Service Projects
Past President
Membership Chair
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Welcome to our Club!

Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
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
Once again the Rotary Club of Powell River provided a casino at Dry Grad for Brooks Secondary School students. It is a most requested activity every year. Rotarians were bankers, dealers and wheeler at the event and provide the tables and wheels that members constructed decades ago. Some of the parents organizing Dry Grad attended the casino at their own graduation and were there with their sons and daughters. Playing with funny money led to real money for the top three grads who turned it for cash prizes at the end of the evening.
Kudos to kids and their parents for coming out to participate in the annual Rotary Bike Safety Rodeo in the pouring rain on June 2. Everyone went home with a prize and knowledge about riding safety. Thanks to First Credit Union, RCMP, Firefighters, first aid, qathet cycling association, Domino's Pizza and Royal Zayka and all the generous merchants for their donations. This is one of the most enjoyable community service projects our club undertakes each year and so many members turned out to help. 
Dr. Tanyss Munroe from Amarok Society brought our members up to date on the Rotary Sunshine Coast Mothers School we support in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh. 
Tanyss was a principal and director of education in some of Canada’s most troubled and remote communities. She as invited to Bangladesh 19 years ago to bring improvement.
to the impoverished education system with an international charity. She moved there is 2005 with her husband and their four children aged five to 18. 
They saw millions of children in the densely packed slums who had not ability to beg an education. They started Amarok’s first school in 2006. With partners like Rotary, there are no 27 schools in the world’s most densely populated and highly polluted city. With radical extremism and corruption, it is a challenging place to be. 
They made the decision to teach mothers to teach children, so they have a futures other than smashing bricks or scouring garbage dumps. 
Mothers commit to teaching five children in their homes once they have attended school to learn to read and write as well as obtaining numeracy competency. They learn more than the ABCs including hygiene, activism, community service and running their own businesses, taking care of each other and others in their areas. They operate daycares, food banks and soup kitchens.
Some men were against their wives attending school but now take pride in their abilities to help improve the family lot with their abilities. They have stopped beating their children and wives. 
In nearly three decades, children have moved from no knowledge to finishing elementary school, and some moved on to high school and university. This has stopped child marriages at the age of 10 to much older men and stopped child trafficking. 
Tanyss told us some very moving stories about individuals from our mothers’ school. 
More information about Amarok can be found at 
Local Rotarians were recognized at the District 5040 Conference held recently in Terrace. 
There are 48 clubs and nearly 1,300 Rotarians in the district.
Joyce Carlson was named one of 10 recipients of the Don Evans People of Action awards for Exemplary Service Above Self. Evans was district governor in 2017-18 who died unexpectedly while on vacation the following year. The award was formulated in his name.
Carlson was also a finalist for Rotarian of the Year. She joined Rotary in 1995 and has held several leadership positions, including president for 2002-2003 in the club that was chartered in 1955. She holds the club record of 12 for sponsoring new Rotarians. 
Current president Jan Gisborne, one of those 12 people, will be district governor for the 2025-26 year.
“It would be easier to say what Joyce has not done for our club than to list the many things she has done. She exemplifies Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self, and has been a mentor and friend to me and others.”
Two major accomplishments were chairing qathet Festival of the Performing Arts organizing committee for more than two decades and, for nearly the same amount of time, serving as liaison with Brooks Interact Club, a Rotary youth group in high school. She has been the leader organizer for many projects over the years and currently serves as public image director.
With the largest net increase of eight members in the 2023-24 year, The Rotary Club of Powell River was awarded the district membership award. Co-chairs are Matt Wate and Dan Devita. 
“With a combination of a long-time and a new Rotarian, this committee has brought in both corporate and individual members, bringing fresh ideas and ensuring the future success of our club,” said Gisborne. 
Our club is so proud of its Brooks Interact club. Definitely the most fun activity of the Interact year is the annual BYOB, Bring Your Own Banana day. It is used to raise awareness of the club with a secondary goal to cover expenses which it did once again, even with providing school staff with banana split with ice cream, whipping cream and chocolate, butterscotch or strawberry sauce.
Rotarians who are undertaking Spring Cleaning have a way to dispose of their unneeded items. So, start that cleaning and set them aside.
We have two tables at the Community Garage Sale on May 25 from 9 am to noon. Items can be delivered to the complex/arena at 7:30 am. And we have reserved a table for your youngsters who want to participate. They can keep their donations. 
This will be a fun fundraiser for our club. 
Our social committee of Carol, Jill and Robin organized a photo car rally last Wednesday, March 27. We ate a meal under cover at the Save-On entrance to Town Centre Mall. Then vehicles full of Rotarians and guests motored around the Westview area, taking photos of themselves at various locations. Prizes were issued at the end of the evening with demerits for being late. Some stories of incidents that occurred on the road will stay forever on the road.
Members of our Rotary club sent this greeting photo to mothers at the Sunshine Coast Rotary Mothers School in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Rotary club as well as clubs on the lower Sunshine Coast have been sponsored the school since its inception several years ago. Currently the clubs are selling a 1000-piece Sunshine Coast Puzzle to raise ongoing funds for the school. 
Four sets of Rotarians and their guests were given an address on January 31 and advised to go to that location with a plate of appies and a beverage as a social alternative to a regular weekly meeting. Hosting were Katya and Dave, Fraser and Jacqueline, Dan and Marian and Monica. From all reports it was a successful evening planned by our social committee Carol Brown and Jill Ehgoetz.
When Rotarian Sean Dees heard one of his favourite science fiction author was attending the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention in Chengdu, China’s tech centre, he made the decision to go. It seemed serendipitous as he has been learning Mandarin for two years. 
At a recent meeting, Sean shared a multiple of photos and video clips on the convention, the friendly people and food. 
It was the first time in its 80 years the event has been held in Asia and attendance was capped at 10,000 people. He found the technology and virtual reality offerings “mind-blowing,” adding the whole experience was “something else.”
And he estimates he only cost him about $50 to attend. 
Chris Bolton shared his life story with our club recently after very short notice when a previously booked speaker fell ill.
Chris, who has an alter ego named Conni Smudge, recently moved to the qathet region but has performed here numerous times.
While the short notice precluded Conni from coming in all her finery, Chris did bring a suitcase with examples of her flamboyant fashions and accessories. 
He said drag queens have been around forever, providing entertainment for millions. 
As a youngster Chris was bullied because he was effeminate and can relate to young people figuring out their own sexuality. “I can tell them I’ve been there too.”
His empathy, once considered a bad thing, is now his superpower and he says you build bridges by crossing over them.
He wants to help people feel they belong because they do and that if you are authentic, you will attract good things to yourself. His mantra over the last year is “Prejudice is just a commitment to ignorance” and he wants to help to eliminate that.
Chris has some serious messaging that is delivered plenty of humour.
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

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