Rotary Literacy
Arun thanks our guest speaker Sue Storie, our District Chair for Literacy. Sue was pleased to be back with us and comment on our Literacy Award received at the District Conference. She had an interesting and animated  presentation about literacy, indicating how it now includes digital literacy. Sue had some interesting statistics about the number of adults who are unable to function literally and the effect it has on their lives. There are a number of programs locally offered to assist these people.
Avoidable Blindness Project
We partner with the Rotary Club of Burton and help them with the Avoidable Blindness Project. Glasses from all over Michigan and Ontario are collected, brought up to 20/40 standards and then Doctors and volunteers travel to the Sonora Region of Mexico to bring the gift of sight to those both young and old. Whether it's a young child being able to see to begin their schooling or a grandmother who has never seen her grandchild - what we often take for granted is a special gift to those in this poor community.
Member Donations to Rotary International
District Governor Diane Chantler makes presentation to President Margaret for London North`s 100% participation in donations to the Rotary Foundation during the 2016-17 year. The club averaged $172 USD per person.
Club Information
Welcome to the Rotary Club of London North!
London North

Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Wednesdays at 6:00 PM
Contact Yvette Thornton for link
London, ON N5X 4J2
We meet through Zoom. Contact club president Yvette Thornton for the link
Stories about Rotary and our club's activities
A group of 20 gathered at Stevenson Camp for our weekly meeting. Guests included AG Kathleen Murphy, Sue and Rick Storie, Janet Langford, Malcolm Thornton and Stevenson Camp director Joe Douglas. 
Director Joe took a few moments to talk about the camp and his experiences this past summer with more than usual behavioral issues by a number of the campers. He also had some good stories to tell and many of the kids are already looking forward to  returning to camp next summer. 
 Thank you to chefs Vic, Gary, Peter and Dennis. A yummy poor boy feast of sausages, sauerkraut and salad was enjoyed by all. From the proceeds gathered we were able to present a cheque to Joe for  $365 which will cover the cost of one child’s camp fees next summer. 
Vic expressed thanks to Joe for all he has done for so many kids over the number of years that he has been with the camp. 
We were welcomed by a team of two staff members.  The initial part of our tour consisted in tasting four types of beer. 
David Reed, B.E.Sc., P. Eng explained his own career trajectory and the history of the company. It was launched in 2013 and has been growing ever since.  It is growing fast and its activities spans  London and its  environs, Toronto and Ottawa. The company brews for some other breweries in Canada.  
Fruitful exchanges ensued. David explained the relationships with LCBO and The Beer Stores. The Company pay provincial and federal taxes.  
During the tour, production technicalities were explained to us: fermenting, flavours, and ingredients involved. 
Reference was made to Ford’s ‘A buck a bottle’: implementation faces hurdles. NAFTA shakeup has implications on breweries bottom line because of the price of steel. 
David expressed the wish of having us inform potential consumers of beers locally produced.
Arun introduced guest speaker Jennifer Mitchell. Jennifer is a personal injury lawyer with Brown Beattie O’Donovan.  She had some interesting information to pass along about the types of claims and the importance of talking to a lawyer as soon as possible following an accident or an injury. Rights and options would be discussed on an initial visit.  She also stressed the importance of promptly seeking medical attention as this info can be crucial to the outcome of a  case. Don thanked Jennifer and presented her with a Polio Plus certificate of donation.
A group of 32 gathered at the West Haven Golf Club for our year end changeover event. Guests included our new AG Kathleen Murphy and her husband Harry Joosten, outgoing AG Sue Storie and her husband Rick and Rotarian Madu Bishnu (friend of Tom and Pat) from Calcutta, India. Members introduced their spouses. 
