Discon-18: a summary and some interesting information
One of the great spinoffs of having a conference in a quaint but remote fishing village is the opportunity it creates to go and visit.
So many delegates mentioned that they never have been to Namibia before and easily 50% or more made a Namibian trip out of the event.
This resulted in some very interesting observations that I would like to share with you that made Discon-18 in Lüderitz the success it was:
* Discon-18 became a mini-international conference: no less than 11 Rotary Districts were represented, including all 4 Districts of the Southern African region.

* Delegates: from the USA; Germany; The UK and all 4 Districts in Southern Africa.

*Speakers: The 3 main speakers left the audience spellbound and moved sharing their stories:
1) Motivational speaker Chris Bertish: From breaking world records in big wave surfing,Stand Up Paddle boarding to extreme ocean adventures,
Chris inspires people around the world to push their limits and redefine what’s possible.
2)Namibian conservationist Michael Leech: Through the “Save the Rhino Trust”, Michael works tirelessly to protect the desert-adapted black rhino from extinction.
3)Namibian born Miss Universe 1992 and Children Trust Ambassador for RI and Rotarian Michelle McLean-Bailey:
A recognized speaker on empowering women, her keynote address dealt specifically with stress and pressure as a Rotarian, while still creating a
successful personal life and business.
 
* Our RIPPR Brenda Cressey: Brenda is not just a TRF Trustee 2017-2021 and the 1 st woman vice-chair: she is also a down-to-earth person that inspired all.
The delegates delighted in her passionate stories; her openness and her Foundation wisdom.

And then there were the celebrations of The Rotary 2017-2018 year

* The Club Presidents: wearing their chains and fondly called the “chain gang”, these 2017-2018 Presidents turned the D9350 clubs around and achieved remarkable results in gaining membership; getting Presidential citations and shining the light on Rotary.
* Club projects: listening to the Knysna fire disaster and the huge relief that Rotary clubs gave to those desperate and without hope, the seriousness and life value of MAD hit home.
* 30 years of women in Rotary: the mix of delegates showed the power and commitment of women in Rotary.
* The Oscar Award ceremony: Miss Universe 1992 Michelle brought with her Oscar statues to lend glitter to our award ceremony.
Handing out the Oscars the celebrities Michelle and DG David Freudenberg (both from D6930 USA) turned the event into a lot of laughter moments,
with recipients thanking their “mom and dad” in true Hollywood style!

The spirit prevailed throughout the Conference
The spontaneous and impromptu comments made on the stage and off the stage kept energy levelshigh and the laughter loud.
Some of the many ‘changes’ to the programme included:
* The MC Andre who became an auctioneer selling books for donations to the Luderitz Club; the Rotary Foundation and specifically Polio Plus.
* PDG Tom McGhee from D9370 gave a beautiful rendition of “Flower of Scotland” before his speaker slot.
* AG Buddy adapted “Galviston Bay” to his home town of Walvis Bay with hilarious results.
* Prof Hal Walker, a rocket scientist from USA became known as “Rocket Man” when he took over the guitar and became an instant hit playing with the swinging band.
 
The key success factor of the whole conference was the attitude and participation of all delegates that kept the energy high and the laughter loud.