THE UNLEY ROTARIAN: Meeting 4390 - 11 June 2024   Website:
 Rotary Club of Unley Inc.

 District 9510 - Chartered 17 April 1935

 President:  John Peacham 0431 618 359
 Secretary:  Greg McLeod 0417 811 838
 Address:  PO Box 18, Unley SA 5061
 Meetings:  Tuesdays at 6.00 for 6.30pm
 Castello's Cucina, 123 Fisher Street, Fullarton SA

President John Peacham 0431 618 359

Next week is Yet to be Advised


Last Meeting

Venue:                          Castello's Cucina
Guest Speaker:           Committee Meetings
Our Guests:                 Rtn Janet Rice, Bronwyn Kenny, Alice Edge (Salvation Army)
Attendance:                 21 members 3 guests


President John opened the meeting at 6.35 from podium the stage in dim light. He welcomed guests (a bit later but let's not let the truth stand in the way of the narrative), and expressed his desire for the committees to develop their programmes for next Rotary year so we can hit the road at a cracking rate.
There were no reports  by the committees so there is nothing to report here other than that the room was abuz with discussions and lively engagement. A pleasure to behold that would have only been enhanced by more members being there.
The International Committee plus John (half of Brendan)
The International Committee Brendan cut in half.     The Youth Committee (David taking pictures).
   The Community Committee plus some guests                        The Thrift Shop Committee
The Vocational Committee
Chris Davis advised the delay in delivering Pride of Workmanship material meant that four volunteers were unavailable, he'd replaced two but two more were needed. His need was met.
Christina Way thanked her sponsors for the Soup Kitchen sleepout. She raised $1,000 but didn't succeed in sleeping out. When the drunken celebrations subsided she sat up out of the cold inside from 2.30 am.
Rhonda Hoare asked table captains to book for the quiz night. We are up to 17 tables and would like the full 20 occupied.
Alice Edge from the Salvos had her cash taking machine with her to receive donations for the Red Shield Appeal. The club matches member donation so please donate.


Val Bonython scored the filthy lucre, Ross Smith and Jeremy Casburn won other stuff
The meeting closed at 8.05pm after the Prez told a joke that included marital infidelity and death. 

Rotary International News

Watershed moment gives rise to a revitalized riverfront

The Rotary Club of Milwaukee transformed its city’s riverfront with a contribution from a local landowner — a strategy that could work in other communities

By Photography by 

They are scenes from another time, and seemingly another place. Beneath the hot summer sun, hours after they’d spent their morning mastering the breast stroke and the crawl, kids enjoy a carefree afternoon cavorting in a reservoir formed by the dam downstream. On other occasions, weekend mariners ply those same waters in canoes and rowboats, or more serious athletes, representatives of the rowing clubs that line the river’s steep bluffs, compete in vigorous regattas. Daring merrymakers ascend the bluffs, pile into a large wooden craft, and swoosh down a waterslide, landing in the river with a gigantic splash. Flip the calendar ahead six months and cheering throngs, numbering as many as 20,000 people, marvel at the acrobatic antics of ski jumpers as they race at 80 miles per hour down those same bluffs. And where avid anglers in balmier months fished for pike and bass, skaters of all ages, bundled up against the winter cold, glide across the icebound river.

The Rotary Club of Milwaukee worked to revitalize its city’s riverfront that had once been the heart of the city but had turned into an unkempt wilderness.




These may seem like faded snapshots from America’s pastoral past. As noted in Eddee Daniel’s The Milwaukee River Greenway, they are actually glimpses of the Milwaukee River at the turn of the 20th century as it coursed through what was then the 14th-largest city in the United States. The river had been the heart of Milwaukee from the times when Indigenous people traveled there to harvest wild rice, hunt waterfowl, and catch fish. Settlers of European descent dammed the river in 1835 to provide water to the mills and factories that sprang up along its banks, and in winter “Brew City” breweries harvested ice from the river reservoir to cool the beer that patrons quaffed in summer at the beer gardens along the river’s shores. The celebrated landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed Riverside Park, one of the many parks along the river, in the 1890s; it was home to, among other things, a pavilion and a curling rink. About a mile upstream was an amusement park that The Milwaukee Journal called a “brilliantly lighted wonder city.”

