In her usual unassuming way, Emma told the crowd present on Thursday evening the reasons for her motivation to help the people in rural Cambodia. It was great to see how she had managed to assemble a group of energetic Rotarians, family, friends and colleagues around the project and made the evening both fun yet mission focused. I enjoyed a very pleasant evening of fellowship with friends old and new. I’m glad to report that the efforts of everyone involved that night resulted in $50,000 raised towards Cambodia Family Support. Thanks must go also to Emma’s employer, Macquarie, for their generous matching donation.

Following up on the ripple effect that an evening like this might create, our next guest speaker on Friday, Jane' Alam Sheikh, is a good example of how a child sharing 1 tap and 2 toilets in a forgotten community of 10,000 people had his life changed for the better by strangers who cared.
From the slums of Kolkata, Jane' has progressed past an MBA from Manchester University to empowering others to work their way out of poverty. Come along and see through the eye of Jane' the impact you can have as a Rotarian on the future of someone you may not yet know today.

While our sights are set on alleviating poverty, it is sobering to know that one of the causes of extreme poverty, war and civil unrest is still occurring all around the world today. 

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana

Most of us believe that lessons learnt from the past will help prevent a repeat of history. So it is quite disconcerting to see that many of the “whys” that started WW1 as presented by Phillip on Friday still exists today. In particular, we’re seeing a rise in ethno-centric nationalism in some of the larger economies. In return, communities feeling threatened and dis-empowered fight back with the limited means they have. In many instances, this means some form of violence. After listening to Phillip, I wished my history teacher had used Venn Diagrams and cartoons like Phillip did in his presentation. I would have had an easier time remembering who did what with whom, and in today’s vernacular, who “friended” and “unfriended” whom.

The latter 3 statements in a Rotarian’s 4 Way Test of the things we do or say are: “Is it fair to all concerned”, “Will it build goodwill and better friendships” and “Will be beneficial to all concerned”. If we keep these in mind, I believe that we’re on the way to promoting peace in our own little corner… and we’ll start a ripple effect and spread peace to the rest of the world, difficult as it may be.
Another Remembrance Day came and went. As Rotarians, let’s remember that one of our Areas of Focus is to promote peace.

“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…”
Yours in Rotary,
Wesley Sim
President - Rotary of Perth 2018/2019