Fellow Rotarians and friends of Perth Rotary,
The week of 29/7 will be a week to remember for our Club, after the loss of our Past President and friend Dick Cook AO.
We honoured Dick’s memory in a very emotional meeting where Dick’s wife Lyn and their two daughters kindly joined us in that informal tribute to Dick’s life and achievements, through the words of Past District Governor and Past President Phillip Skelton.
Although someone would expect our meeting to be in “requiem” mood, we experienced exactly the opposite: a room full of energy, optimism and passion coming from people who want to achieve more and to give more. This is the magic reaction that ignites people when you have a role model as powerful as Dick Cook’s.
Our remembrance to Dick was sealed with a minute of silence and in the next second we were invited by Marie-Anne Keeffe (MAK) to a special journey in the world of Channel 7 Telethon. Marie-Anne Keeffe is the General Manager of this Mega charity which has been recognised as "the highest donating Telethon (per capita) in the world” reaching $300 mil. in total donations in 2018! What was more impressive was the fact that all this incredible result comes from the work of MAK and another 6 people in her team!
The most important part of MAK’s presentation was when she invited us to find our “Why”. The reason why we do what we do as professionals, as Rotarians, as parents, as husbands or wives and as humans. That big Why showed her the way through the hard years of a traumatic childhood in becoming today one of the most important names in the media world in Australia and a happy and self-accomplished woman.
After the lunch, our Youth Director Kelly Gibson had a Q+A meeting with those members who would like to host Laura, our Youth Exchange Student. On top of the currently listed families we received 3 more families in the roster to host. Emma and Fred Cork, who are currently hosting Laura, are excited with her manners and the cultural wealth that she brings to their family and they enjoy every moment with her. Their example has already found more members who want to experience the benefits of hosting a good, young person and we are very happy that so many of us want to demonstrate the Australian hospitality and Rotarian care to our gorgeous Brazilian student.  
The Perth Rotary week didn’t finish with that meeting though… On Saturday more than 50 members and friends arrived at Past President’s Jeff Leach farm for the annual and all time classic Big Bonfire Night!
Jeff’s and Helen’s hospitality is always remarkable and every year they welcome us for the Big Bonfire Night as extended members of their big family, with their children and 8 grandchildren. This connection of family and Rotary is a unique feature of Perth Rotary and the keystone on which we have built this ongoing Club culture that can’t be copied by any other Club.
The Big Bonfire Night started with a massive BBQ and a great feast, it continued with an “explosive” Bonfire ignition in the woods and peaked in high spirits under the rock crescendos of the “Rotars”, our very own rock band (actually I’m currently researching if there’s any other Rotary Club in the country having their own rock band)!
If you notice how full last week was for our members, you will realise why Perth Rotary is not simply a Club for Rotary but a Club for life. A week that started with the emotional stress after the loss of an important member, finished with joy, excitement and so many happy moments… All the above, shared by a group of likeminded people who leave aside any cultural, social or other stereotype and stay together, laugh together, cry together and work together for a better world while they have a great time. This is the beauty of Perth Rotary and this is the beauty of you, our members.
Thank you all for making this club Great!
Yours in Perth Rotary,
Vangelis Katsaitis
Perth Rotary President 2019-2020