The Rotary Club of Dundas Valley Sunrise

We Join Together For The Betterment Of Those In Need

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Be A Gift To The World

Dundas Valley Sunrise

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 7:10 AM
Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club
10 Woodleys Lane
Dundas, ON  L9H 6Y6
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On Tuesday, July 19 Rebecca Hicks joined us to tell us about her experiences at the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) program in Fredonia NY. Rebecca is a graduate of McMaster University in history and is presently piecing together a career that consists of working with Westfield Heritage Village, the City of Hamilton and the Dundas Museum. Her work is in historical interpretation.

Rebecca gave an invigorating presentation expressing her gratitude for the opportunity to attend RYLA and for the financial support of the Dundas Sunrise Rotary Club. At RYLA there were several workshops in learning styles, trust building, public speaking, personal values and ethics and career development. Her main takeaway was a way to improve her adaptability during negotiations or interactions with other people or groups.
She shared a humorous story about the pitfalls of poor communication (check it out for yourself here). While at RYLA Rebecca made contact with several “inspiring individuals” that she will remain in contact with. We look forward to hearing more from Rebecca in the future!

Guest Speaker: Arlene VanderBeek, Councillor City of Hamilton Ward 13 Dundas
Topic: Projects and Commitment to Dundas
Introduction by: Carl Fraser
Thank you by: Harold Gruneberg
  • Councillor VanderBeek has a long history of public service and is proud to be the councillor for Dundas
  • She indicated that her job challenges include the numerous meetings she has to attend at city hall and elsewhere – sitting on approximately 19 different committees/sub-committees, board/tribunals and/or agencies; the multitude of emails her office receives on a daily basis – sometimes numbering as many as 500 per day; all this time while, abundantly important and necessary, takes away from her local constituency office time
  • Current Projects of Interest:
    • Service Club Sign – working on having existing boards replaced/updated
    • Governor’s Road – will be completed in three stages, starting this year
    • J. L. Grightmire Arena – this is a major project (approx. $7 million) that has taken extensive planning and the cooperation of the Hamilton Conservation Authority due to flood plain issues surrounding the arena property; construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2017 and will take approximately 18 months and therefore require the temporary relocation of several user groups including Dundas Minor Hockey, Dundas Junior “C” Blues Hockey Club, Real McCoys Senior “AAA” Hockey Club etc.
    • Hamilton Air Force Club – is currently experiencing difficulties and if sold leaves the possibility of no entrance to the Butterfly Park as this land is zoned industrial
    • Dundas Driving Park Rock Garden – this garden has been part of the Park’s landscape for decades; during that period it has gone through many maintenance issues; it is now being brought back to its intended splendor by “The Dundas Rock Star Volunteers”; from personal experience, it is worth the visit and The Rock Stars are to be congratulated for their tireless work
    • Cootes Drive and Our Beloved Turtles – more fencing to be erected to prevent turtle crossing mishaps
    • Parkside H.S. Property – as well known, council has purchased this property and designated it as an extension to Grove Cemetery; it should be noted that this property has always been designated for this purpose
Mieke Ewen, director of service projects for the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club, presents a cheque to Alan Hansell, executive director of Stewards of Cootes Watershed, during its recent shoreline clean up. Here is Alan's reply: 
Hi Mieke,
Thanks so much for joining us on Sunday and mucking right in.  I have to say that you really seem to be one of us and you would be most welcome to join us anytime and yes please bring your boys.
I would particularly like to extend our thanks through you to the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club for its generous donation.  Please know that these funds will serve an important aid in allowing us to continue our work in cleaning the Cootes Watershed in Dundas.
With great thanks,

Joe Morgan, a 16 year old student at St. Mary’s high school is our club’s outgoing Youth Exchange student. He will be heading to Japan in August and is busily learning some Japanese as everything he does in Japan will be in Japanese. Joe first heard about about RYE when a club representative made a presentation at his grade school graduation. He is from a large Dundas family (7th of 9 kids) and his family has had some exposure to Japan through the Kids For Kaga Program. (Kaga is a Japanese city that has been twinned with Dundas and is a short distance from his exchange city of Kanazawa).
Joe took us through some of his training experiences. The first was in Algonquin Park in the middle of winter. Approximately 20 students slept in a one room cabin on a single long bed. Their outdoor training involved them developing their leadership and communication skills as well as several trust building activities – all at -20 degrees. The second training was a day long event at Niagara College and the third was in Jamestown New York. The last training involved both outbound students like Joe as well as exchange students presently here. He said that it was his first taste of what “exchange” would be like.

