Upper Blue 
January 2021
Fun run
We know what "COVID friendly" means                                                    
People of Action
member photo
February burst in with a flurry of activity as the country came to better grips with the COVID pandemic and people understood what to do to keep safe.  Still an unpleasant disease to be living with. 
A reminder of the top-notch speakers we had in February starting off with a technology session for all members by Phill, Bill and Paul – other members pitched in who had better knowledge than we did; for example, Pat Drummond and the portable audio system.  On the following Tuesday we went on a field trip with Lis Bastion to the sustainable horticultural and community garden she has created in Blackheath – what an amazing achievement.  Then on one evening we enjoyed a social meeting at the Katoomba RSL where all could relax and laugh in a conducive atmosphere.  Maurice Cooper OAM came on the 23rd Feb, who owns and operates Bygone Beauty’s and he spoke to us about businesses surviving in a pandemic by using the governments financial aid plus treating his staff with respect and making them feel part of the solution to recovery. 
Improving news on the project to help homeless people in the upper mountains.  Some of the other Rotary Clubs in the Upper Mountains are willing to assist in fund raising, searching for suitable sites and general coordination.  The second Trivia night to raise funds for our homeless project had 57 participants and the three teams from Lower Blue scoop the podium (again) – well done.  This brought us over the $15,000 dollar mark in our RAWCS fund which meant that the Dick Smith Community matching grant is now available.  Watch this space.
President's Message
Welcome all to 2021. 
A little reflection on how we are travelling through this COVID Pandemic. 
Starting in March of last year we were in totally unknown circumstances with the Pandemic.  There were opinions and speculation about what the community should and should not do.  As usual negative rumors took hold and some people chose to ignore recommendations.  Meanwhile, meetings could not be held face to face and we went online with video conferencing, eventually making an adjective out of the service we were using, Zoom, and went fully into “Zoom meetings”.
Eventually the “hard lockdowns” that we in Australia had in late March 2020 started to work and we all relaxed when a second wave hit.  By September this was under some control compared to many other countries where the governments seemed to be in denial.  Now we are opening state borders again and the number of total cases across Australia is down into the teens with many states identifying none.  Most cases are found in incoming travellers from overseas and go into hotel quarantine.
Now plans for one of the several vaccines to be distributed throughout Australia are being put into place and should be available for most of us starting February – a priority order is being prepared and tenders are being issued for GPs to become vaccination centres.  When we know more, we will inform you all as the government plans are put into place. 
The NSW government is lifting the mandatory mask edict on the 1st February and borders between NSW and Queensland are opening, so things are looking brighter.  The pandemic is not over – it will be with us in some form, like many other viruses such as colds and flu, for a time to come and we will have defences against it. 
At our Australia Day BBQ,  we had the best cooperation between the seven Rotary Clubs serving the Blue Mountains and the Blue Mountains City Council that I can remember. 
A great start to the year.
Australia Day
There has been a lot already said about Australia Day. Rotary celebrated in a collaborative event at the five BMCC pools with a free sausage sizzle. It was a hot day and Rotarians manned the BBQ to bring a bit of cheer to our local community.  There was plenty of positive feedback from the community and recognition that Rotary could put on these events in a responsible COVID safe way.
Working with Katoomba Rotary at the Katoomba Aquatic Centre we gave away more than 500 sausage and onion rolls. In the Mountains, seven Rotary Clubs served up over 3,000 sausages to the community courtesy of the Commonwealth Government's National Australia Day Council. Our Phill Isaacs did an amazing job in coordinating this event with all the five Council managed pools. All Club Presidents came back and complimented the organising and we had a very successful day with the community being thankful for the work Rotary was doing.
Our Club has made a long-term commitment to helping the homeless in the Blue Mountains. We have now raised over $75,000, to this critically important Mountains initiative. This is just the beginning.
A group of Rotary Clubs are now negotiating with a range of stakeholders, including state government, BMCC , social housing organisations and corporates on advancing this major project. We will make some announcements over the next few months about the use of these funds and how they will benefit those homeless folk in the Mountains.
