Service Projects
Past President
Membership Chair
Public Relations
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
With her enthusiasm and infectious laugh, District Governor Shirley Pat Chamberlain was our program speaker for the November 8 meeting. She said her head would have exploded in advance had she known that she was inducting eight new members that evening, four individuals and one corporate membership with four people. 
Her induction speech and one to the club in general were inspiring. One member commented at the end that she thinks she will go to the District Conference in Terrace April 26, 27, and 28, 2024.
Shirley Pat told the new members they were being given “the opportunity to take the opportunity” to join the Rotary family, mentioning that it was started 117 years ago by Paul Harris based on the idea of service and friendship.
She encouraged them to try, learn, fail, repeat and get messy. 
Happiness and a long life come from social connections and giving back to others, both of which are available through Rotary. 
Rotarians give their time, talent, tools and treasure to make their community and the world a better place.
Our Rotary club was the successful bidder among six organizations interested in leasing the former Scout Hall at Timberlane Park.
Dan Devita took the lead in submitting our application back in March and the announcement from city council was made in September.
The building needs a lot of work but as Dan mentioned in the application, we have the human and financial resources to accomplish that.
There are several other buildings on the site including the army, navy and air cadet corps, fine arts association, square dancing club and soccer club that have been renovated.
Our club had its own building for years until it burned down. 
One of the pieces of information that city council liked in our application was our willingness to rent out space to other organizations for a reasonable fee. 
Once a lease is received from the city and approved by directors, a plan for renovating will be put together in the near future and work parties will commence.
Major upgrades will be required for the kitchen, bathroom and entrance to make the building accessible.
It was an evening of fun, drumming, singing and dancing when Chris Weekes presented a program for our club on August 23.
He provided statistics from a London Royal College of Music study that outlined the many benefits of drumming, and the positive impact it has on reducing depression and anxiety and improving social resilience and mental well-being with the releasing of endorphins.  
Chris noted the same effect at Sunshine Coast Treatment Centre as he saw men and women undergo wonderful transformations through drumming. Drumming provided a powerful form of expression and communication and the shared experience of drumming in a group facilitates feelings of belonging, acceptance, safety and care. 
He explained the djembe (drum) embodies the spirits of a goat with its skin, the wood of a tree and its maker. It is considered an earth element instrument. 
“Every moment of drumming, we are participating in the dance of the universe,” he said. 
For over 30 years, Chris has developed and facilitated group workshops for emotional, psychological and spiritual health. The workshops cover topics such as Grief and Loss, Trauma, Addictions and Recovery and Attachment Theory. His experience includes working with people with disabilities, mental health and addictions, at risk youth, unemployed and homeless.
Chris immigrated to Canada from Barbados at the age of 14 and started working in Human Services at the age of 30. He has education and experience in Case Planning and Management, Behaviour and Emotional Regulation Skills, Substance Use and Addictions Counselling, Trauma Informed Practice, Ethics, and Sound Practice. 
As a musician, Chris uses Ancient Shamanic Drum and Rhythm Healing practices. He is currently facilitating Therapeutic Drum Circles for those in addiction and recovery programs as well as Community Drum Circles for all ages.
Great food and fun games were on the menu at our club's Pot Luck and Decadent Dessert Derby September 6. Many thanks to Carol Brown and Melanie Munroe for providing members and guests such a fun social evening. 
Long-time Rotarian Don Logan spoke at a recent meeting about Stan Gisborne who died at home July 6. He told stories about Stan and his strong support of his wife and Rotarian Jan. Wherever the couple travelled, Stan was the one who searched out Rotary clubs in their destinations so she could do a make-up. That was at a time when attendance was critical to the organization and Rotarians were able to make up at a club if they were away from their own.
Stan rebuilt old cars and a sailboat and loved to travel. Don and his wife Judy travelled with the Gisbornes on many trips around North America and called him a fantastic tour guide with a good sense of direction. 
Don offered a toast to Stan which was responded to by all the Rotarians present at the meeting. 
Former Rotary Club of Powell River member and two-time president Don Jones visited our club June 7 with his wife Marilyn and long-time friends June Vogl and Stewart Alsgard. 
Don came to Powell River in 1963 to work for a month as the wharfinger at Westview Wharf and stayed till his retirement. He remembers the year after he arrived, a huge expansion at MacMillan Bloedel pulp and paper mill was announced. 
He met Bud Vogl who was into real estate and insurance and became friends with him and his wife June.
He started working for them in their insurance business once he passed the licensing test and Don eventually bought them out. 
