Sunday, 26 February 2017

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 21 February 2017 -Volunteering in India - Maggie MacLaren

Reporter: Dr. Eugen Bannerman

Members were greeted with a handshake and oodles of smiles from Greeter Naida Hyde.
The meeting was called to order by MC Jim Force, who had been visiting grandchildren in Calgary recently, and he read some humorous quotable quotes by children from a book.
O Canada was sung a cappella.

Naida Hyde introduced the guests:
Waheeda Esmail, hosted by Mandy Pui Trond Holtbu, a prospective member, hosted by Lorna Curtis
Cecilia Valdes, hosted by Pablo Diemecke

Joan Firkins presided over the Rotary Foundation moment.
She showed 4 short video clips of Foundation projects, in India, Haiti, and Africa. “They are examples of the power of what happens when we give to the Foundation.” To date, about 20 members have not yet made a donation to the Foundation for this year.
Joan handed out 3 Paul Harris pins:
Ron Cooley, Paul Harris + 2 pin; Jim Force, Paul Harris + 5 pin; Jack Petrie, Paul Harris + 6 pin


  • A Celebration of Life for Brian Lamb, one of the charter members of the Rotary Club of Oak Bay, will be held this Saturday, February 25, at 2:00 p.m. in the Carson Hall of the Victoria Conference Centre (off the Empress Hotel). In his last few days, Brian had asked his family to help with the Food Rescue Project, and a BRIAN LAMB FOOD RESCUE FUND has been set up, through the Victoria Foundation. The program will see “quality perishable food re-distributed to food-insecure people living in our region.”
  • Interact/International Breakfast this Thursday Feb 23rd at Youth Centre at Oak Bay High School, between 8:15 and 9:15 am.
  • Club-in-a-Pub this Thursday Feb 23rd at 5 p.m. at the Penny Farthing on Oak Bay Avenue.
  • Lorna Curtis has 10 tickets at $5.00 each, which gets you a lantern for the Food Rescue Centre Launch on Thursday March 16, at 10:00 a.m. at 808 Viewfield Road, Esquimalt. “Hors d’oeuvres... made from rescued food will be served” by Esquimalt High School students.

Celebrations Master Mandy Pui
Mandy took the microphone to applause: (“Look at my fans here”)
She fined those who sang the old version of O Canada, instead of the newly revised and gender-free, “in all of us command.”
A few questions Mandy asked: What is the theme of the month? Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Why does February only have 28 days? Goes back to Julius Caesar, when February was the last month of the year. To balance the total number of days in a year, a couple of days was taken off February.

Happy/Sad Dollars
Jim Force is happy with the progress his daughter is receiving with her medical treatments.
50/50 Draw was won by a surprised and delighted Bob Schelle.

Guest Speaker: Maggie MacLaren
Peter Lawrie introduced our Guest Speaker. Maggie MacLaren was born in Toronto... After a number of jobs, she became a hotelier. At some point, she asked herself “What would a life with deeper meaning look like?” She celebrated her 80th birthday by walking the Camino de Santiago, the trail in northwestern Spain, hiked/walked by millions as a kind of pilgrimage.

Maggie shared her experiences as an overseas volunteer. “My ‘Go Back Home’ is in Kaliyampoondi, at the Child Haven Home.” Child Haven was established by Bonnie and Fred Cappuccino in 1985, and has become an international organization consisting of nine Homes in four countries, with 1300 children, 150 women and 50 seniors. The Homes are run on Ghandian principles of respect for all religions, equality of the sexes, non-violence, vegetarianism, simple living, and no regard for caste. Maggie visited her first Child Haven Home in 2006, and “it changed my life.”

Maggie showed a video, from the Toronto International Film Festival, in which Fred Cappuccino, a Unitarian minister from Ontario, spoke. Fred and his wife, Bonnie, who have 21 children (19 adopted ones), received an award for their international humanitarian work of setting up homes for destitute children and adults. “I still get weak in my knees when I look at her,” Fred, 92, said about his wife.

