President’s Note

In this week’s Bulletin, you will read of our tremendous collaborative project with the Belgrave, Wandin and Ringwood Rotary clubs in purchasing and packing a container load of donated medical equipment including expensive high-tech gear for transport to Cambodia.  At the same time containers were being packed to be sent to New Guinea and Africa by the other clubs.  A combined team of about 20 Rotarians and friends worked tirelessly in temperatures approaching 30 degrees to get the task completed efficiently. This was Rotary at its inspirational best.
You will also read of our AGM and the Forum that followed. When asked to make a wish for the club, the majority of members wished for more younger members and the identification and implementation of a major project. Nothing new here. These have been recurring themes in most of the Rotary discussions I have had at District, Cluster and club level this year and are far from unique to Hawthorn. Membership is very much in focus for RI too.  
See the State of Rotary Membership video at 
Club leaders have been consistently working on these challenges, with modest success.  However, having had the Hawthorn members now loudly proclaim these as aspirations, it is time to put the full focus and resources of the Club behind making these wishes come true.  
District training programs have equipped us with tools to tackle the challenges, and over the coming weeks and months, we will be implementing a systematic planning and development process to strengthen our club. 
Ian Bentley
President Rotary Club of Hawthorn

Annual General Meeting

President Ian Bentley opened our AGM, and had the reports received and approved with great efficiency in a matter of minutes. 
President-to-be Charlotte England confirmed her board for next year will be:
President-elect: Tilak Dissanayake
Vice President: Ngaire Cannon
Secretary: Jane Tisdall
Treasurer: Katrina Flinn
Club Service: Kim D’Arcy
Community: Helen Kavnoudias
International: TBA
Youth: Kevin Rose
Rotary Foundation: David Pisterman
“Let’s rumble”, said President Ian, and he then led us in a discussion about what we did well in our club, and the things that we wish for.  He said that when he joined our club, he found it to be welcoming and without cliques, and that we had shed many of the traditional Rotary trappings.  “Is the glass half full, or half empty?” he challenged us. 
We agreed there had been an improvement in the gender balance and age distribution within the club, but fundraising needed new thinking. We also need to identify any problems, and ensure there is a process in place to solve them. 
Several ideas and strategies were floated, and we shall await the outcomes. 

Container Capers

Four Rotary Clubs combined to sort and load the cargo into three containers destined to help the poor in the third world. 
At 9.00 am on Friday 20th October we teamed up with the Rotary Clubs of Belgrave, Ringwood and Wandin at Clayton to pack a container of goods (mainly medical) destined for Cambodia. The history of the container is complex, but in a nutshell we have bought it (and contents) from RC Belgrave, after it had been declared seaworthy.
After a briefing from Belgrave’s Wayne McKenzie, we emptied out three containers, and sorted the goods according to their destinations: Cambodia, Fiji and elsewhere. Wayne proved to be an expert at stacking, as we started re-loading the containers: first the heavy stuff: hospital beds. There were 80 metal bed frames that easily stood on end, and ten large electrically powered beds already stacked on top of each other. Fortunately most of the latter were safely in place, and did not need to be re-loaded.  Bed heads and ends were squeezed in wherever they could fit: as we pay transport per cubic foot, spare space is a waste. 
Russell Hayes (RC Wandin) of “Wheelchairs for Kids”  had a couple of trailer-loads of wheelchairs to be added, and there were several boxes of “Days for Girls” goods added, before the upper space was filled with bags of hospital linen and of course several matresses for the beds.  
For the record and the manifest the items we included were:
  • 36 new adult wheelchairs in cartons for Russian Hospital Phnom Penh
  • 25 new Wheelchairs for Kids children’s wheelchairs in cartons for two disability centres. 
  • 200 new Days for Girls kits within ten cartons for AusCam in Phnom Penh (which is an NGO established by an Australian woman for prevention of female child trafficking in Cambodia).
  • What else?  Better ask Peter Lugg, who was kept busy with pen and paper keeping track of the goods as they were loaded.  An X-Ray machine, an operating theatre table, an ultrasound, BP and data trolleys, examination couches, and some mysterious boxes of technical equipment, Peter logged it all. 
By 2.00 pm the work was over, and our container locked up. It will be sent to the Donations-in-Kind Warehouse in West Footscray for final topping up, and then to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh, where Peter will meet it and supervise distribution of the goods.  The cost of our project is around $6,000, and the benefit to Cambodia is approximately $200,000 of goods. 
Special thanks to Wayne McKenzie of Belgrave RC for organising the container, workers and goods, and especially the refreshments that kept us going on a warm day. Thanks also to David Rush’s International Committee volunteers for all the heavy lifting. (or rather their clever footwork that ensured the younger members of Belgrave  and Wandin RCs got an opportunity to show their prowess)  From Hawthorn: President Ian Bentley, David Rush, Katrina Flinn and Mick Tyrrell, John Perry, David Pisterman, Peter Lugg and myself.

