Rotary Club of Toronto - Forest Hill

                  we meet in Yorkville

Social Media
Upcoming Speakers
Sep 29, 2016
Lunch at st michael college
Future Direction of the Rotary Club of Toronto - Forest Hill
Oct 05, 2016
Oct 06, 2016
Meeting cancelled due to inviation to Eglinton Club on Oct. 5 for Police Chief Mark Saunders
Oct 13, 2016
DG Jim Louttit
Address by District Governor
Oct 20, 2016
Executive Board
Foundation chair
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Milo Vassallo
    September 10
  • Kathy Verduyn
    September 23
  • Russ Bayko
    September 24
  • Albert Frank
    September 28
  • Kathy Verduyn
    Rod Verduyn
    September 30
  • Rod Verduyn
    September 30
Join Date:
  • Marvin Graf
    September 1, 1993
    23 years

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill

Toronto-Forest Hill

Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 12:15 PM
Hazelton Place
111 Avenue Road, Lower Level
Toronto, ON  M5R 3J8
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories

New website - Out Door Ping Pong Table

Please join me to congratulate Kaven for doing an excellent job to develop a website for our  out door pin pong table project.

The outdoor ping pong table was donated to the City of Toronto by the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill with special contributions by longtime Club members Chako Setoyama and James Matsumoto
Rotary team with Councillor Paul Ainslies - Scarbrough East-Ward 43


Shermeen Beg - Educator - Agha Khan Museum

Guest Speaker Shermeen Beg of the Agha Khan museum gave an enthusiastic presentation on her experience as an Immigrant to Toronto. Shermeen illustrated her talk with fascinating images of Toronto and the many places she has lived, studied and worked in her peripatetic life. Born in a small village in Pakistan, Shermeen had a strong desire in her early years to learn about the world around her, especially houses and other buildings. After earning a degree in architecture in Pakistan, she travelled to Savannah, Georgia where she completed a master’s degree in architecture. She then moved to Washington DC and practised architecture in a suburban capital region firm. Shermeen still had strong family roots in Pakistan which she maintains to this day, with Karachi being a focal point. She returned to Pakistan and opened her own architectural office as well as teaching. A few years ago, she emigrated from Karachi, Pakistan to Toronto. Shermeen showed us a series of photos illustrating the similarities and the differences between Karachi and Toronto. She also gave a brief description of her present life as an architect working and teaching at the strikingly beautiful Aga Khan Museum here in Toronto. Shermeen concluded her visit to our club with an invitation to club members participate in any of the on-going programs at the museum. Shermeen was thanked by our Treasurer, Ali Kazmi, a fellow immigrant from Karachi to Toronto. 
In a happy coincidence, we were visited today by a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Paul Bosveld, who is also interested in architecture and design. Paul spoke briefly about how being an Ambassadorial Scholar changed the course of his life and career. Paul had graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from the University of Windsor and worked for a few years as an engineer in the automotive industry. When he was awarded the Ambassadorial Scholarship, he went to Italy to pursue graduate studies in  industrial design at a top school in Milan. This led to a challenging design career at Pininfarina, an Italian firm renowned for designing car bodies for clients like Ferrari as well as designing a myriad of other products. Paul then moved to Pininfarina USA and subsequently worked for other major US companies as a designer. He is now leader of a design team for Microsoft dealing with Virtual Reality products. Paul expressed his appreciation for the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship which was the key to him broadening his horizons and pursuing his career in industrial design.

Councillor Paul Ainslie
Scarborough East – Ward 43
TORONTO - City Councillor Paul Ainslie will be welcoming The Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill in a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled to be held on Tuesday August 23, 2016 at 11 am in Morningside Park, 390 Morningside Ave. to commemorate the donation of a concrete outdoor ping pong table. The ceremony will be held at the table location in Morningside Park beside the splash pad and play ground near the first parking lot.
The outdoor ping pong table was donated to the City of Toronto by the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill with special contributions by longtime Club members Chako Setoyama and James Matsumoto.
“Outdoor Ping Pong Tables for Parks” is an initiative being spearheaded by Dianne Moore of The Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill. The intent is to provide an additional positive outlet for the energy of youth and opportunities for physical exercise for persons of all ages.


Guest speaker: Dr Asmat Naebkhil of Kabul, Afghanistan and Windsor.

