Debi Garneau, Club Treasurer and Paul Harris Fellow recipient, is featured as this week's Who's Who.
 

President Paul opened the meeting at 12:15 p.m.

O Canada:  Sheri Taillon
Toast to Queen & Canada: Don Beard
Invocation:  Matt Taylor
 
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS AND VISITING ROTARIANS
 
Norris Brown reported three guests and one visiting Rotarian: Elisabeth Zimmerman and Arie Vrugteveen, prospective members; Jeff Decker, Ambassadorial Scholar and guest speaker; and Henry Becker from the Downtown Club.
 
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS
 
John D'Ambrosio, serving as Sergeant-at-Arms, accepted happy dollars:
 
Cathy Henry - happy to have two grandchildren, age five and six, who have been visiting and have gone home!
Matt Taylor - happy to be back from Guatemala. Matt thanked the club for the donation of $1,500. He advised that the need in Guatemala is greater than before. Matt performed 600+ fillings and over 400 extractions. He had a chance to visit the Inca ruins in Peru. Matt will give a talk soon.
Greg McDonald - happy that Matt is back.
Norris Brown - happy to see a 59 minute football game!
Don Beard - happy that bingo went well and thanks to Bob and Laetitia and to Debi for helping.
Jim Hooper - happy to have been involved in the curling bonspiel and thanks to Jim Howes. Not happy his back is sore!
Peter Snodgrass - happy to have had a nice visit to Moncton and to have brought back Lobster.
Najeeb Syed - happy for his work with a polio victim. He would like the club to meet him.
Dan Toppari - happy to come back from Vegas. He made -$400!
Laetitia de Witt - happy that Matt and Georgette have returned from Guatemala and happy to be attending a ceremony next week for her daughter who has become a doctor.
Jim Howes - a happy $10 for a good Rotary Bonspiel. Jim thanked the members of the club who donated prizes. He also reported that he was happy to win the diamond earrings at the Take it to Heart gala. He will have to get his ears pierced!
 
ROTARY MINUTE
 
See related story. 
 
WHO'S WHO, DEBI GARNEAU
 
Debi Garneau was born in Windsor, Ontario and was raised on a dairy farm in Maidstone. Her family is a mixture of Irish, English, Scottish, and French.

Debi noted that her father's side of the family loved to tell stories with a lot of exaggeration, so she thinks that was the Irish side of the family! They were hard working farmers until the roaring twenties and then made some money bootlegging!

Debi commented that her mother's side is more colourful.  Her grandmother came to Canada from England because she was engaged to three men at the same time! Her grandfather burned down three banks! Debi explained that her grandfather was the Bank Manager who lived behind the bank.  He would put his clothes on the pot belly stove. He was transferred to Toronto to a bank made of stone and was later offered a job with Ford in Windsor.

Debi was educated in one and two room schools, and she transfered every two years because of over-crowding. In her last half year of grade school, she went to an eight-room school and then to Walkerville Collegiate named after Hiram Walker Whiskey. She joked that many days she could smell the malt from the distillery.

In high school, Debi belonged to Star Trek Space, exploring new frontiers and possibilities, but traveling was confined to this planet! Debi admits her mind has explored a lot of ideas and possibilities and that is why she went to St. Clair College to study computers and when she could not get a job, went back to study accounting.

Debi met her husband Roger in Toronto. Debi's roommate was dating Roger's roommate. They met playing cards and as she was a better card player than Roger, thought "This might work!"
 
Debi has worked for Cooper Canada Buxton Division, Parcon Development (high rise development), Canadian Patent Scaffolding, Flemings Doors, Sugar Plum Café (her own business with Roger), Dominion Castings, and now Flexo Products.
 
Matt Taylor brought Debi into Rotary.  She told him that she thought Rotary was a men's club and that her father belonged to Rotary. Matt said things have changed.
 
To Debi, Rotary means Christmas cakes. As a kid, she remembers her Father selling Christmas Cakes, and he used to buy a lot because they had it all year long! Debi thinks she is one of the last remaining people who really like Christmas cake.
 
