In view of my initial article advising of the Rotary Club of Bribie Island’s planned 5th Annual High Tea, to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), and the wonderful feedback and interest displayed by Bribie residents in this celebration, I thought some information on the outcome of the event would be in order. The IWD High Tea was held on Saturday 9 March 2019 at Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club and raised $1,650 for Interplast.

Featured image(above): Rotarians Rae Guyder and Tara Quirke

The IDW theme this year is “#Balance for Better” and so we decided to have a better balance of the sexes and invited males, had a male vocalist, and an all-male group as the entertainment. Rotarian Rae Guyder opened the event and advised attendees about Interplast, outlining some Case histories. Interplast send teams of volunteer plastic and reconstructive surgeons, anesthetists, nurses and allied health professionals to provide life-changing surgery and medical training in 17 countries across the Asia Pacific region. The program was started in 1983 by Rotary in conjunction with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.


Shane Kells, Councillor Brooke Savige and “Roadie” Ray Gibbs

Shane Kells, and Bribie’s own Gleemen, then provided their special brand of music. Laughter resonated during the performance by the Gleeman, who were – in a word – sensational. Songs ranged from “My Grandfathers Clock” to “True Love” – both highlights for me. The Bribie Anthem “Beautiful Isle of Tranquility” sung to “My Bonny lies Over the Ocean” was very popular with the audience. But it was the parody of my “Favourite Things” from “The Sound of Music” that caused the most laughter – perhaps because most of us identified with the sentiments: “Zan-tac and nose drops and needles for knit-ting, Walk-ers and hand-rails and new dent-al fit-tings, Bund-les of mag-a-zines tied up with string, These are a few of my favourite things.”

What a talented group. Feedback from attendees has been very positive and the Gleemen can expect several bookings for upcoming special occasions. Then, spontaneous dancing was the reaction to Shane Kells (Kelsey). His wonderful music had everyone clapping, tapping their toes, and singing along. Shane excelled and he even joined some of us on the dance floor – “cutting a fine rug”. Shane has a marvelous voice and is a very talented musician. His repertoire included Neil Diamond, UB40, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, AC/DC, Meatloaf and just so much more.


The Gleeman

Tears were then one result of the heartfelt address given by our guest speaker, Lyntara (Tara) Quirke, who was, quite simply, inspirational. Tara, who is an Advocate for Dementia Australia and who has spoken at many National and International conferences, explained that Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians contributing to 5.4% of all deaths in males and 10.6% of all deaths in females each year.

In 2016 Dementia surpassed heart disease to become the leading cause of death for female Australians. International statistics are even more alarming with dementia affecting 50 million people Worldwide – every three seconds someone in the world develops dementia.


The packed Function Room at PHGCC

It can affect both the old and the young. The latest figures from Dementia Australia show that younger onset dementia affects close to 26,000 Australians, with dementia having been diagnosed in people in their 50s, 40s and even as early as their 30s. Tara explained that Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning. It is a broad term used to describe a loss of memory, intellect rationality, social skills, and physical functioning.