Pres Kam opened the Zoom Meeting and introduced our Guest Speaker, PDG Janne Speirs, who updated us on the aid delivery in the wake of the Gippsland fires.
Janne provided a number of stats on the fires, eg:
125 houses destroyed at Mallacoota
Significant breeding stock losses – causes a ripple effect
5 lives lost
Houses, silos and significant fencing lost
85% of Sarsfield destroyed.
Then Covid 19 hit, to compound the problems.
Janne outlined the work of the East Gippsland Fire Committee. So far, storage containers, vouchers, fodder and hay, clothing and whitegoods, furniture and fencing materials have been given out. Several renovated caravans have also been provided for accommodation while people rebuild.
Janne said there had been an amazing world-wide financial response. RI normally only provides Global Grants to Third World countries, but made a rare exception for the Gippsland Fires, providing a total of $A 450,000.
Janne has a thorough grasp of the situation and her talk was as informative as it was lively!
Colin spoke of his End Polio Now walk, advising that he already has 20 sponsors!
Terry reported on progress with the Cornerstone Garden Bed Project. He was meeting with Council next week. A water tank and pump had been donated. He hopes that, via the Church, tradies will donate their services and is looking for other donations.
Terry also advised Janne that Neil Fullard has a warehouse of quality building supplies which, if not sold, could be made available as relief to people in East Gippsland.
Leanne showed photos of Christian, the totally blind boy, who Leanne taught to swim and Terry chauffeured to lessons, jumping off a boat and swimming at Broome, before hosing the boat down. (A wonderful story and thanks to Leanne and Terry for all the time and effort put into Christian. It must be very satisfying. Ed.)