Posted by Vince Costantino
Master of Ceremonies, Past President Geoff Booth welcomed Rotarians, Partners, Honorary Members Hedley and Fay Dilley, Graham Riley, and guests to the Rotary Club of Pinjarra's 2021 Change-over Night. The guests included  Shire of Murray Deputy President Douglas McLarty, and Rotary Club of Mandurah Districts 2021-22 President Deb Atkins and partner Kevin who with three other Club members made the trip "across the bridge" to attend the function.
MC Geoff Booth Honorary Member Hedley Dilley
MC Geoff invited the Club Songmaster Don McClements to start proceedings by leading the meeting into a rousing rendition of the song "We are Australian."
The Rev James Tabor was invited to say Grace, following which the first course (pumpkin soup) was served.
Following this, Past District Governor John Smith proposed a toast to Rotary. John referred to the difficulties faced by the community during 2020-21 and the flow-on effects to Rotary Clubs.  That Rotary Clubs embraced the of use modern digital technology formats such as "Zoom" which allowed the operations of clubs to continue, is a testament to the resilience the covid experience has engendered in them.
Past President Andrew McCormack was invited to propose a toast to the partners of Rotarians. "Without the support and encouragement Rotarians receive from their partners, there is no doubt that Rotary would not be the strong Local and International organisation that it is", he said. Jane Ann Williams responded on behalf of Partners and thanked Andrew for his kind words.
MC Geoff invited incumbent President Vince Costantino to address the meeting.
Vince noted that, "at the Combined Rotary Districts of Western Australia Centennial Ball which was to have been held on 23rd April, Rotarians who have provided 50 years or more of continual service to Rotary were to have been recognised. Unfortunately, because of an untimely Covid lock down that affected the State, the event did not occur. The Board of the Rotary Club of Pinjarra has decided that our own acknowledgement of the continuous service of one our much-loved members will be made. We acknowledge Gordon McLarty who has been a continuously serving member of this Club since joining in December 1967, a period of 53 and a half years."
Gordon has served as Club President 1988-89; he has filled various Club Directorship roles; he has been our Club Historian from 1990-present day; Gordon was District Chair of the Youth Exchange Committee, and committee member of that group for some years. Gordon is a Paul Harris Fellow (Sapphire Pin); is the Chair of our Club's PHF Review Committee; and continues as an active member today.
Gordon thanked the Board and meeting for the acknowledgement, noting that he had received much pleasure and satisfaction from his Rotary experience in terms of friendship and cameraderie, and a job well done.
President Vince then asked Past District Governor John Smith to come forward.
John joined the Rotary Club of Pinjarra in May 1989. John has served the Club in many capacities; including as President in 1993-94, he has held all Avenues of Service Directorships, and had been Club Secretary for quite some years. In 1988-99, he was District Governor, the only member of this Club to be part of Rotary District 9465’s esteemed College of Governors. The theme for John’s Year was “Follow Your Dream”. John’s wife Jo has supported him in all his endeavors, and the Club recognizes her role that has enabled John to be the best Rotarian he can be. Jo is unwell at present, and we ask John to take the best wishes of the Club back to her.
We congratulate John as he becomes a Sapphire Paul Harris Fellow. The Rotary theme for John’s Year of  “Follow Your Dream” endorses the Rotary International goal of a world of peace and goodwill. Working with such individuals of good will, we believe that dream will become a reality.
PDF John thanked the Club for the Award, and thanked Rotarian Bruce Albert who invited him to join Rotary all those years ago.
PDG John Smith (PHF sapphire)
Since becoming a Rotarian, and member of this Club since February 2015, John Winter has impressed with his willingness to participate and contribute his time and energy to a variety of Club activities such as the Art Boards Hire Project. More recently, he has worked tirelessly on the Club’s Bicycle Refurbishment Project, often attending the workshop several times a week; for weeks on end. He has served as one of the Club sergeants, and his efforts in the role have amused us all. The support John has received from his partner Margaret is recognized and acknowledged, as no Rotarian can be an active member without strong support on the home front.
As John becomes a Paul Harris Fellow, the contribution he has made has added to the work done toward achieving a world of peace and goodwill; a goal that comes closer to reality today.
John thanked the Club for the recognition awarded to him, noting his complete, but very pleasant surprise that this has occurred.
