Monthly News Edition 03-13
Bulletin #03 October 2013.
You are all invited to contribute and become authors and we are looking for an editor. John Glassford will be the editor until someone takes over the position. We are looking for critique, ideas and suggestions for the monthly news.
1. CHAIR REPORT
No news from the Rotary International directors meeting last week and as soon as I know if we have been approved or otherwise I will let you all know.
October has been a quiet month for me on the Rotary front. Susan and I have done back to back straw bale workshops which took up all of our spare and working time in October. We are now home for a few weeks. Also my PC has been hacked and I have lost a lot of time trying to fix the problems. Looks like a new lap top/PC next week with all that goes with a new computer. Have established that someone form Lagos has been into my Google account. So apologies for a late bulletin this month.
It has not been a good month for the rhinos nor the elephants. I get very depressed on reading the daily statistics coming out of Africa via Facebook in the main. I would like to copy here:
– over 100 rhinos have been killed this month
– before Christmas we will lose at least another 200
– total statistics for 2013 are very likely to exceed 1000 deaths this yearThis is a 5000% increase since 2007, where just 13 rhinos were lost to poachers.Our generation is the last line of defence that rhinos and many other species have, and it’s our generation that will be judged by how we responded to a situation where so many species faced extinction by our own hand.
NOW it is time to take ACTION please let me know what you propose to do in being a member of RAGES. We can talk and talk and talk but we need to do something positive and start to address the needs of initially Kenton-on-Sea and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Fund. So please get back to me with some ideas!
Also remember to ask, ask, and ask again ALL your Rotary connections to join our group.
2. RAGES MEMBER’S ACTIVITIES LATEST NEWS
News from Jo Wilmot and the Rooting for Rhinos fund raiser, top work and well done all round. We will get there one day soon I hope and support you all from all our members as we progress.
After 13 months, 45 schools and approx. 16,500 children later from 4 continents, uniting against poaching in our Rooting-for-Rhino Challenge, we are so proud to SHARE HOW the R104,436.14 raised has been spent to help save our rhino!
The HUGEST THANK YOU to every teacher, parent, student and friend who have helped us engage these schools and inspire children to join the fight against rhino poaching!
The Travelling Rhinos Project – Karen Stadler: thank you for all your support!
And to our heroes on the ground, our beneficiaries, your passion and dedication to saving this amazing species is inspiring! Thank you for making our contribution to this fight COUNT!
WE SALUTE YOU!
Special thanks to Chipembere Rhino Foundation who have held our funds and distributed them accordingly at no cost to us all!
Nearly one year ago, Selborne Primary School began their RHINO COMPAIGN and united against poaching by forming their HUMAN RHINO. Collectively, these boys raised over R10, 000.00 for rhino conservation – a HUGE & MASSIVE achievement!
3. MEET OUR MEMBERS
Past District Governor Fred Loneragan.
This month I would like to introduce you to past District Governor Fred Loneragan from D9700. PDG Fred was my DG in the year I was president of Coolamon Rotary. Fred is a member of the Wagga Wagga Sunrise RC. A former policeman in the New South Wales police force.
Fred and I climbed the Mountains of the Moon together with a team from Australia. Fred is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, a hard working Rotarian who has fallen in love with Africa and the people and animals there.
PDG Fred was awarded Rotary’s highest award the Service Above Self Award this year and for good reasons. Fred is also Chair of Rotarians For Fighting AIDS Australia. I would call Fred a great mate of mine and of Africa.
PDG Fred Loneragan receiving his certificate for climbing the Mountains of the Moon.
DG Fred Loneragan at our change over in 2008
4. SAVE AFRICA RHINO FOUNDATION.
Is your bank operating in Vietnam?
How do international banks monitor that executives in their Viet Nam operations aren’t using rhino horn to gain favours and make deals? Why not email their Corporate Citizenship Manager and ask.
Banks have spent a lot of money over the years trying to promote that they are good corporate citizen. Given the recent and rapid economic growth in Viet Nam banks from the US, Europe and Australia are increasing their operations in the region.