The ripple effect from their work changed my life, Maggie told us. Rotary Clubs are a presence at some of these Child Haven Homes.

Michelle LeSage thanked the speaker “for showing us how important volunteering can be.” She gave Maggie our OB Rotary Mug.

Jim Force clanged the bell and another meeting was over, without any singing.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 14 February 2017 - Social Enterprise Co-op, Jakelina Listes

Reporter: Dr. Eugen Bannerman

President Lori  welcomed everyone to the Valentine’s Day meeting.
“O Canada” was sung with the newly approved gender neutral words, “in all of us command.”
Will Carter’s invocation included thanks for food, fellowship, and “having been in love.”
(He told us later, his mother’s name is Elizabeth Valentine O’Sullivan.”
Call to Lunch
Mary Canty introduced Visiting Rotarian, John Picken, St. Catherine’s Club.
Guests: Jean Lawrie (wife of Peter Lawrie), Sarah Lawrie and Logan (daughter and granddaughter of Peter Lawrie); Trond Holtby, (hosted by Club).
Health of the Club: Tom L will be having surgery this week; Mary Canty’s daughter will also be having surgery this week.
Wendy Townsend (President-Elect) presented a personal Rotary Moment.

Brian Lamb’s Celebration of Life will be held Saturday February 25 at 2 p.m. at the Victoria Conference Centre. A card for his wife, Carol, was sent around to be signed.
A Valentine-themed concert by the Die Mahler String Quartet and directed by our own Pablo Diemecke, will be presented this Saturday February 18 at St. Mary’s Church on Elgin Street.

Celebration’s Master Wynn Taylor:
This is the day of Love and Marriage. The questions had a theme of  love and St. Valentine's Day. Who was Valentine? One story says he was a Roman priest and martyr persecuted by Emperor Claudius. His death on February 14, 269 AD, is widely celebrated.
Happy $s:
  • Tom C told the story of how he and his wife Jillian met, 45 years ago.
  • Lorna C has just returned from 6 weeks in Australia and KL. Whilst in Tasmania, she met up with Janette who was there for 6 weeks. “It was a surreal experience to meet someone on the street you know from back home”, said Lorna.
  • Perry  told us stories of why we need to take lots and lots of money with us when we go to a hospital in India. Everybody needs to be paid in cash. 
  • Joan P thanked all those who helped move our Rotary goods to the new storage place last week.

Guest Speaker:
Sandy Currie introduced our speaker, Jakelina Listes, of Social Enterprise Co-op.
Jakelina Listes moved to Canada from Croatia 15 years ago, and has organized a MEETUP for local people, especially new immigrants. She herself is a social worker, military spouse, and artist. Since coming to Canada she is the initiator/co-founder of an immigrant’s women co-operative initiative, and leader of Sewlution, a sewing and textile recovery program for immigrant women.
The organization is about social networking, women’s empowerment, community outreach, social entrepreneurship, international friends, culture exchange, and immigrant support.

The organization has a Board of 7 members, and was founded May 15, 2016. The main goal is to offer alternative solutions to help those coming to Victoria and to do something a little different from traditional approaches. For example, to help immigrants with “soft skills” until they are able to get better jobs. They run a Culture Kitchen, a cafe and catering service as a social enterprise. Their logo is “around the world in a plate.” They also offer cleaning services. They are a new organization, looking for support from the community.

Jenny Hildebrand thanked the speaker and gave her a cherished Rotary Mug.

Closing Video: “Love the One You’re With”. Some members sang and danced to the beat of the music.

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 7 February, 2017 - Joey Vaesen on the Connecting for Good Rotary Road Trip in 2016

Reporter: Alyx Valdal

What a cozy group we had! The sun was shining but the inches of snow outside (and yesterday’s road conditions) scared some members into staying safe and sound at home. We sang O Canada a-capella and have never sounded better.

