Thanks to the community
A very special thank you to the Warrnambool community who over my 26 years at "Blood Bank" (now Lifeblood) have provided amazing support with their generous blood and plasma donations.
In our area we have the greatest "penetration rate" of eligible donors over all the country - the average is three per cent - and our local donation rate is closer to eight per cent. I am so proud of our community!
I have had the privilege of working with terrific staff, and volunteers over the years, and I am sad that because of the current pandemic I have not been able to invite the volunteers in for a final farewell.
The generosity of the volunteers has been incredible, some for many years, thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
I would also like to acknowledge the generosity of The Standard and 3YB who have always been willing to promote our cause whenever we've asked - thank you.
I have been truly honoured to be able to facilitate the selflessness of people who give of themselves to save the lives of people they never see.
Ann Barker, Warrnambool
Speculation not needed
I was surprised and disappointed to read last Saturday's editorial questioning the need to wear masks ("Is it time to drop the masks?" Saturday, October 31). The opinion presented questions both the scientific evidence and advice of the Chief Health Officer (who is both qualified and responsible for providing guidance) and shows a lack of insight into the damage this public questioning of the facts can do.
To speculate (without qualifications or credentials) that so early after Victoria started to turn the curve on COVID-19 cases that masks may not be needed is outrageous.
When our trust in the facts is eroded, we enter dangerous territory. We only need to look at the division in the US to see what happens when facts are passed as "fake news" and facts are questioned. For the editor of our local paper to pass ill-informed judgments which question when and in whom to trust to keep us safe and on a path to some return to normal is irresponsible journalism.
We need our local paper to promote a better understanding and positive discourse on the things that matter - health, education, politics and social issues. Newspapers are an incredible asset to local communities; one we need to value and nurture for the future of regional areas. When editorials like this are published it makes me question their value, and this can't be good for anyone.
Lisa McLeod, Bushfield
Mask up, COVID not over yet
Why would you not wear masks for the foreseeable future? Why would you not sanitize your hands?
Why would you not take names and phone numbers? Why would you not check licences?
COVID is not over, not by a long shot and complacency will only add to the numbers, creating an unnecessary third wave. Melbourne people will be down here in droves as soon as they are allowed.
You may not be COVID positive, but you don't know who is. Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Common sense wins every time. Regional areas have used that common sense to be COVID free, let's not take our situation for granted. All it takes is one positive person, just one.
Vicki Walters, Warrnambool
Fund-raiser a big success
Last weekend the Rotary Club of Warrnambool held its first fund-raising activity for this 'COVID' year.
It has been a difficult year for all service clubs in that it has been difficult to set up activities/projects which in the end benefits our community in many ways.
So it is with great pleasure that I would like to report that our fundraiser was a great success.
The general public has supported it whole-heartedly.
Our members were able to meet and talk to each once again.
As a result our club can now look forward to funding many more programs both for our youth and our community.
Our members have always appreciated the great support given by the Warrnambool community, as we are always excited about putting our resources back into the community.
People of Warrnambool, if a service club member thinks that you are worthy to be a member of their club by inviting you to join please don't just put it aside - at least think about it.
Remember that one of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is your time, because it is something that you will never be able to get back.
Glenn Brotchie, President, Rotary Club of Warrnambool
Wise to continue precautions
To the editor, you wrote an editorial wondering whether we still need to wear masks in rural Victoria. It's a good question.
I find wearing a mask to walk my dog irritating, and occasionally I loosen it to get a fresh breath when no-one else is around.
But I always wear a mask when I'm going anywhere near other people.
It makes sense to me. I'm in the vulnerable age bracket.
It is very easy for this virus to get a toehold very quickly.
So here's a question for you.
When around five million Melburnians are released from city bounds in a week, would it be wise to be wearing masks then?
Glenda Fry, Warrnambool
Grandchildren pay the price
Political ideology is a handbrake on the social and economic progress of the community.
Independent thought is crucial at all levels of government if our grandchildren are to receive optimal outcomes for their future.
Ideological party thinking can be blinkered and prevent politicians from looking at the whole picture.
Partisanship often focuses on certain groups in the community to the detriment of all others.
Using the analogy of a bird highlights the shortcomings of party groupthink.
A bird has a left wing, right wing and centre. The bird is wise enough to know for it to soar to its potential the left and right wing and the body (centre) need to work in harmony.
In stark contrast at a political level the different sections fight each other rather than work together.
This holds society back and prevents us from 'soaring' to our potential. Sadly party thinking is often more about putting the party first and the broader community second.
Until we have more political leaders in Australia who can cross the whole spectrum, our grandchildren will never get the chance to fully 'spread their wings' either.
Dr Michael McCluskey, Warrnambool
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