Don hired former Rotarian and former club president Real Sigouin in 1993 to work at Westview Agencies and a year later sponsored him into Rotary. In 1999, Real bought the company and Don retired. 
Don served as president of The Rotary Club of Powell River in 1976-77 and again in 1987-88.
Don was instrumental in providing information, photos and funding the signage at Willingdon Campsite that explains the Popeye, Wimpy, Brutus and Olive Oyl characters which were once part of an award-winning Rotary float that entered several parades outside the community as well as locally. 
Don now lives in Surrey/Whiterock and belongs to that Rotary Club where he is very active.
He talked about our club’s involvement in Sea Fair and the Westview Viewpoint and there were comments from several members such as Ash Varma and Deborah Jenkins whose fathers were members of the club at the same time as Don. 
Peter Harvey filmed Don’s presentation and it can be seen at
Dave Formosa, who has returned to a familiar role as president of Powell River Chamber of Commerce following his final term as mayor, spoke to our club recently. 
After the former chamber president decided he was unable to carry on in that role, Dave was asked to take it on again. At first, he said no but reconsidered.
With long-time manager Kim Miller retiring, there are five great candidates for the position which should be filled soon, he added. 
Dave said that COVID was very hard on the chamber and its membership dropped off as businesses struggled through the pandemic. Once the new manager is in place and there is a focus on rebuilding membership numbers, he is very optimistic that the chamber will again be a robust advocate for small businesses. 
There is a “fantastic” board of directors, Dave said, which gave him comfortable that a solid, dynamic team will make good things happen.
He explained his vision for a library of seniors who want to supplement their incomes by working some shifts in businesses that are impacted by a lack of employees. He related a story about a former vice-president of Lego who worked at the gas dock and did maintenance at Lund. He feels there are more people like him. A wine and cheese event will be held to bring seniors together with the chamber. 
The chamber will also focus on ways to help decrease crime in the community and will advocate for Powell River to pay one way for ferries. This is the only ferry-dependent community whose citizens pay coming and going. 
A final project he is looking at is one that people may think is “totally nuts” and that is to have the city and regional district merge to save costs. This regional district is the only one in the province that has only one city or town as part of it; all the others have more than one.
Dave said he enjoyed hanging out with Rotarians and our club is truly a benefit to the city.
After a hiatus of three years, our club was able to resume Adopt A Highway, cleaning up from Alberni Street to Brooks school. There was a terrific turnout followed by a barbecue steak dinner cooked by Scott and Dan. 
Tanyss Munro from Amarok Society spoke to our club via Zoom recently, giving us the latest news from our sponsored school in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh.  
She was introduced by Bente who said she has found her and her husband Gem’s dedication to Amarok to be inspiring with their motto Teach mothers to teach the world.
Tanyss explained that each school is comprised of 25 mothers, all of whom teach five children. The youngsters, who are the most vulnerable children, move on to government schools, then universities and college, breaking a long line of family illiteracy. The schools also reduce child labour, prostitution and early marriage. Through her presentation, she introduced Rotarians to several mothers who have changed their own live and the lives of others through Amarok. 
Tanyss says giving children an education is like opening the treasures of life. It also makes them impervious to terrorism. 
She is very appreciative of the support Amarok has received from the Sunshine Coast Rotary Clubs. 
It was a complete surprise to members of The Rotary Club of Powell River when the announcement of the Outstanding Club of the year came on the last night of the 5040 District Conference. For the first time in its 68-year history, Powell River was deemed recipient of this honour. 
Asked about the honour during his year as president, Ross Cooper replied, “I am only a representative of a club that’s very productive. The benefit of being president is at the conference, I got to lead the group of members who attended from Powell River as we all took the stage after our club’s name was announced as the winner.”
While word got back home fast, Cooper still had the satisfaction of announcing the award to the rest of the club at the first regular meeting after the conference.  Then everyone celebrated again May 17 when the embroidered banner arrived with the club’s name on it and it was presented by Ian Grant, Assistant Governor of our district. 
“It’s a confirmation of a club that operates well, is impactful to our community and to our international programs,” Cooper said. “We are very pleased. Our motto is Service above Self and it shows in the many projects our club has contributed such as the Westview Viewpoint and Rotary Pavilion at Willingdon Beach. Our club hasn’t stopped and is currently erecting a gazebo shelter at Palm Beach with another on Texada Island coming this summer.”
It was a full house at Julie’s Airport Café on April 5 for a program by four RYLA participants who shared their recent experience from March 25 to 28.
Quinn Carlson said it was the best four days of his life and talked about being involved in four different acts in the Variety Concert. Kanon Sugioka said she most enjoyed the team-building, Louise Liu loved the board games and Paige Sigouin said she most enjoyed the campfires.
