Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona   



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Club Meeting Information
Thanks for visiting our site! The first ClubRunner site in District 5370
Edmonton Strathcona

"The Friendly Club"

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Woodvale Facility and Golf Clubhouse
4540 - 50 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T6L 6B6
Our Club meets every second Tuesday. Please email to confirm date.
Upcoming Events & Volunteer Opportunities
Stories -- click on story title or 'Read More...' to get the rest of the story.
This week we were pleased to hear from one of our club members, Norman Leach, who gave us a very interesting and entertaining introduction into what he has done over the years. Norman told us that some of his clients refer to him as the chaos navigator, as he helps them to develop and implement marketing plans for their businesses.  When he first started developing business plans for people, he often found that they had trouble implementing the plan that he gave them. Marketing includes many different aspects of a business including the product, the price, the place, how to distribute it and promotion, but many people only consider it to be promotion. This is when he will step in as a contractor for them, to help implement the portions of the plan that the client feels they cannot on their own.
Norman told us that his inspiration in life came from his grandfather, who was orphaned as a small child, grew up in an orphanage in Quebec and was turned out to fend for himself at a young age. He then went on to find a homestead in Springside, Saskatchewan, raise a large family and become a very successful farmer. He also helped many of his neighbors with their farm businesses, by acting as an intermediary and translator for them in selling their crops, as he was one of the few people in the area who spoke both English and Ukrainian. Norman said that his grandfather strongly believed that the best way to succeed in life was to get lots of education and as much experience as possible, as those were the two things that other people could not take away from you.
Norman said that he first encountered Rotary when at age seventeen, he became a Rotary Exchange student to Japan. He took this as a challenge to learn as much as he could of the Japanese language and became proficient enough to win a Japanese language competition. He said that he still speaks Japanese fluently, along with several other languages including English, Spanish and French. He told us that he has now worked in thirty-seven countries, on many different types of projects.
He then related an interesting and entertaining story of how he met, pursued and married his wife, Maritza. Many years ago, when he was working in Mexico City as the Alberta Trade Office manager and she was the building manager for their office space, he did not speak Spanish well and used one of his employees as an interpreter to communicate with her. After several months and many meetings with her, his interpreter suggested to him that he should invite her as his guest to a social function. He thought this was absurd as he barely spoke any Spanish. The interpreter then told him outright that this was silly as she spoke English quite well and had only requested an interpreter for their meetings as she was not confident in her interpretation of details. After he recovered from the shock of this information, he decided to ask her out, she accepted, and they ended up being married several years later. He said that this also served as a lesson to him to never assume the people around you do not understand what is being said.
Norman then told us that as he is a private contractor, he can and does work on many other types of things. Shortly after marrying Maritza, she convinced him to turn his passion for collecting Canadian military memorabilia and trivia into a business by writing a book about it. His first book about the role of Canadian troops in the First World War, Battle of Paschendale, was promoted for sale to the Canadian Legion, but turned out to become a Canadian best seller, with over twenty-five thousand copies sold.  It was subsequently made into a movie by Paul Gross, with Norman acting as a consultant.  He has now written thirteen books, four of which have become Canadian best sellers (each with more than ten thousand copies sold). One of his other sidelines is teaching, and he now teaches courses for six colleges and universities across Canada. In addition, he has recently become the historian for St John’s Ambulance. He also said that in 2019, he and his wife Maritza, after much research and planning, bought a travel agency, just prior to the COVID pandemic. Through this they learned that not all plans work out as originally thought, but the business is now starting to take off.  
We would like to thank Norman for this very interesting and entertaining glimpse into the lives of both him and his wife Maritza and look forward to hearing more from him in the future.
July 2022
Combined Rotary Mothers' School
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dear Members of the Rotary Clubs of Strathcona, Mayfield, Urban Spirits, Whyte Avenue, Grand Prairie and Hinton,
It makes us happy to tell you about how things have been here. We enjoy our learning very well. We are learning with joy and fun and we pass a joyful time in school without any stress and sadness, we feel this time as the best time of the day.
Now we would like to share some stories of our success, struggles and overcoming. This is rainy season in our country which is a perfect time for tree plantation. A group of mothers from our school Soniya, Monju, Josna and Pakhi have planted some vegetables in the free space of the slum and on the land owner’s rooftop, like cucumber, bean, eggplant, green chili and tomato inside containers. Plants grow very fast and easily in monsoon. Our teacher had a session about vegetable cultivation & tree plantation in school. We do not care who will eat the vegetables or won the trees but happy to do the work in the free space of the slum and any rooftops.