Check this out for full details.

Bill talked about his rewarding career with the RCMP. He was born in Saskatchewan in 1944. His father was in the Air Force and his mother’s family were farmers. Bill grew up on bases all over the country and joined the RCMP in 1964. He joined Rotary in 2001 courtesy of sponsor Ralph Montesanto. He first met his wife Marilyn as child. They won first prize as a bride and groom in a Halloween costume contest when they were about 5 years old. Their families moved apart soon after though.
His family moved to Camp Borden and as a teenager he met Bobby Curtola. Bill was active in Cubs and youth groups and then trained in Ottawa for the Mounties in 1964 and had a 32 year career with the RCMP. He was initially stationed on Vancouver Island and very soon after his arrival played an instrumental role in solving a murder. It was on vacation in Belleville that he re-met Marilyn and they were soon married. At the time he was stationed in Prince Rupert. Their first child, Theresa, was born in BC and was followed by Grant and Lynne.
During his time with the RCMP he spent some time in England working on a large car theft case. In the early 80s he was working in Windsor and collaborated with the FBI on a case that was related to the Air India case. As a reward for the work that they did on another case with international implications he and his family were given a trip to the White House. After retiring from the RCMP Bill worked in Security Services at McMaster.

From workshop construction to installation at the Eco Park, Ken Beel, Derek Price and Bill Stewart have been driving forces behind the work. Ken and Derek build the forms for the new benches.
Ken, Bill, Ralph Montesanto and Ross Bannatyne pour concrete into the forms.
The Eco Park work is a joint project by the two Dundas Rotary clubs.

Mieke Ewen, community services director for the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club connected with Able Sail, and asked if she could come to see their program and present a cheque.....they said sure! They invited Mieke and her family to their open house – which turned out to be a large Hamilton Yacht Club event, including the mayor of Hamilton and Burlington racing. Mike was then asked to speak about why Able Sail fits with the Rotary a short speech, cheque presentation and a couple hours later.....

Sharing a 'big thank you' from the Dundas Seahawks Special Olympics swim team. Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club, Community Service, recently supported 4 local swimmers for their Provincial Spring Games. The 4 competitors were awarded 2 gold medals, 1 silver, and one a personal best time.

Almost exactly 14 years ago (June 4, 2002), Jan became a Rotarian. Since then, she has taken on many leadership position in our club, including President. Jan began by illustrating her family’s very deep roots in Dundas and their strong commitment its community life. Jan grew up downtown Dundas, one of five children (1 boy and 4 girls). Both parents were involved in town politics and community life and encouraged Jan and her siblings to do the same. Jan’s father held many elected positions, including Regional Councillor. After he retired, her mother became Councillor for Dundas. The family was always involved in election campaigns and canvassed probably every single house in town many times. Jan’s brother became a member of Flamborough Council. 
Although Jan herself has not (yet?) gone into politics, her political background has served Jan well with all her work in School Board Administration and in volunteer organizations.
Despite becoming a well-respected educator and Administrator, Jan by her own account was not a good student and did not become so until she got to university. But first she got her “basic” training and started teaching at Dundas Central when she was 19 years old. After a number of years there, she resigned to attend university. 
With degree in hand, Jan started a long successful career, first as a guidance counsellor at Ancaster Senior, then teaching at Ancaster High and eventually working for the Board in curriculum development, interacting with Ministry staff.
Somewhere along the way, Jan had a lovely daughter, got a Master’s Degree and was a Principal for 16 years. After retirement, she’s been mentoring and coaching new Principals and involved in teacher education. 
Jan outlined some of the challenges she faced, often being the first female in a position. She frequently received feedback that it was too soon or she was too young to take on the new responsibility. Jan said that they may have been right but she did it anyway and learned along the way. Jan described the circumstance of being part of Wentworth County which surrounded the Hamilton Board. And how very different the two Boards were. Things got really interesting when the two school boards amalgamated. Jan felt that staff from both Boards worked diligently in blending the two organizations together. 
Jan passed along four lessons: (1) listen (2) empathize and understand (3) know that everyone has at least a few second chances and (4) keep on learning. 
In the question and answer period, Jan was asked if she prefers the way Dundas is now to the way it was when she was growing up. Jan said that she doesn’t think that way. Each period has its own energy and character. She does notice that when she grew up there were over 50 kids living in her neighbourhood. There is nowhere near that many now.  
Ralph thanked Jan for her presentation, recognizing her accomplishments and appreciating her leadership. Her talk reminded him that he was the one who had filled in for Jan when she was on leave with her daughter Jenn. 

