The Rotary Book Boxes project is almost complete! Visit the website for details and photos.
Rotary Club of Nanaimo
Book Boxes for Literacy
We are delighted to finally share a project we have been working on for a few months! Rotary Club of Nanaimo members made six book boxes to help increase community access to books and other reading materials. Literacy Central Vancouver Island stocks the mini libraries and community members are free to take a book or leave a book.
Thank you to John Shillabeer for making two boxes and coordinating the project with Samantha Letourneau and Jocelyn Fries of Literacy Central Vancouver Island; Ron Willis and Yvan Gosselin for making two boxes each; Rebecca Taylor for painting two boxes; and Yvan and Behzad Forghani for helping with installation. One box has been installed at Nanaimo Foodshare Society on Pine Street. Other locations will be shared once the remaining boxes are installed. Click here for photos - more will be added as the remaining boxes get installed.
Rotary Flashback
This week's Flashback Friday takes us back to 1925 and one of the Club's first projects - the Rotary Malahat Drinking Fountain. A joint project between Victoria Rotary and the Rotary Club of Nanaimo, the concrete watering trough replaced an old wooden one that was used by horses. The new trough was needed primarily to top up car radiators on the long drive over the Malahat which, at the time, was a gravel road. Photos excerpted from "Service Above Self - 75 Years of Rotary Service to the Nanaimo Community" by Ian V. Williams, Len W. B. Lovik and Bruce Gordon.
International Women's Day
March 8 was International Women's Day and Rotary Clubs across the region and around the world recognized the contributions of women in Rotary. Pictured here are members of the five clubs in Nanaimo and Lantzville. Once a men’s only service club, that changed in 1989 when women were welcomed into Rotary clubs around the world. On March 6, 1992, the first women to join Rotary in Nanaimo were four members of our club: Lucie Gosselin, Janeane Coutu, Marianne Van Toor and Elisabeth Hay. Since then, representation has grown, particularly in our club - over 43% of our members are women (of total international membership, about 23% are women).
Rotary Fundraiser
Trivia Night
Join Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors for an evening of trivia fun on March 13 at 7:30 p.m.! Hosted by the Rotaract Club of Nanaimo, this online event is a celebration of Rotary, its principles and its members. Contact Kimberley at for more details and the link to participate. Everyone is welcome, so feel free to invite a friend!
Meeting Notes March 5, 2021
President Bob Janes welcomed us all, including our newest members, guests, and his fellow President Glynis Hayes from the Nanaimo North Club.
President Elect Laurie Bienert provided another intriguing version of O Canada for us to enjoy. A full orchestra and choir in incredible harmony, each performing at their own computer station. The power of the internet and technology to bring us safely together is amazing.
Brenda Grice gave us inspiration for the Environment. For many years Rotary International (RI) did not consider the environment to be one of their priorities, but in 1990 the theme selected by RI President Paolo Costa from Brazil was “Preserve Planet Earth.” Finally, in July 2020 Rotary International added “Protecting the Environment” as our seventh Area of Focus; it will now get the attention it deserves. It will support clean water, clean energy, sustainable food production, resilient ecosystems, public health in harmony with the environment, and management capacity within communities. This is an inspiring step forward, unleashing our ability through the power of Rotary, to protect this jewel of a planet that we all share.
Glynis Hayes (Rotary North) reminded us of her club’s Golf Ball Drop on Saturday, March 27. The Nanaimo Fire Department will use their ladder truck to drop the balls onto the practice putting green of the Nanaimo Golf Club. Tickets are $5 per ball and can be purchased online at
New Member Inductions
Today we Inducted two new members. Kathy Smith introduced Roy Bennett whom she first met while working at the Booksale. Roy was a member of Rotary in the lower mainland, and his company manages cell antenna sites for clients. 
Tracy Makarenko introduced her friend of 30 years, Mila (my-la) Skeeles. Mila has lived in many countries around the world and experienced many different cultures. With her husband Brad and their two children, she returned to Nanaimo 15 years ago. Mila has always been involved in community and volunteering for different causes where needed. Whichever committee she joins will greatly benefit.
