Kathleen (Kathy) Nelson, ELCA missionary in Cameroon, visited Trinity Lutheran Church on Monday, June 11. The officers of Trinity's unit of Women of the ELCA hosted a morning coffee hour to give an opportunity for members to meet Kathleen, the missionary to whom they had given financial support since July 2005. Kathy talked about her experience in Ngaound�r�, Cameroon; showed a DVD about the Lutheran church and hospital in that city; and answered questions about her work. She brought arts and craft objects from Cameroon for display during her visit, and she presented Trinity's WELCA with a pair of colorful quilted hotpads, which had been made by women in Cameroon. Kathy returned to the United States in May and will fulfill her service to the ELCA Division for Global Mission in July; she is on tour in June to visit the congregations which have provided financial support. This fall she will go to Thailand, where she has accepted a teaching position.
Australian addresses Rotary
The Vermillion Rotary Club met at noon on Tuesday in the Freedom Forum on the USD campus for its regular weekly meeting under the leadership of President Roger Kozak. Joe Edelen and Jack Noble led the club in the singing of two opening songs, including the Australian national anthem, which was sung in honor of our guest program presenter, Duncan Stalker, OAM, a retired college principal, who spent over 30 years in his last position in Melbourne.
Several guests were introduced, and Sergeant at Arms Al Pravacek found a couple of rotarians willing to share good things that had happened to them during the past week. Dr. Chuck Yelverton was presented with a presidential certificate of appreciation for his bike helmet work.
Mr. Stalker proceeded to present a very interesting program which included a geographic tour of the nation/continent of Australia, and demographic and rainfall tours as well. He also described Australia�s political system, its industrial and farming industries, its unique animal kingdom which includes not only such exotic native species as platypi, wombats, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, koalas, kookaburras and crocodiles, but also hundreds of thousands of wild camels descended from those imported from Afghanistan as beasts of burden during the 19th century.
His presentation was very complete, presenting at least a hundred interesting facts about Australia, most of which are not common knowledge among Americans.
An interesting highlight of Mr. Stalker�s presentation is the fact that while Australia is large in area � 7.8 million square miles compared to the USA�s 9.6 million ��it has water resources for only about 20 million inhabitants for its present population of 22 million. In other words, Australia has about as large a population as its continent can carry. Of the 22 million inhabitants, the cast majority live on the sea coasts in large cities that embody commercial, industrial, shipping and technological industries, while the rest of the area is so dry as to be virtually all desert.
Within its large area, however, are large mineral deposits with mining, steel and aluminum industries to match. It is home to four large automobile manufacturing plants owned by the usual international automotive industry giants, and produces all of its electrical energy from coal. Farming in the few watered areas produces wheat and other crops while the arid areas are home to vast cattle and sheep ranches that produce large quantities of wool and beef simply because of their large size.
Many young students in the outback travel large distances to school, while others engage in distance learning by two-way radio and computer connections.
Australia�s governmental system includes a two-house legislature with a popularly elected house of representatives and a senate made up of six senators from each of its six states, thus preserving political unity among the population centers as contrasted to the less populated areas, and the farming and industrial components of society.
This, as in America, has produced a stable government and economy for many years. Australians are often quite laid back and thus have a very generous welfare system that attracts less-than-ambitious immigrants. It has had to stop immigration through Indonesia from the north in order to preserve a majority population that is committed to western European political, economic and family ideals.
In Australia, voting is compulsory (you are fined if you don�t), as are bike helmets, seat belts, and never driving under the influence. Spot road checks are made constantly to catch drunken drivers.
For laid-back Australians, the beach is the place! Aquatic sports have been the rage for generations. There are enough different definitions of words in Australian English to produce real amusement, and sometimes embarrassment and miscommunication for Americans. Some of these our speaker pointed out. We wish to thank our Rotary friend, Mr. Duncan Stalker, whose home is in Warrnambool, for an exceedingly interesting and informative program about his beloved home country.
Sons of Norway meet
Sons of Norway, Lillehammer Lodge, #1-633 met on May 15 at the Christ the King Lutheran Church in Yankton. The meeting opened at 7 p.m. with the national anthems of Norway and the U.S. and the U.S. flag pledge.
The secretary took roll call of the officers present, with 11 present and total of 32 members attending. The financial report was given by Gene Iverson.
Sharon List reported that several members have been ill recently. These members included Jim List, Elvira Grindvold and Analyn Schmidt.
Items noted for The Good of the Order were notices of Norway�s Constitution Day, celebrated at Augustana College on May 17; Nordland Fest, June 23, also at Augustana; May 19, �Tea & Tak� at the W.H. Over Museum (an apron program about a collection of 80 aprons); and June 22, the Danish Festival of Midsommer at Dalesburg Lutheran (north of Vermillion). Later events are Riverboat Days with Aug. 18 parade date and Opdalslag on Sept. 8 and 9, and Scandia Lutheran in Centerville with reservations due by Aug. 20.
JoAnn Christensen has met with a representative of the Midsommer Fest who requested the lodge have a booth to interest attendees in lodge membership. Material is available from the head office of Sons of Norway. Also some discussion was held regarding being ice cream vendors.
Members are asked to consider a potluck supper at the church for July.
The May birthdays were noted and the birthday song was led by President Connie.
Carol Broderson gave a short talk on aprons and showed aprons she had. Members were invited to show the aprons they had brought and many interesting and family-heirloom aprons were shown and their stories told. Members are asked to bring their aprons again to the next meeting for a group picture.
The Norwegian table prayer was led by John Grindvold and lunch and fellowship were enjoyed by all.
The next meeting will be June 19 at 7 p.m. with the Singing Seniors entertaining.