Please like their Facebook page: Nia’s Friends
5. SOME PHOTOS FROM OCTOBER.
The Great Elephant Walk
Inspired by Dame Daphne Sheldrick and iWorry there were walkers from many cities for the elephants and probably the most enthusiastic were the walkers in Arusha. Some photos below:
Organised through our iWorry campaign, we saw thousands take to the streets in 15 global cities to call for change in ending the trade in ivory which is leading elephants to extinction.
Thank you to everyone who supported the International March for Elephants on Friday 4th October, this was just the start. Stay involved and visit: www.iworry.org
Exactly one year ago, an elephant was brutally slaughtered by gun toting poachers for her ivory. Does this story sound familiar? It might because every day, 96 elephants are killed for their tusks.
BUT Qumquat’s story was different because for over four decades, she had been studied by researchers who watched her become the majestic leader of her “Q” family, keeping them safe for over 40 years.
This picture was taken 24 hours before Qumquat was killed. Her orphaned baby, Quanza was spared and rescued by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where she is now safe at their Nursery.
On the anniversary of Qumquat’s death, please support the DSWT’s lifesaving work and donate today to prevent the senseless killings of what few elephants remain.
How are you going to show your support during Orangutan Caring Week (November 10-16)? Why not change your Facebook profile picture to that of an Orangutan, and help raise awareness of them and their needs. Here’s the lovely Bunga, posing for the camera!
Any Indians, Australians or New Zealanders out there, Indonesia is in our back yard and these animals need us. Let me know what you can come up with for the orangutans.
6. NEWS FROM AFRICA
Looks real, says it’s ivory, but its not! New York however does have significant ivory markets – they just don’t display it in windows.
Hands off Our Elephants. Twitter page
BRITISH ARMY JOINS FIGHT AGAINST ELEPHANT AND RHINO POACHING.
A total of 25 paratroopers in Kenya are on rotation at the army’s base in Nanyuki, 200km north of Nairobi, and will provide training to Kenyan rangers who are battling increasingly militarised poachers.
Kenyan parliamentarians are currently considering proposals to increase the penalty for poaching from the current maximum punishment of three years in prison to lifetime sentences. Kenya said last month it was going to microchip the horn of every single one of the country’s thousand rhinos in a bid to combat the trade, which is largely driven by demand from south-east Asia.
7. Dr. WILLIAM FOWLDS
Dr. Will Fowlds takes time off! Something we should all do smell the flowers.
Good Morning warriors. As many of you would of heard by now after lengthy procedures on Thandi’s Face by a team of expert vets the grafts never took and it was decided to allow nature to takes it course on her face and hope that some how it will have time to heal fully. Here is a Thank you to those 3 amazing vets. Keep safe rhinos and warriors Happy Rhino Friday
8. SOME LINKS OF INTEREST.
In 1968, Cynthia Moss made a life-changing decision and moved to Africa to study elephants in northern Tanzania with Iain Douglas-Hamilton. Four years later, teaming up with Harvey Croze, she found ideal conditions for studying elephants in Amboseli National Park. Four decades later, her work is the longest-running study of wild elephants ever undertaken, documenting the lives and deaths of almost 3,000 elephants. The Amboseli Elephant Research Project now employs more than xx people and is a hub for research collaboration and training.
Since its inception in 1972, AERP has monitored the Amboseli elephants, identifying all the elephants in the population and collecting data on births, deaths and behaviour. Today, as a result, AERP is the critical source of baseline data on elephants.
9. FACEBOOK STORIES:
“Hey China, stop killing the ‘pandas of Africa”
Our friends at WildAid, in collaboration with artist Asher Jay and as part of their Say No to Ivory and Rhino Horn” campaign, have launched a new public-service campaign in China that will ask potential ivory and rhino horn buyers to see elephants in new light: as the “pandas of Africa.”
