Club Information
Welcome to our Club!
Prince George Nechako

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 7:00 a.m.
The Coast Inn of the North
70 Brunswick Street
Prince George, BC V2L 2C2
PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Those who wish to can still tune in remotely via Zoom. Please email for the Zoom link. Thank you.
Home Page Stories
The new Rotary  Community Gardens were unveiled on June 2, 2024.     This quad club initiative with the David Douglas Botanical Garden at UNBC, came about as a legacy project from the Rotary District Conference May 2022.   
Building of the site included many hours of site preparation, fencing and building of the individual planter boxes for the potential users.  All the clubs with other community volunteers were involved in this hands on project, that included enjoyable time spent working together to make this happen.
The new community gardens plots are now rented to individuals so they can grow there own private garden.  All the proceeds are returned back to the David Douglas Botanical Garden Society to maintain the site.  
Next steps will be to build a gazebo, and then......... 
Gordon Smith – Rotarian Extraordinaire
Gordon Smith was the last “Active” Charter Member of the Nechako Rotary Club.  He was awarded the title of “Honorary Member” during the last few years of service in recognition of his over 3 decades as a Rotarian.
Gordon became a member on November 4th, 1985 and took his position in Rotary very seriously as he never used the word “NO” when asked to help or be involved in any Club activity, be it selling raffle tickets, Ringing the Bells during the festive season for the Salvation Army, working in the many Club “Garage Sales” loading and unloading trailers for the “Rotary World Help”, seeking sponsorships and working every night of the festive season for “Operation Red Nose”. The list is very long.
Gord was one of the Operation Red Nose “Organizing Committee” since the Nechako Rotary Club assumed sponsorship of the Program in Prince George in 2001.
Gordon and his wife Marg were always there when it came time for the “Care and Feeding” of the Volunteers at Operation Red Nose or any other Club function.
Gord was always thoughtful regarding those people less fortunate and he would studiously take any food and beverages left over from the Rotary Club functions, to the local food banks.
Gordon held the position of “Sergeant at Arms” for as long as can be remembered in the Rotary Club, as he never aspired to be a Club President, but never missed a meeting and strove to maintain a 100% attendance.
Gord was always one of the Club Executive signing authorities, and would go out of his way to stop at the Credit Union faithfully to render his signature to ensure the bills were paid.
Gordon and his wife Marg were both awarded “Paul Harris Fellows” and Gord was awarded “Rotarian of the Year” in 2018 for his meritorious service to Rotary.
Gordon always had time to stop and chat with friends and colleagues, and never uttered a negative comment about anyone, despite his personal opinion.
We can all learn from Gordon’s leadership as he led by example. 
Gordon Smith will be remembered as a “Rotarian Extraordinaire.”
The Rotary Club of Prince George Nechako is happy to introduce Garth Frizzell as our 2023-24 President. Garth brings wide and varied experience to the position and we look forward to working with him as our club rebuilds after COVID! 
Garth came to Prince George to complete his Masters in International Studies  at UNBC, founded Terra Cognita Software Systems, pursued politics and moved into teaching. He is currently a Business instructor at the College of New Caledonia, teaching business courses in entrepreneurship, economics and business law. He was re-elected in 2022 for his fifth term on Prince George City Council.
Prior to his year as President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Garth served as a board member, and representative on international missions working with partners in Vietnam, Cambodia, Peru, Colombia, and Ukraine.
Garth’s interests and experience include technology, politics, international development, equity diversity and inclusion He rides a motorcycle and is currently writing a book, though not at the same time.
I first heard about Rotary Youth Exchange while attending RYLA in Terrace. The way the program was described to me stirred my imagination and I began to dream what life on exchange could be like. The places you get to see, the people you meet, and the gained independence all drew me towards the program. When I applied, I didn’t expect to be selected. I was 14, very shy, and figured there would be better candidates than myself. My parents also thought it was unlikely for me to be selected due to being younger. Imagine mine and their shock. Going on exchange to France did more for me than I could’ve imagined. It sounds exaggerated but it was a pivotal moment that led me to the success I’ve had today. I returned more confident knowing if I can survive a year abroad there’s a lot more I could do. I put my effort toward community involvement. I volunteered for anything and everything, lead fundraising projects, and got to know so many more people. I didn’t know it at the time, but these activities helped me get scholarships and awards