Invocation: Lynn
Introduction of Guests: Alyx introduced our visitors: Cecilia Valdes, guest of Pablo; and Joey Vaesen, Rotaractor, and today’s presenter.
Rotary Moment: Joan Peggs reviewed the numbers for the Flag program. We have almost 350 subscribers for 2017 on our list - let’s make it 500 by the end of the year! This is Canada’s 150th birthday year, so a flag is a fantastic way to celebrate - tell your neighbours!
  • Lori shared an update to the sad news of Brian Lamb’s passing. A card for Carol was signed by today’s attendees. A memorial will be held Saturday February 25th at 2pm at the Victoria Conference Centre.
  • Bill Burns donated $100 to the Brian Lamb Food Rescue program and put out a challenge for matching from Rotary members. Cheques can be made to the Victoria Foundation, stating the fund name.
  • A cheque was presented to Joey Vaesens and Rotaract from the December Merrython Run.

Celebrations Master: Heather
Guest Speaker: Sandy introduced our speaker, Joey Vaesen. Joey is a Rotaractor and UVIc student who graduates in August.
Joey shared details of his “Connecting for Good” Rotary road trip last November. It sounded like a fast-paced work trip!
The team in the RV consisted of Rotarians and Rotaractors: Wulff (driver from Sonoma), Melissa (San Francisco), Abbey (Phoenix), Katie (downtown Victoria), Joey (UVic). Two Nicks followed or lead in the Rotary pace car. They volunteered at a number of Boys & Girls Clubs as well as various food banks on their tour. It was definitely a whirlwind working trip. Check it out at
We ended the meeting with a video on Peace, as it is Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 31 January 2017 - Victoria Native Friendship Centre

Reporter: Bob Schelle
Photos: Bob Schelle and Joan Peggs

The Oak Bay Rotary Club met at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre for a presentation and lunch. Approximately 25 members and guests attended and listened to a very informative presentation given by Bruce Parisian, the Executive Director. The Centre employs over 90 staff and basically provides training and assistance for families and children who leave the reserves and live in the non-reserve world. The accompanying photos provide some understanding of their history and mandate. Three Aboriginal nations are serviced at the Centre and these nations are represented by the three poles mounted at the front of the Centre.

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 24 January 2017 - Dr. Elizabeth Vibert: Victoria’s Colonial Legacies Field School in South Africa

Reporter: Sandy Currie

Paul Harris Pins:
The business part of the meeting opened with Joan Firkins presenting Jenny and Pete with Paul Harris pins. For Jenny, this was her  first pin. Pete received his pin for his exceptional service over the years. His pin is a Paul Harris pin+7.

RYLA recipients:
Jim Force then introduced Tara Mathews and Annika Weir who are students at Oak Bay High. Tara and Annika are co-winners of the Interact RYLA prize. Accordingly, they will be traveling together on an exchange to Mexico. While there, they hope to create artwork and discover ways to implement Rotary’s Four Way Test.   

Before leaving they will attend a session at Camp Pringle where they will meet other BC Rotary exchange students. While there, they will be instructed in Goal Setting (Terri Mack), Self-Empowerment (Christine deSouza), and Social Styles Awareness (Joan Ryan). This last learning component will provide the students with the tools needed to become aware of their own personality styles and how to use them effectively. 

Guest Speaker:
Our speaker was Dr. Elizabeth Vibert who teaches history at UVic and is an historian with a doctorate in modern history from Oxford University. Her main research interests are colonialism, food security and poverty. In1992, Elizabeth founded Victoria’s Colonial Legacies Field School in South Africa, through which she directs advocacy work for small-scale farmers. This was a year of a particularly severe drought in the area. 

This farm is called the Hieketani Community garden, and it is located in a small village called Jopi. This initiative, called the Community Vegetable Project, was started by a group of eighty two women who were market farmers. At this time there was a severe drought and widespread hunger across Southern Africa.

The three goals for this project are:
  1. Building community
  2. Providing ever-improving health services
  3. Supporting and encouraging women’s autonomy and inter-generational relations
Over the years, these people have faced many set-backs and have persevered to ensure the continuation of this project. One example is when vandals destroyed the irrigation system, in 2014, by ransacking the metal piping. The women then managed to re-build it. It took two years but by 2016, they were irrigating their crops again. In addition, they had a new bore-hole well to provide a more reliable source of irrigation water. This was followed by construction of another storage tank for the water.

