, establishing an occupation that would last more than a decade.
The government of Cambodia is set up as a multi-party democracy under a constitutional monarchy.  The general consensus is that the government is corrupt. Elections are compromised so the result is a one party state. Hun Sen3 has been the Prime Minister since 1985.  Private newspapers have been shut down by the State.  
World of Difference Tours is a Rotary endorsed program started by DG Bronwyn Stephens. It combines tourism with cultural, volunteering and projects, and it has assisted over 14 Rotary clubs to undertake projects in Cambodia and later expanded to Laos. It also runs tours for secondary school students for cultural experience as well as hands-on projects.
World of Difference works closely with Rithy An, a local who is tour guide for many of the tours. Some of you will have heard Rithy speak at Conference. His story is incredibly moving having survived Pol Pot and being raised by monks in pagoda and when he is not looking after his own family & business he is working as the man on the ground with World of Difference. 
Whilst each tour is different, our tour was focused on re-visting past projects and also researching potential new projects. 
At Chress Village (Rithy’s village) we viewed water filters  & drilling for water and started to understand the importance of waster to these villagers and their quality of life.
We donated bikes to 2 schools Sreivbloker primary school in remote area 35km NE of Siem reap (& later in Laos near Luang Prabang) , we rode the last 10kms with the donated bikes with students to the school and watched the presentation of the bikes to the excited students.  In each of the school visits we interacted with the students, listened to reading, played word games, ball games, provided dental hygiene etc lessons.
The novice monks in Luang Prabang took the prize for having the best English & for being the cheekiest.
We visited many villages and sometimes got to ask questions via our guide and tried to understand their challenges. In a village in Laos occupied by Hmong people   We found the young daughters were not in school as they were selling handicrafts to tourists, so we are looking for a solution to this issue.
We also saw work from NGOs which perhaps and best of intentions but without maintenance the pumps etc had fallen into disrepair.
We also visited Krouser Thmey Deaf Blind School and played some games with the students and heard from the director about the challenges of the school and I am hoping to start a relationship with the school and Vision Australia and at very east Vision will assist with donation of surplus product.
Lastly, I am going to tell you about the hospital visit. Kampong Speu Referral Hospitalis the hospital that Mr Peter Lugg and fellow surgeon Dr Meng Sok are planning to build 3 operating rooms (a new wing).  Kampong Speu town is the capital of Kampong Speu Province.  It is situated 50 km south west of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. It is about 2 hours drive from the capital. The centre of the town hosts a market, surrounded by bicycle shops, a dispensary and small restaurants. It is not a tourist town
The Kampong Speu Referral Hospitalwas originally built as a school, under Pol Pot regime it was converted to a hospital. It has 200 deliveries of babies per month and 90-120  basic operations per month. The proposal is for a new building consisting 3 operating rooms in total about 10m wide about 30m long to provide for more specialised surgery to service the needs of  the local community.  The site is on the old maternity ward, which has been demolished (2 years ago), only the footings remain. 
Approx. 20-30% patients in Phnom Penn are from Kampong Speu, many are in hospital as a result of road accidents on the busy main arterial road between Phnom Penn and Sihanoukville. The journey to Phnom Penn for surgery is long and many patients do not survive the journey.
For those that do, the families find it hard, Phnom Penn is expensive, they need to go there to look after their loved ones (provide food etc), they don’t have anywhere to live, the follow up of the patients after surgery is difficult to non existent  (due to the distance) and this reduces the quality of the outcome and leads to more poverty.
Rotary Hawthorn member Mr Peter Lugg and colleague Dr Meng Sok (with some help from their friends) are planning to build 3 operating rooms (a new wing) which will enable more specialised surgery to be be performed to better service the needs of  the local community including the road trauma victims.
Perhaps together we can make this happen and truly make a difference to the lives of the people of Kampong Speu in Cambodia?
Katrina finished her talk with two questions: "Would you like to go on a WOD tour?" and  "Can you spread the news to our local schools?"
Read more about World of Difference:

