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Welcome to our Club!

Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Wednesdays at 6:30 PM
Various and online
1234 Westivew
Powell River, BC
Rotary Meeting times
Rotary generally meets on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm.
We meet at different locations and sometime on Zoom.
Please contact us if you are planning to attend a meeting
and we'll let you know when and where out next meeting is.
Home Page Stories
January 4’s meeting was a social event at Westview Bowling and Billiards. Lots of fun and laughter among Rotarians and their guests who also enjoyed some delicious food.
A club past president Carol Brown conducted the election of officers for the 20230-24 year during the recent AGM. Her remarks included “In this time of change in our world, we have seen many organizations and clubs falter and disappear. How then does Rotary persevere? I believe that Rotary actually embraces and welcomes change, and our club is comfortable with the process. The 4-Way Test is the glue that holds us together and those four simple tenets construct a safe and moral environment that allows us to embrace Service Above Self.”
In addition to a set of updated bylaws, the election this year of each directorship of areas of service will be shared by two members. This change reflects the shared responsibility, mentorship, succession and collaboration deserved for positive outcomes in our club. 
Service projects – Kelly Keil and Ian Currie; Foundation – Don Logan and Katya Gustafson; Membership – Scott Randolph and Matt Wate; Public Image/Relations – Joyce Carlson, Cathy Korolek; Fundraising- Deborah Jenkins, Monica Peckford; International and Youth – (I) Bente Hansen, Elke Sager, (Y) Lisa Gunn; St. At Arms – Jill Ehgoetz. Executive members are Secretary Sean Dees, Treasurer Frieda Hamoline, Vice-president Kelly Keil, President-Elect Dave Gustafson and President Jan Gisborne. 
Treasurer Frieda present the year-end financial statement as of June 30 for discussion. 
The new set of bylaws were voted on at the December 7 meeting. 
Foundation director Don Logan arranged for a fundraiser for Polio-Plus at Royal Zayka on November 16. Rotarians, spouses, other family members and guests filled the restaurant.
Don said he was touched and humbled by the turnout, a proud to be a Rotarian.
During his presentation Don said that polio is caused by a virus not a bacteria and scientists Jonas Salk created a vaccine in 1954 and Albert Sabin created an oral vaccine in 1961.
At age eight, Don contracted polio and it was “pretty scary.” He spent two months in hospital and was fortunate that it did not affect his legs and cause paralysis as happened to hundreds of thousands of other children. His brother was pulled from school and a quarantine sign was put up on the porch of their house. Their dad had to move into a hotel to conduct his business. When Don was released from hospital, all the neighbours came to see the polio victim but didn’t come to close to him. 
A second Rotarian, Jan Gisborne, also contracted polio when she was a year and a half old but had little lasting effect. Her father drove polio victims in an ambulance to Victoria where they were placed in an iron lung from Nanaimo where she lived, and it’s believed that is why she got the disease. 
Rotary’s fight to eradicate polio started with a single Rotarian in the Philippines, sitting at a meeting asking that his club raise funds to buy vaccines. It became a Rotary International goal in 1985 when some 350,000 children in 125 countries came down with polio every year. Today there are only two countries where wild polio virus is endemic, Pakistan and Afghanistan. 
In Canada between 1949 and 1954 when the population was 15,000,000, 11,000 people were paralysed by polio. 
After she joined Rotary, Jan participated in a National Immunization Day in India in 2004. Thousands of Rotary and community volunteers administered over 200 million doses of vaccine in a day. Someone asked if India would ever be polio-free, and the answer was no. But in 2012 the country was declared polio-free. Some children had been vaccinated up to eight times, but many suffer from chronic diarrhea, so it needs to be repeated. 
Gisborne went on a second NIDs trip in 2008 to Nigeria where the teams travelled to areas where there were no maps and impossible to traverse roads. 
She said there is concern that cases have appeared recently in New York state, the United Kingdom and Israel. “As long as there is polio virus anywhere in the world, it is just a plane ride away from us.”
For Guess Who's Coming to Dinner on November 2. Kelly Belanger and Heidi Jackson were co-hosts for Rotarians and spouses at Edie Rae's Cafe while Joyce and Don Carlson hosted at their Scotia Place home, and Ross and Barb Cooper hosted an eclectic menagerie of Rotarians at their Savary Place residence. The Coopers had such a great time, they forgot to take photos of their guests.
John Berry and his wife Pat began their visit to Powell River on October 26 with a tour of various Rotary projects with President Ross. Following that they met with members of the board of directors where John outlined his approach to his position, stating that he recognizes that clubs are the foundation of Rotary. He also mentioned that our club is performing very well on many levels.