Miles Hewett joined the Rotary Club of Pinjarra at the same time as John Winter, in February 2015. Miles has been a quiet achiever during his Rotary service. His willingness to pitch in, offering himself to undertake a variety of roles when it was asked of him, has been the feature of his time with the Club. Miles has been the Club Community Service Director for the past two years, and his contribution to the orderly working of our Club is recognized and appreciated. He has multi-tasked too; he is the Club’s Attendance Officer and has combined that role with that of Duties Roster coordinator. Miles’ wife Lyn has supported him in all his endeavors, and the Club recognizes that she has enabled Miles to consistently contribute his time and efforts for this Club.
We congratulate Miles as he becomes a Paul Harris Fellow. The Rotary ideal is of a world of peace and goodwill. Working with such individuals of good will, who are ready, willing, and able to contribute in any way that they can, we believe the ideal will become a reality.
Like John, Miles expressed his thanks, combined with the surprise that he has been even considered to be a recipient of the Award.
John Winter (PHF) Miles Hewitt (PHF)
Following the second course of the meal, MC Geoff invited Nancy Costantino to address the meeting. Nancy spoke of the effort President Vince had made over the past two years as Club President. She noted that while these efforts epitomised Rotary's Four Way Test, she had prepared a light-hearted embroidered parody of it that Vince could hang in his office as a memento of his term as President. Vince read the "Statement" to the meeting:
"Vince's Four Way Test- 1. Is it the REAL thing? 2. Do I HAVE to share with all concerned? 3. Will our Friendship still REMAIN? 4. Is it really good for ME?.... "
Vince thanked Nancy, saying the embroidery will make a welcome addition to his office, and observed that her support during that time was very much appreciated and that "I could not have done the job without it."
MC Geoff then invited Bob de Bijl to conduct a raffle, and the prizes (an embroidered table runner and wooden serving tray) were won by Brett Mercer and Don Marshall.
MC Geoff invited President Vince to conduct the Change Over ceremony. 
President Vince
President Vince began by thanking each member for the contribution made to the Club's activities during the past two years. He said, "We all know the disruptions that have happened, and that the program that we had set for these years have not been fully implemented or completed. Nevertheless, there have been successes. Not the least of these is that we are here today, satisfied that the Club is well placed for the year ahead."
Vince thanked the Club’s 2019-20 Board of Directors, and in particular Don Marshall and James Tabor, for their contributions during that year. He extended thanks to the 2020-21 Board for their hard work and contributions to the governance, activities, and well-being of this Club under the trying circumstances caused by the Covid situation. Geoff Booth and Geoff McLarty, who will be standing down from Board duties from tonight, were also acknowledged and thanked for their contribution, support and wisdom given during the past two years as members of the Club's Board.
Vince continued, "I thank our partners without whose support, patience and understanding, our participation in Rotary activities would not be so harmonious. On a personal note, I thank Nancy for all the support she has given to me. I would also like to recognise that by using her embroidery and sewing skills, Nancy has also contributed significantly to the funds that the Club has been able to raise through raffles and auctions which were conducted during the past 2 years.
I would like to acknowledge the support and cooperation I have received from Assistant Governor Marg Pantal, and RC Mandurah Districts Past-President Be Westbrook. As we look to the Rotary Year ahead, I am pleased that our two remaining Peel Region Rotary Clubs will continue with two shared projects: Sail into Life Peel, and the Rotary Clubs of Peel Golf Day."
While fellowship, and the camaraderie that comes from that is part of the reason that membership of this Club is so precious, many members have given of their time and energy to participate in our projects. That combination of participation and camaraderie is the reason why this Club will not only survive; it will prosper.
So, what has the Club achieved despite the disruption caused by Covid-19?
In January 2020, the Club contributed $2225 to the Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) Bushfire Appeal known as Bushfire Traumatised Farmers in Need, following the disastrous summer bushfire season at the start of that year.In addition, during the past two years, the Club has:
  • Provided headphones used to allow Dementia Patients at care facilities in our Shire to benefit from listening to Personalised Music.
  • The Fairbridge Bike Shed Project was completed. I thank Tom Quirk, Hamish McArtney, and Barry Sanders for their contributions to this work.
  • Our Art Board Hire program has suffered from covid’s impact, but the committee are to be congratulated that funds still flow from the activity. Well done to all involved. Your work is an example to us all.
  • The Club had joined with the Rotary Club of Mandurah Districts to participate in the Bicycles for Humanity Project. Because of Insurance issues, the Club is now working alone to source and refurbish unwanted bicycles and providing these back into the community at large; the project is now called the RC Pinjarra Bicycle Refurbishment Project. The Insurance issues that had surrounded the Project have been satisfactorily resolved.
