Club Information
Welcome to our Club!
Vancouver Arbutus

Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Tuesdays at 12:14 PM
The Arbutus Club
2001 Nanton Ave
Vancouver, BC
Canada
Monthly in person meetings are at the Arbutus Club on second Tuesday of the month.
Home Page Stories
 
Dianna and Grant Bow Out Gracefully2022/23 Board and Presidents Installed
 
A new Rotary Year begins in July!  It is a joy to be Past-President and look back on a big year of accomplishments. Grant and Dianna have been exemplary Presidents and recounted their experience of sharing the role. They both agreed that it was better having two to share the load. That is, of course, what incoming Presidents for 2022/23, Jean and Lydia will also do, as will Presidents-Elect Hans and Bishnu in 2023/24.
 
Incoming Rotary District 5040 District Governor John Berry officiated with the help of Assistant District Governor Mary Anne Velayo.  Michael Cowhig said a few words about the Rotary 4-way test.
 
Grant used an analogy to open his remarks, saying that Rotary Arbutus has grown from a single seat bush plane to a 747 Jumbo “where we need two presidents and possibly a flight engineer!"
 
He thanked Lydia for countless hours she donated to help the club then went on: “We’re very grateful to Lana our treasurer, and Yoonhi our secretary, for their skills, membership chair Hans for his dedication and helping to guide our new members, Lexie who worked tirelessly on our return to the Arbutus Members’ Club for luncheons, Michael Cowhig for staying in touch with the Point Grey Interact Club and facilitating the return of RYLA, hopefully next year.  Michael Frost wrote copy for our speakers and Yoonhi and Jean kept information on our website and Facebook pages.  Sam and Mary led our Foundation donation efforts.  Last but not least, thanks to Ron our project Chair.  He led with energy, enthusiasm and inventiveness.  With his leadership we did a tremendous amount of work. We donated $10,000 to Honour House, a refuge for first responders with PTSD (so they could install a water tank for forest fire protection);  $2,000 went to Watershed Watch for Salmon enhancement projects and Mundy Café for DTES help to the homeless.  We donated $8,000 to post-secondary bursaries for high school students, and $4,000 to the ‘Hoopathon’ fundraiser for more youth scholarships, including $1,000 to the LEAF program (indigenous girls).  We invested $5,500 in the 1,000x5 books for preschoolers program which partners with the Vancouver School District’s Early Learning programs. $2,000 went to the MOSAIC Immigrant Services Emergency Fund for agricultural workers, $900 to Rotary Youth Leadership’s North program and $2,000 went to the Helping Families in Need Society. Our members have individually donated to help Ukraine, wildfire relief, flood relief and Polio Plus.  We had a number of hands on projects too, used clothing and fundraising drives, bags and purses for the homeless in the downtown east side, we helped with the Aunt Leah’s Christmas tree lot sales and decorated the Abbeyfield seniors’ home at Christmas.”
 
Grant went on to say that in joint ventures and outreach “We worked with Aunt Leah’s, Abbeyfield, First Nations groups, first responders, the Lytton community, post fire, both by donating clothing and fundraising.  We worked with Vancouver School  Board’s Early Learning Program, we bought pierogis to help fundraising for Ukraine and showed up for their vigil, we donated household items for new Ukrainian immigrants, and  brought in interesting and diverse speakers to our members and guests.  We had representatives at the Vancouver City Hall for a polio free day, and we worked on  Hoop-a-thon both financially and in person.”
 
“As opportunities to work with other Rotary clubs in District 5040 arose, we attended District meetings and workshops, had a presence at the District Conference, and had member Leigh sitting on the District Policy Committee.  And did you know, to date the Rotary Club of Vancouver Arbutus has donated $303,960 to the Foundation? One member has become a member of the prestigious Polio Plus Society and many members support Polio Plus through their own donations.”
 
“It’s important that we take this time to reflect on the great things we did this year as Rotarians.”
 
“Let’s celebrate our successes as we transition to next year’s leadership team. “
 
In closing Grant added, “Let’s remember that there is still a lot of good we can do in our community, in our District and in our world.”
 
Co-President Dianna presented the following “Rotarian in Action” certificates to:
 
Yoonhi as Secretary and tireless volunteer “who has demonstrated through her actions and deeds the importance of giving back to the community. Through her dedication and commitment to the goals and objectives of Rotary she has made this place a better place to live. Yoonhi works effectively and energetically in the background.  She worked tirelessly on the 1000x5 Book Project.”
Lydia: as President-elect, championed the 1000x5 Book Project, helped Ron, our Project Manager get it off the ground, and intervened with Lotteries for funding. We have distributed almost 2,000 recycled and new books in less than 6 months.  
Lana as Treasurer:  in recognition of all the work she does in the background, setting up our finances, paying our bills and connecting with Rotary International.
 
