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LAST WEEK – October 16, 2020

Last week our meeting was opened by President Barry Hancock. There were apologies from Margaret who was still in rehab at Campbelltown Private Hospital, and John Adam who was suffering facial burns and man-flu.
We welcomed back John Williams, who has been missing for nearly 3 months with medical issues.
We also welcomed our Guest Speaker, Rolf Fuchs (see picture) from South West Network Group, which is a local business support group. Some points to note:
 Rolf is a life coach and they have members in various occupations.
 They meet at Harry’s on Wednesday mornings for breakfast from 7.30am – 9am.
 The group is member-owned and driven, and one of the aims is to build relationships and trust.
 They were established over 20 years ago.
 They exchange business hints and techniques.
 During COVID difficulties, they had meetings via Zoom.
 There are 4 Chapters in the local area: Liverpool, Campbelltown, Narellan and Camden.
Garry Miller gave the Vote of Thanks.
The Fines Session was capably handled by the reluctant Brian Layland who had misread the previous Bulletins. He again outlined the history of the famous Ingham brothers and the Liverpool Rotary Club
Our President Barry presented Centurion badges to Bill, Brian, Garry, Keith and Peter.
Harry gave an outline of an organisation called “Escabags” (see brochure below). As part of their fundraising, they are having a High Tea on Saturday 21st November at Harry Hunt’s Function Centre. Numbers are limited to 130. Please see Harry for bookings.
Please note that we now have a NEW post office box: PO Box 188, Liverpool BC 1871.
Sat 31st Oct
– Bunnings BBQ
Sadly JOHN KENNEDY, who was a member of this Club in the 1950-60 era, passed away on Saturday last at the age of 96. John was a Lawyer and first practiced in Liverpool in the School of Arts at the top of Macquarie Street. In later years he moved to Moore Street and was joined by Paul Winter and Rod Rimes. John fell ill 3 years ago and had been in a Nursing Home at Neutral Bay, where he died.
The Rotary Club of Liverpool joined with the International Centre for Eyecare and Education (later renamed the Brien Holden Vision Institute) and the Australian Medical Aid Foundation (Tamil people living in Australia) in providing vision and eyecare services to the Tamil people living in the North and North-East of Sri Lanka following the Tsunami which destroyed that area of the country on the 24th of December 1984. More than 23,000 Tamils living in this area were killed. Help for the program was sought from the Sri Lankan Government located in Colombo in the South; but no help was forthcoming! Many obstacles were placed in the way of the program workers.
It was thought that survivors may have lost their glasses/contact lenses/low vision aids, and that clinics staffed by volunteer optometrists and other staff could be established to provide eye examinations and free visual aids. The program was opposed by the Sri Lankan Government, and volunteers (many of them Rotarians) were subjected to long delays when clearing Customs on arrival at Colombo Airport and at road blocks when travelling from South to North. Nevertheless, with help from Liverpool Rotary Club and other organisations, 13 teams of volunteer optometrists and staff flew into Colombo and, with the help of Tamil people in Australia and Sri Lanka, they were transported to the North.
Whilst in operation the program examined 32,000 people and provided 28,000 pairs of spectacles, at no cost. Arrangements were made for many people to be treated for previously undetected cataracts, glaucoma and other eye disorders. It was soon discovered that people had not lost their spectacles as they generally had never had them in the first place! Social services, schools and hospitals had not been provided by the Government.
Teams visited until it became too dangerous to travel from South to North.
There were other ongoing benefits; a number of schools were established, and clinicians were trained to continue working in some clinics
When the program ceased, the group (including Liverpool Rotary Club) purchased and donated 40,000 pairs of spectacles for people in the North. It took a little more than 3 years to clear them through Sri Lankan customs.
Liverpool Rotarians played a big part in organising rosters, transportation and fundraising for the program. The photo below was taken outside a school in the “tea country” and was one of a number which were displayed in the North. A great example of “Rotary in Action”!

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