Dr Asmat Naebkhil of Kabul, Afghanistan and Windsor, Ontario spoke to our Club about the start-up and development of what is now the Kabul Medical University Cardiac Research Institute. Asmat is a cardiologist who studied medicine in Afghanistan and India and eventually came to Canada where he worked at Mount Sinai and St. Michael’s Hospitals in Toronto as well as in Saskatchewan and Windsor. Asmat joined the Rotary Club of Windsor where he met Jim and Dianne Moore and told them his dream of returning to Afghanistan to establish a centre to provide cardiac care which was not then available anywhere in the country. Asmat shared with us his story of his bootstraps’ efforts to bring cardiac care to Kabul. This included working with Windsor Rotarians to secure used but not obsolete equipment from hospitals in Windsor and Detroit and arrange for the equipment to be shipped to Afghanistan by the US Air Force. In Kabul, Asmat worked to obtain all the necessary permits and to arrange to use an empty former girls dormitory to set up the cardiac clinic. He began treating patients from all walks of life including the poorest of the poor. No one was charged for the medical services. At times of extreme danger in Kabul, the Canadian Embassy insisted that Asmat, a Canadian citizen, spend the nights in their secure compound rather than staying at the clinic. One day Asmat treated a senior official from the office of President Hamid Karzai. This changed the course of development of the cardiac care facility! Asmat described how he was invited to the palace for lunch with President Karzai. This led to regular lunches with the president and the provision of funding that enabled the facility to grow from one cardiologist and a few nurses operating on a shoestring budget to a well equipped institute with more than 200 staff including more than 20 cardiologists. While there are no Rotary Wheels or Maple Leaf flags on display due to security issues in Afghanistan, this is the greatest Canadian success story in the country!   Jim Moore introduced his long time friend, Asmat, and Abdollah Kafshbarghi thanked him on behalf of our Club.


Classification Speeches by Tanveer Nasir and Kaven Kafshbarghi 

 Thursday, August 11


This week Tanveer and Kaven, two of our newest club members, both delivered outstanding classification speeches that were creative, entertaining, and heartfelt. They set a new standard of excellence for introducing themselves to  club members. 

The theme of Tanveer's speech was "I am not lucky; I am blessed." She focussed on the importance of education as a criterion for success as evidenced by her two sons and daughter who have already achieved so much success in their young lives. Mothers know best! We are fortunate to have Tanveer as a member of our club. 


Kaven's theme emphasized the importance of family in his life. He and his father, Abdollah, both belong to the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill and are the first father and son combination to become members in the history of our club. Who knows! Kaven's one year old son, Kal Alexander Kafshbarghi, may choose to become a Rotaractor one day.

Both Tanveer and Kaven serve on our 2016/17 Board of Directors. Tanveer is our recording secretary in training while Kaven is our social media expert responsible for promoting good public relations in our club and  district. They are active and valued members of our club!


Article submitted by Norm Waite                                                    August 15th, 2016




Support Our Kids - Children's visit to Toronto-Canada

The goal of SOK in collabration with Rotary Toronto Forest hill, is to help children who were 3 years old at the time of the earthquake until they reach 13 years old overcome the trauma of the disaster. We are now in the 5th year of our 10 year commitment.
This year our senior Rotary members James and Chako arranged a visit of nine children to Toronto.  The event began with a fund raising dinner at Chako's house which was attended by over hundred guest. During their stay children had a good time with their host families. Children left on 13th August to their home with great memories.


Guest Speaker: Thierry Lasserre - Executive Director of Alliance Francaise de Toronto

Thierry Lasserre delivered a first-rate, well-paced, interesting and informative presentation on Alliance Francaise. It is a 100% Canadian non-profit and charitable organization offering the GTA community a wide range of French as a Second Language classes to children, teenagers and adults from all levels. The GTA is home to a sizable francophone community. The only francophone bookstore in the city is housed at the group's Downtown Toronto building/campus at 24 Spadina Road. As a nonprofit, it provides an important service to the community at large.
                                       Mille mercis, Thierry!
Special thanks to Antoine for providing us with yet another exceptional and entertaining guest speaker.


                          Welcome home to James and Chako!             
Valued & Active Members of  the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill


Congratulations, Team Toronto-Forest Hill and Their Captain, Sonam Choeden!


A special thank you to Jim, Ali, Norm, Fe, Sonam, Laura, Magno, Steve, and Nadia for participating in the District 7070 Rotary Poker Walk for HIV/AIDS
at the Beach-Toronto on Saturday, April 30th. With the generous support of our donors, we raised $1400.00. Well done, Toronto-Forest Hill!!!
The funds raised by our club and other Rotary clubs in Toronto and the GTA will help support the initiatives of  the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Latinos Positivos, Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, Canadian Aids Treatment Information Exchange, Canadian Aids Society,  Africans in Partnership Against AIDS,Dignitas International, and Toronto People With Aids Foundation et al.
Lest we forget... "One person dies of AIDS every 18 seconds. 2.6 Million New Cases each year. No Community Is Immune".
The Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill is making a difference locally and globally by its participation in this important club project. Be Proud!