But even as children played and couples courted, trouble lurked beneath the water’s surface — or sometimes right on top of it. Filled with sewage runoff, the river had become Milwaukee’s de facto toilet. The situation was so bad that, in 1888, the city began “flushing” the river daily with water from Lake Michigan, using what was said to be the world’s largest pump. Even as the city invested in its nationally recognized sewer system, heavy rainfall frequently caused overflows, sending wastewater into the river. At the same time, as the shoreline factories thrived, the loads of toxic industrial waste destined for the river increased exponentially.

Inevitably, that idyllic waterfront playground disappeared, replaced by an unkempt wilderness. Drug trafficking and other crime became the new pastimes for visitors to neglected Riverside Park. “When we were kids, we’d go there,” recalls Matt Haas, a member of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. “It was this scary place to go on your bikes. All the trails were abandoned, and the ornate old streetlights didn’t work anymore. We thought it was haunted.”

But just as the wonderland vanished, so too did the blighted wasteland. Visit Riverside Park today and you will encounter a place magically transformed, all thanks to some dedicated Rotary members, their committed and farsighted partners, and an ingenious focus on conservation, land trusts, and generous eco-minded citizens — a miracle formula that, with a few site-specific tweaks, can be applied anywhere.

This massive stone archway was designed by Mario Costantini, a member of the Rotary Club of Milwauke

A river revitalization

It’s a sunny morning in May and, serenaded by the sound of chirping birds, members of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee swarm the riverside Coyote Hill. Beneath a cornflower blue sky, kids playfully bang trowels against rocks as their parents pull augers and gloves and drills from crates situated along a winding path that passes beneath a massive stone archway.

Caitlin Reinartz, the urban forester at Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center, wears a straw hat and leans on a shovel as she reviews the day’s tasks. Rotary members are here to plant more than 1,000 prairie grass seedlings, varieties like little and big bluestem, prairie dropseed, and switchgrass. Reinartz demonstrates the proper planting technique with a Virginia wildrye seedling. “This year it won’t grow much more than knee height,” she says in her booming voice. “Next year, after it overcomes its transplant shock, this baby is going to be 9 feet tall.”

The crowd oohs.

Reinartz explains the benefits of prairie grasses — how they provide habitat for birds and bees, sequester carbon, and remove pollutants from the air. “We are really making a good change here today, one that’s going to last a lot longer than we will. This is going to be around for maybe 110 years,” she jokes, a nod to the club’s 110th anniversary. The crowd oohs again and gets to work.

The land where Rotary members are planting was once the site of the National Brake and Electric Co., which, after its incorporation in 1906, rapidly grew to employ 1,400 people in its machine shop, foundries, and other facilities. During World War I, the company produced heavy equipment for the war effort, but the boom was short-lived: The site closed during the Depression due to financial issues. By 1939, like other locations along the river, the factory had been abandoned.

After a lapse of more than 30 years, things took a turn for the better with the 1972 passage of the Clean Water Act, which put the brakes on industrial pollution. In the 1980s and ’90s, the governor of Wisconsin created a task force to come up with a plan for the river, Milwaukee built new sewage tunnels to catch wastewater overflow during storms, and the dam came down. Concerned neighbors founded the Urban Ecology Center to decrease crime and bring life back to the Olmsted-designed Riverside Park.

In 1994, the Rotary Club of Milwaukee joined with the local Kiwanis club to create the River Revitalization Foundation, an urban land trust with a mission to protect and revitalize the river’s environmental corridor. The group also worked to make the land that had reemerged with the draining of the dam’s reservoir accessible to the public, and it lobbied to safeguard riparian habitats. To ensure that people could thoroughly enjoy this newfound nature, it helped implement zoning laws that restricted building heights in the “viewshed.”

The result is the 6-mile-long Milwaukee River Greenway, which, at 878 acres, is larger than New York City’s Central Park (another Olmsted-designed beauty). Today, from parts of the greenway, it can feel like you’re in a remote wilderness rather than in a river basin that’s home to 1.3 million people.

“In a lot of ways, it is an accident we have this,” says Matt Haas, who holds one of the Rotary seats on the River Revitalization Foundation’s board. “This whole river was a big toxic industrial waste dump. The fact that the dam came out and exposed all that land that had previously been under water, in combination with a bunch of these warehouse and manufacturing owners taking buildings down, basically freed up a bunch of green space that previously didn’t exist.”

That was just one piece of the Milwaukee club’s transformation of the city’s environmental landscape. In 2007, as the club was casting around for a project to mark its centennial in 2013, the Urban Ecology Center brought forward a proposal to expand Riverside Park. It was another opportune moment: Pieter Godfrey, an architect interested in historic preservation and materials reclamation, owned property immediately south of the park — the former National Brake and Electric Co. site — and he had been in conversation with the Urban Ecology Center about donating 4 acres of that land.

