Learn about Club projects, including water and sanitation, in Sunyani, Ghana on our website.
Rotary Club of Nanaimo
Rotary Flashback
This week's Rotary Flashback takes us back to February 23, 2002 and Rotary Club of Nanaimo’s car raffle! Up for grabs was a 1965 Mustang GT worth $16,000. The first ticket was purchased by City Councillor Doug Rispin. Club member Susie Stephens shared that she had a '66 black Mustang when her daughter Marina was a baby. Marina is now married to Doug’s grandson! Club Vice President Keith McFarlane is on the far right in the photo.
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 kimgb96@icloud.com for more details and the link to participate. Everyone is welcome, so feel free to invite a friend!
District Training
Rotary District training is coming up March 13 and sessions are free to attend! A total of 26 learning opportunities are available on topics from leadership, membership, role-based training, goal setting, facilitation skills and more. For the schedule and session descriptions, visit rotary5020.org
Meeting Notes February 26, 2021

President Bob Janes opened the meeting by welcoming two guests, Mila Steeles and Roy Bennett, who have been welcomed for membership in our club. Nearly 40 members zoomed in for today’s meeting.

“O Canada” was a mystery musical video clip - a wonderful quartet that sang for Toronto’s first ever Raptors’ game in 1995. Did you guess Barenaked Ladies? 


Kathy Smith presented a thoughtful inspiration in which each letter of Rotary conveyed a service theme:

R: Rotary, part of a much bigger wheel
O: Our club, our community
T: Teamwork, together we can do much more
A: Awards, bursaries and scholarships
R: Reading & literacy
Y: Youth exchange
R: Rotaract, interact. Our rotary projects in these areas contribute to world peace.


Bob Janes encouraged members to sign-up for the upcoming district training seminars.

Our Public Image committee will be running full-page Rotary ads for the next six months with the Black Press media group. Laurie Bienert invited everyone to zoom in for the March 22 mixer at 5:30 p.m., for a social “getting to know you” opportunity. Dawn Hankins advised members to round up something green to wear and line up a few jokes for the next social on March 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Our club has a unique opportunity to participate in a cross-country fitness challenge, both in real life and virtually. Tracy Makarenko shared a short video, “My Virtual Mission”. From April 1 through June 30, everyone can participate, doing any activity they like most. The kilometres from all these walks, steps, runs, strolls, bikes, hikes, yogas, climbs, (beer-mug hoists?) etc. will be summed up to reach our goal of St. John’s NFL. (Coincidentally, where President Bob was born.)

Along the way, we’ll visit with local Rotary clubs via Facebook. Our route will follow the TransCanada Hwy, beginning at mile 0 in Victoria. Joyce Smith will register our club (with the app for the 3 months needed) and individual club members will need to pay $12 each to participate and have our fitness efforts tracked, converted and added up. It’s a wonderful way for “team fitness” at every level, and offers a unique opportunity to share progress. More details to come.

Kimberley Barrett announced that Nanaimo Rotaract is hosting a Rotary Celebration on March 13, at 7:30 p.m. via zoom and has invited club members to participate. 

Bob Janes thanked Shirin and Behzad Forghani Targhi for a lovely Persian dinner party at the last club social.


Paul Manly introduced our guest Constable Josh Waltman. Josh is our new Mental Health Liaison Officer for the RCMP. He’s a dad, with 8 and 3 year old kids, and lives in Ladysmith. Josh has numerous commendations and awards for distinguished community service and volunteer work, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award.

Josh is pioneering the new role of Mental Health Liaison Officer in a new full-time position in Nanaimo, where he collaborates with mental health professionals to support safer, more helpful crisis intervention events. Vancouver Island Health Authority Mental Health Services Unit and the Canadian Mental Health Society are key partners.

It’s a very powerful combination to have a psychiatric nurse attend with the first-response police officer to a crisis call or intervention. It’s an evolving initiative and Josh has already made practical changes to reduce the potential for conflict and to provide dignity to already distressed clients: having an unmarked police car, changing official formal police uniform to plainclothes, having a psychiatric nurse present.

Each day starts with a review of mental health incidents from the previous day. The phone is always ringing, and he helps many homeless and vulnerable people. A new Mental Health Advisory Committee includes participants with lived experience, and provide an important support network.

There is no formal police training (yet) to work in this specialized area, which clearly would be overwhelming for a newly graduated police officer. Josh has extensive work experience from Surrey in helping vulnerable and marginalized people, but more importantly, what came through in his talk, is his dedication and commitment to this great area of need.

During Q&A members congratulated Josh on his important work in our community. Many of the interventions are related to drug addiction, substance abuse, homelessness (new arrivals to Nanaimo and locals that are homeless &/or abandoned by their families who have “given up”).

Josh explained that much more needs to be done, and he is working on funding, which remains an issue. When asked about how he maintains his own resilience, he answered that he’s learned to not take things personally.

Keith McFarlane thanked Josh on behalf of our club and on behalf of his family (both his daughter and son-in-law work in law enforcement) for Josh’s important role in serving and protecting our community.

Happy Bucks

Happy and Sad Bucks was an eclectic mix. Dave Hammond noted that past-president Bob Wilson actually has ridden across Canada, and could be conscripted to lead our team!

Rebecca Taylor shared she was participating in Dry February to help raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. Members can contact her if they would like to make a donation.

Paul Manly is excited about his standing desk and the prospect of racing and yoga’ing across Canada.

Susie Stephens and Wendy Pratt drew attention to the latest issue of the Rotary Magazine as being really great.

Birthdays & Anniversaries    

Bob Janes concluded our meeting by announcing many birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate. 

Birthdays: Dawn Hankins, Carmon Henderson, Mike Herold, John Salem, Denise Wittkofski, Gayle Anderson and Barb Myden.

Wedding Anniversaries: Doug and Janet Cowling (41 years).   

Club Anniversaries: Doreen Charbonneau (2 years), Tracy Makarenko (1 year), Bob McDougall (59 years), Janeane Coutu (29 years) and Norm Myden (8 years).

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 05, 2021
B.C. Real Estate Association Chief Economist
Mar 12, 2021
Island Health Medical Health Officer
View entire list
Upcoming Events (Click each for info)
St. Patrick's Day Fun & Joviality
Mar 19, 2021
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
View entire list
Meeting's Responsibilities
March 5, 2021
Grice, Brenda
Sergeant at Arms
Hammond, Dave
Introduce Speaker
Hammond, Dave
Thank Speaker
Hankins, John
Program Notes
Anderson, Douglas
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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