Gillian Chan is a Dundas resident and author of many short stories and books for young adults. Gillian was an engaging speaker who clearly loves words and can both write and speak with eloquence. She gave us insight into how she became a writer. Her experience was that first she loved reading (no TV)  and made use of the local libraries. She loved making up stories from a young age and listening to those of her father with his WW2 experiences, as well as her mother's South African/Irish life events. Like an athlete she noted that writing takes discipline and practice. Mornings are spent asking questions, and writing, while afternoons are for research on the questions, and many times, tearing up previous work and starting over.  Gillian noted that stories are an innate part of being human and that we all create stories in our conversations. Stories help us make sense of the world as we may see the world in different time frames or settings, but always from the shared human perspective. Gillian's works include books set in historical contexts as varied as France,  Cootes Paradise, L'anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland, and Vancouver - each with a different focus of time, place and history but always with a focus on the story of the lives of her characters. Check out her website

The biggest crowd ever (The Hamilton Spectator estimated close to 19 000) enjoyed a beautiful evening of explosive delight as the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club and The City of Hamilton put on a spectacular 25 minute fireworks display at the Dundas Driving Park.
Bands, food trucks, mascots and a stilt walker gave visitors plenty of diversion until the fireworks went off at 9:35 p.m.
Thank you to all those visitors who made contributions to the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club as they entered the park. The funds will help support the many local and international service projects the club plans each year.

Our speaker today was Thijmen Van Loenen who chatted about the Thansanqa Tinker Tots Project in Motherwell Township near Port Elizabeth South Africa.  The project has two areas of focus – safe guest houses for about 50 children who have been left orphaned and a new school which at the moment has about 50 students.
Thijmen and other friends have been working since 2009 on this “NGO” in the area with the assistance of Tia Wessels, a retired educator; there are many volunteers, both from the Netherlands and in the local area, but funds are needed for the project to continue to grow.  The organization also has a Rotary connection in that one of the directors is a past-president of the Rotary Club of Port Elizabeth West. For more information check out this website: 

Art McCabe from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum thanked our club for the contribution we made to their recent project that allowed students to visit the Museum. The project raised $48,000 with nearly half of that coming from 18 service clubs; ours being one of them. In all, 1300 students from 30 schools were able to participate. Art brought some thank you cards from the students for us to see. 

Bill Armstrong introduced our Guest Speaker, Bob Knuckle. In addition to being the current Chair of the Dundas Little Theatre, Bob has authored 11 books of true crime stories. It was in this capacity that Bill as an RCMP officer and Bob had met. Bob has also written and produced 15 plays. For today’s talk Bob gave us an outline of the history of the Dundas Little Theatre and described an upcoming special event. Dundas Little Theatre first began showing its productions at a local high school in 1960. Eventually an opportunity presented itself in using the old swimming pool site for a theatre. Along with raising over $350,000 in 1978 and having the architect Trevor Garwood-Jones volunteer design, Dundas Little Theatre opened in its new setting in 1980 with a play from Somerset Maugham. 

The upcoming special event will be on Saturday June 11th. Called Scenes and Songs there will be snippets of great plays and showtunes. Gary Smith, The Hamilton Spectator’s theatre critic will be the emceeing the show, taking everyone through the history of theatre. In the question and answer period following Bob’s presentation, Bruce essentially gave a testimonial to Bob’s crime writing, saying that he had read one of his books and simply could not put it down. Bob revealed that he loved the research and interviewing for the books, finding the actual writing a bit lonely. 

Bill thanked Bob for his presentation. Bill noted that although the Scenes and Songs  show is almost completely sold out, if anyone wants a ticket please contact Bill and he will try to make it happen.

