Peacebuilding & Conflict Resolution Month
District Governor Message

I have completed my Club visits (Total of 57 clubs in the District with 29 on the Canadian side and 28 on the US side). 
I have thoroughly enjoyed the visit to each and every Club. I met wonderful Rotarians doing good in their local communities and the world at large. 
As you are aware, the theme for February is Peace & Reconciliation. In my Club visits I have focused on three themes, Environment, Peace & reconciliation and DEI. The month of February is very special in the Rotary Calendar because it includes the anniversary of the first meeting of Rotary held on 23 February 1905, now designated as the World Understanding and Peace Day. 
As you know the theme for our District Conference is IMAGINE A PEACEFUL AND INCLUSIVE WORLD.
The speeches and discussions on the Peace and Reconciliation theme in our District Conference will be spearheaded by the Charter Founder of the Rotary Peace Action Group on Peace PDG Al Jubitz from Oregon together with the well renowned and talented eminent Professor Dr. Keith Carlson from the Fraser Valley University. As I have discussed during my Club visits, issues related to peace are close to the hearts of serving and retired military officers and first responders. As you are aware we have been working with the US Veterans Administration through Rtn. Bill Leeds (Whidbey Westside  Club) and the US VA will be sending a senior person to join the conference. They are also interested in having a partnership with our District. This is work in progress but at an advanced stage. Encouraged by this we are working with the Canadian Ministry of Veterans Affairs to have representation from their senior level officers to join as speakers/panel discussants at our conference. Please register and join us at our District Conference if you have not done so already.
23 February 2023 is also important for our District 5050 Rotary Club of Anacortes. Please join me in congratulating our Anacortes Rotarians as they celebrate their centennial of their charter on 23 February. Needless to say, they were chartered on 23 February 1923!! Congratulations Duane Clark (Centennial Events Committee Chair) and my Anacortes Club friends!!
So, if you have not done so already, please go to our District web page and register for the District Conference scheduled for 5-7 May. You can also click here to register.  Here is a QR code to make registration and hotel booking simpler with a scan of the code.

Looking ahead a few months we have an opportunity to impact lives of young people in our communities. Whether it's by sending high school-aged students to Youth Adventures in Leadership (YAIL) or young adults to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) or by giving scholarships to graduating high school seniors to pursue higher education at a college, university or trade school. Clubs can also send high school-aged students to other countries in the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Conversely, Clubs can host youth who come to our District in the same program. I encourage Clubs to invite past participants of YAIL, RYLA, Exchange programs, even scholarship recipients to update your Club on the impact being a young Rotarian has made in their lives. We may never know the results of our impact now, but now is the time to make that impact.
Governor Raj has completed his Club visits. At the outset of that several months ago, I asked every Club to send us photos and recaps of his visits. I am sad to say I only received one. Very disappointing.
Make sure you register for this year's District Conference. And, read up in the article below on the International Convention. PDG Sean Hogan is taking a contingent of Rotarians on a tour down under before and after the Convention.
If you want your Club program, initiative, fundraiser and success story to be seen by the entire District (and our friends outside of the District), send us the information! With graphics or photos. And please make sure you identify everyone in the photos. Remember, the deadline is the 23rd of the month before publication. Thank you to those that are sending material. Best to use the Story Submittal forms available at the District website and photos should be separate in jpeg format.
How are you exemplifying the Rotary motto -- Service Above Self?
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment,
until it becomes a memory.

Your Community Needs You
In a recent local newspaper, a columnist wrote the following: 

"Given the important role service clubs such as the Elks, Kiwanis, Rotary and others have played in civic life in the U.S. for many decades, a threat to their ongoing existence clearly qualifies as news. But the reasons for that threat are less newsworthy, because they’re so painfully obvious.

Namely: Service clubs in their current incarnation, and for all their good deeds, which are many, bear literal emblems of a U.S. society that no longer exists — for all the “better” and “worse” connotations that come with that. 

In general, clubs both in our midst and outside it have struggled with the same factors: an aging membership, reflecting, clearly, a societal shift away from traditional notions of “community” or even the previously defined “common good.” "

The full article is here.

I didn't agree with this sentiment and wrote a response to that publication. In part it says "We can’t speak to what other organizations are doing to remain relevant in the eyes of up-and-coming generations, but we can share the mindset of Rotary Clubs of Whatcom County. A key objective now and in the years ahead is encouraging service-minded individuals to join our ranks. Our Clubs need people who have a Rotary spirit, who put service above self, and who are ready to roll up their sleeves and work for the good of the community."
I then sent the following as a guest columnist.
Ask Not What Whatcom County Can Do For You…
By Shauna Naf
Rotary Club of Bellingham Membership Chair and Board Member
As you break out your 2023 planner and make your resolutions, there is one important question you should ask yourself:
“What am I going to do to make my community a better place this year?”
It is easy to look to our government, elected officials, and non-profits to do the heavy lifting; it is easy to sit behind our keyboards, critiquing the work that others are doing, are not doing, or how they are doing it. It can be overwhelming to hear about the pain and suffering of others on the news and feel powerless to help. While none of us alone has the power to change the world, when people come together, we can accomplish great things.
If you don’t have volunteering on your 2023 schedule yet, consider this your official invitation – or a wake-up call. Not only is it so fulfilling to give your time alongside others and see how much can be accomplished, but it could be argued that it is one’s civic duty. Our country is no stranger to chipping in and helping out. From scrap drives during WWII to helping first responders during the early days of the COVID pandemic, helping is in our blood. However, we shouldn’t wait to be mobilized by a crisis. Our fellow men and women, our country, and our planet needs our help now.
Whatcom County is ripe with a variety of volunteer needs – everything from assisting at an overnight severe bad weather shelter to park clean up, building trails, helping seniors, and gardening. Just visit to peruse upcoming volunteer needs and find activities that appeal to you. Some opportunities are 2–3-hour commitments while others are ongoing with weekly or monthly needs.
Want to take your volunteering to the next level in 2023? Consider joining a service organization such as Rotary, Kiwanis, or Lions. This is a great way to get active and meet like-minded, inspiring people as well as get to know the non-profits the organizations support. If this sounds like something you would like to investigate further, here are four tips to find a great service organization fit:
1. Look at their track record – What causes have they supported with their hands or via fundraising? Is their focus a good fit for the causes you care about in the community?
2. Attend a meeting – or two or three – Ask yourself how comfortable you feel. Are you inspired by the meeting? Do you want to spend more time getting to know the individual members?
3. How does work get done? – Is work being done by just a few individuals? By committees? Or does everyone pitch in for the cause?
4. What is expected of members? -  From both a time and monetary perspective, make sure your expectations and availability of resources align with the service organization’s.
Can you imagine what our community would be like if each of us able-bodied and -minded individuals gave one or two hours a week? Don’t turn a blind eye or assume others are going to do it – this is your moment to decide to make a difference. Make a call, send an email, and begin to make a difference today.
If you find inspiration for yourself and you Club feel free to use this.
YAIL 2023


