October 3, 2002 - Now Hear This!

USC-UCLA is coming up - the date is Friday noon, Nov 22nd, at the new Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral,  At this joint meeting with LA 5, both coaches will be there, plus the UCLA Cheerleaders and some players. It's great fun (I've been there before, so I'm a live witness) and we can bus down together from WW Methodist parking lot.  SALLY BRANT can take your reservation - don't miss the bus, OK?

PP STEVE DAY was our conscripted Pledge leader.  He tried to distance himself from the pending fine for PP MIKE NEWMAN, who was the listed leader.  STEVE claimed he was protected under Executive Privilege or some such sham, but there was a ground swell of support for transferring the fine to STEVE, anyway. YOE isn't sure how this finally came out.  LENNY FRIEDMAN and PP JIM DOWNIE did the honors with America, and this duo proves that we CAN, indeed, sing OK!  RALPH SMITH came forward with the Invocation, entitled "Attitude".  It's often the only thing we can change in our circumstances - and it pays off.  

ELLIOTT TURNER was pleased to point out that we had no Rotary interlopers, but there WERE several guests. PP RON LYSTER was there with his better half, Guin, and LILLIAN KLIEWER brought along Joe DiRobbio. Joe is moving here from Orange County, and this was his second visit - keep up the good work, LILLIAN.  I had a Special Guest, Dick Crouch, and this was his FIRST visit - hard to believe when he already knows half the club!  (I asked all the members of that Methodist outfit on Wilshire to stand up, for Dick's benefit, since he is also a member there.)  PETER MORE was with Shirley, and he announced that they are going to Brisbane.  

JACK HARRIS was asked by Prexy TED if he had a better view of life.  JACK contended that he is in the doldrums all the time, but TED persisted, pointing out that JACK had some eye surgery, which has greatly improved his vision.  This cost one hundred big ones, and JACK said, "Let me think about it" - while not certain, YOE suspects that such a reply will not get him off the hook. JACK, sad to say, there just ain't no free lunch anywhere. PP DAVE WHITEHEAD snitched on former member BILL FLOOMFIELD JR, allowing as how BILL had a hole-in-one at the 105 yard 15th hole at LACC. Specifically, according to DAVE, BILL pulled out his driver (!), the ball bounced once, and dropped into the hole. It soon became apparent that some fine was to be levied, and KACY ROZELLE, one of the foursome, allowed as how BILL hadn't spent much at the bar afterward, so he probably had some cash left over. Several numbers were suggested, among them 40, for the number of years BILL has been playing golf, and GEORGE COX suggested factoring in the 105-yard distance.  DAVE then allowed as how BILL had probably played the hole 400 times, and this seemed to generate a lot of support, somehow.  Someone in the audience suggested 500, and there was another idea to make it 600 - but there was almost unanimous consent from the assembled membership, so $400 bucks it is.  YOE has had discussions with BILL JR indicating that he still gets our Windmill, so let's hope this fine in absentia doesn't keep him away from WVRC.

PP STEVE DAY again came forward, having recovered from his close brush with that possible fine for leading the Pledge.  H reminded us that we still need to be buying, and turning in to him, the raffle tickets which were distributed earlier.  Last year we sold $7800 of them, and so far this year we are at $5500 - so we need to at least match last year, OK? The Foundation Celebration (Paul Harris Dinner) is set - also at the Cathedral- For Saturday November 2nd - a month away, and you can participate in the drawing without attending the event.  But STEVE needs to get those stubs back, pronto!  STEVE then asked CLAIR MITCHELL and CASY ROZELLE to come forward.  CLAIR has been honored by our Resident Angel, VIRGINIA GANDY, who has presented him with a Paul Harris Fellowship.  CASY went and paid for his own, which brought up RO SHAW and HENRY TSENG.  Some time ago, HENRY had made a donation to Rotary International in RO's name, and it finally wended it way through the bureaucracy so that she was, today, presented with her Paul Harris Fellowship.  That gives us three new Paul Harris Fellows - Congratulations to each of you!