Club president Shirley Molloy and Marie-Louise Kelday ran the desk and collected the fee as community members brought their documents to be safely destroyed.
Mieke Ewen and Liam Armstrong unload vehicles and prepare to transport to the shredding truck.
Ethan Stoltz and Joe Guedes prepare boxes to take to the waste transfer station recycling bin.
Dundas resident Carol looks with interest at the live camera of her documents going through the shredder.
Integra Document Destruction operator Shawn shows young Tim how the system works. Over 8000 pounds of documents were safely destroyed and diverted from landfill to recycling. It was amazing how many residents did not ask for change from the shredding cost of $7 per small bank box. They said, "It's the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club and it does good service work in the community. Please keep the change."
The club will hold its second shredding day of the year in late October or early November. A special thank you to Scott Eccles and Bruce Eccles for the use of their property and advertising signs at Eccles Uptown and Eccles Auto Service in Dundas.


Dorothy Gaffney and Coralee Hecker from the Schizophrenic Outpatient Clinic at St. Joseph's Healthcare located on West 5th in Hamilton spoke of the 600 patients who use the service. They are referred by family physicians, correctional agencies and psychiatrists. Some are self referrals. One percent of the population experiences schizophrenic behaviour, anything from hallucinations to memory and judgment issues to low motivation. Schizophrenia usually presents itself in late adolescence and there are such things as first episode clinics. Causes are not well understood but range from genetic to environmental. For more information go to
Last Christmas the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club donated to the clinic to support a Christmas party for 100 patients. 

On a sunny Saturday morning a work crew of over 25 descended on the Rotary Sunrise Community Garden at St. Mark's Church on Governor's Road in Dundas. After four years of use the wooden sides of each plot were beginning to rot. The Rotary club, along with a Rotary District 7090 grant is replacing the wood with cement blocks and installing a more permanent fence to keep the deer out. Scott Vance, Wayne Massey, Grant Armstrong Nic Schulz and Ross Bannatyne joined over 20 other volunteers from the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club, St. Mark's Church, Dundas in Transition, garden users and several Syrian refugees to tear out the wood and lay the block walls.
David Carson, club member and Dundas in Transition member is the driving force behind the garden.

Andrea Buttars from Wesley Urban Ministries brought a message of service. This organization based in Hamilton has multiple locations throughout the city providing services for child, youth and families, housing and homelessness, neighbourhood development and newcomers. As well, Wesley is the major city player regarding Syrian refugees. Andrea spoke with passion about the work of the ministry and welcomed support either as a volunteer or through financial donations. For more information go to

Jane Allen, acting executive director, Dundas Community Services told us first of all that we would be seeing some changes as the organisation moves forward. The funding for all programs comes from the LHIN, the United Way, The City of Hamilton, Service Clubs, Individual Donors and through a Theatre Program. The organisation has twelve Board Members and a staff of four. They have recently been going through Strategic Planning sessions to review all of their programs.

Jane outlined many of their current programs Food Donation/Food Box/Legal Aid/Snow Shovelling/Caregiver Support/Friendly Calling/Senior Visiting. Jane went into more detail on some programs like Meals on wheels. This program runs Monday to Friday and delivers meals made at Wentworth Lodge to seniors using volunteer drivers. A similar program takes people shopping to Metro for groceries,while another takes people to their appointments. Another is to help seniors that are confined to their home by having volunteers visit once a week. And still another is the Friendly Calling program which involves calling seniors once a week. There are currently fifty two people using this service.

The Office is also a centre where people go for advice on almost any topic. Many things we do in our daily lives can be a challenge and very stressful for many members in our community and often this is their first stop when looking for help.

This office also has a Tourism Outlet and carries information on all kinds of activities for all of Ontario.

Whether you are looking for information on Trips, Health Care, Long Term Care, Group Homes, it seems that you can find it here. As if this were not enough Jane outlined further needs for expansion of existing programs and the demands for additional programs for youth and other counselling services.

There were many questions at the end of the presentation relating to the programs and the organisation.

One of our members remembered when this initiative first started at St James Church and congratulated all concerned that the acorn was now a strong tree.


Mieke Ewen, chair of community services brought us up to date with Community Services donations. We have reviewed 12 donation requests. To date 6 have been approved and 6 are pending. Mieke presented a cheque for $2000.00 to Shirley Molloy for the Salvation Army. We received thank you letters from Routes for our $1500.00 donation and also from St. Joseph’s Schizophrenia Group for our donation

Maureen Ellis CEO of the St. Joseph's Villa Foundation and our own Don Davidson from the Villa Foundation hosted the club at the morning meeting in St. Joseph's Villa. Maureen let us know that Rotary has always been a huge part of the foundation. For example, she said that the Dundas Rotary club was the pioneer and engineer of the Respite program. St. Joseph’s relies on the foundation and donations for all capital expenses. Examples include rebuilding, the 2 new wings, and any renovations. Most recently, Rotary has been involved in the building of Orchid Garden, the new wing that we toured. They are now looking for partners for possible new projects related to available space. There will be retired priests living on one floor in new residences. Always, future programs must be balanced with care of residents.