Following the meeting, held in the same room as the dinner at Town Centre Hotel, John participated in several parts of the agenda in addition to giving an address to members and guests. PRISMA founder Arthur Arnold played the Ukrainian national anthem and then everyone sang the Canadian anthem. They also sang Happy Birthday to Pat who said the day was the best birthday she has had in a long while.
John then presented Jan with an additional Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of her continuing contribution to Rotary Foundation. In turn, Jan presented him with a certificate of appreciation for his program speech. Fraser East, accompanied by membership director Scott, was then inducted into our club by John. 
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of a cheque for $9,000 to Susan Cathcart who represented Grace House and Powell River Transition Society by organizers of the Wunderbread Dance and Silent Auction. 
Rachael Sherstad spoke to our club about qathet Remembrance Day for Lost Species, a community-led two-day event November 26 and 27, harnessing and highlighting local talent and knowledge. It is part of remembrance events that are taking place internationally and which were first held in the United Kingdom in 2011.
Rachael is a passionate member of qathet Old Growth and an active community member in Powell River. Rachael and her husband Dane own and operate Paradise Valley Produce, a certified organic farm that feeds the local community through CSA and market sales. Through her land stewardship, Rachael strives to exemplify sustainable and respectful relations to the land and community.
The day of remembrance is a day for activists, artists and nature-lovers to find creative ways to share their grief for extinct species, ecosystems and cultures, and reinvigorate their love for the natural world. This event includes a collaborative live storytelling and aerial performance where Naomi Steinberg’s storytelling and owner of Aerial Edge Keely Sills’ performers combine on a topic with a local focus.
A film screening of Chris Morgan’s and panel conversation will provide a space for the public to recognize and mourn the loss of local animals, eco-systems and cultures, and offer an opportunity to connect deeply with the land and each other. Organizers aim to inspire collective action to prevent further extinction of animals, habitat, and Indigenous cultures and practices in qathet region.
The event is a collaborative project with Tla’Amin Nation, School District 47 and qathet Arts Council. 
Racheal said while there is a lot of eco-anxiety, grief and stress among people today, the event will feature celebration and hope.
More information will be forthcoming in the weeks leading up to the event. 
New bricks at the Viewpoint are being installed by Rotarian Sean Dees and Friend of Rotary Charlie Gatt. A special way to remember loved ones or celebrate occasions.
If you want to purchase one, forms are available at the Peak office or Chamber of Commerce office on Wharf Street.
Wunderbread Dance Party
Aside from the great music, there was a costume contest, 50-50 draw and silent auction at the Wunderbread Dance Party on October 1. 
On behalf of Sasha Randolph, her husband Scott reported to the October 5 regular club meeting that approximately $8,000 will be donated to Grace House/PR Transition Society. 
Costume contest winners were Wayne and Cheryl Borgfjord, best dressed couple, Paul Vasseur, best female and Ted Norman, best male.
Laura Cartlidge took over just over $1,000 as winner of the 50-50.
Our Rotary club, with its People of Action, is very appreciative of the support from the community which allows it to good in our area. 
Rotary members staffed the entrance gates to the Fall Fair, back Sept 24 and 25, after a two-year hiatus. The first fair was held 90 years ago and thousands returned to enjoy it again.
Our club also had an information booth where people were invited to fill in “Imagine what Rotary can do in our community” cards and be eligible to win a $100 gift basket of fall items. We received many entries with wonderful ideas for community service projects that our club will investigate.
 Sunrise Rotary Club had purchased four large tents years ago for Sea Fair bingo. When the club unfortunately had to hand in its charter, those members donated many items to our evening club, including the tents. In turn, we donated them to Powell River Agricultural Institute, and they were erected for the Fall Fair to create a fantastic Kids Zone. Reviews were phenomenal.
Rotary Club of Powell River members recently donated an AED to Powell River Sports and Fitness Society Centre. An automated external defibrillator is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It's a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, medical device that can analyze the heart's rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.
Accepting the device with appreciation were from left to right Tracy Mazgaj, Susan Young, Chris Becker and Liz Maitland. The centre, run and maintained by volunteers, is set up to allow play with tennis, pickleball and badminton as well as a moderate amount of workout equipment. It is located at 4320 Joyce Avenue.
What fun to have our two Rotary booths at Blackberry Street Party on Friday, August 19, where youngsters could fish for prizes or colour. We bought 400 prizes for the fishpond booth and ran out at 9 pm, a testament of its popularity. Kids and parents loved seeing it again after a two-year pandemic hiatus. 
We were assisted by two members of the former Sunrise club which initiated the popular booth for kids on the street which mainly features music, meet, greet and eat. 
For the colouring contest, a random draw was made for a one-month family pass to Powell River Recreation Complex and individual age prizes.'