Currently they have their own nursery, and supply sustainably produced, nutritious vegetables to farmers’ households and community members. This very successful project also provides the local population with jobs such as farming, vegetable sales, and manure sales. 

Cory thanked Elizabeth on behalf of the club, and presented her with one of our cherished Rotary Mugs.

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 17 January 2017 - UVic School of Nursing presentation

Reporter: Sandy Currie

New Members:
The first part of the meeting was dedicated to the induction of two new members to the club:
Kris Zmudzinski:  
Kris transferred membership from the Prince George rotary club. Originally from Poland Kris held various forest industry jobs in eastern Canada before moving to Prince George. After living and working in Prince George he left his industry job and established his own consulting firm.  He moved to Victoria in 2015 and continues his consulting work. In addition to his professional work Kris keeps himself busy at UVic and hikes and skis as often as he can.

Jason Ko:

Ron Cooley as Jason’s sponsor introduced him. He was a student at St. Michaels University School. He then spent seven years in Toronto as a banker before returning to UVic as a student in the Master of Business Administration program. Jason is also the owner of Comfort Care providing services to Seniors in Greater Victoria.

Guest Speakers:

During the second part of the meeting we were treated to a great presentation on the type of service the Nursing Program at UVic is providing to the community.

Joan Peggs introduced Diane MacLeod (Practice Coordinator, School of Nursing) and Lynne Milnes (Faculty of Human and Social Development). Diane and Lynne shared the speaking role. Their talk was titled “Feet First Nursing”. They told us about the service UVic provides not only to the hospitals in Victoria, but also the homeless people. There is a new program at the university that focuses on foot hygiene. During their Community Placement (September-December), fourth year student nurses provide assistance to hospitals, and the city’s homeless population.

Their presentation gave us the opportunity to learn about a valuable service that is being provided to some of Victoria’s most disadvantaged people. In addition, our understanding of the role UVic’s School of Nursing is playing in our community was certainly broadened.

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 10 January 2017 -

Reporter: Ron Cooley

(Awaiting notes)

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 3 January 2017

Reporter: Ron Cooley

(Awaiting notes)

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 20 December 2016 -

Reporter: Sanjay Uppal

(Awaiting notes)

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 13 December 2016 - Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Ron Weeks

Reporter: Joan Peggs
Photos: Joan Peggs

Past President Heathe Aked, covering for President Lori McLeod (basking in the warmth of Mexico) opened the meeting at 12:15pm.
She gave a short description of Christmas disease

O Canada was sung a capella

Tom Lidkea gave the blessing  - in Latin so it was understood by few

The many visiting Rotarians and guests followed by the 'rank and file; headed to the buffet table:
for a tasty coleslaw; excellent garlic bread; two varieties of pasta (Spaghetti Bolognese and Macaroni Broccolini with Shrimp); grated parmesan cheese to top them – both very tasty but for those of us at the end of the line there was little shrimp and no bolognese! Tomato and Feta Cheese Soup; delicious mouthful sized seasonal desserts. A good lunch was had by all!

Business section of the meeting began at 12:35 pm
Tav introduced the visitors
Visiting Rotarians:
Ann Moskow – Rotary Club of Victoria, Habourside
Kris Znudzinski – Rotary Club of Prince George Downtown (rumour has it that Kris will be joining our club)
Lauren Grimm, Mother of Ryan Gisler – Ryan's guest; Frank Helina, partner of Lauren – Ryan's guest; Barry Mutter – welcome back to Victoria, Barry – Sabrina's guest; Sean Donnelly – soon to no longer be a guest – Lynne's guest; Jason Ko – Ron's guest
R2MS Ron Weeks and Mary Jane Tiller – guests of the club.