Baguia Scholarship Program

David Rush and Ian Bentley met with Derarca O’Mahoney and Judy Lowe (from Friends of Baguia)  on 27th November 2018, and a result, the Rotary Club of Hawthorn will fund scholarships in Baguia up to $2,500 per annum.  This shall include a a Technical Trade Scholarship, and we shall continue funding the 5 Junior High School scholarship students, to ensure that they could continue their education for the 3 years through to the end of Senior High.
Each One-year Technical Trade  Scholarship costs Aust $1,500. 
The fees at the Training College are over $900 as the students are in training from 9 to 5pm for 5 days a week. Fees includes lunch and all safety equipment including boots which are provided by the college. The scholarship allows for the daily cost of transport to and from the college on the outskirts of Dili. However, it doesn’t cover other living costs and students live with relatives and have to find other means of supplementing income, such as selling phone cards on the street. 
Americo de Fatima Pinheiro is aged 20 years and is studying Automotive Mechanics at Dom Bosco Training College in Dili in 2019. 
This is a one year course, and currently the only way to gain trades skills and qualifications, as Timor has no apprenticeship system and very few skilled trades people. 
Americo is the oldest of six children and has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. His parents separated about 3 years ago and his mother moved back to her parents’ village home. His father is still living in the family home but is not taking any financial responsibility for the children and consequently the children are spread around, living with various different relatives. 
Consequently, Americo had no financial support to be able to continue onto university when he graduated from High School two years ago. It is for these reasons that Americo has been selected by the Committee in Baguia to get a Technical Trade Scholarship to give him skills that will enable him to get a job or set up his own business. 
Under Timorese culture, if Americo has an income, then he will have an obligation to support his siblings’ education. One of his sisters is in Year 10 at the Government Baguia Senior High School, and we know that she is struggling to continue her schooling. 
(More about the Baguia Scholarships in future issues)