Incoming Co-President Lydia introduced the incoming Board members and then noted that there are many others who make the organization function including:
SamFoundation Chair    
HansMembership chair and Moritz (Young Recruitment)
Publicity/VisibilityMembership support team
BulletinMichael Frost, Jean and Lydia
Youth Chair/Bursary LeadGrant
Speaker bookingsElena and Dianna, with assistance by Joy
Volunteer hours reporterJoy
Social OrganisersCommittee of the whole
FundraisingCommittee of the whole
Sargeant at ArmsDianna
 
In other news:
 
We have a big Team of volunteers for the Bicycle Fund raiser ready to go!  Thanks to all for stepping up
 
Lydia has three people joining her for the trip to meet Jennifer Jones, our new RI President Elect, at the Richmond Tree Planting Ceremony
 
Great News: Teddie is recovering well from her broken leg and sounds cheerful as ever. We are going to make her an “Honorary Member” as of July 01.

More Great News:  We have a Picnic Social Planned (Thanks Elena!) for July 22.  Stay tuned for more info and hold the date!
Thanks to Grant and Lana for all the hard work of getting the student bursary awards out!
 
The Rotary Ride for Hearing on July 10th is well under way. Our club will volunteer for one station – on Spanish Banks. This one is for early risers - our slot starts at 6am and set up is also required. Thanks to Dianna, her niece, Christine, Chris, some spouses and partners and Michael “If I wake up in time” says he.
 
The drive for early and mid-career members
 
 
We heard a presentation from our soon-to-be new member Moritz Hirche.
 
Moritz, who is an Executive Recruiter, spoke on Young Membership initiatives … from a strategic location in Tofino where he was camping. Grant was able to project his well-prepared slides from his home office – oh, the wonders of Zoom!
 
Moritz’s plan gives a nod to the focus on greater visibility (including participation in local community events), a key goal for the in-coming Presidents. This goal will support membership drives in an on-going fashion.
 
One of the first steps is to improve our social media profile, which Moritz has volunteered to do, getting us on several on-line platforms including LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as on Trello or Slack for in-house communication and planning. Good material is needed, particularly for Instagram. So look up what you might have in the way of photos and get ready. Moritz also suggested visiting other clubs to glean their best practices, analyzing local businesses, focusing on what our target groups are, updating our onboarding process, setting up a club manual, having top speakers as a draw and many other great ideas.
 
Hans, our Membership Chair, has folders from past campaigns that will be helpful and Leigh immediately sent out an earlier club brochure example. We will focus on our projects and plans. Our websites will get a polish with some well produced materials and lots of pictures.
 
Lydia reminded members that Rotary International has many great materials which we can access and adapt.
 
Discussions were lively as people recounted their own experience with membership issues. Moritz suggests there be a membership update at each meeting so our focus is maintained. Christine noted that she has experience with an on-boarding program they used in Calgary. Let’s access that knowledge.
 
The general discussion concluded that younger members will attract other younger members so we need to keep that in mind.
 
The challenge of getting the true messages about Rotary out into the world appears to have been taken up. Christine is ready to help with social media and offered the opinion that we should look at this as a “myth-busting opportunity”! Mike also voiced his enthusiasm, reminding us that our activities should always be front and centre. And Grant, always the thoughtful one, said that we need all members to commit to contributing a certain number of hours every week to Rotary so we put meat on the bones of all this great enthusiasm. A Membership Committee report at each meeting should lend some focus.
 
And here’s an idea: we all use a note on the bottom of all correspondence that says:
 
“Proud member of Rotary Vancouver Arbutus”
 
Perhaps with links to our website and/or photos.
 
In closing Lydia mentioned that she’d like to have a Sergeant-at-Arms for the coming year. Dianna Smith has volunteered. Thanks Dianna!
 
 
 
We were pleased to be able to greet Ron Suzuki as our featured speaker, whose chosen subject was the facts about, and the effects of, the internment of the Japanese community of the Lower Mainland in December 1941. Ron’s family lived in Steveston at the time of Pearl Harbour (that community constituted about two-thirds of that riverside community at that time) and the preoccupation of riparian community in that year was manifested by the fact that there were approximately 22,000 persons who were relocated into substandard housing (disused hotels and the like) in the interior, and the community’s 1,200 fishing vessels distributed among non-Japanese fishers residing in the that area of Richmond.
 
It would seem that Ron was - and obviously is - made of strong stuff, for while he plainly suffered grievously from the resulting mistreatment at the hands of fellow Canadians, he and his family regarded themselves as lucky in their varied relationships, even with local Ukrainians, who at the time were not much better off than the interned Japanese. Living conditions were plainly rugged, the community existed with the absolute minimum of civil rights.
 
Considering the trials and tribulations which Ron must have suffered in his formative years, his talk was an almost unrelenting appreciation of the manner in which life has treated him, even to the extent of his having joined the Vancouver Sunrise Rotary Club upon his retirement. And from his talk, we listeners could glean that his ‘retirement’ followed an almost unrelenting interest in the fostering and tuition of the young, both by way of encouragement to engage wholeheartedly in sporting activities and to concentrate on gaining an education. He and his family remained in the Interior until they were ‘allowed’ to return to Delta in 1951, at which time the family ‘made a deal’ with a local cannery, and were fortunate to find a "house” … which until 1953 was without electricity or hot running water.
 