Don talked about the foundation’s Enhancing Care Program. This is related to other kinds of capital costs, such as new beds, bathtubs, furnishings, tvs, etc. These are all capital needs that the government doesn't fund. The focus of this program is on the quality of life of residents. When an individual or a group wants to make a donation, they can specify what they are going to fund (e.g., a bed) or they can donate generally into this ongoing program. 

Mieke Ewen director of nursing at the Villa and also a member of the club took us on a tour of Orchid Garden. This is a new and smaller unit, with 12 beds. They have modern equipment; Mieke demonstrated one of the lifts that are installed in each room. Our club is one of the major donors to the renovations that made this unit possible.


Tom Cooper, director of the Hamilton Round Table for Poverty Reduction and coordinator of the Ontario Living Wage Network shared the history of the Living  Wage (LW) concept and its beginnings in Baltimore in the 1990's. Here in Hamilton there are 30,000 families experiencing poverty despite working. 1 out of 2 children in poverty today in Hamilton have a parent who is working, but yet remain in poverty. The concept is that by raising the wages to a "living" wage individuals can more easily pay for housing, food, child care, transportation etc. It is a win/win situation as individuals win by earning a higher wage, they spend the money in the local economy so it grows, and the company retains its employees longer, as evidenced by research done on Costco (a LW employer) versus Walmart (not a LW employer) in the States. Here in Hamilton the LW is $14.95 and ranges across the Province due to housing costs, from $14.10 in Windsor to $18.52 in Toronto. The concept of paying a living wage is spreading and Tom noted that the HWDSB, under Jessica's leadership , was the first LW employer in Hamilton! There are now 30 others in Hamilton (e.g. Diocese of Niagara and St Matthew's House, Mustard Seed Company) and about 100 across the province.  For more information you can visit the website at . And remember a phrase Tom shared with us that he had heard. "If I couldn't live on minimum wage, why do I think my employees could?"


Our speaker this morning was Bob Morrow, back from his extended holiday and eager to share his knowledge of space, NASA, astronauts, tomato seeds from space and his outstanding power point presentation with truly amazing pictures and views of space.  Bob talked about the deceiving distances – between planets and earth, depending on the position of the sun – we are talking about thousands of kms and hundreds of thousands.  We were able to view the International Space Station and astronauts at work, eating, playing and sleeping.  We saw the Canadarms 1 and 2 functioning and the robot “Dexter” for “fine work”.

Bob talked about the projected Mars trip (7 months there and 7 months back) and the need to solve problems which include food, water and space debris before we can take next steps in order to be able to bring people back from Mars.

Most exciting is the continuation of the Tomatosphere project with greater involvement in the US (it has been primarily Canadian classrooms) and the intent to grow seeds in space as well as have young people grow seeds that have been to space and brought back for distribution. 

Thank you, Bob, for enlightening and exciting the young and old kids in your audience this am!

Dylan Ewen asked for any further announcements and closed the meeting.


Don Davidson gave his Classification Talk, guiding us through his life journey and career path, starting by describing his changing family’s travels across countries and oceans.

Don was born in Paisley (near Glasgow), Scotland, once the hub of a thriving weaving industry that lends its name to the famous Paisley Pattern. It is also the birthplace of actors Gerard Butler and David Tennant.


Don’s Irish-born mother was a widow with 5 children when she met his father. They made their way to Canada where Don’s sister and he were born. Don’s mother moved him back across the ocean this time to England for a short while before they realized they preferred Canada.

Don graduated from Sir John A McDonald High School in the art program and went to OCAD. His first job was as an in-store designer for Simpson’s in Toronto. This led to working for a craft company that designed quilting stencils. He did a lot of traveling, giving product demonstrations. 

At one point, Don added News anchor to his palette. Found himself involved in digitizing health records and becoming a “tech guy” at another point. 

