November 22nd 2021
Today our speaker is the Egyptian Ambassador, H.E. Khaled Ismail Sarwat.
Forthcoming Speakers and Events
Next week Roger Owens: Land’s End to John O’Groats: A Charity Ride
Dec 6th Special General Meeting
Dec 13th Christmas lunch
Jan 10th Allan Kilpatrick: Men’s Sheds
Jan 17th Sean O'Doherty: Family Carers
Mar 11th President’s Night at Dublin Castle
Mar 25th-27th Visit to RC Bonn
May 20th-22nd Premio Leonard Leonardo da Vinci weekend, hosted by RC Copenhagen.
President Alexander Kopf was in the Chair at our meeting last week.
The Thought for the Day was given by PP Bernadette. We were reminded that Remembrance Sunday, celebrated yesterday, is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states to honour armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Many other countries now take part. She quoted from the Heart Collection by C. Melita Webb. A call to peace is what we need, I believe everyone should live free and breath. I invite us to move beyond fear, leave hatred behind and forget about rage. Progress cannot be made until we all fully embrace. Let us live in peace and walk in love and unity. The focus, my friend, should be on building our unity humanity. A call to peace is what we need.
Visitors and Apologies
Last week we had a total of 27 members in attendance.
Apologies were received from Rana Al Damin; Sinem Balta; Caroline Barnardo; Barra Emmanuel; Derek Bell; PE David Booth; PP Brian George; PP Derek Griffith; Dorothy Hannon; David Horkan; Dermot Knight; Paul Loughlin; Tony Murray; Patrick White and Willy Widmer.
We had one guest Rotarian, Nasir Barakzai.
Rotary Rangers’ Schedule
Forthcoming Rotary Rangers’ outings are as follows:
Nov 23rd UCD Perimeter Walk, Belfield.
Nov 30th Deerpark, Powerscourt.
Brian Taylor RIP
PP Tony Keegan delivered a eulogy for the late Brian Taylor, former Hon. Secretary and long serving active and honorary member of the Club, who sadly died on the 8th of November 2021. Brian Taylor served as Hon Secretary during our Club’s Centenary, (when Tony was club president), and had given great service to the club in what was a busy and demanding time. Brian had served as Hon Secretary for seven Presidential terms. Between the years 2011 and 2013 he had defended the ethos and values of the club against those who would have done us harm from both inside and outside the club. He did this using his unrivalled knowledge of our constitution and by-laws. Brian not only did the club great service, and those of us who knew him are all the better for having known him. He was a true gentleman and a man of the highest integrity.
Hon Secretary’s Announcements
• Hon Sec Tony reminded us all that the Special General Meeting (SGM) will be held on the 6th December and that nomination papers for the Club Officer Appointments, listed in the Notice of the SGM circulated to all members by email on the 5th November, must be received by him by 2 pm on Wednesday 24th of November.
• Tony also reminded us that the date for the President's Night, which will take place in Dublin Castle, will be the 11th of March 2022.
• Our guest speaker next week will be His Excellency, Khaled Ismail Sarwat, the Ambassador of Egypt to Ireland. The Ambassador will be accompanied by his wife.
• There were no President’s Announcements.
• PP Mark Doyle asked if any member could assist with arranging a week's work experience for a 15 years old French girl for whom Pam and he are guardians. She is currently in Transition Year at Alexandra College. Please contact Mark directly if you can help.
• PP Alan Davidson gave an update on Bikes for Africa and told us that the good news is that the Ballyogan centre operated by DLRD will be open for deliveries from November 23rd.
• PP Mariandy Lennon provided us with an update on PP Brian George who had his operation last Thursday and hopes to be home soon.
• PP Tom O’Neill reminded members about the invitation to the inner Wheel Lunch on Sunday 21st of November. He asked for an indication of number of members who will be attending.
As November is Foundation month, PE Delma Sweeney and PP Bernadette Mulvey, both members of the Foundation Committee, spent some time giving us a brief overview of Global and District Grants.
Global Grants support large, international, humanitarian projects, scholarships and vocational training teams with long-term, sustainable and measurable outcomes in one or more of Rotary’s areas of focus. They range in value from $30,000 to $400,000. Global Grants require a partner club. The grant application asks about the grant’s objectives, participants, sustainability, budget and financing. The applicant and partner club must show that they have the capacity to achieve the planned outcome(s).
District Grants fund smaller-scale, short-term projects that address immediate needs in the community in Ireland or abroad. Each district chooses the activities it will fund. The total project value is limited to a few thousand pounds/euros. There is no requirement for a partner club, but any planned project must be within one of Rotary’s seven areas of focus.
Last Week’s Speaker
Our speaker was club member Rotarian Vasily Ogievsky who spoke to us on the topic of sustainable Forestry. His talk was based on his studies at St. Petersburg University and his subsequent business and finance studies in Ireland. Vasily said that he was delighted to be here. He has lived in Ireland for twenty years and considers himself to be Irish. He came here to study finance and has spent his time working in banks.
Vasily commenced his presentation by speaking about the hot (no pun intended) topic of climate change and the many regulatory bodies and organisations focusing on managing climate change risk. His key argument is that more legal changes are needed to push companies to be more transparent in their efforts and progress towards climate goals. Research in 2019 found that many companies thought that climate change risk was relevant in the long term and that it was not necessary to respond now. He mentioned some of the challenges to changing the mindset which included gaps in the data and goals and remuneration of executives not being linked to the climate risk agenda.
He continued by describing the innovations in sustainable forestry developed by the St. Petersburg State Forestry Technical University. The university was founded in 1803 and has a personal connection for Vasily as his grandfather was a professor there. The Innovation Centre of the university provides assistance to interested investors and enterprises in the construction of wood fibre factories which recycle low quality wood. Over the years there have been problems in Russia in reducing the waste from harvesting and with selling waste. Currently, within the Russian forestry complex, up to 10% of the possible revenue is lost annually. This is due to the uneven distribution of pulp mills, the age of the mills, the cost of transportation, the lack of sufficient consumers and the lack of forest roads.
Vasily went on to talk about what might save the Russian timber industry. He spoke about the mass construction of small tonnage plants using Energy and Carbon Management Planning (ECMP) technology (ECMPT). He explained the financials behind such projects as delivering high profitability and fast payback. The output of ECMPT is twice as high and the consumption of wood is half that of cellulose, the chemicals are safe and there are low investment and operating costs. He also detailed some of the risks both internal and external, including increase in the cost of energy, new players entering the market and of course changes in the macroeconomic situation in Russia and the rest of the world
Vasily’s presentation sparked many questions including from Roger, Ted, Frank, Tony, Paul and President Alexander. It ended with a lively discussion about the state of forestry in Ireland.