PDG Darcy Long presided over the installation of our club’s 2022-23 board of directors at Town Centre Hotel on Wednesday, June 29 with members and guests attending.
Incoming president Ross Cooper commended Katya Gustafson for her No Excuses approach to the past year, adding she was on several other boards, a lawyer, wife and mother in a busy household. 
He noted that Jennifer Jones is the first female president of RI and a Canadian. 
Darcy said she is inspired by Jones’ theme Imagine Rotary and one of her many quotes. “Imagine a world that deserves our best, where we get up each day knowing that we can make a difference.” 
Our club that was formed in 1955 went for 47 years before electing its first female president, and in the past 20 years has had 11 females lead it. Ross added that when RI associates words like equality when describing clubs, our club is living it.
Everything a person does for themselves, ends when that person is finished on this earth, Ross explained. Everything that person does for others, he or she leaves behind a legacy of themselves, and those efforts will continue to help others. People who make the biggest difference in people’s lives are the givers.
Now more than ever we need Leadership of Giving. 
He challenged us to be Warriors of Giving, to be People of Action.
Ross said it all starts with making an assessment of what we, as individuals, can do to make positives outcomes. When we do that, we will find it rare to find a task we cannot achieve.
School District 47 Food Literacy Food Program coordinator Vanessa Sparrow spoke to our club members via Zoom on November 3. She has been with the district since 2019 and has been involved with similar school garden programs in Australia and through UBC. 
School gardens are used as outdoor classrooms and, by consulting with teachers and staff, she developed a version to meeting Powell River’s needs called Landed Learning.
Despite COVID, the program has been able to go ahead in local elementary schools. Vanessa explained that things are going fantastically in following the program’s objective of seed to plate learning. 
Students learn to plant, tend, harvest and prepare fresh food by engaging in hands-on activities both at school and at local farms. They develop an understanding of where food comes from and the relationships between living things — people, plants and pollinators. 
One of our members, Anne, is one of 14 volunteer Garden Friends who work side by side in the garden and kitchen with small groups of students.
During the Q&A session, Vanessa answered a question about the gardens in July and August when schools are out. She said it can be challenging. And she accepted the offer of mulch for the gardens to help over the winter. 
For more information, go to www.sd47foodliteracy.come or Powell River Landed Learning Facebook page. 
Vanessa Sparrow
Darryl Jackson
Darryl Jackson was the first in-person program speaker for a regular weekly meeting at Julie’s Airport Café on October 6. 
When he began, he told his audience he speaks using his hands a lot and had a tough time condensing his personal history in the time allotted. A linear path has never been his path; he has always been a “What’s next?” kind of guy. 
He was born in Nanaimo and grew up in nearby Cedar. In high school he wanted to do everything and was terrified of choosing something he would later regret. His goal was to see what the world had to offer so he ran away with a carnival in his late teens. 
He has had multiple careers including cook, firefighter, fisherman, commercial diver, fish farm worker, entrepreneur who owns an ice cream truck and power engineer to name a few. Each has a lengthy story behind it. He said there was no way to fit all the stories into his presentation so we received the Reader’s Digest version. 
When he arrived in Powell River to start over again, he didn’t know anyone but found people so open and so friendly. His “What’s next?” was gone and this was the first place that actually felt like home. Everything he has always wanted is here. He has two kids, two dogs, two cats, a wonderful wife and the best career of all being a grandfather. 
And he is looking forward to becoming even more involved with his community through Rotary. 
Jan Gisborne, centre, thanks Anna Byrne, left and Cathy Fisher, from Powell River Hospice Society
Cathy Fisher, president of Powell River Hospice Society was accompanied by Anna Byrne, vice-president to present the program at our October 13 meeting. 
Hospice philosophy for palliative care is to support social, emotional and spiritual well-being and does not include heroic efforts to save lives. Death is a normal part of life and not a medical emergency. Hospice volunteers don’t provide medical assistance; they listen and support people in improving their quality of living and dying. 
The society is working with Vancouver Coastal Health to finalize a four-room hospice for Powell River which is greatly needed in this community.
From a high of 80 trained people, the society is now down to 35 due to COVID, however, there is triple the number of people needing support. There are also two part-time staff and that will expand. They have still provided support over the telephone, in gardens and virtually. When someone has a life-limiting condition, all along their journey there will be someone to talk with. Anyone interested in being a hospice volunteer can participate in the training. 
More information about becoming a volunteer, society member or participating in fundraising events can be found at
There was a lively discussion with comments and questions at the conclusion of their presentation.

Kelly Belanger 
Kelly Belanger was born in Bonneville, Alberta, the first of five brothers and one of 30 cousins. 