Don became involved with St. Joseph’s Villa where his father first was, then his mother, and where his step-mother is. His Board involvement and his leadership in running fundraising Galas led to his current position, as Director of Development and Communications.

As you can see, Don’s career crafted a wide span as he followed his interests and talents: from professional artist to radio broadcaster to a data management tech to an advocate for our seniors…  

In addition, Don has personal achievements: he became a marathoner in recent years; and, after 20 years together, Don and his partner, Greg, married last year.






Involved in the field of adult literacy for over 25 years, Helen McLeod was recognized in 2013 with the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award for her contribution in this field.

Helen reviewed various kinds of skills or competencies that have been called: literacy. Financial literacy. Media literacy. But perhaps as some new things are being framed as literacy, such as physical literacy, perhaps the word itself is getting watered down. 

Literacy still is a gradation. It is not, as once thought, activated by an on/off switch. That is, one can read or one cannot. Instead there is a continuum of understanding. Also, with new evolving technologies even people who identify as educated may have low literacy in new devices and processes. 

Helen then presented a number of myths about literacy and dispelled them. Helen’s presentation was followed by a lively Question and Answer section, leaving a number of members arguing for and against cursive writing as a skill to be taught in school.



Bev Greenwood, a chaplain at St. Joseph’s Villa for over 20 years, and a lead staff on their Ethics Committee, started her presentation by suggesting a new verse in the Bible. Given that she had to now give her talk without her PowerPoint due to technical incompatibilities, she offered a new Beatitude: Blessed are the flexible because they do not get bent out of shape. And then she carried on with ease.

Outlining Ethics as a moral philosophy, a code of conduct and a standard of human behaviour, Bev pointed out that we are surrounded by ethical issues all the time. Each of us given our moral compass, cultural background and personal values may have a different approach to resolving an ethical dilemma. 

Bev presented several scenarios that various professionals might face and asked us rhetorically how we would handle them. Bev emphasized that each profession has guiding principles by which they might assess an ethical issue, underlining The Four-Way Test for our work in Rotary. 

Our President, Shirley Molloy, who has known Bev Greenwood for some time, thanked her for her work in the community and her insightful presentation here.


Nic Schulz was born in Brampton. He was born with heart issues and had surgery at the age of three. He grew up with his family Camping, hiking and canoeing. They moved to St Catharines and he went to University of Guelph for English and Political Science; then on to Seneca College for communications. He travelled too Australia, came back through Thailand, Malaysia and Borneo where he spent a week in Malaysia living with a local family .
On a  9 day hike  on the” Overland Track “ in  Tasmania he found his love for hiking.
Nic worked in Public Relations for various health care industries and Ontario craft breweries.
While working for the Toronto conservation authority he meet his wife Erin and lived in Caledon.
They met Steve Roblin and his wife and were introduced to Dundas and they fell in love with the town.
Presently Nic is working for Corner Stone bringing awareness about aggregate sites and the impact on the environment. His main focus is encouraging businesses and communities to strive for a higher bar through purchasing aggregates from approved sites.

Paul and Jennifer Powell-Fralick from Antigua Book Collection are both educators who live in Dundas. They first went to Antigua in the 1980's. Paul, an ECE Professor at Mohawk College was there conducting trainee support workshops in conjunction with The University of the West Indies.
They soon took an interest in a student-initiated project where they worked as volunteers in Island preschools.
In 2014  the Fralick  family  went back to Antigua and connected with two of their colleagues who work as educators at Sir Luther Wynter preschool and Vila  Primary School.
During their visits they discovered a lack of good quality literacy material. Many of the book were tattered and missing pages. They saw children who were keen to learn and interested in reading but realized there were few books in the classrooms. At that moment they realized the need for better literacy material, and the Antigua Book Collection was born.
Their goal, is to collect kindergarten to grade 8 books and send them to Villa Primary School and send books and educational play material to Sir Luther Wynter, in St. Johns Antigua.
With help from Steve Roblin from the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary and other members of our  community they plan to send 4 barrels of books and school supplies to these schools.
Sir William Osler School in Dundas is also on board. Principal Tim Illman kicked of family literacy week by holding a book drive which will continue until Valentine day.
More info go to Paul Fralick:

February 13 noon to 4 PM. The photo says it all!

