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The first meeting of the new Rotary Year under President Marieze was a good one...a harbinger of another great year for this club! Marieze commented on the District 5060 Rotary Foundation achievement of $157 per member and how that can be directed to the amazing work that it does.
Our guest speaker was Dr Malcom Patterson, current President of the Penticton Okanagan Rotary Club but speaking to us on his field of expertise of cancer research as a molecular oncologist. He is retired now but has an impressive resume of 40 years of research in 5 countries across 3 continents, authoring 168 scientific articles and he came across to us as a very credible scientist. His message and concern today was around the proliferation of radio frequency devices (wireless) in our lives and the potential harm to our health that it presents now and even more over time as the number of devices will increase 7 fold in 5 years. He presented as fact that RF heats body tissue, impacts adult brain tumors, Alzheimers, sleep disturbances, memory, autism, dementia, male infertility and childhood learning. Children are more vulnerable than adults. While any wireless device emits RF, he specifically dealt with the topical smart metres as representing high impact and risk. These meters are powerful emitters with a range of up to 3.5kms so in a community there is a multiplier effect as they overlap.
Also of interest is the claim that built in these new meters is a capacity to operate any and all of the wireless devices in your house if turned on. This lead to an interesting discussion of 'Big Brother is Watching' scenarios.
Health Canada is the government agency that sets safe levels for this type of risk and is the authority referenced by our electricity providers proving the meters are safe. Dr Patterson showed that the levels set are some of the lowest in the world and are totally unrealistic and unsafe.
Certainly a stimulating and new learning for all of us in attendance and while he was not advocating any particular action or response, I assume he hopes the awareness will benefit us in decisions down the road. He closed with a reference to a 'Tsunamic scale impact on our health care system'.
Pres Marieze spoke to the results of our extremely busy month of June in which there were 3 fundraising events for the club. The golf tournament raised $14,000, the Canada Day pancake breakfast raised $2400 and the Cactus Jalopy breakfast and beer garden raised some $3000. That is a bunch of volunteering!
Our guest presenter Malcolm spoke to his Rotary Club's recent installation and gave accolades and thanks to our ADG Cheryle for her leadership role in their ceremony.
Finally, the 50/50 draw was won by Harold and as a true Rotary guy, rather than put it towards the cost of his recent 10,000kms road trip, he donated it to the student scholarship fund.
Next weeks speaker is George Fraser, a long time Osoyoos Resident.
A good meeting/start to the year!
Harold introduced Mike Safek, Principal of Osoyoos Senior Secondary, noting that he and Mike shared a common recent history - both survived serious heart attacks, Harold's in a hockey rink and Mike's in a lake. He also commended Mike on the strong working relationship Osoyoos Rotary has enjoyed with OSS with scholarships ($23m this year from the Foundation), youth exchange, student travel and Interact. We all then thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated Mike's update and information sharing on the strengths and successes of OSS. He has been Principal for the past 2 years but had earlier tenures as both Principal and VP at this school. There are 240 students this year (looking like a few less next year) and obviously Mike is very proud of them all. In academics, our students in grades 10-12 did exceptionally well in Provincial exams in February placing ahead of the District as well as the whole Province in several courses. In sports both the girls and boys had Provincial successes in soccer and basketball and as Mike shared the extensive list of extra-curricular programs offered, we could readily hear his pride in the efforts of the staff as well as the students. He was especially chuffed with the range of alternative courses offered to students challenged with social/family issues that engaged them sufficiently to allow them to graduate. These included online and apprenticeship options.
I suspect one of Mike's objectives in speaking to us was to build and connect the school and community and in this presentation, he was very successful!
Other updates included Cheryle reporting that the trust fund for Deb Peach (recent fire victim) has reached $2100; District Conference is in Kelowna June 18-21 - we have 6 registered so room for more!; Summerland Rotary is holding their Golf Tournament July 10th and Penticton Rotary has their Ribfest July 3-5 and would appreciate participants and volunteers. Updates to the Golf Tournament (looking good!) and Cactus Jalopy were given and will be emailed separately.
The Board approved 2 roadside cleanups this year so stay tuned for fun garbage collection dates.
Karen H. won the huge 50/50 draw and because she is such a model Rotarian, she donated it immediately to the Rotary Scholarship Foundation fund.
A good meeting, eh?