Rotary Family Day Celebration, February 13, 2016, Noon - 4:00 PM
Rotary Stars, February 13, 2016, 6:45 PM - 9:30 PM
Shredding Day, April 30, 2016, 9:00 AM - 1 PM
Fireworks Display, May 22, 2016, 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Lobster and Rib Dinner, May 28, 2016, 5:00 PM - Midnight
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com and Brandon@brandonlovemagic.com 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 http://www.brainsproutingbook.com.
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 (http://www.fredamalfi.com) 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.