Do you see what I see?

If you’ve ever indulged in cloud-gazing to find shapes, noticed that unused electrical outlets appear to be permanently surprised, or spotted a “drunk octopus” hook on the back of a bathroom stall, then you’ve experienced the neurological wonder that is pareidolia. 
Defined as the tendency to perceive meaningful patterns in a random or ambiguous images, pareidolia was once thought to be a sign of psychosis. 
It’s now widely recognized that pareidolia serves a practical purpose—or at least, it once did—and it’s entirely normal to experience it, even frequently. Let’s take a closer look: Why do we see faces in things that clearly aren’t faces?
If you often discover humanoid faces on inanimate objects, your fusiform gyrus, a section of the brain that recognizes faces, is in fine form. According to Pawan Sinha, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, the fusiform gyrus is the part of the brain responsible for making it appear as if your fried eggs are muttering at you.
Sinha says the fusiform gyrus serves two purposes. When looking at an object or pattern, the left half of the fusiform gyrus activates first to determine if the pattern can be interpreted as facial features. Then it notifies the right half, which uses that information to quickly calculate if the pattern is a face or just resembles one. 
But why do our brains place such importance on this innate ability? Many scientists, including Carl Sagan, have tied it back to our survival instincts. For example, identifying the face of an animal hiding in wait may well have saved many early humans from grisly deaths. Or it could have helped babies identify grown-up faces, which caused them to smile, which caused them to get taken care of, which helped them survive.
Ths Shadow Knows!
The Shadow spotted a familiar face on TV this week: Li Cunxin speaking about his experiences on “Songs of Praise”.  (Not that The Shadow is prone to watch that sort of program)  But those who attended John Wigley’s 1906 District Conference in Geelong will recall the hushed auditorium as Li Cunxin held the audience spellbound, telling his story as “Mao’s Last Dancer”. The Shadow cherishes the memory.  You can read a little about him at
How nice it is to have friends: Friend of Rotary John Perry came along to help load that pesky container at Clayton. Our photo shows John and Peter Lugg discussing how best to move some heavy goods. What did they do? They called on some friends, of course. 

Upcoming Speakers

Oct 30, 2018  Ken Linnett  From Zero To Hero

Ken Linnett is the author of 'Tulloch'...

'This is the remarkable story of Tulloch, the virtually unwanted yearling who rose to greatness with the support of Australia’s most flamboyant trainer and a contrasting dogged owner, who often clashed about what was best for their horse.

It’s a story about the characters behind the scenes—his trainer, the legendary Tommy Smith, his owner Evelyn Haley, the jockeys, such as George Moore and Neville Sellwood, who rode him and the his strapper and track rider, Lem Bann, a song ’n dance man who whistled his way into Tulloch’s heart'

Chair: David Rush


 Nov 06, 2018
  Cup Day Holiday -  No meeting
Nov 13, 2018 - Rosemary Johns 
As Told by the Boys Who Fed Me Apples:     Sandy was the only Australian War Horse to return home from World War I. This is his poignant and fragmented war story. Through Sandy we experience the lives of three men who fought in the war.

Coming Events

Borrondara 2018 Chances Golf Day 
Following great support last year we will once again invite our fellow Rotary Clubs and others to participate in sponsoring a hole ($250.00) and prizes. 
Any assistance you can offer in this area will be greatly appreciated
Competition Format: Ambrose
Monday  29thOctober 2018 from 11.30 a.m
Box Hill Golf Club, 202 Station Street, Box Hill
$95.00 per person that includes a light lunch and a dinner following the event.
This year we have simplified the payment process by using Trybooking.
The funds raised will support the Chances Scholarship Program which is  a major Boroondara Cares initiative supporting students in the area who are financially or socially disadvantaged.
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.)

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


30th October

   6th November

 13th November

     20th November


  Earliest Arrival 

 Cup Day

Earliest Arrival

Earliest Arrival

 Front Desk

   N McInness


 L Reddaway


 Credit Cards



 G Wright

S Brown

 Set & Clear Up  






 D Rush


   C Hanson



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