that covered a lot of my university and assisted me in getting jobs. I decided to go to UNBC and get a joint degree in Global and International Studies and Political Science, a topic I never would have gone into if my interest in international affairs wasn’t piqued during the exchange. Throughout the one year away, I saw how many opportunities there are around the world, and I enjoyed getting to know people of so many different backgrounds. I got to reflect critically on my exchange during university, as I thought back to all I witnessed and began to understand what some of it meant from an international lens. So yes, I would say Rotary Youth Exchange has had a major impact on my life. It has shaped who I am today and I there’s not one element of my life that I can’t relate back to the exchange program. It all reverts in some form or another back to Rotary.
If I could do the exchange program again, I would in a heartbeat. There are so many countries that I would love to experience an exchange in. For any students who are considering going on exchange but aren’t sure, my biggest piece of advice is to take the leap. Immerse yourself in the possibilities that the exchange may bring up. Imagine what it could be like to go to school in another country. The adventures you will take, and the friendships that you will develop. Once you start dreaming of it, make it your reality because it will change your life. You learn so much about yourself that you wouldn’t if you just stayed home. At a young age, this knowledge is invaluable as you begin to navigate the adult world.
I’m still trying to figure out the path I want to take in life. There’s so many options and I have many interests. Right now, I’m exploring an interest I never thought I would have: politics. I’m enjoying learning all there is to know about BC Politics and being in the heart of some big changes happening in our province.
Editor’s note:
Some other notable achievements that Sarah has not mentioned include:
  • Academic achievement and bilingualism
  • Tutoring secondary school students in French
  • Prince George  Youth Citizen of the Year
  • Continuing involvement with Interact, Rotex and Rotaract
  • While attending university, worked part-time with AWAC (Advocating for Women and Community) supporting women at risk
  • Was a key organizer for a fundraiser to support Australian wildfire relief
  • Successfully completed her internship as a BC Legislative Assistant
  • Currently employed as the Legislative Executive Coordinator in the Official Opposition caucus where she helps maing MLA Schedules and coordinates meetings with stakeholders
The club has opted to have one meeting per month in the evening at a local restaurant which provides the opportunity for spouses and  guests to attend who might not be able to make it in the morning.  For the social evening on  July 20th the choice was the Northern Palace.   The food, fellowship and restaurant  hospitality was great and very well attended.
Our special guest on this evening was our 2023/24 outbound exchange student Naomi Mercedes.   This 15 year old has just completed Grade 10 at Duchess Park Secondary School.  At the school she is actively involved in its leadership.  She is very involved in sports and enjoys working out, playing basketball, downhill skiing and mountain biking.    Her parents Bonnie and Steven Mercedes (and older sister) are excited for her year long exchange to begin in Spain.   
With her departure our club is eagerly awaiting our new inbound student.
Fellow Rotarians John and Tracey Kason hosted a farewell BBQ for the BC Tour – District 5040 Youth Exchange members on July 4th, at their property in Prince George.  This BBQ was well represented by all of the Prince George Rotary Clubs, host families, future outbound students and parents.    The excellent meal, provided lots of time for everyone to mingle and reflect on the past year that the students were here.   The students spoke on what they had learned during their year in Canada, thanked all their host families and sponsor clubs.   All of them want to come back!  Lots of teary goodbyes too.
 The BC Tour is the last major event that the inbound exchange students are able to go on before returning to their respective countries.   The inbound students in attendance were:
- Valerian Leignel from France
- Karoline Lindeberg  from Sweden
- Lucie Braird from Belgium
- Lucas Petit from France
- Matt Isemann from Germany
Each student made a desert or specific dish special to their country that was shared with all the attendees. 
The Tour is organized that they travel the full district, starting from Vancouver area through Cultus Lake, through Manning Park, to Vernon and Myra Canyon to bike and zipline, William Lake  for the rodeo, on to Quesnel and Barkerville,  Prince George, and on to Smithers and Prince Rupert they do the grizzly bear tour.   This camping trip gives lots of time for them to see the entire province, with special events planned at each stop.  BC Tour Coordinator, Dave Nielsen (PG Nechako) and Maria Lindeberg (Karoline’s mother and a Swedish Rotarian) provide chaperoning.   Kudos and thanks for all of their efforts into making this a successful trip for everyone involved.  
