Chairman Rona McLaughlan introduced the speaker for the evening, PP Stan Gorr.
Naturally, Stan opened “You Never Know What’s around the Corner” by lamenting the disaster that is Carlton, with the stunning revelation that they aren’t flag contenders this year.
The Gorrs’ Sydney flat has decided to fret (no doubt missing Stan) and the fretting roof needs $100,000 to replace. Fortunately, this is shared between 15 units, but, together with other damage, resulted in a substantial whack in the pocket.
The bad news was topped off by a prang on the Eastern Freeway. This was followed by Stan’s suddenly vacating a bike in Laos resulting in a broken rib. Stan calls it the three S’s – Stiffness, soreness and stupidity.
Despite all that, Stan and Catherine enjoyed their time in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, although the constant reminder of the genocide practiced by the Pol Pot regime was a sobering, and sometimes horrifying experience. The people are mainly Buddhists and are very polite gentle people. They were thunderstruck to be told that 80% of the population was under 60 years of age 50% under 20 and 25% under 10.
They are a very poor country struggling to lift themselves up. The road from Sein Ream to Phnong Pen is 150 km and it took two days. Some portions are gravel.
They did however manage to contact Green Gecko, an NGO supported by Rotary Australia World Community Services (RAWCS) and doing a magnificent job of helping over 100 children and their extended families to a better life, through educating the young, teaching them to make things for sale, building their own rice field, planting vegetables and keeping young girls off the streets where their only way is to become prostitutes. (refer Page 4 for more on the Green Gecko Project)
Stan made it clear he is very happy to be back in Australia and what a wonderful country we have!
During question time Rotarian Ruth responded indicating she would encourage the International Committee to assist this project, providing the money was managed appropriately.
President Neil wished us a warm drive home while he and his Board Members went off to “chew the fat” so to speak.