Posted by Michael Crowe on Oct 26, 2017
District Governor Ray Herbert recently visited the Rotary Club of Port Fairy.  During his visit Ray met with the Board and attended our dinner meeting on 23 October.  Ray’s visit was part of the District Governor’s annual tour of Rotary Clubs of District 9780.  In his address to the Club Ray highlighted a number of the programs currently active in Rotary and acknowledged the efforts of the Rotary Club of Port Fairy. 
 District Governor Ray Herbert addresses Port Fairy Rotary
In his address, DG Ray said that he was impressed with the breadth of the programs undertaken by the Port Fairy Rotary.  In particular he referred to the substantial contribution the Club had made to Moyne Health Services over a number of years and to the success of the Club's involvement in the Youth Exchange program through the current visit of Lisa van Someren to Canada.  Ray also mentioned the Club's contributions to the Bandari project in Tanzania, the Folk Festival, Rotary Park and the Open Garden day.
DG Ray Herbert with President Bill Moore
Turning to the wider Rotary community, Ray described the good work being done under the Rotary Peace Scholar program.  There are now six Peace Scholar Centres and 1100 Peace Scholars around the world. He described how a conference he attended in the US raised $90,000 from T-shirt sales for the Peace Scholar program. With these funds a young woman from Rwanda was selected for the program and sent to University in Canada. She is now in Australia.  
Trachoma is the world’s leading infectious cause of irreversible blindness.  The disease disappeared from Australian cities and towns over 100 years ago.  But we remain the last developed country in the world where this disease is still considered endemic. It persists in some of our outback Indigenous communities.
 ‘End Trachoma’ is an initiative of Melbourne Rotary Club. They have partnered with Fred Hollows and other organisations with the intention of eliminating the disease in Australia by 2020.  Prevention through good hygiene is critical. This effort is supported by  Soapaid which is an organisation that collects and reprocesses bits of soap from hotels and motels into larger bars and distributes them where needed. ‘End Trachoma’ is the project for this Rotary year selected by Deidre Herbert, Ray's wife, for special effort in the District.
Ray finished his address with a reminder that the District 9780 Conference for 2018 will be in Mt Gambier from 6 to 8 April. James Morrison has established a music academy in Mt Gambier and will provide entertainment at the conference. All are invited to the conference and Ray encouraged the Rotary Club of Port fairy to bring evidence of how the Club has made a difference to our community.