Some 30 members and guests joined our meeting on line this week.  Our able technical hosts were Kevin Holloway and Bob Tomlinson.

We had a very special Rotary guest this week:  Rotary 5580 District Governor Bob McLean.  We would normally have an opportunity to meet the DG in person, but instead we welcomed him virtually from his home in Central Lakes Minnesota (  

We started our meeting with both the American and Canadian anthems to honour our guest and each other. O Canada was the lovely Indigenous version sung by First Nations Technical School in Winnipeg, Manitoba singing in Inuktituk, Michif, English, French and Ojibwa, with Brian Walmark’s PowerPoint. Beautifully done and becoming a Club favourite!

Our guests today included Gary Ferguson, the new Executive Director of Salvation Army

Mal Balachandran, Club President of Rotaract, our favourite BC member Maria Hudolin. 

We briefly acknowledged the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  Her long and illustrious career truly displayed the values that Rotary espouses.

The Virtual Peace Day was very well done yesterday.  Brian Walmark, Brenda Winter, Kevin Holloway, Jim Madder, David Silliman and Mal Balachandran were all thanked for all their efforts in making the virtual Peace day an amazing success.  Michael Gravelle, Patty Hajdu and Chief Peter Collins were among the many illustrious guests. 

Announcements included that our planned Wilderness Discovery Centre in site meeting will have to be delayed to next Spring.  Instead, next week’s meeting will include our Guest Speaker  Scott Bradley, of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society. 

Roly Turner introduced our Guest Speaker Rotary 5580 District Governor Bob McLean who hails from “The little Club that does”.  He has been very active in all levels of Rotary and volunteered also in other roles. He is one of the founders of Resilient Living Campus, an advocate of vibrant communities and lifelong learning.  The good ship 5580 is does well with him at the helm!

Bob McLean congratulated our group, having joined in on the directors’ meeting before the general meeting.  He also praised the current Rotary International President Holger Knaak and his wife as the epitome of positivity. Rotary is our passion, not our job. We are at a major crossroad across the world.  We have four major Priorities at the moment:

#1:  How do we expand rotary:  who is not around the table? What are the areas of need and purpose which are not being addressed? 

#2: Visioning project:  Where are we going to be in the future?  Our club is well on its way having already done its Visioning exercise, rare among the District 5580 Clubs  – kudos!

#3 – Ending polio:  WHO recognized Rotary for its tireless efforts helping the African continent become free of wild polio.  Last month started up immunizations again.  Much success!

#4 – “M&M”s:  Making membership meaningful and memorable.  Keep putting the Fun in Fundraising. There are no Rotary cops.  Give things a try.  Be as creative as you want. 

Why did you join rotary?  Most often it was because “I was asked. I was invited.” 

Why have you stayed? Often it is because the people in our club are warm and inclusive and doing good works.  Bob McLean spoke about the passion many fellow Rotarians have for what we do. Truly:  “Individually we can do little, together we can move mountains.”  It is a worldwide fellowship with the club as the most important component. Rotary is In 220 countries, 35,000 clubs. The most important element is the engaged Rotarian. 

Mission Statements of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation are similar.  The Rotary Foundation is ranked the top charity in the world for transparency and effective use of funds.

Rotary’s new Vision Statement is: “Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe in our communities and in ourselves.” He encouraged us to go on one of the international conventions, well worth attending.  As the Founder of Rotary Paul Harris said, “If Rotary is to realize its proper destiny, it must be evolutionary at all times, and revolutionary on occasions.” 

At its core, Rotary is about peace-building, health, water, maternal health, literacy, numeracy. 

October 24th is World Polio Day.  Can we build awareness and funds and have fun doing it?

Bob ended with a thought for the last weekend in April, 2021, our next District Conference to be held in Bemidji, MN April 29 to May 1, 2021

Bob McLean was thanked by President Elect Jim Madder for his fantastic presentation today and his wise words during the Peace Day ceremony yesterday.