Geet's Banter
member photo
Hey there, fabulous Rotarians!
Hope everyone's had a cracker of a week!
Let's kick things off by giving a big shoutout to last week's guest speaker, Tony Dragon. He had us all ears with his yarns about the 501st Legion and the top-notch work they're doing for The Isabella Marcus Foundation. Keen to know more? Check out their website here:
Big thanks to Tony, Karen, Abigail, and a special nod to Anessh for rocking the gear – you lot are legends!
In other news, Carol Cain and Tracey Bannister have been as busy as bees spreading Easter joy at the Lifeview Emerald Glades, handing out chockies left, right, and centre. 
And let's not forget PP Shalini Penny for penning a cracking article in the Star Mail. Well done, team!
Let's raise a glass, courtesy of John Ritchie, to the lovely Elanie Morris. Looking forward to hearing about Elaine’s journey in Emerald.
Now, mark your calendars, folks – next Tuesday's gonna be a full house. Just a heads up to all our club members: we're presenting a whopping $50K to Monash Children's Hospital from our Kids Fun Run fundraising with Puffing Billy. Don't forget to sport your Rotary gear, and if you haven't already, let Lorna know your plans and any dietary doodads by Friday the 5th of April. Oh, and a heads up – there's been a slight change in the pub grub, gonna be $35.00 a per person. 
I can't wait to catch up and have a ripper time with our club crew, and all the guests!
What a top-notch way to celebrate all our hard yakka!
Until we meet again, and I see those sparkling smiles, stay healthy and humble, folks!
President Sangeeta
In order to confirm numbers for meetings at the pub, please ensure that you communicate the following to PP PHF Lorna:
  • notify if NOT attending by 12 noon on the MONDAY before the meeting
  • and notify if bringing guests or visitor
  • notify at any time about future absences and holidays.
Thank You!
Thank you to everyone who attended Peter Hadwen's funeral on Friday.   There were a large number of friends from his Rotary family and it was especially nice to provide him with a guard of honour.  His family very much appreciated the support.  Thank you PP PHF Tina McInerney for delivering the Eulogy on behalf of Rotary and to PP PHF Ian Ash for writing the content.
I have had a few requests to see the slides of his time in Rotary - this can be viewed HERE.

Last Week's Meeting

Thank you PP PHF Vicki for taking the minutes of the meeting.
Pres Sangeeta
  • Welcomed our 3 visitors and Aneesh from the 501st Legion and welcomed back Susi.
  • It was Ken Miller’s birthday on 1 April.
  • 4 April is Toni-Anne’s first year anniversary of joining our club, and Greg Adam’s wedding anniversary.
  • It is Aneesh and her wedding anniversary on 3 April.
  • She has sent an email about Peter Hadwen and a card is being circulated for his wife Diane.
  • Despite being sick, Kris Ash made a video about Peter which we thoroughly enjoyed watching. Sangeeta described Peter as a very friendly, beautiful man with a great smile
  • His funeral will be held on 5 April when we can celebrate him.
President Sangeeta handed over to Chairperson Sid Umesh who introduced our guest speaker.

Guest Speaker Tony Dragon from the 501st Legion

Tony is Commanding Officer of the Knightfall Garrison in Victoria.
Basically the 501st Legion is a worldwide costuming club.
Its mission is to:
  • promote interest in Star Wars
  • build costumes that are screen-accurate
  • contribute back into the community and
  • promote and raise money for good causes.
They are bad guys doing good.
The first thing is to have a screen-accurate Star Wars costume. Aneesh dresses as a Scout Trooper from Return of The Jedi. The members help each other out and some just like to be in it for social reasons.
What do they do?
  • Attend events throughout the year across Victoria; community and charity events such as Super Nova, MSO, Good Friday Appeal, Relay 4 Life, Variety Christmas party and the KFRWPB. Tony’s first time at the Kids Fun Run was last year.
  • They have a nominated charity, the Isabella and Marcus Foundation which researches Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a type of cancer that affects children under 12 and it has no survival rate.
  • The Foundation is based in Melbourne where the research is done.
  • Over the past 5 years, they have raised just over $21,000 for it.
  • We can invite the 501st Legion to our events by going onto their website.
It is quite hot in the costume and they are quite expensive.
  • Is it heavy to wear? - The Darth Vader one is very heavy but Aneesh’s is not. Generally weight is not a problem.
Why is it called the 501st Legion? - It is a reference is one of the movies, Revenge of the Siths.
  • Some members have the good guy costumes.
  • Tony’s favourite Star Wars movie is “Empire”.
  • The basic costume costs between $8-900 whereas the Darth Vader one is $10,000.
  • There are no Yodas in Melbourne.
  • There are 100 members in their garrison.
PHF and Sergeant John Henderson gave the response.
He complimented Tony on his very fascinating presentation. The Star Wars’ characters come to the KFRWPB and provide an extra dimension. They are a great group of people even if they are quite weird.
A couple of Star Wars’ quotes were mentioned such as “Judge me by my size, do not.”
And “I have a bad feeling about this.“ This sentence occurs in all George Lucas’s films and Tony should’ve started with this line in retrospect, he said.