Kanon presented a PowerPoint that outlined the many activities that were undertaken by the approximately 90 participants and staff.
Rotarians has lots of questions for the four students from Brooks Secondary who all responded positively about the event and were appreciative of being in attendance. 

 Our club meeting on March 15 had a busy agenda with two program speakers.
Townsite Jazz Festival founder and artistic director Paul Cummings attended our March 15 Rotary meeting and outlined the 10 ticketed concerts and guest musicians who will be attending the 2023 event. 
The music educator has long been a jazz fan and loves to expose his students to that genre. His love of jazz began when he was in Grade 9 while studying trombone at Courtenay Youth Music Camp with the likes of Phil Dwyer and Diana Krall. 
After growing up in this community and leaving for education and career opportunities, Paul moved home in 2000. He began teaching music at Brooks Secondary School and Powell River Academy of Music. He loves combining music with travel and has taken his choirs and bands on 17 international tours. 
His enthusiasm for the jazz festival he created is shown in his statement “there is nothing like it on earth,” adding that it follows the Festival of the Performing Arts, Kathaumixw and PRISMA.
Three high school will have groups open for the professionals who will be in town April 14-16.
More details can be found at
Powell River Community Foundation Alston Miller reported on the most recent Vital Signs report that was released recently. It was the third Vital Signs conducted after the initial one in 2011 and second in 2015. The third was delayed because of COVID-19.
Information is compiled from a survey of residents, organizations and Stats Can as well as other provincial and local studies and reports. 
Population is 21,496 in qathet region with13.943 in the city of Powell River.
Alston presented some of the information from the report including the top languages spoken at home after English. They were Punjabi, French, Italian and Mandarin. 
A living wage here is now $23.33 per hour, up from $16.31 six years ago.
Employment is highest in healthcare, followed by retail and construction. 
There are 3,020 people living below the poverty line, including 460 under the age of 18. Some 28 per cent of seniors are impoverished. 
70 per cent of people reported that have excellent health and wellness. 
94 per cent were satisfied with arts and culture and 83 per cent were satisfied with the community’s diversity. 97 per cent were satisfied with sports and recreation activities available. 
94 per cent shopped at Quality Foods, Freshco and Save-On. 42 per cent grew some of their own food. There are 50 farms that generate $3 millions in revenue.
26.4 per cent of all calls to police involve, thefts or B&Es, mental health issues, assaults for impaired driving. 18 people died in the last year from opioid overdoses. 
The report is available online at
Allison Boulanger and Keith Allen spoke to our club on recently to answer the question “What does Community Futures actually do?”
Allison was born and raised on Texada Island and spent 36 years with a local bank. Recognizing she wanted a change; she started working at Community Futures as business lender in 2017 and became executive director two years later when Pam Krompocker retired. She says it was the best decision she ever made.
Keith came to Community Futures in March 2020. He worked in banking in downtown Vancouver before moving to Powell River. The transition to business advising and lending has been a perfect fit for him with its more localized, grassroots level. 
Community Futures is federally funded with 48 offices in BC to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners make their dreams become a reality. They are different from banks in that they help with business planning, one-on-one meetings and workshops to ensure job creation and retention with a rural focus through local decision-making. 
Two programs they support are Export Navigator for getting product out to the wider world and Venture Connect, to help people wishing to sell their business through succession planning.
Gary Shilling spoke at a February meeting, outlining the many improvements that have been undertaken at Patricia Theatre since it has been purchased by a society, making it eligible for grants that were not possible under private ownership. 
Gary visited Powell River over a decade ago and fell in love with the area. He and his wife purchased property here and moved in in 2015. He became enamoured with the theatre and has spent many hours writing grants for funding much needed maintenance for the building that is nearly 100 years old. 
Over the past few years, the efforts have resulted in 100s of thousands of dollars coming to the project, including a private mortgage to help buy the theatre. The theatre company started in a tent further down Ash Street in the early 1900s.
The roof has been repaired and more improvements are planned, including reconstructing the original canopy on the front of the building as well as replacing the fire escape from the balcony so it can be used again for a seating area. 
Seats need to be replaced but that will require a huge amount of money. In the meantime, Gary suggested with a chuckle that people bring a pillow. 
He commended Brooks Interact for donating $250 which will go to help replace a urinal in the men’s bathroom which will cost $1,000. 
Nagi Rizk, Manager Engineering, City of Powell River, Wastewater Treatment Plant, gave a detailed progress report through a Power Point presentation to a recent February meeting.