Afsana is our young friend, intelligent but she did not get any opportunity for education in her childhood. Her father had died before her birth and she has no brother and sister. Her mother did not get married again thinking about her daughter. They used to live in the village but their livelihood was very difficult there. So, when Afsana was 7, her mother moved to Dhaka for a better livelihood. Her mother rented a room in our slum and started working as a housemaid and Afsana used to go to the landladies’ house with her mother. There days were going well but suddenly her mother died by a heart-attack leaving Afsana only 13. One landlady gave shelter of the girl and arranged her marriage in 2 years with a poor boy considering her safety and security. He was a rickshaw puller. After the marriage Afsana had to faced many new challenges which she did not understand how to overcome. She was illiterate and did not know how to handle such situation. One day Afsana and her husband quarreled with each other. Her husband was very lazy. So, he didn’t go out for work regularly. He wanted Afsana to work as maid and take responsibility to run the family but Afsana couldn’t find a better way. One day a mother of our school Josna going beside their room, listened a sound of crying from the slum house. Josna became curious to know what happened! She entered into the room and saw a young girl was crying sitting on the floor. It was none other but Afsana. Josna sat beside her and asked her about the reasons for crying. Afasan said everything to Josna, after hearing Josna shared with her about our Mother School. Afsana became surprised to know about our mother school and its work. She was very excited to visit us. Josna told her that the next day I will take you to our school; and next day Afsana went to the mothers’ school with Josna and admitted here. There was a fellow water land beside Afsana’s house. Afsana took some seeds from the school for planting vegetables by the
side of the pond. Afsana planted those seeds and had got a lot of vegetable there. Later on, she has cultivated a vegetable garden in the free space of our slum, she grows all seasonal vegetables in her garden and earning money. She shares her vegetables with many of us including Josna. Now she collects more productive seeds from the market for her vegetable garden and finally she has found a way. In that way she turns her life, now she is learning and able to contribute to her family. Now they are a happy family. She is thankful to Amarok friends and Amarok society.  
Did we share with you that our school house is relocated a little far from the old location? Some new mothers have been enrolled and our learning progress has been going fast. You would be happy to know that  10 mothers of our school can write about myself, creative sentences & paragraph with any topic like on fruits, flowers, animals, about our school, and birds. We have started writing “journal” change of the life of individual mother. Once a week we practice it. Sometimes, we draw something and then we write about that. 12 mothers are very good in English, can write long sentences and 8 can write good story in Bengali. We are happy to see our learning progress and proud to remove the word ‘illiterate’ from our life.  
Now we will share about a Micro-school student named Liza and her change in characteristic and life. She is 8 years old and a good girl but little lazy. She loves long sleep. Her father sells nuts going door to door and her mother is a housemaid. When her mother went out to work, she loved to stay idle and sleep, did not help her mother. In an afternoon returning home from work, Liza’s mother saw a group of children were going somewhere with pen, pencil and notebook. Liza’s mother became surprised “this is not a schooltime then where are they going”? She asked them, “Where are you going”? The children said, “in our Micro School”. She said again. “Can I go with you? The children said, yes. Liza’s mother went with them and discussed with the mother-teacher Monira and proposed her to teach Liza. This is how Liza became the student of Minira and now an active girl and learning quickly.
Some of the children are graduated from our micro-school and now in the next grades in High School. Koli is one of them. She is 16 and studying in grade 9. She teaches her siblings. Her mother is a housewife and father is a day laborer. She has 2 younger sisters. She is the eldest among them. Her father is extremely poor, could not buy learning materials for the daughter. Koli collects materials from Amarok Mother School and teaches her sisters. Once her father thought about arranging Koli’s marriage but her mother-teacher Parvin after knowing about it and stopped him. It was not easy to change the mind of her father. Our friends Soniya, Josna, Nazma had several discussions and clarified the potential risk of early motherhood and finally her father changed his mind.
We are grateful to your support for our education    
With love
 Sonia, Popi, Fatema, Josna, Nazma and Parvin
(Mothers of Combined Rotary Mothers' School)


With the number of members in this club either owning or operating a business, we are getting a very poor interest in this nice little generator of funds for the club.
Are the rates too steep? I don't think so, but if you do, please let us know.
If you have any bright ideas on how to promote this little initiative, please speak up.

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August 2022
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Upcoming Speakers
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Special Club Meeting
Aug 30, 2022
Graham Gilchrist
Sep 13, 2022
Report on Houston international convention
Freida Richer CIRP, LIT, Partner Grant Thornton
Sep 27, 2022
Navigating Debt Solutions in Uncertain Times
Norman Leach
Nov 08, 2022
Remembrance Day - topic to be announced
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