Committee Reports

Deb Ball PHF Lyn Beckwith
We started holding the Deb Ball in 1991; this year’s ball is on 15 June at Cathie’s Lane’s receptions.
  • Applications closed on 31 March but late applications will be accepted up until the commencement of the dance practices.
  • Currently there are 26 Debs and partners but the Committee would like a few more.
  • There’s been a huge response to the sale of the tickets.
  • The dance lessons begin on 2 May and finish on 15 June and go from 7 to 9 pm. on a Thursday at Emerald Secondary College’s gym.
  • If anyone would like to help Lyn, Toni-Anne and Shalini at the dance lessons, contact Lyn and male members would be especially welcome particularly early on.
PP PHF John Shaw
Spoke about reinstating the reading out of the apologies at the start of every meeting, as Lorna puts in quite a bit of work to ensure their accuracy. The feeling of the meeting was that it is not a negative at the start of the meeting, which is what President Sangeeta thought.
Kids Fun Run With Puffing Billy - Co-Chair President Sangeeta.
Tina is organising the showbags this year and needs someone to help her please.
The committee is working on the sponsorships, they have 2 so far and are looking for more. The Run is taking place on Sunday, 24 November.
Sangeeta is joint chair with Allan Douglas.
Sergeant PHF John (Hendo) Henderson
Spoke about how Peter Hadwen welcomed him into our club for the first three meetings roughly. John had worked in a town on the border of UAE and Oman and Peter had worked in Oman so they bonded.
Peter won the Horse’s Arse twice, in 2012 and 2014 when he shared the award with Andy Wood.
John conceded that he had spurious fines this week - for the uninitiated, “spurious” means false or fake – but we couldn’t tell the difference.
Another Star Wars’ quote was also brought up: “The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.” Amen to that!!
Two articles in this week’s Star Mail were referred to; the first one being about our fabulous members Carol Cain and Tracy Lee Bannister who visited the Emerald Glades with individual bags of chocolate Easter eggs for the residents.
The second article featured Marlene Sinclair who will represent the Yarra Ranges in May at the Toastmasters District 73 Conference. Members who had read the article laughed about the fact that Marlene said “It’s been absolutely amazing!“ But they also appreciated that Marlene added, “I run a lot of MC things for Rotary as well.”(Editor’s Note: Marlene has been a long-serving Rotarian too in the past.)
President Sangeeta thanked Sid for chairing the meeting and Guest speaker Tony and family for attending.
Sangeeta is part of the 501st Legion but paradoxically hasn’t watched any Star Wars movies.
Next Tuesday at the 9th of April meeting
  • Representatives from the Monash Children’s Hospital are coming to receive the cheque for $50,000.
  • Wear your Rotary gear to promote the upcoming Kids Fun Run.
  • Bring $35 to pay for the meal.
Club Notices
New EVA Newsletter CLICK HERE
Other Items
The new Emerald Village Association Newsletter is out with an article, as usual penned by PP PHF Shalini Penny - click HERE to view.
Upcoming Events
Monash Childrens Hospital Cheque
Apr. 09, 2024 – Apr. 16, 2024
Trevor Budge - Vic Goldfields World Heritage
Apr. 16, 2024
Volunteering in the City - Information to come
Apr. 20, 2024
Fiona Demark - Resilience Coach
Apr. 23, 2024
RYDA at Emerald Primary School
Apr. 23, 2024
Social Night
Apr. 30, 2024
View entire list
Apr 16, 2024
Victorian Goldfields World Heritage
Apr 23, 2024
Resilience Coach
View entire list

Vision Statement

Thriving and resilient local
and global communities

Mission Statement

Working together to create positive change

in the well-being of our community and beyond

Rotary Invocation

For good food, good fellowship and the opportunity for service through Rotary we give thanks

Rotary Toast

To Australia and the people of Australia (toast) To Rotary International (toast)

4 Way Test

Of the things we think say and do

Is it the truth?

Is it fair to all concerned?

Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

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Chocolate Winner
Duty Roster
Culell, Linda
McAllister, Kelly
McLeod, Christine
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Ken Miller
April 1
Roy Bowyer
April 20
Rowan French
April 21
Paula Jones
April 26
Danielle Gaitely
April 27
Spouse Birthdays
Rowan French
April 21
Sangeeta Bajaj
Aneesh Bajaj
April 3
Greg Adams
April 4
Join Date
Toni-Anne Griffin
April 4, 2023
1 year
Hita Mistry
April 10, 2022
2 years
Don Borg
April 30, 2019
5 years
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Community Notices


We are regularly asked to share information on other Rotary Club or community group events.  Rather than list all of them in Sparkle, please check out them out HERE

Emerald Village Community

Emerald Village Community update can be  found HERE
PP PHF Shalini Penny adds a regular paragraph about Rotary in this newsletter.

Rotary Club of Emerald & District Committees

ABN: 82 067 243 051 Registration No: A0020847W              Chartered 28 March 1980

PO Box 46, Emerald VIC 3782   Tel:  0408 769 491