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

In September 2020, Rotary International formed a task force, under the leadership of Zone 28/32 Director Valarie Wafer. The task force was charged with assessing the current status of DEI in Rotary and shaping a comprehensive action plan to help the organization further value and live those principles.

The task force is made up of eleven Rotarians from various countries and backgrounds. Their bio’s can be found here.

What can we do to promote DEI?

  • Invite local diversity, equity, and inclusion experts to speak to your club. Connect with organizations that support DEI efforts, and work with them on projects or events.

  • Seek out new voices when you're making appointments and encourage people who have been underrepresented in these roles to take on leadership positions.

  • Hold conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Acknowledge that this can be uncomfortable and very personal. Establish the expectation that these conversations will allow everyone opportunities to learn and to be heard and will remain respectful.

  • Create a Club DEI committee that reflects the demographics of your community and works with residents to identify collaborative learning, sharing, and service opportunities.

I believe that there is a fourth element to this equation and that is acceptance. Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Acceptance! Get the IDEA. We should be able to accept people for who or what they are.

District Conference
Here is the Hotel registration information for the District Conference:
(a Marriott property)
15269 104TH AVENUE

You are responsible to make your own hotel room reservations. 

 The Sheraton Guildford Hotel is offering a discounted rate just for you! This special FLEXIBLE rate not only includes parking and Wi-Fi but can be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to arrival.
To book your room today please click the link below or call 800-587-3038 to speak to one of our in-house reservation team members.
 Book your group rate for Rotary Club District Conference 2023
Rotary International Convention Melbourne
Imagine joining RI President Jennifer Jones and thousands of Rotarians in Melbourne, Australia for the Rotary International Convention. PDG Sean Hogan is organizing interested Rotarians and friends to join him. There will be optional pre- and post-Convention tours. 
The pre-Convention trip starts 17 May in Sydney. Options include a walking tour of the Rocks with the Opera House, Sydney Harbour, Hunter Valley wine tour, Darling Harbour and more. We then fly to Uluru (formerly Ayer’s Rock) to see the sacred red sandstone at sunrise and sunset. Then off to visit the city of Adelaide, including a day trip to Kangaroo Island.
We arrive in Melbourne on 27 May for the start of the Convention. We will end the convention with the traditional Rotary District 5050 get together, following the closing ceremony.
The post-Convention tour is in Cairns, to visit the Great Barrier Reef, including a day trip to Kuranca by scenic rail and gondola and a visit to Port Douglas/Mossman. On our way home, Bonnie and I will be heading to Fiji – because you just need a relaxing break after all that touring.
Whether you want to visit the Convention only or join us for any of the pre or post tours, or if you just want more information to consider whether to come, click here for more information and links to the Convention, lodging and more. If you have questions, please contact contact PDG Sean.
RYLA 2023

I'm a Rotarian Podcast with DGE David Lukov
Time to meet our next District 5050 Governor. DGE David Lukov joined Gwen Jones on the show! Even if you're not a member of District 5050 we're sure you'll love to meet him.
Peace Arch Journal
This monthly publication is a service to District Members and Friends. It is intended as a source of news and opinion from throughout the District.
The mission of the Peace Arch Journal is to promote communication, understanding, fellowship and fun beyond club meetings, in a manner complementary to shared efforts at placing Service Above Self.
Please send articles and news with or without pictures attached to emails. Photographs are always a plus! Note that the editor appreciates conservation of space in order to meet the sender’s needs and the editor’s time.
The deadline is the 23rd of the month.
Address any and all information to the Peace Arch Journal Editor.
James Monroe
Rotary Club of Lake Stevens, WA
District 5050’s web site:
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Upcoming Events
Grants Management Seminar
Baker Creek Place
Mar 11, 2023
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
2023 District Assembly
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Mar 25, 2023
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
View entire list

Leadership Team of Rotary International District 5050
Raj Rajagopal
Rotary Club of White Rock
Cell: 604-560-4770
Governor Elect
David Lukov
Rotary Club of Mount Vernon
Cell: 206-909-5336
Governor Nominee
Dave Duskin
Rotary Club of Arlington
Cell: 425-879-4515

Governor Designate
Isabelle Hayer
Rotary Club of Surrey
Cell: 604-655-2622

Pat Bond
Rotary Club of North Delta
Home: 604-488-9384
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