Doug took a few moments to review this past year with him as president. He thanked the club for a successful year with a great number of projects and fundraisers. The golf tourney last year gleaned about $18,500 which was added to the fundraiser coffers with Colin’s computer project and the East Coast Kitchen Party. These funds enabled us to continue with the dictionary project, help support the Oakbotics team, the TVCC Splinting 
and Casting program, help support the local diabetes camp run by Western students and to fulfill our commitment to the Rotary Rink maintenance. And don’t forget Margaret’s purple garden to support polio!! As always our bursary and youth programs were also funded to help encourage the leaders of tomorrow. On the international scene we helped fund projects in Mexico, the Philippines and Burundi. All in all a very successful year. Many thanks to Doug for his hours of dedication not only to the club but he is still is involved at the District 6330 level. Thanks also to Sue Storie for 3 three years as AG for our area.  Sue is moving on at the district level  to fill another job. Good luck Sue! 
Arun introduced guest speaker Brittany Webb. Brittany has recently taken on the role of Community Engagement Coordinator with Diabetes Canada and is making the rounds with local service clubs to talk about diabetes. She had a very interesting presentation with a lot of facts showing the severity of the rise in the diagnosis of people with the disease. The scariest was the number of people who do not know that they are at risk of becoming diabetic. Food choices and an active lifestyle are great ways to help avoid type 2 diabetes. She talked about the camps that are available for type 1 diabetic children and the costing involved. Subject to space available no child is turned away as there is funding available. There is a local camp in London called Camp Discovery located at the former Camp Woodeden just west of London near Komoka. Doug thanked Brittany and presented her with a Polio Plus certificate of donation.
Tom introduced his friend Wale who he has known for several years after having crossed paths at a number of RI Conventions. Wale and his wife are here for the Toronto convention and are visiting Tom and Pat for a few days prior. Wale is finishing his term as DG for District 9110 in Nigeria. A very busy year as that district has over 100 clubs!  Wale spoke to us for a few minutes about his time as DG and reminded us of the importance of the Rotary Foundation. Through this, a great impact can be made worldwide. Shoring up friendships such as theirs can aid in the building of international projects. Doug thanked Wale and presented him with some Rotary Lager. (Tom had just happened to mention that Wale likes beer!) 
The Oakbotics Team had a great presentation for us. They gave us a bit of the history of this international competition and of their club. Each member present talked about his contribution to the project and they explained how all clubs received their new instructions at the same time. After a slide presentation we were able to watch first hand this years robot in action. This definitely is a group effort with everyone participating. The team won a couple of awards this year and were quite pleased with their results. Doug thanked the team and presented them with a Polio Plus certificate of donation. They in turn presented Doug with a certificate of appreciation for having sponsored them for yet another year .
 Carolina has been a member of the London East Rotary Club since 2016. She has become involved in a project whereby used bicycles and bicycle parts are collected and shipped to South Africa or where there is need for them. The bicycles not only become a mode of transportation for the children but they provide a learning situation on how to fix bikes which could lead to possible employment. The project has gone through growing pains as the club ran into obstacles with logistics. They have received a great amount of help from the Grand Bend RC after having shipped 75 containers of goods to  South Africa. The London East RC is looking to expand this program and is hoping that other Rotary clubs might be interested in joining them. Carolina’s talk this evening suggested this idea to London North. Certainly something for us to look at and think about. Doug thanked Carolina and presenter her with a Polio Plus certificate of donation. 
Clark is the founder and Executive and Artistic Director of El Sistema Aeloian. The El Sistema organization was founded in Venezuela in 1975 and is now represented in over 80  countries worldwide. The El Sistema Aeolian provides an opportunity for students and their communities to experience a free and intense after school musical program. A minimum three day per week commitment is required and participants can study full orchestra, choir, wind, brass and piano. The leadership and teaching staff are all university educated people with degrees in teaching and music. Over twenty performances per year are made for the public to attend. Clark’s passion for his work is very evident as he speaks from the heart about this local program that he founded in 2011. Doug thanked Clark and presented him with a Polio Plus certificate of donation.