Classification speech - Ali Nasir Kazmi

Ali has been a valued member of our club for one year. His volunteer work ethic, dependability and commitment to Rotary are definite assets. He serves as a board member and treasurer. Ali will be participating in the District 7070 Rotary Poker Walk for HIV/AIDS on Saturday, April 30th. His dedication to maintaining and upgrading our website is very much appreciated. At our meeting this week he delivered an excellent classification speech to the club members who attended our luncheon meeting.
Ali personifies "Service Above Self". Our club members work diligently at "Being a Gift to the World";
Ali Nasir Kazmi is a gift to our club!    Bravo!
50/50 Draw
Foundation Chair, Jim Moore, had the lucky ticket this week in our 50/50 Draw. From the deck he pulled the 6 of Hearts. Right colour but wrong suit... Better luck next time, Jim. The pot grows larger as do the proceeds to further fund our club projects. One happy buck/loonie at a time!!!



On Thursday, April 14th we celebrated the success of the Backpack Project when we presented forty backpacks with school supplies to project-co-ordinator, Che Emmanuel, who will be distributing them to needy children on the island in early September, 2016. We were delighted that Consul-General Michael Willius was able to join us to speak on behalf of the government and the people of Saint Lucia.
Special thanks to Milo and Rita Vassallo for their work and effort in assembling the backpacks. Just imagine the excitement, the joy, the smiles on the faces of these young children when they receive their very own backpacks at the start of the next school year.
Rotary is helping others in need especially young children. Rotary is being the positive change that we wish to see in the world.


Guest speaker - Sheila Rees  

Regional Director "Make-A-Wish"

Our club secretary, Kathy Verduyn, presented Sheila Rees, the regional director for the Toronto and Central Ontario Chapter of "Make-A-Wish" with a certificate of appreciation for being our guest speaker on Thursday, May 7th. Sheila was truly passionate about the organization's mission to bring hope, strength, and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions through the granting of magical, life-transforming wishes. Her presentation was informative, inspiring, insightful and laid the groundwork for "a one time only" fundraiser in support of Make-A-Wish and its mission from June to September. More details to follow in the weeks ahead.
In her role with Make-A-Wish, Sheila is driven by the foundation's vision to grant the wish of every eligible child in Canada and advocates that a wish-come-true is not just "a nice to have" but "a must have" for a critically-ill child and their family.25 club members and friends of Rotary who attended this luncheon meeting certainly gained a deeper appreciation of "the power of a wish".


Past District Governor, David Ing Inducts Tanveer Kazmi, Our Newest Member.

At this meeting we celebrated the induction of our newest club member, Tanveer Kazmi. the wife of Ali Kazmi. Tanveer is the 4th new member to join our club since January Ist.
She truly understands the meaning of "service above self" and will definitely help "our small club with a huge heart" move forward in continuing to make a difference both in the local and the
global communities which we serve.
50/50 Draw
Danny won the raffle but could not draw the right card. Pot continues to grow


Guest speaker: March 31, 2016
Gem Munro Co-Executive Director of Amarok Society, Gem is a bestselling author and visual artist. Most recently, he has directed a documentary film, ‘Heart to Head: How Amarok Society Women are Teaching the World’s Poorest Children’.

Gem briefed the members about the activities of Amarok society in Bangladesh by showing  inspirational videos. We teaches uneducated mothers how to read and write, and then teaches the mothers to be neighborhood teachers – educating their own and their neighbours’ children every day in their homes, with astonishing result. Gem concluded his presentation with the comments that extremist are not afraid of bombs they welcome bombs or they not scared of  deaths, in fact they celebrate deaths  but they are truly terrified with the reasoning educated mind. 


Guest speakers of the week:

The Rev'd Megan Jull - Assistant Curate The Church of the Redeemer.
Elaine Rosenberg - Tornto Foundation for Student Success
This week meeting we invited the representative of two organizations which are supported by the club out of Bingo earnings. 
Elain told the members that Toronto Foundation for Student Success (TFSS) founded in 1998 with a mission to provide proper nutrition to the children in schools. SHe said that in 1998 they served almost 11000 meals everyday which is now jumped to 170000 meals across the city. She also briefed the audience about the efforts TFSS is making to improve the health care for the needy students. Elain concluded her presentation by thanking the club members for their continued support.
While inviting Meagan our elect President briefed the members about the Drop in program of the Church of Redeemer which is providing the safe community space  in Toronto for marginalized, homeless and socially isolated people. 
Megan began her talk by sharing a story about a regular participant named James, who has the Bipolar disorders. Due to his health condition he completely lost all his trust and almost ended all the relationships and was too scared to talk to anyone. Eventually over the period of time it was discovered that he is trained as a Chef. James started working as a Chef in kitchen and become a useful member of the organization. So the People who come to Redeemer not only physically hungry but their soul is hungry too and it is the job of society to rebuild their employment history.
She conclude her presentation by appreciating the club saying "You are a small but a mighty club"


           Donation appeal for St. Lucia Project                                          

Join us in a Club project to provide backpacks filled with school supplies to needy children in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. The cost is $35 per backpack.

Should you need any further information about the project, please contact event chair Millo at his email address.


Please make your donation by cheque payable to the Rotary Club of Toronto Forest Hill and send it to Jim Moore at 44 St Joseph Street, Suite 712, Toronto M4Y 2W4 by 20th of March, 2016.


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