It is now more than three months since we had to start isolating ourselves due to Covid-19. Hopefully you did not find this time too difficult. Perhaps, like me, you received and made many more phone calls than usual and perhaps you renewed an old friendship or two. Those of you who are going out of the house may be astonished how we are already used to the “New Normal”, as it is called. We mostly remain physically distanced, we don’t shake hands anymore, we only embrace the closest relatives, accept that sometimes we have to queue patiently in front of shops, that screens have been installed at the cash registers of supermarkets and so on.
In my last note I encouraged you to revive an old hobby. Did you do it? What was your pastime during Covid-19? Among other activities I started and successfully completed two 500 piece puzzles, something I had not experienced for many years. Both times it was a slow start and I wondered whether I would really have the patience to persevere. Soon I rejoiced when pieces fitted together. Then I learnt to see the slightly different shades and patterns of pieces and to group them accordingly. It was important to give the eyes and brain a rest and do something else. Eventually one could see parts of the picture, my husband joined in and got hooked too and after a few days we reached the goal, the puzzle was finished. - In a way the process had a meditative feel or, being a little philosophical, could almost be looked at as a symbol for our life from birth to fulfilment.
At the committee meeting on 18th June it was decided to cancel our traditional 1st August Luncheon. It is too early to justify such a big gathering of mostly senior people. So this year we have to celebrate our Swiss National Day in “Small Style”. I recommend that you eat a Fondue or Raclette with your family or a few friends, decorate the table with some Swiss memorabilia and if you have a “Hudigägeler” CD dig it out, play it and enjoy the occasion.
We are still hoping to go ahead with the Concert in Chatswood as well as the remaining events of the year. At this stage however nothing is certain. Members, as well as the people who are on our address list will receive invitations when events are possible again.
For now: stay positive, warm and safe!
Dear members of the Swiss Community Care Society,
Dear fellow Swiss people,
Who could have imagined a few weeks ago that our lives would change so suddenly and so dramatically, and that we would constantly be asked to do this and to avoid that?
It is in the interest of everybody, young, old and middle aged, that we all comply so that the coronavirus curve can be flattened. I assume that you are well informed through TV, radio, the paper and/or word of mouth what the rules regarding our behaviours are: keep a physical distance of at least 1½ metres to fellow beings, don’t shake hands or embrace and now more and more: stay at home!
You will therefore understand that SCCS is unable to organise the trip to the Central Coast on May 12th, and most likely we will also have to cancel our Swiss National Day Luncheon on 29th July. We will keep you updated as we near those dates.
This is an isolating time which is likely to be a new experience for all of us. It is very important that we connect to other people in as many ways as possible. The telephone and video calling have the advantage that we can instantly feel the presence of the other person. So why not brighten someone’s day, lift the receiver and make that call to your friend, your neighbour, your son or daughter, your mum or your dad! The phone and other means of communication are great ways to suppress feelings of loneliness.
You are also welcome to ring me or any of the other committee members, be it just for a chat or to tell us about a serious problem you are experiencing because of this situation. The Swiss Community Care Society is happy to help you in any way possible. My phone number is 02 9743 5323. You find the other phone numbers under “CONTACT US”.
Rather than worry about the coronavirus as you are sitting by yourself at home, you might like to go back to an old hobby. Why don’t you create something nice with those remaining wool balls or with the fabric leftovers you collected for decades? You could dig out that puzzle which you finished years ago, then took apart and never gave away, or you could go back to that project which is still waiting to be finished in the garden or in the workshop. Being creative is one of the best ways to stay mentally healthy. To say it in short: “Be positive, be proactive, not paranoid!” (anon.)
In the name of our Society I wish you all the best for this difficult time.
It was very pleasing that 29 members attended our AGM on September 12th. Among them were three of our new and young members. I was also happy to welcome Anne and Serge Resplendino as guests. Anne is the president of Cercle Romand, and we hope that perhaps more members of her society will join SCCS. The Romands, Ticinesi and Rumantsch are as much deserving to be part of our Care Society as us German speaking Swiss.
The Ordinary Business part passed smoothly. It included the re-election of the committee and the confirmation of a nomination to the committee. Sophie Nakajima (the daughter of our committee member Paula) was happy to become a committee member. Sophie is of Swiss and Japanese background and was born and bred in Australia. She feels very attracted to both of her parent’s cultures. She has lived and studied for a full year in her dad’s country and now works at the Japanese Consulate. Through her mum she got to know Switzerland fairly well, spending many a holiday in the Wallis. She understands Swiss German quite well and does her best with “Wallisertietsch”.
Norbert Schweizer, our Lawyer, and his wife Sonja were made Honorary Members of SCCS. Norbert has been our very important and reliable legal advisor for about 35 years and it was a pleasure to thank him and Sonja for the enormous contribution with a special bottle of wine and a large bouquet of flowers.
Under “General Business” one of the members suggested that we should find more volunteers who would like to call elderly people on a regular basis and occasionally visit them. Preventing loneliness has become one of our main aims as there are not many Swiss in Australia who could be called “needy”. Most are financially comfortable, but being lonely can be a big problem, especially once the husband, wife or partner has passed away.
We then proceeded to the “Special Business” of this AGM. It was the discussion about and then the vote for our New Constitution. It had become necessary to change this legal paper to be up to date with the demands of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) The main changes in this legal document are the inclusion of the Use of Technology. For instance it will now be possible for the committee to call for an internet meeting, electronic signatures will be legal and the invitations to the AGM or to an Extraordinary Meeting of Members may be sent out via email or just published in the Swiss Community News. The New Constitution was unanimously accepted.
After the close of the official part of the AGM everybody was invited to a delicious Swiss dinner cooked by Chef Louis Baumann. As always this made the evening a truly pleasant and social occasion.
Swiss Community Care Society