Uganda School
Since Rotary was founded in February 1905 in Chicago, the organization has expanded to meet the world’s needs in terms of charitable outreach across many geographies.  Perhaps one of the lesser known arms is Rotary Australia World Community Service Ltd (more commonly referred to as RAWCS)
Since 1987 RAWCS has worked in harmony with the Rotary Foundation delivering humanitarian aid through individual Rotarians and Clubs by offering means of Tax Deductibilty.
In addition, RAWCS provides back-end systems and project services to all Australian Rotary Clubs for project accounting, donations and fundraising support. These services are overseen by the Australian District Governors who are the RAWCS Ltd members.
In the last 12 months, RAWCS has processed AUD$ 32M in donations. Much of the money has gone to support volunteer work teams for Rotary projects undertaken locally, nationally and internationally.
A number of our Club members have participated in various RAWCS projects overseas, particularly in Vanuatu, and East Timor.  We always welcome other Club members to come to our weekly breakfasts to share their RAWCS experiences.
On Tuesday January 19 we had a most fascinating woman, Sue O’Neill, who is a Club member of  Rotary Brisbane Waters, near Gosford.  She was not able to make the lengthy trip by car so, she joined us via Zoom. 
Sue, working through RAWCS, has been the soul and inspiration of a primary school in Jinja Uganda on the shores of Lake Victoria.  The school, named appropriately Divine Mercy, has grown in only a few years from 50 students to more than 300 and from several classrooms to an entire complex.
Each year RAWCS recognises the Rotarian judged to have been its “Rotarian of the Year” within NSW & ACT. Recently, the award went to Sue who has participated in well over 50 RAWCS volunteer overseas trips. As she tells it, it all started when she made it her mission to help the people in a village in a remote area of the Papua New Guinea Eastern Highlands Province which was without a school for more than 20 years.
The sad reality is that the region was plagued by decades of tribal violence. Sue was instrumental in bringing lasting peace and harmony to the region. She made the village a major project, initially working with the community to build and staff a school for approximately 400 students before establishing a village clinic, a well-equipped library, and a justice centre.
Sue’s passion is to improve education and health in developing countries. In more recent times she has expanded her humanitarian aid effort and now works extensively in East Africa and Cambodia. As she puta it, “every person is entitled to basic education and primary health care and these cornerstones will provide the foundation for sustainable, social, economic and cultural change”.
Sue epitomises everything good that Rotary is and does.
Any Rotarian who interested in volunteering may review the many hundreds of projects listed online and submit an application:  https://rawcs.org.au/volunteers/
Welcome Carrol
There is nothing better than welcoming a new Club member. We look forward to working with you Carrol.
Club Information
Welcome to our Club!
Tuesdays at 7:00 AM
Robyn Yates Centre for Cancer Wellness Support
105 Railway Parade
Leura, NSW 2780
425 302 473
Our face to face breakfast meetings are at The Robyn Yates Centre for Cancer Wellness Support. We will still have some ZOOM meetings. Check Calendar for details.
Whist ZOOM has been great, we are excited to returning to face to face meetings on 29th September, 2020, dependent on COVID restrictions easing.
Our new home is the Robyn Yates Cancer Wellness Support Centre, 105 Railway Parade, Leura, NSW, 2780.
Breakfast meeting, 7:15 for 7:30am.
We will write up a story next month after our first meeting.
Upcoming Events
Katoomba RSL
May 21, 2024
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Katoomba RSL
Jun. 04, 2024
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Woolies BBQ
Woolworths Carpark
Jun. 08, 2024
7:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
UBMS Board Meeting
Katoomba RSL
Jun. 10, 2024
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Katoomba RSL
Jun. 18, 2024
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Katoomba RSL
Jul. 02, 2024
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
UBMS Board Meeting
Katoomba RSL
Jul. 08, 2024
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Woolies BBQ
Woolworths Carpark
Jul. 13, 2024
7:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Katoomba RSL
Jul. 16, 2024
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Katoomba RSL
Aug. 06, 2024
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7