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Meeting Highlights: May 24, 2018

Meeting Highlights: May 24, 2018

Meeting Highlights
Thursday, May 24th, 2018-05-29

Happy Thoughts … Welcome “Home”
President Jo welcomed “home”, the Best Place to be on Any Given Thursday night, Holly Haston-Grant and Slava Simice. So nice to see you both.


And Staying with Happy Thoughts
Brett Walker and Cheryl Walker … your Rotary friends congratulate you on your marriage, which took place on Saturday, May 19th … the second most famous wedding on that particular day (to quote President Jo). We send you our very best wishes for a long, happy, and healthy time together.

Anita Wotschel (former Comox member and now with the Courtenay club) and Dave White were with us Thursday night. They expressed their gratitude for the support their children received from the Comox Club … support that enabled them to travel overseas as international exchange students. One of the enduring benefits of those experiences was evident that evening. A guest at their son’s recent marriage was a member of a host family with whom he had stayed in Thailand several years ago. Dave and Anita, thank you for bringing, as your guest and ours, Thirawat Wangsirilert from Bangkok.


Rotary Moment: Marianne Van Vliet Dufresne
Marianne reflected on words spoken at Brian Rice’s celebration of life. She found Marc Villanueva’s message was particularly meaningful. Marc spoke of Brian as being a pillar of the community – a person who did so much – not seeking recognition – just doing what needed to be done. Marianne drew parallels between Brian and his contributions to our community and Rotary and its contributions to the world. We, as Rotarians, she said, do so much – not for recognition – we just do it. It’s what we are. We are, as Rotarians, Pillars of the World.


Sargeant-at-Arms: Charlene Davis
As one would expect, anything Charlene takes on she takes on with gusto and is bound to be lots of fun! Thanks for the entertainment Charlene. And the winner of the Limerick contest was … everyone! What a creative group we are. And the numbers embedded in fortune cookies to determine order of eating … great fun!


Installation Night: Thursday, June 7th.
One of the highlights of the Rotary year is the installation of our new President. We honour Russ Wigle (and his team of Directors) on Thursday, June 7th. Hawaiian attire is the name of the game this year.

We look forward to a great turnout for this very important and celebratory event.

By now, you should have received an electronic invitation to this event. If not, please contact Past President Chris Brulotte.

As we shift away from the “on account” system of the past, please note that tickets for the Installation will be sold at this week’s meeting (May 31st).


Community Service Committee … Ducky Dollars at Work
Community Service Director, John North, presented to two very grateful recipients the benefits of all that we do to promote Ducky sales and get those little yellow pieces of plastic floating down the river on July lst.

Dawn to Dawn: Action on Homelessness
Founding member and currently a D2D Director, Tom Grant, received a $4,000 cheque that will be so very well used to provide housing for those in our community who do not have a roof over their heads or a door to close to keep them secure. In accepting the cheque, Tom noted that the Rotary Club of Comox was instrumental in providing seed money for D2D and, in doing so, contributed to bringing the issue of homelessness to the attention of the Valley in 2008. He listed numerous developments that have occurred since then which address this ongoing and ever-more-challenging concern.

Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – BC Chapter
Mary McLennan and Marion Bell of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Organization accepted, with gratitude, a cheque in the amount of $1,500.


Membership Satisfaction Survey – Update
President Joanne and President Elect Russ Wigle reviewed the results of the membership survey. Some highlights are noted below.
• 98% of respondents are either satisfied (73%) or somewhat satisfied (25%) with membership.
• There is a desire to continue or increase our social and fellowship activities.
• There is a trend indicating a need for further discussion on the number of fundraisers that our club takes on. Comments included: (a) “Many fundraisers require lots of effort; perhaps we could volunteer more service hours rather than fundraising hours.” (b) “Loved having more new hands-on initiatives this year (tree planting, soup making). (c) “Hands-on service attracts new members. Let’s do more.”

The above are representative of the kind of comments received. Suffice to say for the moment that:
• our voices were heard
• our suggestions have been taken to heart
• and Russ and his team have already started discussing how to build on successes mentioned and develop plans to address matters that members suggest would benefit from further consideration.



• Soup Making …
By the time you read these notes, the last Soup Making day of the current Rotary year will have passed. But it’s definitely not too late to extend a very big THANK YOU to Charlene Davis for this wonderful idea and for all the work she has done to make this project so successful. And kudos must go to her team as well. The choppers, the stirrers, the rue makers … those Lake Trail Middle School tummies and your fellow Rotarians thank you.

• Splash Park at the Comox Valley Marina
It’s open!

• Comox Club Representative on the D2D Board
President Jo announced that LaCosta Squires has kindly agreed to be our Club’s representative (along with Tom Grant) on the D2D Board. Thanks LaCosta.

• ClubRunner Privacy Information
Club Secretary Joan noted that ClubRunner has undertaken changes to the system to protect Rotarians’ privacy. Joan forwarded the message to all club members via ClubRunner and hard copies of the announcement were made available at the meeting.


Guest Speaker Presentation: McLoughlin Gardens
Guest speakers Christine Dickinson and Susan Healy introduced many of us to the McLoughlin Gardens … a treasure so close to home that many of us did not previously know about.

McLoughlin Gardens
A Pedestrian-only, Seaside Garden
814 Tasman Road, Merville, BC
Website: ttps://

The following is taken from their brochure …
“Beginning in the mid 1970s, Sarah and Brian McLoughlin created these remarkable gardens, working steadily from April to October, building stacked stone walls, and designing a drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, seashore landscape.

In 2016, the McLoughlins completed an ecological gift, originally set up in 2000, and transferred the property to the Comox Valley Regional District as a pedestrian-only regional part. The McLoughlin Gardens Society is partnering with local organization to run Artist-in-Residence and Writer-in-Resident programs between May and September.”

It sounds like a lovely place to visit.


Until next time …

Leif Jason

Director of Public Image 2017-2018

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