The Multi-District Conference turned out much better than the skeptics among us ever thought it could: the additional numbers made it possible to bring in world-class speakers.  John Soe was abandoned by his parents as an infant when he contacted polio. His story as the child who nobody wanted held the audience spellbound.  Dr Edna Adan Ismalia was equally inspirational, telling the story of the plight of women in war-torn Somalialand, and her struggle to build a hospital from scratch and to provide basic maternal and child care.  We make no apology for adding two stories about them to this issue.
It gave us a boost to see our newer members acknowleged on the screen: Denbigh Richards, Kim D’Arcy, Jane Tisdall, Paul Dipnall, Carole Lugassy, Joanna Benhamou, Pamm Robilliard and Helen Kavnoudias.
The entertainment at the Conference was magnificent. Circus Oz was just amazing, and the climax was Marina Pryor with a snippet from “The Phantom of the Opera”.
Next year we go to Bendigo, on 27-28thMarch: “You’ll never ever know, if you never Bendi-go”, as DG Julie Mason said a few years ago. Charlotte England expressed some disappointment that the Shamrock Hotel is already booked out for that weekend, but nevertheless is determined to have a great time.
As the Multi-District Conference was held in Melbourne, there was not the same need for a club dinner on the Friday evening. However Sheila Cheyne felt the need for a pre-conference get-together, and invited attendees to a champagne and finger-food party. Condition of entry was a donation to The Rotary Foundation, and guests raised $305 to add to our club’s contribution. 
The Shadow refuses to believe in superstition, like a house having a jinx upon it.  However, this rationalism has been rattled by considering the house of Henry and Jane Drury.  Over the past few years they have had two major floods – one involving them in moving out for several months.  The Shadow is now distressed to learn of the multi-day interruption to their electricity supply.  (Apparently their plumber inadvertently tried to dig a hole through which the incoming electricity supply cable passed!)  The rumour is that Henry rigged up a long extension lead from a neighbour’s house to supply power to one light on the ground floor.  But upstairs, it was a case of to bed when the sun sets, and wake up when the sun rises.  Reading in bed by the light of a torch might be ok, but when it’s not easy to recharge the batteries?  Without internet connection (Gasp! How did we live in that prehistoric age?)  The Shadow understands that Jane and Henry were seen frequent at the Hawthorn Library with their laptops.
Photos:  Pre-conference relaxation, and the other famous building in Drury Lane. (Not to be confused with Chez Drury)