  • A donation to the School Chaplaincy Program was also made as a result following the June 2019 Alcoa-Rotary Club of Pinjarra Art Show and Sale. The Club also contributed $4000 to the Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Committee (FASD) from proceeds of the 2019 Art Show and Sale. Regretfully, there was no Art Show in 2020. This year’s recent Art Show has been successfully hosted and completed. The beneficiaries from the event are the School Chaplaincy Program, and The Safe Woman, Safe W.A. Pinjarra Group.
Congratulations to the Committees that have organised these events.
  • In other Youth-oriented works, the Club conducted a Rotary Western Australia Driver Awareness Event at Pinjarra Senior High School in December 2019. Regrettably, covid stopped it from being hosted in 2020. Additionally, the Club has sponsored Alex Barrie's participation in the Rotary Exchange Student Program, enabling him to spend almost a year in Austria; and sponsored Indi McClements to attend the National Youth Science Forum in January 2020.
  • The Club has been part of a revitalisation of the Sail into Life Project. It is now a joint venture partnership involving the Mandurah Districts Rotary Club, the Mandurah Off-Shore Fishing and Sailing Club, other agencies, and our Club. I thank Beth Aitken and Rob Davis for representing the Club on the Sail into Life Peel steering committee. The Covid situation severely curtailed this project, but the group is working to restart activity in the coming summer.
  • Last January, the Community Services Committee organised what turned out to be an excellent Community Breakfast event at the new Waroona Volunteer Fire Brigade depot.
  • With thanks to Honorary Member Graham Riley, the Club hosted a highly successful and enjoyable fundraising “Garden Party” event in the grounds of Graham’s lovely home amid the turmoil of the Covid crisis.
  • The Club has organised or participated in other community events including Anzac Day Wreath laying, maintenance work at the Avenue of Trees, and provided End-of-Year prizes for our local schools.
I have probably missed several other achievements, but that the Club was able to continue raising funds (albeit in a limited manner) and to put back into our community despite the limitations caused by covid, is testament to the resilience of the Club in general, and its members in particular.
It is regrettable that Covid was the reason three or four social events that had been planned, such as a trip to Glennis and Adrian Fawcett’s farm, the Sax and the Single Girl Night at Christina and Laurie Galloway’s home, and a bus wineries trip, were cancelled. We are all hoping that the year ahead will permit more purely social gatherings to be held, and so nurture the fellowship side of being part of this Club.
I encourage you all to embrace the opportunity that participation in our various social and fund-raising activities presents. It is you, the members, who present ideas to your Director. Together, YOU can design the project and with help from the rest of the Club, WE can see it through to its completion.
I thank all the individual members who have performed their allocated roles so diligently and well. I thank you all for the support you have given to me during the past two years. I leave this position humbled by the trust you have placed in me.
I welcome President Mervyn. I extend to him and his Board my best wishes for the 2021-22 Rotary Year. I’d like to present Mervyn with a small token." Vince continued, "Nancy has embroidered the actual Rotary “4-Way Test” which I am delighted to present to you, and wish you well for the year ahead."
Vince than placed Mervyn's name board onto the lectern, and congratulated Mervyn, and invited him to become the 55th President of the Rotary Club of Pinjarra.
President Mervyn accepted the invitation, acknowledging those present. Mervyn asked the meeting to recognise and applaud the efforts of Vince in the past 2 years.
All members of his 2021-22 Board to come forward and be presented with their badges.
The 2021-22 Board of Directors (Brett Loney not in photo).
President Mervyn thanked Master of Ceremonies Geoff Booth for his fine work in the role. He then invited Murray Chapman and James Tabor to conduct a "Fines Session", which, it has to be said, they did with gusto. A summary showing some of the real (and imagined) misdemeanours that they called out follows:
All involved in agriculture, following the recently announced AUS-UK free trade deal.
Margaret Steele for causing John to purchase a "$1200 light bulb".
 Don Marshall for his dog-operated garage door button problem.
Willie Brown dressed in tartan curtains (trousers), and Vince Costantino for sporting a tartan (Clan Italia??) tie, for their sartorial inelegance
Rob Davis being a look-alike Santa.
All who "crossed the bridge" in order to attend the meeting.
 The West Coast Eagles' win against Richmond was deemed to be an act of God, so all their supporters can pay.
Debbie McLarty allowed Geoff to appear with THAT tie.
etc etc
President Mervyn than provided the "Geoff Booth Traditional" Inspiration of the week: “Rotary is fellowship. Real fellowship is frank, spontaneous, full of warmth, and if you want to gauge its depth you will find that it is the difference between ‘Mister’ and ‘Bill’. -Frank Mulholland RC Toledo USA 1915
President Mervyn thanked all for attending, and invited Songmaster Don McClements to close the meeting by leading us in singing the National Anthem.