This year marked the resumption of the in-person Youth Exchange Program, after it was interrupted during COVID.  During the 2021-22 year the students that would have gone abroad, were given the option to try a virtual exchange.   This program was also very successful, as students talked weekly (or more often) to each other.  They learned their language, talked about their cultures, showed each other how to cook in their cultures, and gained new friendships.  
The STEP program is also underway, and most of these students have begun by going to their host countries.  We should see the inbound students at our club later this summer.
The annual President’s Ball was held this year at the Otway Nordic Centre on the evening of       June 25, 2023.  The potluck dinner was a wonderful time for members to reflect on the past year, as well as pass the baton from current President Kathy Carlson to the incoming President Garth Frizzell.  
As part of the festivities the club also selected the Rotarian of the Year by secret ballot.
A Rotarian of the Year is a member who:
• Is in good standing  
• Is active in club activities
• Exemplifies professional standards and ethics, going above and beyond, living the Four Way Test and the Object of Rotary
• Exhibits “Service Above Self” in their daily activities
• Promotes Rotary by their actions and involvements 
Our members vote for the person that they feel has earned this honor.  This year the honour was passed from Kelly Zammit to Shirley Moore.  As part of the tradition, the new recipient receives the coveted “Green Jacket”, to be worn proudly at all Rotary functions.  In addition to this the member is awarded a Paul Harris Fellow by the club.
Shirley has been a member of the Nechako Club for many years and prior to this was a member of the New Caledonia Rotary Club until it disbanded.  Her actions and commitment to the club make her a perfect recipient. 
Rotary District 5040 Governor in 2004-05 and 35-year member of RC Prince George Nechako, Ron Neukomm, passed away at Rotary Hospice in Prince George on April 6, 2022. Born and raised in Prince George, Ron received, with his wife Dee, the Prince George Community Foundation's Citizen of the Year Award in 2017 for their extensive volunteer work.
In 1986 Ron was invited to join the Nechako Rotary Club, a month later he was elected director of Community Services. He served as Club Secretary for six years and was Club President in 1996. Ron was District Secretary 1998-99 and Assistant Governor North 2001-2003. He serves on the RYLA North Committee. Both Ron and Dee are Paul Harris Fellows. He served as Rotary district governor in 2004-2005. He took great pride in his 30 years of perfect attendance for weekly club meetings.
Ron was born in 1945. He attended school in Prince George, B.C.  After high school, he traveled around the world for a year and a half before returning to Prince George where he was hired by the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (BC Rail).
During Ron's 30 years on the railway he held various positions within the railway's Marketing & Sales department in Prince George and Vancouver. In 1997 a career change saw Ron working as a Sales Rep for an industrial wholesale company followed by retirement in 2000.
Ron has been an active volunteer in the community of Prince George. He was a Charter member and Past President of Prince George Transportation Club.  Along with Rotary, Ron also served as a director and vice-president of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce and sat as a board director with the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame and the United Way. He was named an honorary life member of the Prince George Child Development Centre for his 12 years of board service, including a term as president. A devoted member of St. Andrew’s United Church, Neukomm worked on the church’s maintenance committee.
Ron was named a 2017 Citizen of the Year by the Prince George Community Foundation, receiving the honour alongside his wife, Dee, who is a founding member of Special Olympics Prince George, a provincial and national Special Olympics Female Coach of the Year, and a 1999 inductee into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame.
Dee, their son Curtis and family members were at his side when he passed. He is predeceased by his daughter Lara.
A celebration of life for PDG Ron Neukomm has been scheduled for Saturday, April 9, 2022, at 11 a.m. at Trinity United Church Prince George.
View online service available at  Live Stream
Thanks to the work of Rotarians in Vancouver, prominent landmarks such as BC Place, Vancouver City Hall’s clock were lit up in red, while Telus Science World shone bright Sunday Oct 24.
Elsewhere, you might have seen photos of prominent landmarks around the world glowing in red.
The Nasdaq at Times Square in New York City glowing in purple, for example.
It’s all due to Rotarians around the world displaying their commitment to eradicate polio on World Polio Day on Oct. 24.
Prince George Rotarians participated in a virtual polio walk. 
Thanks to Rotary and our partners and our vaccination efforts, more than 19 million people are walking today. More than 1.5 million children’s lives have been saved. More than 2.5 billion children have been immunized. 
Dolly Hilton joined the Rotary Club of Prince George – Nechako in July 2010 and hasn’t looked back since. 