This is the largest project ever undertaken in the history of the community, costing some $99,000,000. 
For many years the city has been out of compliance with its current wastewater treatment plant located near the ferry terminal in Westview.
The new plant will consolidate the three current ones including Townsite and Wildwood. 
Nagi shared some facts including that 4,000 loads of soil were removed from the new building site located in proximity of the old golf course. Some 7,000 cubic metres of concrete were used for the foundations. And a situation with a nesting bird caused construction to halt for three months. 
The plant is now 90% complete and testing with fresh water is taking place.
Nagi grew up in Cairo and became a Canadian landed immigrant in 1988.
He is married to Nancy (Ogden) from Powell River who he met in Toronto.
After challenging his P. Eng exams here in 1995, he started his own consulting company. He and his family have lived in California, in the San Juaquin Valley and Bay area specialising in FEMA projects. They also lived in Cranbrook and Lake Cowichan before moving back to Powell River in 2018 to accept a position with the city. 



Ellen Byrne and her husband Sean spoke to our members recently about qathet Refugee Sponsorship group that she formed in 2021 with a goal to bring a family to this region by 2024. Ellen said when the organization has collected the required $26,000, it will cover the initial start-up fees and six months of living expenses. She said with the program her group has chosen, the Blended Visa Office-Refereed Program, the federal government pays for the other six months. To date, they have raised $14,600.When the group has the money, there are different profiles from which its members choose a family they think would be good for this community. All potential refugees have been selected by the United Nations Refugee Agency and have been living in camps for several years. It can take up to four months for them to arrive in qathet region. The group is responsible for arranging housing and basic necessities, finding health care providers, enrolling children in school, connecting with community resources and provide emotional and moral support. Ellen said qathet Refugee Sponsorship group is comprised of 10 people who try to meet monthly and is always looking for new members. For more information or to donate, email and Facebook page

Katcher Guidance founder and owner Cheryl Milne shared her personal experiences with loved ones who have dementia at a January meeting held at Willingdon Creek.
In addition to information and statistics about dementia, Cheryl spoke about the journey with her father-in-law, father, both of whom have since died, and best friend.
Cheryl said her presentation was meant to be informative and not a substitute for medical advice.
She explained that every case of Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, but every type of dementia is not Alzheimer’s which accounts for 60-80% of all diagnoses. Only 5-8% of people over the age of 60 will live with dementia at one stage. There is a difference between forgetting your keys and having memory loss that affects your day-to-day abilities, she explained.
Cheryl’s father-in-law Tom had Lewy Body Dementia and his wife noticed the change when he lost his sense of direction and was unable to figure out how to wrap Christmas presents or remember how to spell common words.
Her father had dementia but was not diagnosed with a specific type. Her mother noticed when he was unable to do what was pervious his meticulous banking and was overwhelmed when presented with a menu at a restaurant.
Her best friend Katie was diagnosed with Early Onset Familial Alzheimer’s at 42, a disease that her mother died from at age 52. She was a baker and found she could not follow recipes. There is a 50% chance that her three children will get the disease.
Cheryl quoted, “Life is in the present, anxiety is the fear of the future and depression is fear of the past. Joy is found in the present moment.” With all three of her loved ones, there was joy to be found in some way and she wanted people to know that they can be happy.
The Alzheimer Society of BC is running a campaign Full of Life with Dementia that includes Katie and Cheryl and its website is 
Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy president Michael Robinson spoke to our club on January 11 and was joined by founder Arthur Arnold who entertained us with a selection on his cello.
Robinson bought property in the Saltery Bay area in 2004 and has lived there since 2016. He has been a PRISMA board member for seven years. 
Robinson spoke about the economic and cultural benefits of PRISMA to our region with financial spinoffs through wages and suppliers, hotels, retailers and restaurants as visitors flock to the two-week event. An economic multiplier of 2.3 is used to define the financial impact. 
Like other cultural festivals in Canada, PRISMA relies heaving on values unique to this community with its cadre of enthusiastic volunteers.
Arnold mentioned that last year audience numbers were 65 percent of those pre-COVID and he expects them to increase this year. He is looking to breaking through a “glass ceiling to bring more joy” through music to the community. 
“It could only happen here,” Robinson quoted from his annual report that will be presented at the upcoming AGM.PRISMA takes place June 12-24, 2023.
A group of Rotarians helped PRISMA move its office space at Town Centre Mall on February 4. It is just one of the many ways our club supports this major cultural event in qathet region.
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. 

Bulletin Subscribe

Subscribe to our eBulletin and stay up to date on the latest news and events.