The Grapevine Newsletter
February 1st, 2021 Club News  
January 21, 2021 meeting notes

(a)  2021-2022 Board of Directors - We extend our sincere congratulations and appreciation to those elected to the Rotary Club of Grimsby's incoming Board of Directors.  They include, Bob Martin, Incoming President, Rich Hueston, returning Treasurer, Kathryn Drury and Patrick Brabant returning Board members, Andy Daniels and Joan Whitson new board members and Liz Fisk, as Past President
(b)  2021-2022 Positions still awaiting candidates - We hope there are members who are willing to step forward and offer support to our club in the following positions:  President Elect (serving as President for the 2022-2023 year), a Vice President (serving as President for the 2023-2024 year) and Secretary.
(c)  Financial Update - Treasurer, Rich Hueston presented an overview of the club's current financial status. He thanked Jim H. for his assistance. Club Account - $1,561.00. Membership dues are down. We currently have 27 active members. This makes it difficult to honour financial obligations to Rotary International. For Covid reasons, there has been no activity in the Lottery Account. The Activity Account holds around $3,000.00, generated through Fantasy of Wreaths. The Equity Account has $37,000.00, mostly in GICs, some of which have and will mature in the next few months. About $2,600.00 will be available, at this time, to put towards financial obligations.  The Happy Buck account has $475.00.  At this time of year, the Happy Buck donations generally reach $1,820.00. 
FYI - new protocols are in place with Meridian to clarify and simplify e-transfers.
Please consider making a 'Happy Buck' contribution to boost funds. This can be done by making a donation via an e-transfer into the Club Account using this link
(d)  West Niagara Secondary School - proposed theatre - With the support of those in attendance at our last club meeting, the Board of Directors has approved the sending of a letter of support to the District School Board of Niagara regarding the addition of a 750-seat theatre to the building project for the new area high school.  The DSBN has approved funding for 2/3rds of the projected cost of the theatre and is hoping the broad community of West Niagara will support a fundraising campaign for the balance.  
(e)  Book/Film Appreciation Group - 'The Handmaid's Tale',  is the latest group selection for reading/viewing. It is a dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, published in 1985. It is set in a near-future New England, in a strongly patriarchal, quasi-Christian, totalitarian state, known as Gilead, that has overthrown the United States government. The television series of the same name has 3 seasons available on streaming services. 
If interested in reading and joining the discussions, please connect with Roger or Grant.
(f)  50th year planning - As part of the planning process for the 50th and to ensure we retain as much of the club's history and background as possible for a publication in that year as well as populating the club's archives, we are calling on all present and former members to search for all photos and memorabilia they may have.  We will also be interviewing members and chronically the club's history.  More on how this will unfold over the next month. In the interim, start looking for your treasures and long pack-away souvenirs.  Contact Liz with whatever you may have.
(g)  Paul Harris Recognition - at the request of the Board of Directors and due to conflicts with other civic activities in town during the last week of February, the date of the Recognition has been moved into early March.
                      VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Calling all Rotarians -  We need your help and support. 4-ways to support your club and your community.
1.)  Please volunteer on February 13th between 4:00 and 7:30pm in this Covid safe setting to hand out pre-prepared dinners in a curb-side pick-up environment.  Outside in the parking lot of JJ's on the Docks, we need Rotarians to take the pre-packaged bags of either the lobster/chowder dinner or full rack rib dinner to the cars and place them either in the trunk  or back seat of the recipients' cars.  More details available at the  meeting.
2.)  We hope that every Rotarian will order at least two entrees for the Valentine's dinner and encourage all friends and colleagues to also order the entrees or bid on silent auction items.  Also, please send copies of the posters to all your friends via email, Facebook, Instagram and all other social media to order their Saturday evening take-out.
3.)  Donate some bottles of wine for a few 'Friends of Rotary' Wine Baskets to include in the on-line auction.  We will pick up the bottles or you can drop them off.
4.)  Suggest names or encourage local businesses to donate items for the on-line auction.  We can add additional items at any time, so the more items the better.  Donation and pledge sheets available from Liz.
February 4, 2021
Dr. Kotwa is an AMMI/Biomerieux postdoctoral fellow at the Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, under the supervision of Dr. Samira Mubareka. He received his PhD in pathobiology from the University of Guelph in 2019. His research focuses on emerging infectious diseases at the human animal interface and diagnostic technologies. Dr. Kotwa is currently researching environmental and air contamination with SARS-CoV-2 in the hospital setting as well as investigating COVID-19 and other coronaviruses in Canadian wildlife.

