Sunday, June 16, 2019

Mini Library in The Giving Garden

In 2018 a request came from the Aldinga Beach Children's Centre for a mini library to be installed in The Giving Garden, which is situated in a reserve adjacent to the Children's Centre and Aldinga Beach B-7 School. As a founding co-operating partner of the Giving Garden project, the Rotary Club of Seaford took ownership of this request. 

The "Little Free Library" movement started in 2009 in Hudson, Wisconsin, USA, when Todd H. Bol designed and built the inaugural Little Free Library, a model of a one-room schoolhouse, at his home. It is estimated there are now 60,000 mini libraries across the globe in over 80 countries.

The Rotary Mini Library follows the well established pattern of "take a book, return a book", and gives book donors peace of mind that their pre-loved books are being appreciated rather than gathering dust. 

One of the great aspects of Rotary is that every member brings their unique talents to the club. Our mini library was constructed by our own Rotarian and handy man extraordinaire Ray Goodall (right) with materials generously donated by Bunnings Seaford. 

The mini library was painted in Rotary colours; gold and blue, and installed in the garden in March 2019. The club agreed to have signage made for the mini library, which was installed at a working bee in the garden in June 2019. Pictured above is Kerry from the Aldinga Beach Children's centre giving the mini library a clean and restocking it with new books which were donated by Rotarians.

Basic Education and Literacy is one of Rotary International's six areas of focus.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

There's no place like Calperum

The Rotary Club of Seaford held its third annual weekend away at Calperum Station across the June long weekend. A group of nearly 30 volunteers including Rotarians and family, plus Rotaractors from the Adelaide City Rotaract Club participated in a number of environmental conservation projects during their stay, but also had plenty of time to relax and breathe in the crisp Calperum air.

Situated north of Renmark, the 2,386 km² former sheep station is now a site for habitat and species conservation, scientific research and education. Many Rotary clubs visit the site annually to participate in efforts to help return the site to its former habitat. Previous activities undertaken by the Rotary Club of Seaford include tree health surveys, the removal and disposal of disused irrigation pipe, gardening projects including mulching, planting and weed removal. Volunteers also undertake general maintenance on the property such as oiling of decks and painting of buildings. Rotarians are fortunate to have the use of "Rotary House" which provides a high level of comfort in the outback setting. 

This year's activities included weeding of a vegetable patch and other garden beds, and the maintenance of watering bladders for recently planted trees. These bladders (right) have a capacity of 25 litres of water, which will keep newly planted trees watered for approximately one month, meaning volunteers need to top them up regularly. The trees are also surrounded by wire mesh guards to help protect against wind, wild goats and kangaroos.

But a visit to Calperum is not all hard work. There's always plenty of time to relax or explore the beautiful scenery. A visit to Calperum Station will usually involve an encounter with the local wildlife including emus and other bird life, kangaroos and goannas. There are many great stories to be told over dinner or by the fire pit after a hard day's work.

In addition to Rotary House, dormitory style accommodation is available for larger groups such as schools. For groups prepared to offer up a little elbow grease, accommodation is free. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Seaford Rotary Business Breakfasts

The Seaford Rotary Business Breakfast is rapidly becoming a "must attend" event for the Seaford business community. This initiative started as a partnership with the Seaford and Moana Business and Tourism Association (SMBTA) to run a spontaneous networking event linking Rotarians with the local business community. The first few events were held at the Moana Surf Lifesaving club.

Unfortunately the SMBTA disbanded, but given the popularity of the first few business breakfasts, it became apparent there was a genuine thirst for networking events in the region. This is when Ian Renshaw from the Rotary Club of Seaford stepped up and agreed to run the event. Attendance is growing steadily, and the Seaford Rotary Business Breakfast is now run quarterly at the Beach Hotel in Seaford.

Each event features a few speakers on both business and Rotary topics. Our biggest breakfast boasted over 70 in attendance featuring recently elected City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson, who spoke on council's support for the business community. 

The next Seaford Rotary Business Breakfast will be held on Friday, March 19th at 7.00am at the Beach Hotel, Seaford. Special guest speaker is Charles Manning – Face the World – building the next generation of leaders . Cost $25 includes a cooked breakfast and Tea/Coffee. REGISTRATION ESSENTIAL - PLEASE CLICK HERE

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Giving Garden

Our club's first and longest running project is The Giving Garden. This is a partnership between the Rotary Club of Seaford, Aldinga Beach B-7 School, Aldinga Beach Children's Centre, The City of Onkaparinga and the Aldinga Beach Community.
For many years this space was a disused reserve on Evans Street at Aldinga Beach, adjacent to the school, Rotarian Lauren Jew, who at the time worked at the Children's Centre, recognised the opportunity to give the reserve a makeover and applied for a street-scaping grant from the City of Onkaparinga. The application was successful, and the work began in earnest. 