Arun introduced Larry McKinnon, a Certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Council. He has been an instructor at Western University and Fanshawe College in Entrepreneurship and Research Methods. He participates in many community building initiatives. He started with some quick facts about London: 450,000 population, 270,000 labour force, highways facilitating connections in North America and a flow of $2 billion per day. These aspects clarify London competitive stance. It is also important to mention its diverse economy: health care and social assistance, manufacturing, construction, trade, educational services, finance, insurance and real estate. LEDC's focus is to INVEST, GROW, VENTURE, TALENT AND ENGAGE. Some target sectors to enhance London’s attractiveness: manufacturing (33,000 employees), food and beverage (7,000 employees), Health & Life Sciences ( 21,000), Digital Creative (9,000).  It is also crucial to have industrial land. The concept of Quality of Life or Place weighs in business decisions. Additional information was provided during the Q/A  period.  Transportation policies under discussion in London; use of abandoned business land; growth boundaries. 
Arun introduced Dr. Nizar Zyoud who happens to be the father of our Oakbotics team Captain.  This scientist deals with risk assessment of environmental sites. He addresses the needs of property owners, buyers, investors and financial institutions.  The need for environment assessment is paramount. There are numerous instances of contamination in landfills and other locations. Risk reduction entails analysis and treatment of hazardous materials and groundwater. Remedial design and brownfields redevelopment are carried out. They proceed in two phases whereby records are reviewed, site visits are made, interview sessions are held culminating in evaluation and reporting. Likely places are railroads, gas stations, laundry businesses, agricultural lands and wherever mold prevails. Carcinogenic materials constitute the biggest environmental concern. President Doug thanked Nizar for his presentation and presented him with a Polio Certificate.
Tonight’s guest is Shaya Dhinsa. She is the manager of the Sexual Health Program at the Middlesex London Health Unit. She stated from the start that the goal of her Unit is to CHOOSE HEALTH. They serve some 45,000 people. The program is aimed at infectious disease control, inspections, and health promotion. The crises is real and frightening: overdose deaths, HIV epidemic, Endocarditis, litter (needles), public drug use. Appropriate measures are being taken at a cost of $210 million.
A supervised consumption facility is going to be available soon. It is a clean place with an available nurse and  a chill room for use after supervised drug consumption.  
Other initiatives being taken: community drug and alcohol strategies, harm reduction pillar, opioid crisis working groups and supervised consumption.  

The unit is aware of the dire situation of the indiginous population which has continued gone through sucessive generations of suffering.

Shaya mentioned other major gaps: poverty, at-risk youth, medical detox and residential rehabilitation. A period of question and answers
provided additional information and more detail.  
Arun introduced our guest speaker Lea Wilson from the Heart & Stroke Foundation. She announced the talk would be fairly casual and wanted to address the topic "COPING WITH STRESS". 
She started her presentation with a group STRESS TEST. We answered multiple questions to find out our overall Stress Index. 
She mentioned that ¼ of Canadians experience some degree of stress. Stress constitutes a real danger to health leading to diabetes, stroke and obesity… 
There are a number of stressors easily summed up by the encompassing term: The Cycle of Life 
Bodily responses to stress are easily observed by listening to your own body and seeing things in the great scheme of life. Once you recognize it, deal with stress through various coping techniques. 
A. PHYSICAL & BEHAVIOURAL: Get enough sleep. Practice deep breathing. Exercise.
B. COGNITIVE & MENTAL: Meditate. Engage by problem-solving. Seek help.
C. PERSONAL & SOCIAL: Enjoy the company of friends and family members. Pursue hobbies and personal interests.  
It is crucial to find out what works for you: nature, walks, spirituality and you will be the best you can be.  
Two bookmarks to remind us how to recognize stress signs and add years to our life were handed out. 
A rich conversation followed in the form of questions and comments. 
Arun introduced today’s speakers: Sara Hansen teaches in Kitchener, Ontario and Michelle Massaro teaches in London, Ontario. They are strongly committed to relevant and modern educational opportunities to propel growth and create change. The two guests are glad to be back to speak of their initiative: JUST CAUSE EDUCATION OUTREACH.