Says Asher Jay: “Cultural change is a contagious phenomenon, and comes with a tipping point—it starts with a few, gets adopted by many, and is then condemned by all. It is my daily hope that rhino and elephant.”
BITTER IRONY: this ivory carving depicts Kuan Yin, the goddess of mercy and compassion. Where was the MERCY and COMPASSION for the elephant who died for this “art”?
“People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
My summary this month comes from Rhino Fridays on Facebook.
RHINO FRIDAY 796 rhino poached in SA thus far this year.
‘’Let our descendants say that this generation had fought valiantly….’’ Guest Blog by Phillip L Prinsloo Africa has been strangely fortunate to have evaded incursions into its dark interior for millennia, despite many of the greatest tales of human history having transpired at its ceiling. Though embattled today by rapid development of infrastructure and expansion of human settlements, Africa still boasts vast expanses of pristine wilderness, and therein resides a wealth greater than any conceived today by the capitalist man. For within all goodly men there is a hankering for the Eden we forsook so long ago, and it is within the power of us who live here to invite those from far away to escape from their caged lives among the concrete trees and tarred rivers, and experience the splendour of our planet in its most unadulterated form.
If only it were accessible and permitted, there is a lofty price a traveler may pay for the mere chance to look upon Earth as it always has been – as it was before us. What is plain to see, yet oddly denied, is that the preservation of such pristine environments and the fate of the rhinoceros are closely and inseparably intertwined. Much like the sustaining power afforded to medieval European villages by relics of the Roman Catholic Church, luring pilgrims and inciting indulgences, pilgrimages to national parks and nature reserves is what sustains them. That is, of course, without consuming any part of it or rendering it weaker upon departure than how you found it upon your arrival. You carry no trinket or trophy from a pilgrimage, but a peace of mind – a wisdom, a memory – something inspiring that will be carried with you for all coming times. Iconic species such as the rhinoceros afford the reserves the attractive power needed to make it both sustainable and profitable, and in turn this provides the rhino a refuge in which it may function as part of nature as natural law intended. There are of course some who would dispute this. Some would argue that the idyllic picture of untainted nature surviving in oases scattered about the land is a dying venture, and the product of idealism and dreams.
There are evil men in this world that would indulge in what is likely the most savage dealing of the monetary underworld – a trade in which the great rhinoceros would be brought low, reduced to some caged critter to be harvested for the sport and boastful exploits of man, and to be dispelled from the wilderness where it has such an important purpose to fulfill. Farmed and bred for utilisation, the rhino may live forth in our realm, but its own realm will diminish, and dehorned, the rhino will remain as but an insult of its former glory. When its purpose has run its course for its masters, and market trends render its once treasured horn valueless as markets have done with so many treasures before, all that will remain are lifeless, disembodied cones of keratin – all that remains would be for us to imagine the majesty of the creatures that had once sported these relics upon their countenance.
Perhaps within the frame of a commercial world, the concept of pristine wilderness areas may portray for the hardened economist merely a dream, but it isn’t. We today are blessed by a century of conservation work by our forefathers to afford us the opportunity to welcome the world into our wild and beastly midst. It is one of those intrinsic treasures that we as South Africans have at our disposal, to let live forever, and perhaps even to have multitudes of local people earn their livelihoods through the protection of this treasure. At any rate, Africa is a dreamlike realm, where the imagination prospers and ambition may blossom brightly if only it chooses to bloom as the seasons and the land dictates. In the words of W. B. Yeats, Africa may say onto the world that ‘I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
’ However this fight for the survival of the rhino, or for any other beast under threat from man, will pan out, let us make it that the world will remember that we had tried. Let our descendants say that this generation had fought valiantly for nature and her splendour, and had guarded her treasures from defilement to the furthest extent of their abilities. Let them say that on this (Rhino) Friday we had fought for a life among the baobab and acacia trees – A life among elephants and lions. They will say that we had lived with the rhinoceros. Let us fight that they may live among them too.
Yours in Rotary
John Glassford Chair Proposed RAGES.
61 2 6927 6027