All seven clubs of Area 2 gathered on April 5 to celebrate Rotary People of Action: Women and Men working Together in Rotary. The historic event was held at Native Sons Hall and was well attended by members representative of all clubs, District Governor Tom Carroll and Laurie Schouboe Carroll, District Governor Elect Craig Gillis, District Governor Nominee Maureen Fritz-Roberts and T. Dale Roberts, Rotary Past District Governors, Assistant Governors, including our own Assistant Governor Stu Tunheim, and a number of local dignitaries and officials. Great turnout!
District Governor Tom welcomed everyone to the event. He and Laurie love the Comox Valley!
Very special guest, Rotary International Vice President Dean Rohrs reflected on her experience around vulnerable women in the world: for example, the prostitute who begged Dean to take her baby as she felt her baby would have a better life with her. Dean has championed the cause of human rights and equal rights, growing up in the apartheid era in South Africa. Dean wished courage to all Rotarians to hold the same embrace of change and ongoing humanitarian service through Rotary that was required thirty years ago when women first became members of Rotary. And look at how Rotary has progressed since then, bringing the strengths of both women and men into the arena, making a difference in a world in which there is such need. Rotarians see it. And Rotarians take action. She urged us to continue with our work.
Former Rotary Ann President Marie Gordon regaled attendees with stories of the auxiliary group to Rotary, the Rotary Anns. First Comox Valley female Rotarian Marg Grant described how, while she was initially greeted askance as a new member, and even asked to do the honorable thing and resign, that a very short time later, the Rotary members were expressing their appreciation of what she brought to the club. Marg takes heart for Rotary’s future in the younger Rotarians and in the youth of Interact. Both Marie and Marg offered congratulations and encouragement to the gathered Rotarians.
Juno Award-winning singer songwriter Helen Austin sang her song “Rotarian Women”. Originally written for the 25th anniversary of Women in Rotary, she adapted it for the 30th. This may well be the last celebration of that theme…..as all Rotarians move confidently forward together as People of Action.
You can catch Helen’s song at this link:
Master of Ceremonies DG Nominee Mo ably kept the proceedings moving along. Many thanks, Mo for your humour and impeccable timing!
Thanks go to the Rotarian volunteers at the bar and Front Desk (Courtenay club) and bar ticket table, to everyone who helped set up and take down, and to the Interact students from both Mark R. Isfeld Interact Club and Georges P. Vanier Secondary School Vanier High Schools who took charge of the “Plates” food service and coat check. They received $320 in tips! Thank you, all attendees.
Final tally is not yet in on the donations gathered at the event to The Rotary Foundation Canada and to North Island College Foundation for a bursary to a single parent student – we’ll keep you posted.
President Jo thanks her fellow President organizers: Judith Marriott (Courtenay), Judy McQuillan (Cumberland Centennial), Richard Clarke (Strathcona Sunrise), Kevin Niemi (Comox Valley), and Maureen Fritz-Roberts.
While in the Comox Valley, VP Dean Rohrs and Rhino and DG Tom and Laurie toured some of the Rotary projects and planted Garry Oaks by the Rotary Skypark Children’s Playground. Interviews by Shaw Cable TV will air soon…..
See you all on Thursday, April 12 at our usual location for Director John North and Committee’s Community Service Report!