Recently we gained the well-known local actor, Sam Neill as an honorary member.
Rotary Club of Rowville-Lysterfield in Melbourne, has conducted a series of twice yearly Business Breakfasts for the past ten years or so, attracting high profile speakers and supporting many worthy causes, both Rotary and non-Rotary. Naturally, with the current pandemic, face to face events are not possible, so they turned to the digital medium to stage their event.
Normally they present their Guest Speaker with a wrapped gift or bottle of fine wine, but in Sam's case that was impractical given that he is currently housed in Sydney and as a NZ vigneron a little like giving ice to Eskimos! So the suggestion was made to make him an Honorary Rotarian. We were lucky enough to be asked to be part of this as a club near to his home.
The event went very well indeed and they ended up with the following outcomes.
1. Nearly 150 attendees.
2. 18 Rotary Districts involved.
3. 4 countries registered bookings, including a Rotarian from the Caribbean and a participant from New York.
4. 4 Australian states were covered.
5. 2 Australian Territories registered.
6. Both the North and South Islands of NZ were involved
7. Just over $4000 was raised for the Actors Benevolent Fund in NZ and Australia.
8. Major radio coverage was achieved on 3AW (major Melbourne radio station) and the ABC across regional Victoria and NSW.
Sam was extremely generous with his time and although they had anticipated a 45 minute interview, he chatted for an hour and ten minutes! And he played his ukulele and sang.
He was very chuffed to be made an Honorary Rotarian at 'Crommy' as he exclaimed and was greatly looking forward to meeting us all and receiving a club Rotary T shirt in the very near future. He was also pleasantly taken by our 'tongue in cheek' suggestion at being the Patron of our club's next fundraiser if it was the 'Cromwell Ukulele and Pinot Noir Festival!'