They operate from Kitchener and London, Ontario. Their project aims at education in Uganda, Africa. They are happy that their organization is a registered Charity. They work with volunteers; in close cooperation with local people in Uganda. It started with a man who felt the need to launch home schooling: he started with 10 children; now the initiative has served some 500.
A remote area, Nanso, saw the construction of an elementary school some five years ago: 8 classrooms, 1 office, available water and a garden.
A second school is under construction: it houses a STEAM CENTER where emphasis is put on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.
They face real challenges though: remoteness, equipment & other supplies, teacher training, access to social media.
They have however been able to establish 2 MAKERSPACES where activities are centred around Robotics, Technology, Computer Programming.
Support from mentors and the link with St Joes school in ST Thomas, Ontario is appreciated. Financial and material assistance from Hacker For Charity has been instrumental.
Learning opportunities are tremendous: competitions with other schools, various workshops tackling such topics as wind power, motion, design, programming, building (legos).
Our two speakers ended their presentation by thanking us for our continued support and by answering questions from us. More information can be found at their site JUSTCAUSECANADA.ORG
Arun introduced our speaker Susan McKane and one of her colleagues Jan Gaudet from the Roots of Empathy program. This is an internationally recognized program with its mission to build caring, peaceful and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults. This is an evidence based classroom program  to reduce aggression, including bullying, and to increase children’s social and emotional competence. Susan has been a Roots of Empathy instructor for 23 years and a trainer of new instructors for 18 years. Doug thanked Susan for her presentation and presented her with a Polio Plus certificate of donation.  
Arun introduced our speaker for the evening. Chelsea McMullan works with the Neighbourhood Legal Services here in London. As a Paralegal she and her colleagues get involved in a variety of services for those who qualify based upon income primarily. They do get involved in tenants rights, ODSP, CPP, Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and Ontario Works. Chelsea has worked in social assistance law since joining the staff after her placement as a Fanshawe student.  She obviously enjoys helping others and feels very at home at the London & Middlesex Neighbourhood Legal Services. Doug thanked Chelsea and presented her with a Polio Plus certificate of donation. 
Lin was our speaker for the evening. Last November he and Renee made a trip to Rwanda (borders with their homeland of Burundi) to see how things were going with the Burundi Educational Fund. With all the civil uprisings and uncertainty many people have fled Burundi and are in Rwanda. Lin and Renee decided to play it safe and go to Rwanda and there they visited numerous families with students being supported through the fund. As well they visited a refugee camp and were amazed at the number of people in it. The trip was a difficult one but they are glad that they made it. Doug thanked Lin and presented him with a Polio Plus certificate of donation. 
Arun introduced guest speaker Derek Niles. Derek is the President and founder of Orange Force Marine which is a marine service company. They will be offering consulting, training and vessel charters in the Great Lakes and Eastern Canada. Specialized services such as lake floor surveying, commercial diving inspections and oil and gas support will be available. Best of all their first ship, the Orange Apex is due to arrive in the port of Port Stanley on April 1 (subject to the ice). This business will help to fulfill the mid range marine market in the area. At this time the area supports primarily personal pleasure craft and lake freighters. Doug thanked Derek and presented him with a Polio Plus certificate of donation. 
Arun introduced Rotaractors Melissa Chopcian and Roslyn Mainland. Both are in their 4th year at Western in the Science Program and hoping to get into medical school next year. One of the Rotaract projects is running the Juvenile Diabetes Camp which is held at the Pearce Williams Christian Centre near St. Thomas. The weekend camp is open to diabetic children and their families. Sessions and activities are geared to help educate the participants on learning to live with this condition. Generally there are about 80 participants at the camp. There is no cost to any of the participants or family members paid for by Rotaract fund raising. Doug thanked Melissa and Roslyn and presented them with a Polio Plus certificate a donation to be made in their names.
Arun introduced guests Dr. Emilia Vieira and Dr. Dave Robertson from the Staples Animal Hospital. Both gave us a bit of history about how they arrived in their chosen profession and then Dr. Dave became the main speaker as he went through some of the basics of cat and dog care and prevention of the mainstream diseases that our pets could otherwise pick up if not vaccinated against. Naturally Peter had some insight as he knows one of Emilia’s Brazilian friends who just happened to be one of his clients to whom he sold Gary’s house to several years ago. Small world and Peter often finds himself in the middle of   it all!  Made for an interesting evening as Dr. Dave stood back watching, listening and laughing as all of this unfolded. Lots of questions followed from our pet loving membership. Don thanked Dave and presented him with a Polio Plus certificate of donation to be made in his name.
Doug introduced Scott Fortnum, CEO of the Children’s Health Foundation and Dr. John LaPorta, CFO of the TVCC. Both thanked LNR for our contribution to their casting and splint program. One of their physiotherapists Cheryl gave us a description as to one of the situations when a splint is necessary for the development of a child’s leg muscles to ensure full motion for a natural walking stride. 
Patient Jordan and her mom joined us for a bit. Jordan had written a letter that her mom read to tell us about her journey of rehabilitation and to thank us for our financial assistance. Jordan helped receive a cheque from LNR. 
Bill spoke briefly outlining the LNR Foundation and their decision to participate in the funding to this project. 
Following the presentation a tour  of the facility was offered. 
Our guest speaker is the founder of SWIM, an organization that assists single women as they go through some of the challenges of motherhood.  Anne-Marie Ricketts has worn many hats since the inception of Single Women in Motherhood some seventeen years ago. The program has grown and has helped many mothers as they navigate through emotional, financial, legal and behavioral (of the child) issues just to name a few. The facility offers a location to meet and talk with others in similar situations. To be successful members must be ready to make a change and not be content with the way things have been. SWIM caters to the concept of hands up and not hands out. Doug thanked Anne-Marie and presented her with a Polio Plus certificate of donation. 
Two Interactors dropped by to take orders for coffee that they are selling as a fundraiser. They also took a bit of time to tell us of some of the projects they have participated in and helped to fund. So far they have not determined where the coffee money will go.  Coffee should be delivered in a few weeks.
Colin introduced his wife Julie who in turn introduced 4 of the 31 member Oakridge High School Oakbotics team. For the past seven years we have helped them out financially as they prepare for a variety of competitions, depending on qualifying as they go. They thanked us for our continued support and had some great photos to show us of past robots made and how they performed. They await their January 02/18 instructions as to what they have to build this year. All teams worldwide receive the same instructions at the same time. They are aiming for the World Championships which will be held in Texas and St. Louis. Team members are busy getting their passports and paperwork in line. A couple of the students indicated that they have altered the direction of their career choice as a result of their experience with the robotics club. We wish the team well as they prepare for the upcoming competition year. Doug presented them with a Polio Plus donation certificate. 
Guest Steve Sauder was introduced by Arun. Steve has been with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority for about 35 years and currently is a marketing specialist working in outdoor education, strategic planning and marketing of the UTRCA. He has seen thousands of children excited about conservation and working hands on with hundreds of community partners. His presentation was very interesting and informative with a couple of videos to show some of the unique projects they have worked on to improve the local environment and the watershed surrounding us. Doug thanked Steve and presented him with a Polio Plus certificate of a donation to be made in his name. Steve had brought along two toques to be drawn for. Dennis and Tom were the winners of  these head warmers perfectly timed for the upcoming cold weather. 
Our guest speaker for the evening was Murray Hunter. Murray,  through the London Community Foundation started a legacy project in memory of his daughter who was killed by a drunk driver. Being that he loves gardening he decided that the funding would go toward community gardens.  The creation of a variety of gardens around the city and in close by communities has been very successful. There have been food gardens grown, historical gardens, legacy projects, a garden for bereaved families, gardens for rehabilitation programs and gardens to attract bees for pollination. Perhaps he will grow a “Purple for Polio” garden?? Doug thanked Murray and presented him with a Polio Plus certificate of donation.
September 2023
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