Jeff very capably presided at today's meeting and will for the next 3 weeks while Pres Brian is doing good deeds in S. Africa. He introduced our 3 'frequent visitor' guests Dale, Robert and Richard and YE inbound Carlo to the 15 members attending. What he did not do was even casually reference his curling victory on the weekend in the Osoyoos Mens Curling Bonspiel!
Giselle LeClaire was introduced as our speaker and she proceeded to thoroughly entertain us with a well prepared, informative summary of her trip to India. Giselle and a good friend spent 29 days travelling this incredible country last fall starting out on October 12th. Lots of travel as they maxed 2-3 days in any one spot. A guide and driver was a requirement in all the cities mainly due to the sometimes overwhelming traffic and congestion and noise and then offsetting those times were the wondrous quieter times such as those in the tea plantations and religious sites.
She was energized when talking about the markets, the artisans, shopping, festivals and some of India's history. It was evident to her that India is an ancient country but a very young Democracy, strongly influenced by religion and family ties. Her slides were amazing as were the stories that went with them - apparently Indian beer and wine are very acceptable too.
Giselle may have prompted more than a few in the room to think about putting India on that bucket list. Well done!
The S. African team should be arriving in Capetown about now and we hope their travels went well...maybe some reports/pictures soon? Ongoing Rotary programs that team members either initiated or support are in good hands. The Backpack for School (Marize) food program is in Sandy's capable hands with Jim always handy and the Rotary After School (Brian) tutoring program is very successful with 19 students regularly attending - 8 teachers are available to instruct.
The Coyote beer garden schedule is full for the remainder of January...thanks Doug,, and this is your reminder!
It was eventually discovered that Roger held the winning 50/50 ticket - can only surmise it will go to his Honduran water project!And the snow is melting!
A full, fun 2nd meeting of the New Year. Pres Brian introduced several guests including regulars Gregor Reid and Richard (Times), honorary member Roger Clinton, Dale Cory of Oliver Rotary and Robert Fisher, a snowbird Rotarian from Saskatchewan....if you ever wondered why we have snowbirds in Osoyoos where today it is -10, it was pointed out that it was -40 something in back in Sask!
The meeting was preceded by a Club Board meeting and I see that the notes from that are already distributed from our secretary...go Jeff! Take note of how the results of almost $30,000 of fundraising efforts is being distributed.
Our luncheon speaker was Paddy Head, who gave us a delightful and informative update on the Desert Park Exhibition Society. Paddy is the VP of the Society and is obviously a passionate proponent given her love of anything horsey...she was an early entrant into horse racing as a jockey early in the '70's and racing in E Canada and the US until 1990. It sounded like there would be a fascinating book from her life!
Paddy was not sure that there would be racing in Osoyoos this year. Evidently we are the only B circuit track left in BC, which underscores the decline of racing in North America. If we have a 1 or 2 day event this year is dependent on the support from the Hasting's A track and raising the purse money.
But they will host the Medieval Fair May 20-21. This was a successful event of jousting and Medieval events last year with some 1200 attendees and will be expanded with a feast and Village/entertainment this year, hoping to attract some 2000 guests, mainly tourists. She is looking to attract vendors, sponsors and volunteers.
Paddy talked about the horse training facilities and shared that there will be 6 trainers here with some 80 horses, down from the ambitious 158 horses of 2016. She will be running tours of the facilities starting at the end of February for the public which should be interesting. Their immediate issue is an aging tractor to support the stable.
In other news...our South African expeditionary force is heading out next week to view our International project underway (school toilets). There are 11 Rotary/partners going led by Marieze and Garnett and the itinerary sounds exciting for them. They go armed with club funds to support local needs as they see them. Safe travels!
Happy Bucks yielded that it was Harold's significant b'day tomorrow and he shared his plans to recognize those that came to his aid some 192 days ago at his hockey game in the morning. Neat!
And finally, Jeff won the 50/50 and was very clear that the proceeds would be directed to the Osoyoos Curling Club bar this weekend at the men's curling championships. I am not sure where Service Above Self came into the decision but I applaud this one!
We were golfing in Osoyoos last year in just over 4 weeks away from today so be hopeful!
The last meeting of 2016, and it was a full, fun one!
Guests included Rotarians Randy and Sheila Graham from Edmonton (looking to relocate here?), Richard from the Times and Vaughn in his first meeting as an Honorary Rotarian.
Pres Brian introduced our exchange student Carlo Geat as our luncheon speaker. I have been heard to say that YE is the best thing that Rotary does and Carlo clearly exemplifies that notion. He is a confident, well spoken, thoughtful young man with a great sense of humour. He is thriving in SOSS, his host families and within his YE cohort in 5060.
Carlo spoke of his home city of Trento in NE Italy, near the Austrian border, a valley city of some 100m people and of his family there, comprised of 3 doctors and a literature scholar. Carlo's own career interest at this stage is in economics which may lead him into the business sector.
He compared the two school systems and they appeared to be quite different but he talked to the merits of both. Carlo's outdoor hobbies included hiking/climbing, skiing and sailing but his passion is studying the violin and he is very good at that as demonstrated at our Christmas party.
Carlo pursued the exchange program on his own initiative and chose Rotary through research and word of mouth from rebound students. We are so pleased he landed in Osoyoos and we look forward to hearing in June about his exchange year.
Remember to include Carlo in your plans in the new year.
Harold spoke about Kim and the ongoing help that he is spearheading with the Club to assist her through the holidays as a single parent with 2 autistic boys. Money has been raised and she will be on the Christmas hamper list but Harold is asking that we help their season with baked goods and any donations can be added to what he has by dropping them off at the Osoyoos Times office before next Thursday. Well done!
Jim reminded everyone so visit our 'most excellent' tree in the Festival of Trees (ours is in the Watermark foyer) and vote for it for $2...the proceeds go to Children's hospital.
The next board meeting will be at 11am on Jan 12th and we will be deciding on our funding for a community project at that time. Information on the choices will be distributed to the membership shortly.
Jim was the high bidder for concert series tickets and that money went to Kim.
Doug was the 50/50 winner....suspect the proceeds will go to his stocking fund!
Next meeting is Jan 5th and Roger will be presenting his Honduran project.
Merry Christmas everyone!