A family on the move, his changed locales 42 times in three years. For the first year of his life, Kelly lived in a drawer. 
When he was five, his mom said it was time to settle down and they did that in Edson where he started kindergarten. 
At the start of another oil boom, they moved to Fort McMurray with his mom who was then single. 
A Red Seal chef, Kelly has been cooking since he was 12 with his grandmother as his instructor. If he made a mistake, she would whack him with a wooden spoon. She also taught at a culinary school where he eventually attended. She was upset when he said he was going to enroll because she wanted him to hate cooking so she retired the year before he started. Kelly says he know more than a lot of the instructors and pulled off the highest mark in the class. 
Cooking doesn’t pay 
as well as working in the oil patch so eventually he went to work there for seven years, going to night school to become a power engineer.
He decided he wanted to reconnect with his father’s family and moved back to Bonneville where in 1994 he met his future wife. 
Ten years later things became to go awry. Kelly, who is gay, said he came out because he was done with lying to himself. He had been traumatized at the age of 12 when he witnessed his first gay bashing and jumped into the closet. 
The first person he told was his son and then daughter who had hoped their parents would get back together. They came around and are now the best of friends.
He met his future husband, JP, in 2007 and they were together for 13 years and married for eight. 
The couple came to Powell River where Kelly saw that The Old Courthouse Inn was for sale. He loved its Tudor style and fell in love with it the moment he stepped into the building. 
When he found out the price, he two days later he was the owner. The realtor told him it was the fastest sale he had ever done. 
Kelly had redecorated all the rooms and serves breakfast every Tuesday through Saturday from 9-1 in Edie Rae’s Café. If he could find more staff to complement the wonderful employees he has, he would open more often. He’s also looking for housekeeping staff. COVID has been hard but this summer was the best one he has experienced and the inn has been full right through to last week 
Serendipitously, years ago he had bought a pen and ink drawing of the courthouse by Powell River artist Courtney Cressy. It now hangs in his private quarters at the inn.
Kelly said his marriage was great, then got a little rough and then ended.  
He loves Powell River which has so much to offer with the outdoors and many new friends and guests who have also become friends. He has felt so accepted here, unlike a lot of small towns. 
He joined Rotary because he was to give back to this community and feels being a Rotarian is the way to do that. 
This week's meeting is a special event hosted by the VIU Culinary program and will not be held at Julie's Airport Cafe.
Information for those who have purchased tickets is as follows:
Brooks Secondary School
Doors open at 5:30 pm with a prompt seating at 6 pm, please do not be late
Coffee and tea will be provided with dessert, and a cash bar will be open to those who wish to purchase other drinks
Thank you to all participating this week. We will see you there!
Looking for something different to do on a Wednesday night? Join our club in a Potluck for Polio.

We are asking for a minimum donation of $25 per person - $5 being used to cover venue costs at the ARC and a dish to share and your own beverage.

The remaining $20 will be a donation in your name to our Polio Plus fund so that you get recognition and a tax receipt. Every dollar raised is matched by the Gates Foundation with $2.

There is a sign-up sheet and tickets (in exchange for your donation) available at the Peak office if you would like to participate.
Rotary Club of Powell River donated $1,200 to Brave Hearts for 10 new heart rate monitors. Brave Hearts is a rehabilitation program designed for people who have had a cardiac event. The program is a partnership between Vancouver Coastal Health, Tla'amin Health Services and the City of Powell River Parks, Recreation and Culture department.
This week, Wednesday, August 28, is our Adopt-a-Highway cleanup. We will meet at Willingdon Beach for vests and equipment and head out for cleanup. There will be a BBQ to follow for those Rotarians that made it out to lend a hand.
Author and scriptwriter, Rick Antonson, former President & CEO of Tourism Vancouver, was thinking big and long term when his organization launched the successful bid to bring the 2010 Winter Olympic Games to Vancouver and Whistler. Rick will be one of our speakers at the District's 2020 Vision Conference, April 24-26, 2020 in Vancouver. Our focus for the conference is on "vision" and he certainly personifies that.
Book your spot now!
The Tuesday, July 30 event was a hit for all who attended the Royal Zayka Restaurant to meet special guests, District Governor Bala Naidoo and his wife Vasi. Great food and many inspirational words were had by all.
Photos courtesy of our fellow Rotarian, Paul Galinski.
Wednesday, June 19 meeting will be held at the Carlson Community Club for our annual installation dinner.
Cocktails begin at 6 pm with dinner at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $30 and available from Katya at Villani & Company
We will be kicking up our heels at our meeting
Wednesday, June 5 • 6 pm
Star Dusters Dance Hall,
5399 Timberlane Avenue
(across the street from the Timberlane track)

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