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.

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