Rotarians pledged to raise $400,000, the seed money for what ended up being an $8 million endeavor that resulted in a 40-acre arboretum encompassing Riverside Park. Godfrey died in 2011, but his family donated the $2 million parcel. Members of Rotary seeking additional funding for the project testified before the Wisconsin Legislature and helped land a $1.3 million grant from the state Department of Natural Resources. The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provided nearly $1 million, and many other public and private donations helped subsidize the now-flourishing urban paradise.

“It’s amazing we have this so close to the city,” says Mary McCormick, executive director of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, as she looks out over the river and reflects on Rotary members’ role in the creation of the greenway and the arboretum. “We were the glue that held this together for five years. We were committed to getting this done.”

As she strolls along the riverside trails, McCormick stops periodically to chat with a birder, point out a canoe launch, and listen to a fly fisherman who’s been having some luck with smallmouth bass. Among the goldenrod and rudbeckia flowers rise the thousands of trees planted over the years by Rotarians: white birch and silver maples, American sycamore and white walnut, to name only a few. A huge, downed tree and strategically placed branches cry out to be climbed. The U.S. Forest Service, another partner in the project, has designated the arboretum as a national children’s forest, one of only 22 in the country, and one of only three in a major urban area.

“You have to be an advocate for something,” McCormick says. “We advocate for having vaccinations, we advocate for clean water, and we advocate for taking care of the land. We have done that, and we should do that as Rotarians. We need to protect the resources we have, and in some cases bring them back.” And there are ingenious methods of doing exactly that, which Rotary and Rotaract clubs around the country may want to duplicate.

Coffee Chat at Impressa, Unley Shopping Centre

10.30 am on the first Friday of the month is good for a chat with Rotary friends and a caffeine fix - Next one is this Friday 5 July 2024

Upcoming Meetings

Tuesday 18 June 2024 6 for 6.30pm Castello's Cucina
Guest Speaker: A Mystery turn up and find out.
Welcoming team: Patsy Beckett and Valerie Bonython
Tuesday 25 June 2024 6 for 6.30pm Castello's Cucina
Guest Speakers: Behind the Badge Speakers TBA
Welcoming team: Patsy Beckett and Valerie Bonython
Apologies and Meeting Enquiries to: Secretary Greg McLeod on 0417 811 838 or email to
Venue Set-up Enquiries to: Bulletin Editor Stephen Baker on 0403 687 015

Saturday Thrift Shop Roster

Early Shift: 10.00am to 1.00pm    Late Shift: 1.00pm to 4.00pm 
Week 1: 1 June 2024    
Early: Jerry Casburn & Haydn Baillie |  Late: Robyn Carnachan & Leonie Kewen
Week 2: 8 June 2024  
Early: Greg Mcleod & Wendy Andrews |  Late: Virginia Cossid & Vera-Ann Stacy
Week 3: 15 June 2024 
Early: David Middleton & Nathan White  |  Late: Vera Holt & Rhonda Hoare
Week 4: 22 June 2024  
Early: Stephen Baker & Judi Corcoran |  Late: Jason Booth & Vera-Ann Stacy
Week 5: 29 June 2024    
Early: Bob Mullins & Wendy Andrews |  Late: Virginia Cossid & (Paul Duke)
Rotarians, who are unable to attend as rostered, please arrange a swap or as a very last resort contact: Vivienne Wood 0408 819 630; e-mail: [Note Vivienne is away from 28 May to 25 June......please arrange a swap!]

Mitre 10 and Bunnings Barbeques 

The Mitre 10 BBQs are the first and third Saturdays of each month. Morning shift 8.30am - 12 noon; afternoon shift 12.00 - 3.30pm, then one is Saturday 15 June 2024.
ALL the Bunnings Mile End Barbeque shifts are from 8am to 5pm
Morning shift: 8.00am – 12.30pm | Afternoon shift: 12.30 – 5pm
We have been allocated the last Monday of each month and the next one is Monday 24 June

The Tale End.....

Did you hear about the fire in the shoe factory? 10,000 soles were lost. The police said some heels started it.
What do you call an alligator in a vest? An in-vest-igator.
What do you call a piano student at Concordia Collage? A pianoconcordian.
What's the difference between a rabbit and a plum? They're both purple except for the rabbit.
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