The Rotary Book Sale returns to Nanaimo North Town Centre March 17 - 28.
Rotary Club of Nanaimo
Rotary Book Sale
The Rotary Club of Nanaimo Book Sale returns to Nanaimo North Town Centre March 17 to 28 and features non-fiction and children's books. Non-fiction books are $3 each and children's books are $3 per inch. The sale is located beside the Lotto booth and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please note COVID protocols will be in effect for the health and safety of volunteers and customers. 
Rotary Flashback
Flashback two years ago this month to a Rotary bowling night! We look forward to when we can build friendships, have fun and continue the important work of Rotary in person once again.
Rotary Fundraiser
Meeting Notes March 12, 2021
President Bob Janes welcomed 36 members and special guest Dr. Sandra Allison, our speaker for the day.
Laurie Beinert provided a repeat performance of O Canada, beautifully and emotionally sung by three young men with marvelous voices who were members of the Canadian luge team at the last Olympics. What talent!


Ian Williams spoke about climate change. He said that it was good news that, while contending with COVID-19, progress was still being made fighting climate change. Ian was very encouraged that Rotary had decided to add the Environment to its areas of focus.
The United States had rejoined the Paris climate accord, good progress was being made in adopting renewable power generation and developing electric cars. However, he said progress was insufficient and there was no sign of societies radically changing their ways enough to get to net-zero carbon emissions.
This week was the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and Ian took the opportunity to cite Bill Gates and his 15 year-long extensive research into nuclear power generation. Gates concluded that the world needed a game changer and nuclear generation would be essential if the world was to get to net zero. He put his money where his mouth was and set up Terra Power Generation to revolutionize nuclear with safer, lower cost plants. Terra partnered with GE and Hitachi among others.
The US government recently awarded $80 million to help build a prototype of the new generation of reactors.
Ian concluded that Bill Gates’s visionary thinking should give us hope for the future and inspire us all to get behind Rotary’s Environment area of focus.


President Bob acknowledged efforts made to build book boxes for Literacy Central Vancouver Island. He thanked John Shillabeer, Yvan Gosselin, Ron Willis, Wayne Anderson and Rebecca Taylor for their efforts.
Melanie McDonald, who only recently joined our Club, unfortunately had to resign as she was moving to Toronto to be closer to family.
March 8 was International Women’s Day and President Bob took the opportunity to recognize our 28 women members, and thanked them for their contributions to Rotary.
Brent Stetar announced that there would be a book sale starting on Wednesday, March 17. We will use the Tai Chi studio (our old sorting room). Non-fiction and children’s books will be for sale. There are two shifts per day and two people per shift. Several members had already volunteered, but there remained several vacancies.
Dawn Hankins reminded members that the next Club meeting would be a Friday evening social via Zoom starting at 5:30 p.m. Since it would be approximately St Patrick’s Day, she urged members to think green, drink green and share a few Irish jokes.  
Laurie Bienert invited us all to participate in next Monday’s Zoom Mixer between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. The event would be particularly aimed at new members to inform them about our committees’ activities. She urged everyone to attend.