Past District Governor Ross White formally inducted both members. After extolling the accomplishments of our club, he gave a few key thoughts to consider. Remember that the main motto of Rotary is “Service above Self”; the expectations in Rotary are based on the “Four Way Test”, included in the membership package; when meetings return to normal, maintain a high attendance record and in this way come to know fellow members in the club; visit other clubs (anywhere in the world) and learn more about Rotary. He welcomed Mila and Roy to the Rotary Club of Nanaimo, and encouraged both to wear the Rotary pin proudly on all occasions. The pins, certificates and information will be sent by the secretary.
Members congratulated and welcomed Roy and Mila in our classic Zoom clapping style.
President Bob reminded us of the District Training day coming up on Saturday, March 13. By a show of hands, it looks like many of us have signed up for one or more of the sessions. As well as “coffee” with incoming Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta, there will be something for everyone, and a great opportunity to learn how to be an even more effective Rotarian.
The Rotaract Club is hosting a trivia and fun night on Zoom at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 13. 
Dawn Hankins waxed enthusiastic about the celebration of St Patrick on Friday, March 19; everything will be green. Details have been sent by email.
PE Laurie Bienert reminded us of the Member Mixer on Monday, March 22 by Zoom from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. This will be a chance for newer members to learn about the Club’s various committees, explore opportunities to get involved, and mingle with fellow Rotarians.
Guest Speaker - Brendon Ogmundson
Dave Hammond introduced our speaker, Brendon Ogmundson, Chief Economist for the BC Real Estate Association.
Brendon took us through a presentation to show various economic indicators tracked in B.C. (Slides were sent by email to all members immediately following the meeting.) 
He has five reasons to be optimistic about the economic and housing outlook for B.C. As expected, all indicators took a big hit at the beginning of the Covid19 pandemic in B.C. Generally, the GDP indicators have recovered, and the housing market indicators have not only recovered, but exceeded any predictions. Unfortunately, the restaurant and mid and low-wage employment indicators have not recovered. He had numerous slides on the bank and mortgage rates both historically and as projections; the continuing low rates are helping to buoy the housing market.
The markets did not respond in any way similar to previous recessions; indicators of both bankruptcies and mortgage arrears have fallen; there are pent-up savings ready to boost consumer demand; there is low housing market inventory pushing up prices. Real estate sales on Vancouver Island are far above historical normals and are likely to remain high. He also reviewed immigration numbers and tourism rebound. In conclusion, his five areas for optimism are: the economy is running on all cylinders; there are pent-up savings to be unleashed; immigration will normalize at high levels; mortgage rates are expected to remain low, and there is strong housing demand but record low supply.
John Hankins thanked Bredon for the fascinating look into economic factors and is looking forward to a boom year for us all.
Sergeant At Arms
With limited time left in the meeting, SAA Dave Hammond deferred the fine Laurie Bienert incurred at the start of the meeting and regretted that there would be no time for further fines or Happy Bucks.
There were no member birthdays this week, but Mike Makarenko has a birthday on Saturday, March 6 and Doug Narver on Thursday, March 11. Club anniversaries included Lucie Gosselin 29 years, and Frank Shoemaker 23 years this week.
President Bob reminded us that the speaker next week will be a Medical Health Officer from Central Vancouver Island. He also thanked everyone who had played a role in today's meeting.
Rotary Club Links
There are a number of ways to keep up to date with all the happenings within our Rotary Club. Click on the following links to view photo albums, read about some of our latest projects and to connect socially through Facebook and Instagram! And remember that ClubRunner is also a great resource for members to view a wide variety of club information.
If you have Rotary Club news, photos or videos to share, please email the details to Rebecca Taylor and Denise Wittkofski so they can share through our multiple online channels.
Upcoming Speakers
Mar 12, 2021
Island Health Medical Health Officer
View entire list
Upcoming Events (Click each for info)
Spring 2021 Book Sale - Non Fiction
Nanaimo North Town Center
Mar 17, 2021 10:00 AM –
Mar 28, 2021 5:00 PM
St. Patrick's Day Fun & Joviality
Mar 19, 2021
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
View entire list
Meeting's Responsibilities
March 12, 2021
Williams, Ian
Sergeant at Arms
Hammond, Dave
Introduce Speaker
Sundby, Leslie
Thank Speaker
Wittkofski, Denise
Meeting Notes
Shillabeer, John
March 26, 2021
Forghani Targhi, Behzad
Sergeant at Arms
Hammond, Dave
Meeting Notes
Anderson, Wayne
Russell Hampton
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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7