PETER began with a brief synopsis of his entry into the US in1964, officially as a "stateless" person - from China via Hong Kong, and becoming a naturalized US citizen.  This is his country, by choice - and WVRC certainly welcomes him as our new leader!

BILL MICHAEL came forward to lead the Pledge, first pointing out that it begins with "I", and asking everyone to say that first, then begin. Good idea, BILL. That experienced team of LENNY FRIEDMAN and PP JIM DOWNIE took us through" You're a Grand Old Flag", which is one of our better numbers. PP RALPH WOODWORTH provided the Invocation, a poem entitled, "Miss me, but let me go". This was part of the program at PP ROY BELOSIC'S Mass this past Saturday, which was attended by a number of our members.

PP CHRIS GAYNOR was unable to conjure up any Visiting Rotarians - CHRIS, you've got to be a little inventive here - call DICK DAVIS a Visitor, for instance - or RUDY ALVAREZ, who hasn't been here in two months! Let's show a little imagination, OK? At this point, I did feel compelled to point out to President PETER that he was making a great start on his year by having dessert! We were graced by the presence of a number of our Rotary Auxiliary members, headed by new President Marian TSENG. Others present included Marge DOWNIE, Marie ROLF, Dorothy FERGUS, Helen BEASOM, Eloise SISKEL, Sally NEWMAN, Ava PEPLOW, Eleanor MORE, Peggy BLOOMFIELD, Carol COLLINS, Pauline HARRIS, and Shirley MORE. Ladies, you do brighten up the place - please come often! On the subject of guests, PP RON LYSTER brought along his son, Marty. Marty was carrying his trusty Dijeridoo, which you will of course recognize as a sort of low key foghorn, so to speak. This was a souvenir from his parent's recent visit to Australia, and may be used to help promote Marty's new business. Marty has a website called CaliforniaPaws.Com, and he will be offering a mobile pet grooming service. His cell is (310)963-8218 - and if you mention this announcement when you call, he promises to give you a personal serenade on his Doo.

The first meeting of the month calls for Birthdays to be announced. Leading off was HANK "Uncle Sam" HEUER, tomorrow, the 4th of July, checking in from Yonkers, N.Y.MAX LICHTENBERGER was next, from far-off Steyr, Austria, and his chosen date of arrival was the 6th. CLAWSON BLEAK came along on the 10th, in St. George, Utah. Yokohama, Japan provided HENRY TSENG, and the date was July 12th, 1907! That makes HENRY a mere NINTY SIX years young, and several members were heard saying, "I wish I could be that sharp, just on my NEXT birthday". DANNY SKINNER arrived in Los Angeles on the 15th, while KAREN MASON elected the 18th, in Fresno.
PP YOSH SETOGUCHI calls LA home, and his date was the 19th. The 26th produced DICK DAVIS in Marion, Indiana, and it wouldn't be fair to suggest that DICK was there today just so he could be sure to get a gift - so we won't. Last up was TERRY M. WHITE, on the 31st in nearby Santa Monica. And speaking of gifts, President PETER presented the birthday honorees with nicely wrapped mementos. While we don't know what was inside the wrapping, YOE is up next month, and I'll spill the beans!

Some housekeeping announcements: This is the 75th Anniversary of WVRC, and who else but PP RON LYSTER will be in charge - it should be One For The Book! Come September, we are planning a group photo - the first since ROY BELOSIC was President in 1983-84. It will be in color, and YOE recalls an earlier group shot, when I was sporting a mustache (but not again). Also, we'll be taking color shots of all members, for the new Roster Book, so comb your hair carefully. At this point, ED JACKSON tried to slip in unobtrusively, but President PETER busted him! Just goes to show, you can't put much over on this guy…Executive Treasurer DON NELSON came forward to explain some new procedures, based on software called "Clubmate". It provides a lot of almost automatic information, and DON can give you a hand if you want to get the necessary password to utilize this excellent service. He will soon generate email statements (and I suppose that's something to look forward to…) DON had some further comments about languages, and all I can really report is that he can't speak none of them!