Lauren put the call out for volunteers to help create and maintain a community garden, and the Rotary Club of Seaford took it on as our first hands-on project.
The Giving Garden was officially opened on March 15, 2017.

The next major project for our club was to construct a paved path through the garden. In winter months the path can get muddy, and we figured a paved path would make for easier access, and also more wheelchair friendly. 

In order to raise the necessary funds for the construction, our club sold engraved pavers to local individuals and businesses.

A big vote of thanks to the City of Onkaparinga, who provided a bobcat and operator to excavate the trench, saving many hours of back breaking work. Thanks also to Aldinga Landscape Supplies for donating rubble and paving sand, Reece Plumbing Seaford who donated ten bags of cement, and Total Outdoor Living for generously donating the grey concrete pavers. All red brick pavers on the edges were donated by local families and collected by members. 

The construction process took two full days, with many Rotarians and their family and friends participating. Also joining the effort were a number of local residents and members of the school and children's centre community. The Rotary Club of Seaford places a high priority on hands-on service projects. Our members love to get out in the fresh air and use their elbow grease. We make sure we're visible in the community and we love it when family and friends join in.

Our work continues at The Giving Garden. Regular working bees are planned to complete garding work such as mulching, weeding, planting and pruning. There is also regular maintenance work carried out on equipment and furniture. 

We often hold informal meetings at the conclusion of our working bees that replace regular club meetings. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Bat Box Manufacturing

Project Update: November 9, 2019
Another 80 boxes were manufactured at a second working bee, with 50 boxes ordered by the NRM Board and 30 for EcoVineyards.

Original article published May 22, 2019

The Rotary Club of Seaford is parterning with the Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board and several wineries in the McLaren Vale region to increase the native bat population. 

Micro bats (about the size of a mouse with wings - or smaller) can eat over 1,000 insects every night. By keeping the insect population down around vineyards, grape growers can reduce and potentially eliminate the use of pesticides, which is better for the environment, and produces a cleaner product. 

In order to increase the micro bat population, we are manufacturing nesting boxes which will be strategically installed in trees near vineyards. At a working bee on Easter Saturday, the club constructed and painted just under 50 boxes.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Ugandan Health Clinic Project

Project Update: February 1, 2020

We held our Ugandan Dinner which raised over $3,000 for the project.
Project Update: January 27, 2020

Bonny Mark Alinga, from the Rotary Club of Mbale sent us photos of the security doors and windows installed on the building.

Project Update: November 22, 2019

Our club has transferred our first instalment of funds for this project: AU$4,238 (approx 10.6M Ugandan Shillings) to our partner club the Rotary Club of Mbale to start construction work. The building is currently little more than a shell, and this initial progress payment will allow for the installation of windows, doors, locks, and the connection of electricity to the building.

In other exciting news we have been succesful in attaining a AU$5,000 grant from the Rotary Foundation via a Rotary District 9520 grant. This will bring us a lot closer to our stage one target of AU$13,500, but we still have to raise considerable funds to complete stage 1 of the project, and then commence stage 2 which will be the fitout with medical equipment.

Original Story: May 21, 2019

Kally meeting Rotary Club of Mbale President Bonny Mark Alinga. 
Following a visit to Uganda last year by Rotarian Kally Hooper, and an introduction to the Rotary Club of Mbale, we are proceeding with a joint initiative to build a much needed health clinic in Mbale.

Kally was volunteering in Uganda to train local nurses in mental health care, and was keen to meet up with local Rotarians. She was welcomed into the Rotary Club of Mbale where she learned of their dreams of building a health clinic.

The building that will eventually be a new health clinic.
We have had great dialogue with Rotarian Bonny Mark Alinga, and in partnership with the Mbale club and local organisation Midpro Initiatives, we will shortly be commencing stage 1 of the project. This will involve the completion of building work for the clinic, which we hope to support with a Rotary Foundation District Grant.

Stage 2 of the project will be to fit out the clinic and get it ready for operation, with the assistance of a Rotary Foundation Global Grant.

Along the way we will need to undertake considerable fundraising for this major initiative. We hope we can count on the Seaford community for your support.
Please click here to donate to this project.