Mandy – Backpacks – remember to bring items next week
  • Joan P – thanked the members who delivered poinsettias (Tom and Tom, Peter and Mandy, Don, Jim and Gaille - Lorna's friend; Bob and Lorna; Brian - a special delivery; Janette and her son). Thanked the  members who purchased poinsettias and asked their office, friends and relatives to purchase poinsettias.
  • Joan F. made an announcement re the Christmas Party – Tuesday December 20th. Remember to wear your tacky outfit
  • Ann Moskow made an announcement re the Christmas cakes and Christmas truffles made by Harbourside. There are some for sale. Come to the car after the meeting
Celebrations Master Jack Petrie extracted money from our pockets/wallets. He had many Christmas themed sayings that no one was able to guess
Many happy $'s. Cannot remember any sad $'s
Peter had the winning ticket but drew a white marble. The pot grows larger

Joan Firkins, Past District Govenor  inducted  Sean Donnelly. into membership of the club:

"Sean, it is my pleasure, on behalf of President Lori and the Board, to formally welcome you to our club, not as a visitor but as a new member.
A little bit about Sean…………….
Sean grew up in Cork, Ireland. Attended an all-Irish speaking secondary boarding school before heading to the University of Limerick. He has a BA in Business, majoring in Economics and Finance.
Sean graduated in 2008 and began working in the telecommunications sector, starting with Door to Door before moving into Business sales.
He moved to Vancouver 2010 and worked with Rogers for 5.5 years before moving to Victoria this year to work for the TELUS Fibre Optic Team where he is the Senior Regional Marketing Manager.
His favorite job in his youth was driving big machinery. He is a farmer at heart and was raised on a Dairy, Beef and thoroughbred Horse Racing operation.
Sean loves sports of all kinds - Liverpool FC, NFL, horse racing, golf, outdoors, hiking, biking. Ran his first full marathon this year. He also loves water especially the ocean. He likes to socialize, travel, good food, red wine and mulled wine this time of year. Oh and he is a big fan of documentaries and good books.
 (A slight change to the formal induction – very pertinent and well said)
There are many variations of induction ceremonies for a new Rotarian but I’m going to dispense with formality to some degree and just talk about things I believe you can do to enhance the value of your membership.
1. Being a Rotarian is not just showing up for lunch on Tuesdays – being a Rotarian is being engaged in the club, both in the community and globally, and cultivating friendships with your fellow members.
2. Sit at a different table each week and get to know the people in our club – believe me they’re not as scary as they look.
3. Learn more about Rotary – is a great place to start. Ask questions of your fellow members. If there’s an area of Rotary you’re particularly interested in, find the person in our club who is also interested and can answer questions.
4. Don’t be afraid to express your opinion – we need new and fresh ideas to keep the club vibrant.
5. And lastly, expect a lot of the club leadership and hold them to the highest standards.
It goes without saying that the more you’re involved in the club the more you’ll feel a part of the club. Making Rotary a priority in your life is a good thing, especially in the sense of having a whole new family of friends.
There’s a lot to learn about Rotary – it’s not just another club; it’s a way of life and you’ve already shown us that you’ll fit nicely into our club. And don’t hesitate to introduce your girlfriend Natasha to the club also – we really are a big family!
Here’s your membership kit and I have 3 additional items for you – a copy of The Rotarian magazine which you will start receiving, a laminated card outlining the Object of Rotary, our ethical Four Way Test and the Rotarian Code of Conduct; plus we have a $10 bill for you representing your first contribution to the Rotary Foundation – and I’ll be happy to talk to you anytime about our Foundation.
Lynne – as Sean’s sponsor, can I ask you to pin him with his new Rotary pin?

Fellow Rotarians – would you all please come up and offer Sean the hand of Rotary fellowship and welcome him as our newest member!"
Guest Speaker: 
Perry had a very short introduction for the speaker
Regimental quartermaster sergeant Ron Weeks

Ron joined the military in 1970 as an infantryman. He ended his career in the service battalion (many tasks were required such  laundry service, food service, postal service to name a few) 
His family has a 7 generation history of military involvement
He made a brief mention of the Memory Project
 Few Canadians know the history of Canada or the history of the military.