Rotary also means improved standard of living for all people - health and education.
 
Debi finds that Rotary and Star Trek are similar. If only mankind would learn from the lessons of the past - most specifically by ending poverty and violence - then mankind can go where no one has gone before!
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
President Paul commented that he has received nice emails about our Paul Harris Fellow ceremony. Thanks to everyone involved.
 
Cathy Henry advised that Ross Elliott is in the Cardiac unit of the St. Catharines General Hospital. Paul Massuet will send a card on behalf of the club.  
 
John Teibert advised that Franco from the Niagara-on-the-Lake Club is our contact for rooms for the Montreal convention in June.
 
Report and Motion from the International Service Committee:
Laetitia de Witt explained that her committee deals with requests for funding of an International nature that are $500 or greater. Monies have been advanced for the Guatemala Literacy Project and to the hands-on Guatemala Dental Project by Dr. Matt and Georgette Taylor.  There are three more requests that need club approval: 1) ShelterBox Canada for $1,200. 2) "Haiti Water for Life," a District 7090 project at $1,500.  3) Mosquito Nets Project for $2,000. Projects were selected based on Accountability and Stewardship, Sustainability, and Non-Discrimination based on Culture, Gender, or Religious Affiliation for the recipients of project money.
 
Motion: To approve the requests for funding from 1) ShelterBox Canada for $1,200; 2) "Haiti for Life Water Project," for $1,500; and 3) Mosquito Nets Project for $2,000.
 
Moved by Laetitia de Witt
Seconded by Norris Brown
All in favour. Carried.
 
EARLY LEAVERS

Najeeb Syed and John D'Ambrosio gave their regrets to the President and guest speaker and took early leave.
 
GUEST SPEAKER, JEFF DECKER
 
John Teibert introduced our guest speaker, Jeff Decker, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to District 9640.

John explained that Jeff was selected as our District's Ambassadorial Scholar back in June 2007 for the 2008-2009 scholarship year. Jeff has recently returned from Bond University, Gold Coast, Queen Island, Australia, where he earned his Masters of International Relations (Laws). Jeff was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Batavia, New York. The Ambassadorial Scholarship Program is one of Rotary International's oldest Foundation programs, which began in 1947 and, since then, over 38,000 men and women from over 100 countries have studied abroad through the program. In Jeff's year, he received $23,000 US to assist with the costs of studying abroad.
 
Jeff gave an interesting talk about his stay in Australia. He stayed in Surfers Paradise along the Gold Coast-on of the top five places to surf in the world. Surfers Paradise was built on marshes, so there are lots of canals - more than Venice.
 
Australian culture is similar to ours, but different, For example, "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem!"
 
Australia has the most slot machines per capita in the world.
 
Australians drive very small cars, called "Yutes".
 
Aboriginals are part of their culture.
 
Australians (60 million) drink more beer than any other country in the world.
 
Australian sports: Cricket, Rugby, and Aussie Rules game.
 
Pavlova and vegemite are staples in Australia.

The people are personable and love to party (even teachers!).
 
His host family - Alan and Barbara Midwood - were a wealth of knowledge. Jeff spoke at 15 Rotary Clubs; took part in 20 meetings; attended Rotary Peace Fellow programs; helped with "Sausage and Sizzle" fundraising events; and became good friends with the people involved with the Perry Cross Foundation. He helped raise $3,500 to bring students to Bond University to study stem cell research.
 
While in Australia, Jeff ran a 100 k race. He rock climbed. He surfed. He visited national parks and rain forests. He went fishing. He took a trip to New Zealand. He commented on the rivalry between Kiwis and Australians.
 
He commented on the "critters" in Australia, such as spiders, snakes, and swooping birds.
 
Jim Hooper thanked Jeff for his informative talk and for representing the Ambassadorial Scholarship Program so well.
 
ATTENDANCE REPORT
 
Ron Kozub reported over 100 per cent attendance.
 
ADJOURNMENT
 
As there was no further business for the good of Rotary, President Paul wished everyone a good week in Rotary and adjourned the meeting at 1:30 p.m.