She first joined the club from an invitation from her friend Leona Anderson, a long-time member of the club and the Board.

Dolly initially joined for networking but soon realized it had so much more to offer than a small community-minded charity once she found the true meaning of being a Rotarian. As is her habit, once she became a Rotarian she joined the Board, eventually becoming President in 2015-16. That year under Dolly’s leadership, she led the club to one of the district’s most esteemed honours, being named the club-of-the-year.

She has stayed on the Board in different capacities since and likes to be part of the decision-making team of the club.
She was asked to join the District Foundation Committee about five years ago and presently holds the position of Paul Harris Society Co-ordinator. She believes strongly in supporting the charities she is passionate about. The Rotary Foundation is top of the list as she is a Sustaining Member of the Paul Harris Society.
On Tuesday, Sept. 21 we marked the United Nations International Day of Peace, recognized internationally every year on Sept. 21.
Members from the four Prince George Rotary clubs (including District 5040 Governor Lorne Calder) gathered Tuesday morning at City Hall to raise the UN Peace Flag with Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall.
From the UN: "as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier."
Congratulations to Dolly Hilton who received her Paul Harris Fellow +7 pin recently from our president Kathy Carlson. The Paul Harris Fellow pins recognize those who have contributed $1,000 or more to the Rotary Foundation which helps Rotarians advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace by improving health, providing quality education, improving the environment, and alleviating poverty. #WeAreRotary #RotaryFoundation #pgrotary #PeopleOfAction
Join us at our Wednesday, June 2 meeting to hear from Tamara Shaw. Tamara will discuss your PG Passport for Your Summer Staycation. Our meeting begins at 7:30 a.m. Email for the Zoom link.
Join us at our Wednesday, April 21 Zoom meeting to hear from Terri McClymont, executive director at Prince George REAPS (Recycling & Environmental Action Planning Society). 
Terri will discuss composting and recycling along with topics on waste avoidance, reducing food waste, composting, and make small everyday changes for the environment.
Our meeting gets underway at 7:30 a.m. Email for the Zoom link.
Join us at our meeting this Wednesday, March 10 at 7:30 a.m. to hear from Connie Abe, executive director at AWAC - Association Advocating for Women and Community. She'll tell us where all the funds from the recent Coldest Night of the Year go towards as well as all the important initiatives AWAC undertakes in Prince George. Email for the Zoom link. #PeopleOfAction #WeAreRotary #CityOfPG
We're participating in the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 20 and walking 5K.
It's a fundraiser for Awac Prince George, the Association Advocating for Women and Community, a non-profit organization in Prince George that began in 1994. Its original mandate was to provide safe and supportive shelter for street -involved women and female youth. They have since expanded their services to respond to an increase in the rate of homelessness for both men and women. You can either donate or send a message to the team at this link.
Dennis Spurgin from the Rotary Club of Palm Springs - Sunup joins us this Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 a.m. to discuss Project Peanut Butter, a program to treat and cure children of Severe and Acute Malnutrition. 
SAM kills more than 3.5 million children worldwide each year. More children die of SAM each year than of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. But, on the brighter side, we are very near to finding a global solution to SAM. It is as simple as a jar of specially developed peanut butter known as “Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food” (RUTF).  
Project Peanut Butter, spearheaded by Spurgin, has received funding from Rotary clubs around the world, including the Nechako Rotary Club, along with support from the World Health Organization. 
For the Zoom link, please email
Garth Frizzell
Jun 26, 2024
Last meeting of Rotary Year
World Refugee Day highlights a misunderstood group

Rotary clubs engage with refugees by training teachers, organizing medical care, and offering other assistance

Photographer reflects on 18 years of chasing polio

Exhibit documents the scope of polio eradication efforts worldwide

Watershed moment gives rise to a revitalized riverfront

The Rotary Club of Milwaukee revitalized its city’s riverfront with a contribution from a local landowner — a strategy that could work in other communities.

Lebanon club channels the power of peace

he newly formed Rotary Club of Beirut Pax Potentia, Lebanon, which focuses on peacebuilding, has its origins in a project funded by a Rotary Foundation global grant

Solar energy expands access to health care

Solar energy isn’t just good for the environment — it’s expanding access to health care

Garth Frizzell
Jun 26, 2024
Last meeting of Rotary Year