Marie-Louise began her talk by welcoming Rotarians in 5 different languages! She is a true Canadian as her history goes back a few hundred years to 1660 when her ancestors first arrived in Canada. Mary-Louise’s French-Canadian personal history began when she was born in Blind River in 1950. Her father came from a family of 13 children and her mother a family of 10 which translates into her having over 100 first cousins. Growing up in a large family provided Marie-Louise with strong family bonds and this is why family is a very important part of her life.

Marie-Louise’s adult life began when she attended Laurentian University to major in languages which up until that point was a big part of her life having grown up in a town that was a blend of both English and French. It was at Laurentian where she met her husband David. Marie-Louise began teaching in Toronto which was really too big a city at that time for someone from Blind River. From this teaching position, an opportunity opened up in Ottawa where she enjoyed a slower pace than she experienced in Toronto. From there, her path finally found her building a life in Hamilton. For many years, Marie-Louise taught at Académie catholique Mère-Teresa (French language school). She was quite taken by the school. It was not a very affluent school but she loved it. The school served a refugee population that included those from Africa. Marie-Louise found this teaching position a very enriching experience. Upon retirement, she recalls being affectionately called “Mama Africa” by the African parents….this was very emotional for her and she describes it as the best part of her career.

Jumping forward to 2015, Marie-Louise was skeptical about joining Rotary but after several months of being part of the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club, she now feels privileged to be here. Says Marie-Louise, “My father in-law would be tickled to see me here today as he was also a Rotarian in Dundas!” Marie-Louise ended her presentation with a thank you in multiple languages. She was formally thanked by Jessica Brennan.

Alan Hansell gave an eye opening presentation on the Cootes Watershed. What is it? Why is it important? Why should we all have an interested in ensuring its future?
Stewards of Cootes Watershed is a neighborhood-based team of stewards, each responsible for ensuring the health and biodiversity of a section of Cootes Paradise and the creeks that flow into it. The Stewards goal is to educate local residents about the Cootes Watershed and inspire them to take steps to improve our watershed’s health. It is also to bring the Cootes Marsh back to the condition that it once was. 
Cootes Marsh has been a nature sanctuary since 1927 and it is a bird migratory route. The marsh has garnered international recognition for its variety of amphibians and reptiles. In fact, the entire west end of Lake Ontario is dependent on Cootes Paradise.
Over 100 years of neglect to the Cootes Watershed are being reversed by the Stewards of Cootes Watershed. In the past 4 years, Project Paradise has resulted in over 4000 bags of garbage being collected. That’s not all…additionally 546 automobile tires, 37 000 lbs of metal, 50 shopping carts, and even a ladies makeup bag containing an old gun were recovered. This rubbish posed a significant health risk to all animals that depend on the Watershed for survival and unfortunately many creatures died over the years as a result.
Project Paradise has resulted in significant improvements to Cootes Paradise including the first nesting pair of Bald Eagles this end of Lake Ontario, Chinook salmon spawning in Spencer’s Creek has doubled in size, and 250,000 Spottail shiner minnows have also been found spawning.
Stewards of Cootes are always looking for volunteers from March to December. The organization plans 137 separate cleanup events. Alan says that they are close to being able to say that Spencer Creek is the cleanest it’s been in 150 years. 
Says Alan, “We will remove every piece of garbage no matter how large…how small…or how complicated!"


Joel Hilchey and Brandon Love spoke about the Beanstalk Project, a local initiative aimed at leadership development for students. Demonstrating how the program works Joel and Brandon lead the club in an exciting creativity exercise designed to bring out bigger and better ideas. They left members with a firm grasp of their creativity guidelines:
1.     Quantity first: If you want to catch a fish you go to the pond with the most fish. Just like creativity, if you want a good idea start by coming up with a lot of ideas (good and bad);
2.     Silly is good: Thinking of silly ideas gets you out of your mold and lets you consider new ways to solve problems. If you never think silly you’ll never think differently;
3.     Make connections: Good ideas build off of each other. Once you’ve started the ball rolling use those first ideas to come up with other ideas; and
4.     No judgment: Creativity grows best in a safe space with no judgement. Separate your creativity and your criticism so that you can truly let you creative side run wild.
Brandon and Joel invited the club to keep in touch with them and whether you need inspiration to get your creative juices flowing, want to bring them in as speakers for your business or just want to say hi.
Brandon and Joel have also written a book called Brainsprouting that outlines their simple process to unleash your inherent creative power. Learn more and buy it here  

The annual Christmas party brings out the singers in the club. It was a fun evening of fellowship, food, refreshments and dancing at the Dundas Museum. Special thanks to Jessica Brennan for organizing the party, to all her helpers and to Joan Ballantyne for the music.