Dr. Kotwa’s presentation will be focusing on SARS-CoV-2, the origins of pandemics, and how we can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic to help us be prepared for the next one

February 18, 2021
Pamela Blackwood is the Executive Director of McNally House Hospice in Grimsby and an accreditor of Hospices in Ontario and a sessional professor at Mohawk College.  Previously, she was Executive Director of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Brantford and District.
Ms. Blackwood's presentation will be the 2nd in our What's Coming up in Grimsby series and will focus on Hospice services in 2021 and the impact of Covid-19.  She will also share the plans for the new 10-bed Hospice planned for Grimsby and how they will be expanding their day programming. 
This was a virtual club meeting. There were 18 Rotarians present with guests Elaine Hughes and several members of the Bridge (Thomas Brock) family. The meeting began with the usual practice of including pre-meeting time for conversation, conviviality, and opportunities to connect with fellow members.
Invocation was given by Roger   "....We ask you to guide and direct our club in leadership and action."
Liz presented Toasts to Canada, Queen, the Office of the President and Rotary International.  
Marie introduced speaker Mat Miller, fellow Rotarian and Principal of Grimsby District High School. 
Adaptation of Students, Teachers and Parents to both Remote and In-class Learning during this time of Covid.
School boards in the province have been allowed to develop their own systems of delivering quality education. There are three learning streams available for students at Grimsby Secondary School.  i. fully on-line   ii. in-person   iii. adaptive (mixture of i and ii).
Students are arranged in cohorts with class sizes adjusted to conform to rules of social distancing. School policies conform to guidelines outlined by the Board, in conjunction with the Ministries of Education and Public Health.  The same variety of classes, as in a regular school year, remain available. Kids are connected with teachers and each other. There is ease of transfer from on-line learning to in-person learning and vice versa. Covid has had minimal impact on either student or teacher absenteeism.
Strategies are in place for intervention and assistance to students who are struggling and for those who require special assistance in learning. Extra curricular activities remain in place such as Students' Council, Talent Shows, RPG, Ethics Bowl, Yearbook and numerous other student clubs and groups. School commences at 9:30 am. To ensure proper social separation, Students, including those who are bussed, enter through different doorways. Dismissal is class by class commencing at the east end of the school with bussed students exiting first. There is a late bus to accommodate those students who have after-school activity involvement. School bus protocol includes a seating plan, masks and spacing. Siblings may sit together. 
The new school, West Niagara Secondary School, will have a capacity of 1500 students. Board planners have completed thorough demographic/population growth studies and the school should easily accommodate any student population growth adjustments, if required, in the future. Externally, the school will include a turf field and a rubberized track. In addition to upgraded high tech classrooms and science labs, the school will host a wide variety of shops affording student opportunities to pursue education in an array of technical subjects, including construction, manufacturing, health care, welding, hospitality, horticulture, robotics and others. Cooperative Education continues with transportation support often provided by families, students able to drive themselves and arrangements with transportation services.
The facility will include a greenhouse. There will be two double gyms. The new school will have a large cadre of athletes available for school teams and intra-mural sports activity will be stressed as an important student activity. Sports Leadership will be taught as a course. Approval for a 750 seat theatre has been concluded with a fund raising project of 2.6 million dollars required to complete construction. The theatre will be accessible to the community for both civic events and for private rentals. Community will also have access to things such as catering services through the Food Service/Hospitality programs. Rotary will be using GSS Film Studies students to provide filming support for our upcoming Paul Harris Recognition Event.   
The school's logo is a composition including colours and components of the three legacy schools; Grimsby, Beamsville and South Lincoln. Team name: 'The Wolfpack' 
For more school information, see 
In conclusion, Mat summed up his thoughts by expressing his feeling that there is too much negative narrative and not enough positive being told about the new school. Soil remediation issues are overstated and quite minor in a project of this size. Mat expressed gratitude to Rotarian and Regional Councillor, Wayne Fertich, for his ongoing support and encouragement. He finished by saying that students are motivated, parents are supportive and teachers are doing exemplary work. They all deserve our applause! 
Andy thanked Mat for his work as Principal at GSS, his efforts on new school construction and his valued contributions to Rotary.
Thomas - Happy to see everyone                                                                           Roger - Happy to be home and happy about a positive election                        
Marie - Enjoy helping my grandkids with their online learning                                  
Patrick - Enjoying the nice walking weather weather                                                Alan - Relieved with the election and just ...happy                                                
Charles - Happy that dentistry is an essential service                                              
George - The weather is great and enjoy walking the dog...and myself                     
Clarence - Happy New Year and glad that we are safe safe
Mat - Thanks, all, for your support and especially Wayne for being helpful and deflecting negativism
Brian - Golden moments with a two and a half year old grand daughter                    
Jim H - No more Trump Books!  Things are good.                                                    Katherine F - Busy with grandchildren.  Home schooling is tiring!       
Rich - Happy ... haven't missed a curling shot in weeks! Unhappy ... the curling club is closed                                     
Bill - Great to visit my grandchild, in a park, in Toronto                                           
Grant - The family is healthy and doing okay                                                           Marshall - My dark side wanted a s/o stateside. My Good side is happy about the election                    
Liz - Acting as a  grades 2 & 4 resource teacher, using UK curriculum                                          
Special THANKS to Brian Golden - Meeting recorder
You are invited to join us
at our upcoming meeting
February 4th, 2021 - Jonathan Kotwa, PHD
Origins of Pandemics and what we can learn from Covid-19
Meeting ID:  863 5641 9004
Password:  291547
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