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Empire visit to Welshpool Rotary branch

Last week I had the pleasure of attending my first ever Rotary meeting, as a special guest of our long standing client, and incoming President of the Welshpool branch, Greg Thomas. I had no idea what to expect, but was not phased at all with the 7am start by virtue of the fact that since the twins have come along I rarely sleep past 5am anyway.

At their meetings the members invite a guest speaker to talk to them about various topics that may be of interest to the members themselves, or of use in the work they do in the community. Greg was kind enough to invite me along in this capacity.

I decided given the age group and occupations of the members, many of whom are small business people, to have an informal chat about the growing popularity of Self Managed Super Funds and the ability to use these funds to purchase residential, commercial and industrial real estate.  I also spent some time explaining the unique tax nature of superannuation in general as an investment holding vehicle, and how beneficial it can be as a retirement saving and income producing structure.  Rivetting, I know.

I was not expecting, and was pleasantly surprised, with the pomp and ceremony of the Rotary meeting.  We started with a Toast to Australia, facing the Australian and Western Australian flags.  Then we were led in song from the Rotary Songbook placed on every chair.  The songbook looked quite old, as was the selection of songs in it, and I loved it.  Really great, easy to sing along tunes.  Singing is rarely a part of everyday Australian culture, so it took me a few seconds to get comfortable with it, but was soon in full voice singing “Consider yourself at home, consider yourself one of the family…”.

After all other meeting formalities, we ended the morning singing Advance Australia Fair.

During the meeting I heard about the work the Rotarians were doing in the community, in particular their most recent work for disadvantaged children with “Camp Opportunity”.  This group meet weekly to work on community projects together, and their commitment to their mutual cause was highlighted for me with the fact one of the members had a 100% attendance record for the last 40 years!

I enjoyed my time with the Rotarians, and would like to thank Greg Thomas , the current President Rod Lawson-Kerr and all members for their warm welcome and hospitality, and encourage you to support the work of this committed and community minded group.

Raymond Pecotic

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