Assistant Governor Bob Morrow introduces Aldo Lombardi (far right) to the members of the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club during the club's Christmas party.
Aldo was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship for his work in both the local and international communities. He has supported a wide variety of local charities and also initiated the shipment of bicycles and hospital equipment to a remote area of northern Chile. As Aldo said “Canadian Tire and Dundas - and Canada in general - have been very good to my family … the very least we can do is something as simple as this”.  In response to receiving the award Aldo said (humbly), “This award is not only my merit as it could not have been possible without the  help of my store staff, family business staff and family back in Chile”.
President Shirley Molloy pins Aldo as the club's most recent Paul Harris Fellow as club Rotary Foundation director Bob Neibert looks on.

Today’s annual auction for St. Matthew's House brought in a full house of over 30 members and guests. Our long list of guests included Colin Reid, Norman Read, Linda Ingraudo, Fred Amalfi, Carole Beel, Lynne Morrow, Helen Massey, Marilynn Armstrong, Sue Carson, Steve Leighfield and Jim and Sheila Sweetman. Everyone was greeted by Bob Morrow and signed in by Jessica Brennan.
Shortly after breakfast Dundas’ own champion auctioneer Bruce Eccles kicked off the proceedings with the support of his own “Barker’s Beauties” Jessica Brennan and Roger Stewart. Dave Carson got the bidding underway with a $60 bid on two bottles of red wine and a box of 6 – 8 unbroken wineglasses which was shortly followed by the super bowl beer and pretzel package.
The high bidder of the day award went to Norm Read with a $350 bid on an original Fred Amalfi painting ( with a $270 bid on the antique box picnic package filled with fine wine, brandy and beer.
The auction was closed off with remarks from Steve Leighfield who thanked the club for its on-going support of St. Matthew’s House. Many thanks to Rotary members and past members who donated a wide range of exciting prizes to bid on…and special thanks to Bruce for a fantastic job as auctioneer.
To wrap up the morning Shirley Molloy presented Carlotta Cisneros-Knox with a pin of thanks for bringing William Knox as a new member to the club.

A great fellowship time as we support Ronald McDonald House. For a donation of $300 the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club was able to send 6 club members to help prepare the food for families staying at Ronald McDonald House while a child is at the McMaster Children's Hospital. The club and individual members contributed enough to send 5 other teams of six over the next week.  Grant Armstrong, Jessica Brennan, Roger Stewart, Carol Campbell, Barb and Ralph Montesanto and chef Shawn Rocchi and Chris were today's team.

Rotarians work in great ways. Ralph Montesanto gets a call from his brother-in-law Brad Bates who works at Josling Farms in Carlisle. Brad knows Ralph is a Rotarian and can help. The farm has 15 000 ten lb. bags of potatoes it wants to donate. Ralph calls Shirley Molloy at the Salvation Army, gets her out of a meeting and voila, all 15 000 will be used for local food banks just in time for the Christmas season - 10 000 to Salvation Army and 5000 to Food Share Hamilton. Josling Farms even delivered 10 000 bags. Thank you to the Josling family and co-workers.

The club's annual Paul Harris Awards and dinner is a very special occasion when community and club members are honoured for their service efforts. Two community members, three club members and a past club member received Paul Harris Awards, the highest honour a Rotary club can bestow. The following are the recipients: Julian D'Angela for his ongoing work with Ancaster Film Fest and continued financial support of a variety of area charities; Jennifer Montesanto for being a foster parent to 5 dogs in training for the Lions International Foundation Guide Dogs; Ken Beel, Roger Stewart and Derek Price for their continued behind the scenes support of almost all community based club projects, fundraisers and fellowship events; and Alycia Moore for her great work as club Youth Services director the previous year.
Host Bob Neibert organized the dinner and introduced guest speaker Kevin Rempel.

Aug 02, 2016
Russell King
AEDs - Bringing YOU back to Life
Aug 09, 2016
Ralph Montesanto and Ross Bannatyne
Club Assembly - Membership Focus
Aug 16, 2016
Judy Rickey
Reclaim your space by clearing the clutter
Aug 23, 2016
Filomena Tassi, MP
The life of a new Member of Parliament