H4FA, a charity for ethnic Burmese veterans, is trying to reach surviving soldiers who fought for Britain in a legendary World War Two campaign only to abandoned for decades by their old allies.
In a region that had so long been wracked by conflict, that first British visitor was Peter Mitchell, the son of a British officer who served in Burma and a trustee of Help 4 Forgotten Allies (H4FA), a small charity that pays the tribal veterans and their widows small but desperately-needed annual stipends of £120. 
Thar Htoo emerged from the wooden hut where he lives with several generations of his family, pulled his ageing body ramrod straight and saluted with a flourish.  It was 70 years since he delivered the same gesture to his departing British commanding officer the end of the Second World War after three years fighting the Japanese in the tribal highlands of eastern Burma. 
The 89-year-old did not see another British visitor for the next seven decades as post-independence Burma plunged into a series of ethnic insurgencies and the military junta cut the country off from the world. 
He is among a remarkable but dwindling band of about 455 surviving ethnic Burmese veterans who played a key role in the most legendary British guerrilla campaign of World War II. The Burma campaign, waged in remote Asian jungles by what have been called "forgotten armies," was one of the most brutal of the war for both sides. And Britain’s ethnic allies were largely “forgotten” again after Burmese independence as one of the world’s longest-running conflictsbroke out along the country’s borders.  
The tribal groups, including the Karen, Karenni, Kachin and Shan, who practised the Christianity brought by missionaries in the late 19th century mixed with traditional animist beliefs, believed that the British would grant them autonomy when they left. Instead, with independence they were incorporated in a country dominated from Rangoon by a predominantly Buddhist majority, many of whom had sided with the Japanese during the war. 
There is still disappointment, but remarkably no bitterness, that such fiercely loyal wartime allies were so cursorily abandoned as the post-war British government ended the era of Empire. “My officers told me at the end of the war ‘don’t worry, we won’t forget you’,” recalled Thar Htoo. “They said they would come back. But nobody came back until this year.”
The memories are fading, but Thar Htoo recalls the guerrilla campaigns conducted under the command of a small group of British officers who operated from hide-outs in the mountain caves of the Karenni Hills.
It is an area of stunning natural beauty where rocky forested outcrops jut dramatically out of the paddy fields and maize crops, but also home to some of the poorest villages in Burma, with no running water and only the occasional solar panel for power. 
“After the Japanese invaded Burma, our chief told us to fight with the British to defend our lands,” said Thar Htoo, who signed up for the irregular forces at 16 in 1942. “These men supported us so loyally when we were in the gravest peril, at great and continuing cost to themselves,” said Mr Mitchell after his visit to Kayah state. “At this stage of their lives, now is their time of greatest need and we must support them.” 
The establishment of H4FA began with a chance meeting when Sally McLean, a British aid volunteer working with refugees on the Thai-Burma border, met an elderly Karen veteran in a hospital near the site of the infamous Death Railway. She learned that despite loyalty, sacrifice and contribution to the defeat of the Japanese in Burma, the veterans had not received a penny of official British government funds since the end of World War II. For decades in post-independence Burma, they were viewed as enemies of their state, living in war zones or refugee camps. 
As Burma’s semi-military government has eased travel restrictions and signed peace accord with some ethnic factionsher charity is trying to reach as many old soldiers as possible. 
* For more information on H4FA, please visit
Ths Shadow Knows!
The Shadow has noticed two of our prominent members are hard at work for Rotary.  
PDG Dennis Shore reprts from the Council of Legislation in Chicago:
Delegates arrived into a very bleak Chicago for the commencement of the 2019 Council on Legislation. In fact not all have arrived due to the weather and many arrived much later than they expected to.
Our first session was to familiarise Delegates with process and procedure and, importantly, to practice working with the voting machines. It was also an opportunity to ask questions and to clarify matters about the Council. We also confirmed rules of procedure, and agreed on the order in which we would deal with enactments.
To set the scene for the Council deliberations, the session opened with an address from RI President Barry Rassin who challenged delegates to ensure that we provide future Rotarians with a voice. 
Stephanie Urchick, who was RIPPR at our recent Multi-District Conference provided delegates with a progress report on the RI Strategic Plan as a context for consideration of legislation. 
RID Peter Iblher, RI’s Treasurer presented the updated 5 Year financial report to assist delegates to evaluate legislation proposing annual dues over the next 3 -year period, as well as other legislation, which might have a financial impact. The report also included updates about the success of recent capital expenditure. 
The Council’s work begins in earnest tomorrow morning, Monday Chicago time.
The RI blog, which is regularly updated through the day, can be accessed at…/live-updates-council-legislation-2…
Dennis adds a photo, with a taciturn comment:  “I’ll try to find a view that demonstrates more diversity. Normal business attire is the guideline.”
You can follow PDG Dennis on Facebook:
On the other hand, our “Minister for Having A Good Time” has coped rather well at the U.S . Masters. The Masters Tournament (usually referred to as simply The Masters, or the U.S. Masters outside of North America is one of the four major championships in professional golf. Scheduled for the first full week of April, the Masters is the first major of the year, and unlike the others, it is always held at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club, a private course in the southeastern United States, in the city of Augusta, Georgia.
He reports: Well, the Masters is over. What an event? Aussies could have, should have, but didn't. Tiger was amazing. Deserved his win. Lifetime experience. Met Gigi in San Fran. Very happy. Great day at Alcatraz, Pier 39, and the city. 
Simon O’Donoghue is certainly in line for a Sergeant’s fine, on his return.
As a general election has been declared, The Shadow thinks it appropriate to include a comment from H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956):  “Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right.” 
Finally,  The Shadow wishes you a happy and holy weekend:  "Did you know that Easter was originally a pagan festival dedicated to Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, whose consort was a hare, the forerunner of our Easter bunny? ... Bede explains that the lunar month of Eosturmonath "was once called after a goddess... named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated."

