From Art Screen delivery and pick up, managing Rotary business at the Board meeting, lifting the lid on mental illness and raise some much needed funds in support and celebrating the 40th Anniversary of local icon - the “Berwick College”, members of the Rotary Club of Berwick continue to be engaged in the local community. The spirit of service above self and giving is alive and well at the Rotary Club of Berwick.
On Monday night we had our fourth Board meeting for the year and it was another productive two hours of discussion, debate and resolution. In the spirit of transparency the minutes will be posted in the members’ section of our Club website for all members to read.
This week Past President (PP) Laury Gordyn marshalled his troops of dedicated Rotarians to deliver a total of 400 meters of art display screens to three locations in the Melbourne district. The Art Screen Project was conceived by PP Laury to help raise funds for Club’s giving program. Well done to Laury and the dedicated group of volunteers.
Through its many fundraising activities the Rotary Club of Berwick has been able to donate over $300,000 to the many projects that help build communities and help sustain the social fabric that bonds us all together. From building and maintaining hospitals, schools, parks and gardens, developing young people - our future generations, finding cures for ravaging diseases, offering a helping hand, helping those most in need, and fighting for special and difficult causes, we seek to make a difference.
Speaking of special and difficult causes, on Wednesday night at our Club meeting we had the privilege to hear from our very own PP Viv Armstrong about the work that she is doing as the District 9820 Representative for the Australian Rotary Health to “Lift the Lid on Mental Illness”. It was an excellent and quite moving presentation as Viv recounted her own experiences with mental illness.

In our lifetime we will all suffer from a form of mental illness and most will go through life not ever knowing or recognising the cause of their pain and suffering. Mental Health First Aid training is one way to help us recognise the signs and provide first hand support, while engaging with the professionals. The Rotary Club of Berwick is proud of its contribution in the area, and has to date sponsored many men and women in the local community who deal with young people on a regular basis to undertake the training. It was great to have Ryan Brown in the audience to hear his mum Viv speak. He must be a very proud son.
At the meeting we also welcomed our soon to be members Gary Castricum, and Gaetano Fina. Their applications for membership as well as that of David Cutler were approved by the Board on Monday night, and all going well we might have triple inductions sometime in November! These are in addition to Cheryl Zuhlsdorff’s induction which will happen very shortly.
Cheryl’s sister, Di Scheepers, who joined the Club in January 2017, was the Chairperson at the meeting and given the many reports received on the night she did a fantastic job keeping everyone on time. Club Historian and official timekeeper, PP Bill Minns, will be happy to know that the meeting finished just on 8.30pm. Well done Di!!
To close off the week I was delighted to be among the guests at the Berwick College 40th Anniversary Dinner, held at the Montuna Park Golf Club on Friday evening. It was a chance to reflect on the journey of the school from its foundation days till now. The Rotary Club of Berwick has been part of that journey and it is great to know that we have been able to contribute to the college’s success. Congratulations to Principal Kerri Bolch, a Rotary Club of Berwick Paul Harris Fellow, Rotarian and School Council President Roger Hall (1990 to date) and the whole school community on this milestone. As a Club we look forward to continuing our collaboration and partnership over the next forty years and beyond, with the Deb Balls, mock interviews, and by providing opportunities for students to participate in the many Rotary youth development and leadership programs.
President Ricardo with Principal Kerri Bolch (left) and School Council President and Rotarian Roger Hall (Centre). 
I am so proud to be a part of this great Club and of all the things that it does to make a difference. We have some truly great people in our Club, all contributing in their own way to the principle of service above self.
President Ricardo Balancy