Leslie Sundby introduced our speaker, Dr. Sandra Allison, Medical Health Officer in the Central Vancouver Island region. Dr. Allison was a specialist in public health and preventative medicine specialist. She moved to Nanaimo in October after previously serving as Chief Medical Officer for Northern Health, and before that as Regional Health Officer in Manitoba.
Dr. Allison began with an update on the current COVID-19situation locally. There were 33 new cases on Thursday in the whole of Vancouver Island. About 80% were high risk travelers and were already in isolation. Overall, there have been 2,674 cases and 229 were being actively monitored. Over 1,000 people per day called Island Health about their conditions. Almost all residents of care homes had been vaccinated. She said that locally vaccination was 92% effective.
Public Health works with as many organizations as possible to help them develop socially acceptable safety plans. Yet, COVID-19 remained active in spite of all the precautions and infections seemed to go in waves. The Central Island Region had created response teams aligned with different types of communities to help mitigate impacts.
Dr. Allison said Island Health had three areas of COVID-19 focus:
- Decreasing transmission and flattening the curve
- Maintaining the capacity of the health system
- Decreasing impacts on people’s lives and society generally
Dr. Allison said that about 80% of COVID-19 cases were mild and only about 5% required a stay in the ICU or led to death. She didn’t expect public measures to be rapidly relaxed, though some limited steps were coming. She was very concerned about the high impact of the pandemic on health staff and the community generally. Lots of people were suffering mental illness as a result of worry, isolation and loss.
And all the while opioid addiction deaths continued to grow.
Dr. Allison left plenty of time to answer questions.
Kathy Smith asked if First Nations people were particularly vulnerable because of living conditions alone, or might there be a genetic factor? Dr Allison responded in terms of housing and other social disadvantages.
Susie Stephens asked how to handle a family situation where two people refused to wear masks and would not accept vaccination. Other family members withdrew an invitation to visit. Dr. Allison advised to respect the personal choices made by both sides and to avoid confrontation.
Frank Shoemaker and Egon Holzwarth both asked about the planned COVID-19 clinic on Gabriola, saying they had found it impossible to make contact on the phone. Dr. Allison said that the situation was rapidly changing day by day as the clinic arrangements were being altered in response to requests from the community. She advised to be patient and stay tuned for updates.
Dawn Hankins wanted to know which vaccines would be provided. Answer: Moderna and Pfizer. Astra Zeneca was on the way too. The Canadian supply of Astra Zeneca vaccine was from a different batch than that with which blood clots had been reported.
Keith McFarlane’s daughter and son-in-law had recovered from mild cases of COVID-19. He wanted to know if they were susceptible to getting it again or could be carriers and infect others. Dr. Allison answered that in cases confirmed with laboratory testing, people were generally no longer infectious after ten days. Little was known yet about naturally induced immunity and possible re-infection but immunity was probably good for six months. Naturally induced immunity was generally stronger than that from vaccination because the body had destroyed the entire virus, whereas the vaccines only prevented severe infection and some virus may remain. So far, re-infections were extremely rare.
Joyce Smith asked about the variants. Dr. Allison said that the B117 (UK) and B1351 (South Africa) variants had been identified on Vancouver Island. B117 was seen much more than B1351 in B.C. and the health authority had been successful in quickly identifying cases through testing, isolating them and their contacts. B1351 seemed to have altered the way it binds on to receptors but preliminary indications are that vaccines would remain effective, but with reduced effect. Dr. Allison felt that the presently known variants were of minor concern and not as impactful as media coverage would suggest. 
On behalf of the Club, Denise Wittkofski thanked Dr. Allison for her update and news about COVID-19. Denise said we appreciated the role she was playing to safeguard our health.

Sergeant at Arms

Dave Hammond reminded us that clocks go forward this weekend, spring was coming and he even found one member (Jason Bradley) who has actually cut his grass.

Happy and Sad Bucks

Roy Bennett was happy to have been out and about by the harbor with his wife in the glorious sunshine on Thursday.
Keith McFarlane was happy to recognize newly retired Doug Cowling who shoveled his neighbor’s snow a few weeks ago. Well done Doug!
Joyce Smith was proud to have achieved 16,500 steps and was looking forward to our cross-Canada challenge. 
Ian Williams was happy to celebrate receiving the Moderna vaccine.

Birthdays and Anniversaries

Umesh Lal celebrates his birthday on March 17, along with Joyce Smith on March 18.
Douglas Anderson is celebrating 13 years and John Shillabeer 11 years with Rotary.
President Bob wished everyone a good week till next Friday.
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 26, 2021
Club Assembly
Apr 09, 2021
Nanaimo Foodshare - Older Adults Eating Well Together
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
Forghani Targhi, Behzad
Sergeant at Arms
Hammond, Dave
Meeting Notes
Anderson, Wayne
Russell Hampton
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