JIM BECHTEL is the International Service Chair, and he announced a first meeting, in two weeks on the 17th, at 11:15. SEAN McMILLAN is Co-Chair, and they are planning to continue many of our successful past programs. LENORE MULRYAN will again chair the selection of Ambassadorial Scholars, with PP GEORGE DEA handling PLLUS, and PDG ANDY ANDERSON overseeing our corrective polio surgery program. SUSAN ALLEN will continue to welcome incoming Ambassadorial Scholars - so you can see we have a lot of heavyweights manning this cornerstone of all that Rotary does.

MICHAEL GINTZ is the Chair of Youth Service, and he reminded us that the theme for this Rotary Year is Lend A Hand. He suggested we lend HIM a hand, since he's new at this. MICHAEL wants to restart our Speech Contest, and make sure that Music continues, since its long time District Chair passed away recently. He is a major fan of RYLA, the Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly, and plans to attend this year himself.
Rotaract will be a focus, and we have a good core group there. He is hoping that MIKE YOUSEM will handle the Holiday Shopping program, and it is expected that a coming District Golf Tournament will provide some additional Youth funding. His first Committee Meeting will be on August 17th, 11:15 before our noon meeting.

Rotary Auxiliary President Marian TSENG gave us an overview of their unique organization - the only such support group in all of District 5280! They have about 75 members, of who perhaps 45 are active, and they meet monthly from October through June. They have only been helping WVRC for the past 67 years… Their annual Fun Party will once again be at the TSENG'S home, on Saturday August 9th -save the date.

The R.I. Convention in Brisbane was - as usual - very well organized. All events except housing were under one roof, transportation was well planned, city busses and ferries were free - they indeed made all delegates feel most welcome. It was announced that Rotary has raised 88 Million dollars for Polio Eradication, surpassing our goal of 80 million - Let's spread the word about this, OK? 15,000 attended, which was excellent considering the recent Gulf War and the SARS scare nearby. At this point, PP DAVE WHITEHEAD operated the projector, made some comments, and PP RON LYSTER added his own, as did President PETER - the 'slides' provided an excellent overall view of what went on. An early visual showed two of our attendees (names withheld) holding what was described as emir oil. Some wag (could it have been PP ERIC?) suggested this compound was helpful in putting on toenails, while another cautioned, "Hey, we're having lunch, here". A number of Rotary International Fellowships were shown, including astronomy, golfing, flying, and of course, PP RON'S motorcycling outfit. At this point, President PETER pointed out that he had first become interested in Rotary when he learned of the Flying Rotarians. A group of horses carried in a huge Rotary flag, and aborigines provided some spectacular dancing. The huge main hall was filled THREE times, to accommodate all those for the opening program.

Next were a bunch of scenes from travels after the Convention. There was an excellent hotel at Surfers Paradise, and a shot of a KFC store - which PP JIM COLLINS quickly pointed out, was just one of their ONE HUNDRED ELEVEN KFC outlets in Australia. A possibly staged shot under the banner of Terry White Chemists showed Shirley MORE with a halo…PP RON gamely posed with a rack of Vegemite, and as one who is married to an Australian, YOE can concur with his distaste for this terrible stuff. A cow was shown, who didn't appear to be happy. Everyone was cuddling koalas, and they are indeed lovable (if you can wake them up). There were bats hanging from a tree in the Botanical Gardens, and various modes of transportation were shown, including trains, golf carts, cable cars, and ferries. A Qantas exhibit showed a very early model, with the pilot sitting on top of the passenger compartment - out in the open! Obviously, everyone who went enjoyed themselves, and certainly Australia is a most scenic - and welcoming - place.

RUDY ALVAREZ briefly spoke about his two-month sojourn in Europe - more on this when he presents a full program on this wonderful voyage.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe