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Meeting Highlights: June 21, 2018

Meeting Highlights: June 21, 2018

Meeting Highlights
Thursday, June 21st, 2018


This was the last meeting over which Joanne presided as President and what an informative, meaningful, and delightful meeting it was. It seems appropriate to start by acknowledging Jo’s tenure with gratitude for all that she and her team and collectively all of us accomplished this year. As these notes reach your inbox, Jo will be in Toronto attending the Rotary International Convention Toronto 2018 … thus the early departure from the gavel.

One of the highlights was the “Yearbook” presentation that Jo, with John North’s time and talent co-ordinating the presentation, resulted in a wonderful accounting of all that the club accomplished this year … being sure to capture the fun we had while doing good. In case, you missed it, John’s message to the club is included here.

If you click on this link, Dropbox will allow you to download the file – or you could look through the slides on Dropbox:…/2017%E2%80%932018-Yearbookv4-smal…

This week’s Rotary Moment, which appears at the end of these highlights, was devoted to Jo. She chose to use this time to toast members of our outgoing Board. They provide a moving message that seems like a lovely way to send her off to Rotary International and into her year as Past President.



Lush Valley Food Action Society
Vision: Where healthy local food is at the heart of community wellbeing.

Jen Wrye of the LUSH Society gratefully received a cheque in the amount of $1,500. Jen reported that the funds will be used to support programs offered through LUSH … she mentioned specifically one that brings Dads and kids together to learn ways to prepare healthy, nutritious meals. For more information, visit

Comox Bay Care Society Care-a-Van
Purpose: Comox Bay Care Society Care-A-Van is a non-profit, community funded mobile outreach health unit, providing no fee health care and social development services directly to clients on the streets of the Comox Valley.

Sabina Acheson received a cheque in the amount of $5,000 to support Care-a-Van’s outreach work.

Care-a-Van is completely reliant on community funds. No government funds come their way. You can imagine, then, how important The Ducky 500 generated funds are to an organization that provides care for those who might not otherwise be cared for. For more information, visit:



• Ducky Breakfast (Charlene Davis)
Charlene took a quick count of those planning on attending the Ducky Breakfast at 7:00 a.m. on July 1st and Glacier Greens Golf Club. If you weren’t with us Thursday evening and are planning to attend, please let Charlene know. Thanks. For those who are new to the club and for whom this is their first Ducky Day … the breakfast is a fun way to start the day. If you can, do come.

• Thursday, June 28th … Ringing of the Ducks!
Wear your grubbies! Come ready to ring those ducks! All 6,500 of them! It would be great to have as many members attend as possible. Many hands … you know the rest of it! And it’s fun!

• Thursday, July 5th Meeting with District Governor Craig Gillis
Please note meeting location – Visitor Centre
This meeting will see the Comox and Rotary Club of Cumberland Centennial Clubs coming together to hear our new District Governor Craig Gillis speak of his plans for the coming year and inspire us with his message.

We are to gather at our usual time (6:00 p.m.). A BBQ dinner will take place between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. Please keep your eyes open for an invitation from Hannah.

When you receive the e-vite, please take a minute to respond … either yes or no. Both responses help those organizing the event to make appropriate arrangements.
Many thanks.

• Member Resignation: James Flawith
President Jo announced that, regrettably, James has decided to withdraw from the club. Work and family are keeping him ever so busy. The following words are James’ …

“Even though I’m leaving, I plan to continue to support Rotary and do my best to live my life as a Rotarian (which I truly feel I am), adhering to the 4-Way Test.��Thank you for all your awesome support and I wish you all the best.”

• The Joys of Being at the Best Darn Place on any Given Thursday Night
While attendance is no longer a requirement for Comox Rotary members, there’s so much to be said for trying to join our fellow Rotarians on Thursday evenings as time and circumstances permit. Those of us sitting with Cathy Snyder this past week had the pleasure of learning about her “Time with Aunty Days”. These are the afternoons Cathy spends with her pre-teen niece doing fun stuff … like playing in her niece’s family’s newly installed above ground pool. Cathy commented on how fortunate she feels that this young member of her family still looks forward to time with Aunty.
These are lovely “getting to know you” opportunities that come to us, sometimes quite unexpectedly, when we come together in fellowship around the dinner table and share our stories. Thanks Cathy.

Alison Walkley
Fifth Street Refugee Sponsorship Group
Alison has been helping to sponsor refugees to come to Canada for the past four years. She was the co-ordinator for the refugee settlement group from St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox and is currently the co-ordinator for the Fifth Street Refugee Sponsorship Group, which works with St. John the Divine Anglican Church in Courtenay. Those associated with these organizations are all volunteers.

She shared her experience of helping two sets of refugees settle in the Comox Valley. She and her family were inspired to take on this work while visiting her daughter, who was working with refugees at the African Refugee Development Centre in Tel Aviv.

Alison’s family’s experience was situated within the context of worldwide figures for:
• forcibly displaced people worldwide (68.5 million)
• refugees (25.4 million people worldwide)
• asylum-seekers (3.1 million).

The following is taken from the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency website, from which Allison drew the above-noted figures.

We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record.
An unprecedented 68.5 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.

There are also an estimated 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.

In a world where nearly 1 person is forcibly displaced every two seconds as a result of conflict or persecution, our work at UNHCR is more important than ever before.

Given news that comes to us daily about those seeking refuge, Alison’s presentation could not have been more timely.



I’d like to propose some toasts.

• To Assistant Governor Stu Tunheim, for his support this year.

• We have had strong board and appointed Committee Chairs this year – I have been able to simply fall back and body surf.

(Editorial comment: There were audible chuckles at this point. Jo? Simply fell back and body surfed?” Hmmm. )

I wish time allowed me to toast them individually.

We did new, rewarding and responsive hands on service, we sorted the way we distribute our hard earned dollars, we were active in social media, sold stuff online, and stepped up our game in fundraising, we surpassed our Foundation Goals, we participated in international projects in collaboration with Interact and other clubs…we sat across the table raising money for polio and scooting crokinole pucks, we brought in some talented new members, and we mentored and were inspired by some wonderful youth.

Secretary Joan asked Past President Chris Brulotte if he had anything to report at the recent board meeting. Chris said he had nothing to report but gratitude. I loved that. Please could the board and committee chairs proudly stand and once again receive gratitude for their diligent and caring service to this club. A Toast to our exceptional board and committee chairs!

David Peat Literacy
Bill Verburgt Program
Harry Panjer Vocational, Bylaws
Marg Hundt World Community Service
Rob Van Haarlem Ducky
Rod McKenzie Salmon Sales
Victor Anasimiv Auction
Leif Jason Whiskey Fest

Russ, Charlene, Chris, Hannah, John, Rod, Henrie, Leif, Cathy, LaCosta.

Along with the elected members of the board, each of whom has had some time in the spotlight this year, there are two Presidential appointees who sit on the board, with the approval of the board: the Treasurer and the Secretary. I’d like to propose a toast to each one of these appointed members in turn.

First, Norma Pelletier. As Treasurer, she has transformed our accounting and reporting practices, reduced our bookkeeping, and through the new meeting payment system has put us in a better financial position. I want to thank Norma for helping us be able to move forward now with greater transparency and responsibility in all our sectors. It is going to be so much easier in successive Rotary years to be healthier financially, construct budgets, provide information to our Directors, committee chairs and members, and do the required reporting to external bodies. This transformation really underpins the work of all the Directors, crossing all Avenues of Rotary service, and allows us to be efficient, effective, and carry out our Rotary mission. More than this, she has been patient with me, who needs to try to understand everything but is subject to a lifelong frazzled relationship with numbers. Amazing job, Norma. I have respected your expertise and enjoyed working closely with you. Fellow Rotarians, please – a toast to Club Treasurer Norma.

In my President Elect year, I asked some things of Joan Collinge. First, I asked her to be Club Secretary, a key role in any Rotary club and a role that often goes unnoticed – and most especially when it is being done conscientiously. To my everlasting relief, she said yes.

Secondly, I asked her to be my special support, to resonate the 4 Way Test with me when needed, to give me feedback and metaphorically keep my head screwed on, and with her extensive board experience, to help me help us transform the board into an elected group that focuses on strategic, rather than operational issues in the club. Joan accepted this challenge, too.

Not only has she been an exceptional Club Secretary, she has been an entertaining writer of the weekly Meeting Notes for the Bulletin, our club representative on the board of Dawn to Dawn: Action on Homelessness, Chair of the Mid Island Group for international Rotary service, a member of the Membership and World Community Service Committees, and member of the ad hoc Bylaws Committee that renovated our bylaws this year. Joan, thank you for being my unflagging support on so many levels. Again, the role of Club Secretary underpins the workings of the whole club. Outstanding job, Joan. Fellow Rotarians and Guests: a toast to Club Secretary Joan.

So looking forward to Russ Wigle’s leadership and that of the 2018-19 board and committee chairs….throwing you the torch…..or maybe I should say, the mic. Will join you upon my return….

To all of you, the doers and the champions of all things Rotary … a toast.



On behalf of the Club, and with thanks to Cathy Snyder and Russ Wigle for orchestrating this gift, President Joanne Coyle received a beautiful plaque bearing the Rotary Wheel, a gavel, and words of appreciation for a job well done. To borrow words from Jo’s Rotary Moment

Outstanding job, Jo.

We look forward to seeing you and Harry upon your return in August . We wish you safe travels as you meander through Ontario visiting family and friends … and back home to us.


Leif Jason

Director of Public Image 2017-2018

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