Jest for a Laugh

Upcoming Speakers

April 23rd - NO MEETING
Loretta Smith  -  Apr 30, 2019
A Spanner In The Works  - '

'A Spanner in the Works is the extraordinary story of Alice Anderson and her all female garage on the corner of Cotham Road and Charles Street in Kew. Opening 100 years ago in 1919, Alice was the first woman to own and manage her own garage in Australia, employing female mechanics and drivers who also provided a chauffeur service.

Author Loretta Smith, began her journey to uncover Alice’s life when one of her aged care clients mentioned her mother worked as a driver and mechanic for Alice Anderson. So began Loretta’s amazing journey in researching and writing about Alice Anderson's exceptional legacy'.

May 07, 2019    Heather Ellis
Journey From Africa To The Silk Road
Heather rode her Yamaha TT600 from south to north Africa, and from London where she worked as a motorcycle courier, to Vietnam via Central Asia on the 'Silk Road'.
May 14, 2019  Noel McInnes - Tour Guide
Stewart Kreltszheim, Expedition Coordinator.  May 20th 20119
No Roads Health
Chair: Helen Kavnoudias
Kim D'arcy      May 28, 2019
Behind The Badge
Rotary Hawthorn Changeover
Jun 20, 2019
Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club

Forthcoming Events

Visit to the Australian Jazz Museum with Tour, Lunch and Live Jazz  
Tuesday 14thMay at 12:30pm       🎼      🎹    🎷    🎺     🎸   🥁
The Australian Jazz Museum (AJM), in Wantirna, founded in 1996, is one of Melbourne’s biggest secrets and greatest treasures with world renowned musician, James Morrison, as Patron.
The AJM is the home of the largest Australian Jazz Collection and is fully staffed and operated by a dedicated band of volunteers. 
It is funded primarily by donations, memberships, tours, jazz workshops and CD sales.   
We have organized a Rotary visit to the Museum for Tuesday 14thMay at 12:30pm.
The Visit includes:-
  • An extensive tour of the Museum - 45 mins
  • Live Jazz with refreshments, tea and coffee- 45 mins
The cost is $25 per head and limited to 35 people maximum. Book early and consider bringing a guest who likes music/jazz.
This visit will open your eyes and your ears! Do not miss out.
The Museum is at Koomba Park, 15 Mountain Hwy, Wantirna VIC 3152. It is on the corner of Burwood Highway and Mountain Highway and also just off East link. Ample Car parking is available.
Route 1- Drive straight out Toorak Road which becomes Burwood Highway, turn left at Mountain Highway and first on left is into Koomba Park. 26km and 29 minutes.
Route 2Via Monash and East link exiting left at Burwood Highway. 30.6km and 26 minutes.
RSVP to Noel McInnes on 0418 310 007 or  (for the numbers) and accept and pay on-line as always.
Check out the AJM extensive web site on
Make-ups and Apologies

Kim D'Arcy always seeks to finalize numbers by Monday 8.30am by collating  responses about attendance at the next meeting.   So please try to email back to her by that time; and, at the same time, forewarn of any guests.   (Predicting our numbers as closely as possible helps to minimize our catering costs.)

Invitations to Tuesday Club meetings now look slightly different.  To indicate your attendance or apologies, you will not be required to write an email to Kim.  You will simply need to click on the link attached to your name and follow a couple of simple steps. You can pay for your meal on the site.

Geoff Wright collates the attendance information.  He needs to know of  "make up " events.

Club Roster 

If you cannot perform your duty, please find a replacement or contact Charles Morrison


23rd April

 30th April

7th May

 14th May


  No meeting




 Front Desk


     K D'Arcy

  M Christoffelsz

   H Drury

 Credit Cards


   G Wright

 H Kavnoudias

 D Pisterman

 Set & Clear Up  







 K Flinn


         N McInnes


Hawthorn Rotary P.O. Box 33, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia.