Posted by Gord Lewis on May 20, 2019
   I have been busy with updating our Club Runner information and RI Integration.  It has been a bit of challenge for an old dinosaur but it has been rewarding in making some connections.  A few years ago we had a very active member, Claire Voldeng, who due to personal reasons left our club for fairer climates on Vancouver Island. We made Claire an honorary member of our club and she was so listed on Club Runner for many years but never integrated with Rotary International.  This now had to be corrected and we need both Club Runner and RI to have identical information. I reached out to Claire to see what she was up to and if she still wanted to be an honorary member of our club.  She responded with two very interesting emails about her current life and her memories of her time in our club. Once you have read these, you will see why we want and need people like Claire in our Rotary world.  Please "Read More" .
Dear Gordon,
Thanks for your email and I apologize for the delay. Things have been a bit hectic since our return from Mexico. I forget where you go, we were in Ajijic.  We returned for 2 weeks and were off to Edmonton, then back to our home on Vancouver Island  and then had to drive out again for a family Celebration of LIfe.  Your email came at that time and I was "Swamped in Alligators".
Please integrate my honorary status  with Rotary International.  I still proudly wear my pin sometimes. I have such fond memories of "my Nisku-Leduc" club and have made friendships because of it. Chandell Popik and I remain close. As you know, she went down to do the playground build and that relationship just grew and grew.  I went back 6 months after the playground build and got caught up in Cyclone Winston, a nasty Category 5 monster that created a lot of damage. Severe damage Gord that I personally never, ever want to see or experience again.  I delivered Rotary aid boxes while there and did a lot of good work, but I came home sick and spent.  I must say, the school suffered severe damage, but you know the playground stood and was not damaged.To this day, they are still so very thankful and so am I for Nisku-Leduc Rotary helping me to make it happen.
On the home front, we're here in Ladysmith on Vancouver Island.  Believe it or not, I'm President of Probus. (Pro- Professional and bus for business) retirees.  We're actually an offshoot of Rotary although we do no service work.  We've been there and done that and so have moved on. I still volunteer of course for different events.  I did raise $19,000.00 for our local Rotary Club here, giving a presentation of what it was like to go through a Category 5 Cyclone, and the proceeds went to Disaster Aid Canada for shelter boxes.  So I still keep giving, cause that is what I do.
So since I took over in September, our PROBUS club has grown in leaps and bounds, 25 new members and now we've started a wait list. I have a great management team and am now into succession planning. District PROBUS is pumping me for info on what I'm doing!!!  So in total we have 126 members, so we're a very busy club.
Please at the next meeting, give my regards to those who might remember me.  I've not ever forgotten you!  So to Alana,Grant, Hilda, Myrtle, John...oh gosh too many to remember, but give them my very, very best.
And to you Gord, here is a big hug!  
My contact details are: Claire Voldeng, 614 Stevens Place, Ladysmith, BC V9G 2C6  PH 250-924-7510,
Hi Gordon,
Sure, feel free to cut and paste perhaps both of these emails to make on document. Oh yeah, also please say hi to Gary Sandercock and John from the bank and of course Jaime with the school district.  So many others, just the names don't come to me right now..
One other thing you might not know and I'm very proud of this....I was bestowed with a Paull Harris Fellow/Award by the Rotary Club of  Savusavu (my home club in Fiji),for all the work I did with getting 10 bus shelters built, kindergarten furniture made, and of course the container and playground. It was a very special moment.
You know, I had one of my Rotary friends that went back a couple years after all those bus shelters were built, and be darned, they are all in such terrific shape. The locals consistently  keep them clean, have their broom and waste cans (big oil container) at each one to collect the garbage.  I am so proud they have looked after each and every one of those bus shelters and as far as I know, when cyclone Winston hit, they were all okay.  Of course NIsku/ supported two.I'll never forget that. Don and Alana came down for the build.
Lastly, the playground stands strong and the head teacher told me enrollment at the school went up because of it.  So many children now physically have so much fun on it, and mentally too, as I taught them to use their imagination in play. Those were bucket moments in my life Gord and I've never, ever forgotten the Nisku-Leduc Rotary Club.  I'd love to come back one day and have a chat with members still there. I'll try and do that next time I am in Edmonton. I will be in touch with you when I next attend.
This is getting lengthy. Tell everyone, I miss them...I truly do, it was magical being part of NL Rotary.  But please know I am having a lot of fun with my club and the strategies and planning we do to make the club the success it is.  
Keep well Gord,