Ron ended with three thoughts regarding the veteran:
  • consider the physical and mental injury of the veteran
  • recognise the fallen
  • what can you do to honour the veteran?
 Cory thanked Ron for the presentation. Ron was given the 'coveted' Rotary mug

The meeting  closed with seasonal music

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 6 December 2016 - Annual General Meeting

Reporter: Janette N

Visiting Rotarian: Kris Zmufdzinski Prince George Downtown

Celebrations Master: Jack Petrie
December is health and disease prevention month.
Jack had a number of questions that resulted in filling the coffers: How many nations benefit from the Polio Plus (122); who didn’t participate in Merrython; who hasn’t signed up for a Salvation Army kettle shift; how many have started their Christmas shopping.
Michelle has a birthday this week; Janette gave happy $ for her upcoming long trip to Australia;
Lynne had sad $ for having a fall; Heather gave $ because her son went off to school wearing shorts even though there was snow on the ground.

Rotary Club of Oak Bay: President Lori presiding, called to order at 12.55 p.m.
Heather motion to approve agenda with Bill seconding. Motion to approve minutes: Sandy seconded 
President’s Report. Past president Heather moved. Tav seconded.
Treasurer’s Report: Vicki. Audited by George Pritchard. Less money at the end of 2016 cf. 2015. Moved byVicki. Seconded  by Jim. 
Motion to thank David Sills and George Pritchard for their assistance in preparing the financial report.

Report of Nominating Committee: Tav MacPherson
The following agreed to  stand for election for the Rotary Year 2017-18 commencing on 1st July.
Nominations called on 3 occasions and the following were elected by acclamation:
President: Wendy Townsend
Past President: Lori McLeod
President Elect: Peter Lawrie
Treasurer: Victoria Pitt
Secretary: Jenny Hildebrand

Administration: Bob Schelle
Community: Neil Rawnsley
International: Peter Lawrie
Membership: Lorna Curtis
Public Relations: OPEN
TRF: Joan Firkins
Youth Services: Janna Gisler.

Tav thanked all those who stepped up and put their name forward to lead our Club.
"Special thanks to Peter Lawrie who will be both the Director of International  Projects and is prepared to run for President Elect that will culminate in a second presidential term.
Unfortunately the PR portfolio remains open at this time.  If there are club members who will be prepared to fill this role please let me know.
It is incumbent on the Directors to identify and mentor their successors. This is the only way that we can be sure to have a successful succession plan in the future.
Thanks to all who have lent  their support to the process, particularly Wendy and Jack."

Oak Bay Rotary Foundation report:
Joan Peggs approve the agenda as presented. Seconded by Peter Laurie
Motion to approve the minutes of the Minutes. Cooley.  Ryan seconded. 
The Oak Bay Rotary Club Foundation was incorporated in January 2009 and granted charity status in January 2011. Two scholarships were presented in October 2016 to 2 students at Oak Bay High School who exhibited leadership, academic achievement and service above self. One is provided to a first nation's student. Video presentations were shown on the 2016 presentation of scholarships. Recognition goes to Joan Peggs and Rod Sim for the time and effort they have given on the foundation. These scholarships provide positive publicity for Rotary. The funds underlying the scholarships are soundly invested.
OB Foundation Treasurer’s Report: 
Ron Cooley reported that the assets increased 20%. Endowment increased 56%. 

Club Treasurer's Report: presented by Treasurer, Victoria Pitt 
Audited gratis by George Pritchard

Report of the nominating Committee: 
Bylaws recommend a minimum of 5 directors. Joan P, Rod, Ron and Steve have agreed to re-stand as Directors of the Foundation board. Heather Aked will be replacing Tav. 
Question from Bob Schelle: Is Steve still a member of the club. Answer: He is but on a leave of absence.
Motion to appoint George Pritchard as auditor at a fee to be determined. Moved by Rod and seconded by Donna.

Motion to adjourn: Heather.

Lorna thanked Tav.