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President's Message
David Whiting
member photo
Rotary International President
Rotary International President                               
is Holger Knaack, a member of the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln, Germany, has been selected to serve as president of Rotary International in 2020-21.
To build a stronger membership, Knaack says Rotary must focus on increasing the number of female members and transitioning Rotaractors into Rotarians.
Knaack believes that the People of Action campaign offers new public awareness possibilities for Rotary. “This campaign conveys our global image while still respecting differences in regions and cultures,” he says.
A Rotary member since 1992, Knaack has served Rotary as treasurer, director, moderator, member and chair of several committees, representative for the Council on Legislation, zone coordinator, training leader, and district governor.
He is an endowment/major gifts adviser and co-chair of the Host Organization Committee for the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg.
Knaack is the CEO of Knaack KG, a real estate company. He was previously a partner and general manager of Knaack Enterprises, a 125-year-old family business.
He is a founding member of the Civic Foundation of the City of Ratzeburg and served as president of the Golf-Club Gut Grambek. Knaack is also the founder and chair of the Karl Adam Foundation.
Knaack and his wife, Susanne, are Major Donors to The Rotary Foundation and members of the Bequest Society.
Paul Harris Sapphire
Paul Harris Sapphire
At our meeting on 23rd of June , President Glenda Bryson had the pleasure of awarding a Paul Harris Sapphire to P.P Mary Engert. The following is part of her address on the occasion of the award:
“Rotarians often designate a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives of the Rotary Foundation
Tonight, I would like to recognise the work of Mary Engert and present her with a Sapphire Paul Harris Fellow pin.
Before we celebrate, let me explain a little behind this decision.
Mary stepped up to the role of President in October 2018 after Paul chose to cease his tenure. Mary did not have the liberty of any preparation, nor was she aware of any of the projects and ideals that Paul had set for the Club in what would have been his year.  Her past experience as a President stepped in and with a strong Board, she was able to complete the year with dignity.
Throughout all of this, Mary was battling with her ‘eye condition’ and was gearing up to have experimental brain surgery that was thought would correct her eye condition.  She battled migraines and more while holding the reigns of this Club in her hand.
Mary also became my mentor, as I took on the role of President Elect.  It was known that we had had our differences before but it became quite clear why that was so.  We were extremely similar to each other – so it was a natural clash of the titons to start with.
Once those hurdles were jumped, we settled in to mentor / mentee role and when it was time to hand the reigns of the Club over to me, that relationship continued and does to this day.
Mary has also mentored other members of this Club in their Board roles, has helped with establishing some new protocols during my year, has made contact with just about every member of this club since COVID-19 restrictions come into play, has thought out of the box for a project that could be done during COVID-19 (coffees for the front line workers) and again all the while battling her own medical issues.
Brain surgery saw improvements in her ‘eye condition’ and she has and is dealing with the challenges that this entails.
She had driven Joe and Spike the rabbit absolutely MAD, but her focus has remained solid on the continued smooth operations of behind the scenes of this Club, under the title of Immediate Past President / Club Administration.I am a better person for your guidance Mary and I sincerely thank you.
Mary and Joe enjoying the award                   
It gives me great pleasure to present to you, Mary Engert, your PHF with a sapphire embedded in it.  Please accept the Rotary Club of Keilor’s congratulations and sincere thanks for your commitment to this Club.”
Last Week's Meeting
Last week’s meeting
was started by President David Whiting  overviewing  the Club’s program as discussed on the previous week. As there were no comment or objections , the meeting continued by inviting two speakers to expand and tell about  special moments in their life
The first speaker was me, Leon Lewi
I talked about my  memories from the Rotary year 1998/99
It  started by highlighting the old habit of Clubs toasting another Rotary Club as shown in photo above , often the Club is in another part of the World . In this case it was the French Rotary Club of Armentieres in Normandy
This led to this Rotary Club responding to toast by  offering to soon visit our District as the first part of a  Friendship Exchange
Then the  resulting warm relationship led to this overseas Club organizing a group of Students visiting us as part of a project of Vocational Training
Here are more details                            
Toasting of Rotary Clubs is usually done by members of a Rotary club to a Club in another part of the world. It was something our Club used to do years ago ,  The toast reminds us of the international nature of Rotary and that clubs like ours are active and doing good on every continent.  The Club on this occasion was the Rotary Club of Armentieres in Normandy and we had a good response leading to first phase of a Friendship Exchange.

Rotary Friendship Exchange 

This is an international exchange program for Rotary members and their friends This reciprocal program has been the activity over the years of both myself and later Jeanette Lynch . It is satisfying and establishes strong friendship between international Districts
This Club relationships leads to fellowship and sometimes to  service projects.
On this occasion this overseas Club offered to bring a group of their members to visit us . When they came they visited many of the Clubs in our District as shown in the photo above  . We hosted them and Marie Barbera still remembers the pleasant experience   Our return voyage was a well organized tour of Normandy and Brittany including the town of Armentieres of course . The tour was very detailed and interesting and in the course of the 2 weeks we attended 6 Rotary Clubs
It was organized by a smart Rotarian in the city of Tours and he lent us his daughter as a tour guide.
 The final association was a series of  Vocational Training Tours (VTT)
These are  for a group of professionals to travel to another country either to learn more about their profession or to teach local professionals about a particular field.
In this case we were linked with some of our French colleagues who had daughters who were doing a commerce course in Paris in a college that had the system of sending their students overseas in the middle of their course to a country what was not French speaking. Most of them went to the USA . In this case they came here and we arranged very convenient hosting and employment
2nd Speaker Tom Barber
 The 2nd speaker was Tom Barber  
He talked about his interview with the Herald Sun which led to the article shown on the right which was published a few days ago
Tom  started work with DCA, in Melbourne in, the Drawing Office, in Aug 1966 after arriving from the UK 10 days earlier. The following is his work history . The following is part of his report
Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport opened to international traffic on 1 July 1970
I was working at Melbourne (Essendon) Airport in 1970 when Tullamarine opened and of course visited the site many times during its construction. All Melbourne based DCA staff were invited to Tullamarine for the opening ceremony to ensure we would be part of the history taking place. Not everyone was able to leave their workplace but still quite a number of us went along.
My Work was focused on civil engineering, operational design and airport management, leading to roles such as, Technical Coordinator, Project Manager, Airside Operations Manager and Airport Duty Manager until I retired in 2009.     why was  Ichosen to speak on behalf of Melbourne Airport (MEL)?
My history above plus the fact that I was one of the few remaining people still alive who was around at the opening and who had held a few interesting positions over four decades. And the fact that I still have some contacts at MEL and have continued providing consultancy assistance from time to time since I left.
Current connection and recent work
Two years ago, the company I am working with were commissioned to investigate and complete the following Tasks;
  • Review and re-write all the operational documents and procedures that the airport holds.
  • Provide new procedures where required.
  • Work with Airside staff during all shifts (over 24 hrs and two weeks to make sure I evaluate all staff) to see where improvements can be made.
  • Ensure that the airport is fully compliant with Dept of Transport and CASA rules, laws and recommendations..50th Anniversary
As MEL was approaching the 50th anniversary, the media department were putting out the feelers to find out who was still around and who was working for DCA prior to and during the opening of MEL.
They contacted the Civil Aviation Historical Society (CAHS) at Essendon Airport for some names and my name was one of the four names that popped up. We volunteer and meet at Essendon Airport every Tuesday. The CAHS provided photos and a historic dialogue with newsworthy items in chronological order
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