SUSAN ALLEN, who is in charge of incoming Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars, introduced Uriko Suzuki. Uriko is in her second year at UCLA, proceeding towards her Masters degree in Public Health.  Note that she already has her MD and Ph.D. degrees! She thanked us for the opportunity of being a Rotary Scholar (and I'm sure you know that this is a better scholarship than a Fullbright, for example). Her Counselor is NEVIN SANKAN, and Uriko has had opportunities to meet many people in Los Angeles - this alone has enriched her life.  She is another fine example of the wonderful young people that Rotary helps in this area of International Service.  Uriko was presented with several gifts from WVRC, among them a nice shoulder bag, which will be well used, I'm sure.  And SUSAN, thank you for your continuing interest and support of these wonderful young people.  Prexy TED gave us news about PDG ANDY ANDERSON, who had an angiogram last Monday, after which he received four stints.  ANDY will once again be able to drive, starting tomorrow, and it will be great to have him back with us, hale and hearty.  MYRON TAYLOR'S excellent Four Way Test book was send to RI President Bhichai Rattakul, and MYRON has received a personal letter of thanks from President Rattakul.  He hopes to meet MYRON when he speaks at our club in January - that's pretty impressive, and well deserved, MYRON.

Our annual picnic at the SISKELS was a big success.  There was lots of activity - volleyball, water balloon juggling, golf - and the swimming pool was almost overflowing with kids.  Suzanne Siskel was able to be present, passing through LA from her post with the Ford Foundation in Indonesia.  And we mustn't forget the food - excellent, as always.  Eloise and HOWARD SISKEL, you two are the greatest hosts, and we thank you for once again hosting this very special event.  I should mention that we have had three recent resignations - CHIN ONG, PAUL SORRELL, and CATHY REZOS - each of whom found business pressures that made their membership impossible.   We're sorry to lose you all - and you know you are welcome back, anytime.

PETER MORE, wearing one of his several hats (this time as co-chair of Programs for this quarter) introduced our speaker, Jonathan Day, who is Regional Director of the Americas for Tourism Queensland.  Jonathan has served in every aspect of tourist promotion during his 15-year sojourn in the U.S., lives in LA with his wife and two kids, and has his MA from the Anderson School at UCLA.  His appearance was particular timely for us, since the 2003 RI International Convention will be in Brisbane, Australia, from June 1st to the 4th. His first words to us were, "G Day", that being the usual greeting from Down Under.

The State of Queensland is 3 l/2 times the size of Texas - and Australia itself is about the same size as the U.S.  The early part of June is the beginning of winter there, and it is an excellent time to visit.  The weather will be similar to our own winter, (opposite seasons in the Southern Hemisphere, remember) and they also get a lot of sunshine, just as we do here in California.  Queensland is north of Sydney, and my own recollection of Brisbane, its capital, is that I enjoyed some wonderful soft-shell crabs there.  Besides gourmet dining, Brisbane features include opportunities to cuddle a koala, hand-feeding kangaroos and dolphins, discovering Aboriginal history at nearby Stradbroke Island  - and the ladies should know that shopping at the Queen Street Mall is fabulous.  Did we mention that the Australian dollar is just a bit over half of our dollar?  Bargains abound!

The Gold Coast, to the north of Brisbane, has a great variety of activities.  The Great Barrier Reef is just an hour and a half from the coast, and is justly world-famous for its snorkeling and water-related activities.  You can tour underwater with your own biologist guide, fish for marlin, swim with the dolphins at Sea World - and back on the mainland, play some golf - the list goes on. Surfer's Paradise is the largest city in this area.

The other major section is called the Sunshine Coast, and it has the best of scenery.  Within a single weekend, you can visit some charming mountain-top craft villages, check out some secluded white sand beaches (here's your chance to go topless…), visit coastal national parks and discover rivers full of fishing boats.  But the real feature of Australia is its wonderful people - they may be the friendliest hosts in the world.  They will greet you with "Mate" at the restaurants and pubs, there are walking trails to experience, lots of wildlife to be seen - truly, the state of Queensland is a great place to experience.

Q&A - I confess that I couldn't resist asking Jonathan if they speak English there.  They do have some special words, G Day being obvious, Mate meaning friend, Cozzie is a swimsuit, and no worries translates to no problem.    JIM COLLINS cautioned us all that he didn't think we should be exposed to all those topless bathing beaches.  JIM, I guess we all have to decide these important matters on our own…My last note explains what a Moreton Bay Bug is - it's a delicious edible crustacean.  And those of us who have been there are witnesses - Australia really is a wonderful place to visit and explore.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe