P O Box 93 Midland, ON L4R 4K6
Posted by Bill Molesworth on Nov 15, 2016
Dean said he'd met Chuck Darrow recently and realized he was one of the few remaining who were part of WW II and he had come to speak of his experiences and to give the Club and opportunity to remember those who have served. Chuck accompanied his talk with film he'd taken on air bases in Britain - grainy but telling images of young men, many of whom did not make it.
Dean said Chuck had been rejected at first but by 1944 he was flying Spitfires with Squadron 416. He counted 150 hours of combat and stayed in till 1958. He then turned to business and became a director of the Fighter Pilots Association. He built his own house on the beach and lives, now, in Penetang.
Chuck described landing by kerosene lamps laid out on the field when coming back late, being bombed by shrapnel explosives, crash landings. One time he lost a wing on landing, spun and hit a wall. The coaming had come off and the plane on fire but he climbed out in good shape. They dropped him putting him in the ambulance and gave him a concussion.
Pilots were issued parachutes which they left on the back of their seats if they knew they were going up again. After two flights he returned one and discovered that he had been flying with two blankets. He was charged for the loss but managed to write it off after being strafed.
He enjoyed the Spit - a beautiful aircraft - but it had a short range so they added a belly tank which was supposed to be released after it was empty. A mate ran out of fuel on the wrong side of the Rhine and was gliding east and happy to see the water beneath him so came down, unfortunately, on the one spot on the west side of the river still held by the Germans.
He was in a dog fight with a flight of 190's which came out of a hole in the clouds to surprise them. He dodged as they chased him and his plane was hit - in the tail and through the cockpit and between his arm and back so he was still able to land.
Chuck finished by donating Raptors tickets to the Club.
Dean spoke about heroes and losses and told the story of a young Robbie Shawbolt who witnessed the sinking of Corbeau's yacht and, with others from his factory, saved several and redirected others to safety with his strong swimming. By the time the inquest was being held Robbie was already overseas and subsequently KIA.
Posted by Bill Molesworth on Oct 12, 2016
Joyce said Margaret is a member of the Bracebridge Club, joining in 2003, but that she has a lifetime of experience with Rotary as her husband, Ron, has been a member for 30 years. She was Club Pres in 2010 - 11, has served on several committees and been on two trips to Cambodia to distribute bicycles. She's a Land Use Planner in a company with two partners. During her years as Ass't DG - 2010 to 2015 she established the current Strategic Plan for the District.
Margaret said she was happy to visit such a fun and active Club. Her ties to Rotary go back even farther than Ron's, her grandfather was a charter member of the Orillia Club and she remembers selling peanuts as a fundraiser. Ron joined while they lived in Yellowknife, before women could join, and when they moved to Bracebridge he joined there. When the kids moved out, she was invited and they became one of the 7 couples in the Club. Her experience is that she would have joined sooner but she was 'never asked'. She feels this is a lesson - when talking to people, be sure to ask them.
Their three kids are married and there's one grandson.
The International theme this year is Rotary Serving Humanity, set by International President John Germ. There are 540 DG's and at the last training session 90 of them were women. The route to Governership is long, requiring service as a Club President, a DG, a Zone Director, etc. This is hard for young people to manage with careers and families, especially women, but the numbers of women in the positions is growing.
The areas of focus this year are - membership, foundation giving, online presence, humanitarian service, new generations and public image. She explained that online presence is increasingly important because the stats gathered there support applications for funding, especially from the feds, who are contributing currently. Public image is also vital - she feels Rotary has kept its light under a bushel for too long and needs to get the community aware.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Foundation - started with the profits from the Atlanta conference of 1916 - $26.50. Total endowment now exceeds one billion. The Foundation is highly effective and well managed - very low admin costs, the money is spent on projects.
It's important to understand the Foundation donations return to the community. $300,00.00 given in 2013 means that $150,000.00 comes back to the District to be spent as we see fit. And matching grants can leverage a commitment by 4 or 5 times.
This year Polio was limited to two countries but a section of Nigeria where Boko Haram holds sway now reports cases, though efforts are being made. It's clear that only Rotary could manage the job - it's in more countries than the UN and WHO and UNESCO didn't recognize that eradication was possible - coming to the task well after Rotary had started it. The model is now being repeated with malaria, etc.
Her mantra at the District is the "power of combined efforts" and she encourages us to come together, to join at the District level. The District has been asked by some of the smaller clubs to launch District projects they can join so they are working on and Int'l, a Community Service and an Indigenous project, on which more later.
Her goals are to strengthen the Clubs, focus on the humanitarian, enhance our public image, get connected, promote leadership and celebrate Rotary. So, there are still some spaces at the District Conference in two weeks and there are a couple of spots on a Friendship exchange to NZ leaving Feb 8.
Posted by Bill Molesworth on Sep 28, 2016
Fiona Murton spent the last year in Denmark, arriving in a town of 400 called Hjern. She had to take a train and a bust to school and most people didn't speak English. She liked the area because it had a strong sense of community but at first she was nervous about the language barrier and not knowing anyone. But visits to the local farmers' market and starting school introduced her to many great people and she made friends quickly.
She enjoyed several trips to Copenhagen - with her host mother she saw the sights and shopped; with a relative, an architect, she was introduced to the many aspects of the buildings in the city - and to London (they gave her a ticket for her birthday and she stayed with the family's daughter.
The family hosted a Thanksgiving, which is not a Dutch festival, so she enjoyed the thoughtfulness.
She did think about what her friends back home were doing, signing up for university and moving on without her but she felt the experience and strong friendships were at least equally valuable.
Christmas is important to Danes and they celebrate with many traditions - songs, dancing around the tree, flags everywhere, risking fire with candles on the trees, etc.
She went to Germany for New Year's and saw cathedrals and fireworks everywhere and then there was a class trip to London and finally a quick tour through several countries to experience different cultures and food.
She thanked all of Rotary and especially those who worked on the YX program.
Sarah Douglas went to Northern Italy and found she was homesick for maybe two days. She enjoyed it all so much but found there was too much to see - the people, the language, and the nature of the area were all beautiful. She admired the way of life.
Things are small - cars, roads and groceries and each area is different with different cultures and dialects. Her town was small and on a lake but her family liked to hit the road so they traveled around the area a lot. The mother was a teacher who helped with her language and the father told her he didn't speak it to encourage her because he did.
With her second family she gained a brother her own age and met lots of friends taking part in activities, the choir and volunteering at a free trade store. By the time she joined the third family they all knew each other already.
She felt they had a strong impulse to see 'the beauty in doing nothing' - they enjoyed their meals and their hours off. She feels she is more outgoing now, that she's gained some problem solving skills, that she's less stressed about things.
She also enjoyed a 10 city tour and the introduction to so much. She is grateful for the program and the opportunity.