President Bob called the Zoom meeting to order at 12:34.
 
President Elect Laurie Bienert shared her screen for O Canada, an eclectic rendition provided by several talented musicians.
 
In lieu of an Inspiration President Bob called on Egon Holzwarth, long term Rotarian and resident of Gabriola Island, who gave us an inspired version of ‘This Land Is Our Land’ played on his harmonica. Well done, Egon.

Announcements

President Bob thanked President Elect Laurie Bienert and her committee for organizing the NEW member Mixer by Zoom held this past Monday night. It was very well attended with a mix of new members and longer-term members who shared stories about the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of Rotary. Twenty-six members attended.
 
Brent Stetar provided an update on the ongoing club book sale at Nanaimo North Town Centre. The sale is extended until April 11 and volunteers are urgently needed. Non-fiction books will be swapped out with fiction books for the last weeks of the sale. Please watch for the email and sign-up.
 
Dawn Hankins announced that the next ‘third’ Friday Club social event will be held April 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. It promises to be a fun and entertaining virtual evening playing Balderdash. A game designed to test the limits of Rotary’s – Four Way Test starting with ‘Is It The Truth.’ Dawn thanked everyone who participated in the St. Patrick’ Day social event held in March.

Speakers

President Bob announced that a committee has been exploring the opportunity for club members and friends to take a ‘Virtual Journey across Canada.’ As a trial run, a few members have used the App to take a Virtual Journey across Vancouver Island. The trial run went well, and today, Joyce Smith, Rebecca Taylor, Laurie Bienert and Dawn Hankins will fill us in on how we can take the next step forward.
 
Joyce introduced us to the broad plans for our ‘Virtual Journey across Canada’. First, we travel to Victoria from Nanaimo so that we can include ‘Mile 0’ of the Trans-Canada highway, near Cattle Point on Beach Drive in Victoria. From there the Journey continues eastward across Canada until we reach St. John's Newfoundland, hopefully by June 30, 2021. There will be a $12 cost per person to participate.
 
The plan is to visit with other Rotary Clubs along the route and get them to participate in this fundraiser. Joyce would like all club members to sign up by March 31, although you can sign-up at any point over the next three months. Every participant will have their efforts, i.e., walk, run, hike, jog, biking, swim, converted to KMs and added to the Journey’s total mileage achieved.
 
Rebecca stated that the goal would be to have at least one Rotary club from each province participate and she is looking for a few volunteers to help contact prospective clubs. The Committee would also like to celebrate Canadian Jennifer Jones election to be the first female president of Rotary International. Jennifer will have to be contacted in advance to get her thoughts and permission for what the celebration could look like.
 
Joyce hopes to start the journey April 1, 2021 with a fundraising Goal of $5,000. It is the committee’s wished to make this a Total Canadian effort.
 
Laurie stated that photos from past trips or holidays, of sights and places visited along the route by club members are welcome and can be added to enhance the overall experience of the journey. If you have, please share with Laurie and the Committee. There are various Apps which can help to keep track of your personal achievements which can be linked to the project.
 
Kathy Smith stated that she is planning to hike more and is looking for partners. Rebecca said that there is also Facebook groups which you can join.
 
Joan Ryan asked about the Interact joining as a group and after some discussion it was agreed that there would be only a $12 fee for the group.
 
President Bob thanked the Committee for their presentation and then with the assistance of President Elect Laurie, shared a short video of a walk-through Rotary International headquarters in Chicago with John Hewko as presenter.

Sergeant-At-Arms

Dave Hammond stated that he had watched the presentation by in-coming Rotary International President Jennifer Jones, who is a Canadian from Ontario, and will be the first female President of RI. He recognized Douglas Anderson and Brenda Grice from our club also in attendance. Her talk was given as a part of International Women’s Day and Dave was impressed. Dave recognized the organizers of the New Member ‘Mixer,’ he thought it was well done.

Happy & Sad Bucks

Frank Shoemaker was happy that he had both hips replaced 16-18 years ago and wished Wayne Anderson the best with his current hip replacement operation.
 
Susie Stephens liked the St. Patrick’s Day event. Susie and Chris have 100 bottles of genuine maple syrup from Quebec available for purchase, please contact Susie if interested.
 
Kathy Smith reminded everyone to support the book sale, tell a friend.
 
Wendy Pratt thanked Laurie for her help with the program.
 
Brent Stetar thanked everyone who has helped with the book sale, especially Allan Smith, who volunteers every day. To date, $ 8,000 has been raised.
 
Brenda Grice was incredibly happy she would be able to celebrate her mom’s birthday with her on April 1 due to the changes in Covid restrictions. She is also happy that Douglas can now register for his Covid vaccination.
 
Doug Cowling stated that there is a new art exhibit in Nanaimo and club members should attend, especially to see the works presented by Brenda Grice and Douglas Anderson.
 
Dave Hammond reminded everyone about the Nanaimo North Golf Ball Drop this coming Saturday, please support if you have not already done so.
 
Douglas Anderson stated that Brenda and he belong to a paddling group in town and if interested your paddling distance could be recognized for the ‘Virtual Journey across Canada.’
 
Wayne Anderson was happy with his new hip, being pain-free is wonderful. Wendy Pratt is happy that we have such a wonderful health care system in Canada.

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Geoff Poulton is celebrating a birthday, Susie Stephens and Chris are celebrating an anniversary, Brent Stetar is celebrating 18 years as a club member, and Dave Connolly has been a member of Rotary for 37 years.
 
President Bob closed the meeting with a reminder that there will be NO meeting on Good Friday and with a toast to Rotary.