Posted by Vi Hughes on Jul 23, 2020
This Tuesday we heard from Carin Jansen van Vuuren. Carin has been a member of our club for six years, but in some ways she has been a Rotarian all of her life.  Carin was born in South Africa and grew up in Pietersburg in a Rotarian family. Carin’s father was an active Rotarian, and a Past District Governor (PDG) in South Africa, all of his life and Carin was encouraged to take part in many different Rotarian causes and activities from the time she was a child.  
Carin attended University in South Africa and obtained an honors degree in Political Science and Administration. She then went on to work in the office of the Minister of Constitutional Development in South Africa. When at dept of constitutional development we were tasked to negotiate the new constitution for SA. While there she had the privilege of meeting many well-respected people of the 1980’s in the government of South Africa.  In 1988 she married Stephan and in 1990 they decided to come to Canada. Stephan had been offered a position in Eston, Saskatchewan. At first, they had not planned on staying in one place for long, planning to travel around and see North America, both US and Canada. Carin said that stepping off the plane, for the first time, in minus twenty weather, in Saskatoon, was quite a shock.
They then moved on to Two Hills in Alberta. As Carin was not allowed to work here, she kept herself busy around Stephan’s office and with community activities. They soon decided to invest in a local newspaper and Carin learned how to do layout and printing. She would get Stephan to help out as well in the evenings. In 1995 they became Canadian citizens with dual South African citizenship.
Carin loved organizing and administrative work. For several years they organized a South African music festival that took place in Canmore each summer and had a lot of fun doing this. In 2000, Stephan and Carin started organizing yearly tours for people to South Africa. These trips include tours of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She still does these tours and has made met many wonderful people and made a lot of new friends doing this. In 2008, Carin started a property management company, focused on single family housing. It was quite a challenge for Carin to become familiar with home maintenance and dealing with all of the various trades involved.
On 15 Jul 2014 Carin became a member of our Rotary Club. Her father came for her induction. She said that he gave her one piece of good advice. He said, ”Be a Rotarian, don’t just wear a badge.” We know that Carin has followed this advice in every way and has been a wonderful asset to our club ever since. This sage advice is something that we all should strive to follow.