Obviously something of a polymath, Ron, when at Delta Secondary School, gave himself the task of remembering the names of all of the approximately 2,000 pupils, and shortly thereafter became one of the founding organizers of the Vancouver East Sports League, which provided sports opportunities the young and for low-income communities, and his sterling efforts were publicly remembered when upon his retirement he was awarded a Civic Merit Award by the city, a very distinct award that, before it can be given, must receive the unanimous agreement of all the members of city council.
 
If Canadians are in any doubt as to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity, this talk was something of an educational trip for, one suspects, a good proportion of today’s audience.
 
(Your correspondent should point out that many of Ron’s real achievements are omitted from this précised tale: there is much left to tell.)
 
Rotarians have donated fifteen million dollars to help Ukraine.
 
 
 
In the days that, we all hope, represent the decline of the necessity of Zoom meetings (though perhaps not their complete disappearance), we received an erudite and detailed report from incoming Joint-President Lydia respecting her attendance at the Convention held in Prince George and the expectations for the coming year. The latter discussion she prefaced by describing three overriding themes: the first is literacy, then youth and, perhaps above all, the expansion of membership.

Lydia described the newest of Rotary’s goals as the Environment, a subject which had already gained a certain focus in the planning of Jean and herself. Naturally, our Club already has some cachet in light of the substantial work carried out so successfully by Past-President Joyce in the cleaning of local, and particularly on far-away, shores both with and apart from other club’ assistance (at which earlier time it had to be focused on ‘economic development’).

Lydia and Joy have indeed formulated some useful ideas arising from discussions arising ‘at large’. One particular theme is the eternal issue of ‘Club Revitalization’, our Club in particular having shrunk substantially in membership over the past decade (this is not real ‘shrinkage’ actually, our accretion of Members having been reasonably healthy, but age, moving away and the Passing of Members has left an undeniable impression of numerical decline).

Literacy, Youth and the Environment will therefore form the core of the coming year’s activities, which she and Joy are to a degree working on with attention to interesting speakers, not always easy in the reign of Zoom. Additionally, she proposes an occasional Nighttime Beachwalk along the foreshore: this, of course, will demand the enthusiasm of the younger and fitter of our members ... a group which at this point perhaps needs a few new acolytes. Lydia describes this as a ‘Visibility Event’, a description that might need a bit more explication! Lights and candles she described: your correspondent is looking forward to the details, which one hopes may include a dose of hot toddy.

The three overriding themes will be Literacy, Youth and Environment (the first of which is already under way). The last-named was already a major topic of discussion at the Conference, and of course we already have some experience upon which to build.

Turning to ‘local’ issues, revitalizing the membership is going to be a prime focus: there is no reason why a good number of suitable candidates should not be expected. Lydia believes that an active membership of 30 to 40 members is achievable, and some ‘activities’, such as popcorn stands at public markets are doable, though such activities are going to have to be carefully devised to bring in the right candidates. We can propose to some neighbourhoods such thing as clean-up projects and the like, and approach some groups by seeking exposure on community websites. The active collection of books can also be combined with actively approaching communities. We will also invite top-notch environment-advocates to speak to us, preferably with an enhanced guest-list.

Finally, we have experience and expertise that we can proffer to the community: we need an enhanced group in the future, and to a degree the process will need some funding. This was a thoughtful and perhaps profound presentation, one deserving of continued attention ... this is set to be an active Rotary Year!
 
 
 
Our club welcomed Sarah Kirby-Yung, Vancouver City Councillor, to our lunch at Seasons in the Park.
 
Sarah was first elected to Vancouver City Council in 2018, previously serving as a Commissioner and Chair of the Vancouver Park Board. Sarah's focus is on achieving meaningful action on housing affordability, public space enhancement, and support for small businesses. She spoke on various topics, particularly the following:
  • A major challenge of each new city council is that they inherit a 4-year budget from the previous council.
  • Affordable housing is very much on everyone's mind, and the City is always negotiating with developers to strike a balance between density and public amenities, including provisions for affordable housing.
  • The City also works closely with BC Housing to develop affordable housing where BC Housing provides the initiatives and the City controls zoning. 
  • Public opinions vary widely between higher density and neighborhood preservation as many Vancouverites resist densification.
  • Living in Vancouver has become so expensive that only about 20% of Vancouver Police Officers actually live in Vancouver, so in the case of a major emergency, officers living in neighbouring cities such as Burnaby, Richmond, or Coquitlam might have difficulty coming into Vancouver to help with response.  Thus, planning is underway to facilitate better priorities in assisting first responders to settle within Vancouver boundaries.  Same issue exists with Vancouver retailers and businesses trying to hire people who actually live in Vancouver. 
Thank you Sarah!
Our guest Zoom speaker on Friday, May 6th was Hugo Velazquez, Senior Manager of the Community Outreach, Advocacy and Migrant Worker Programs at MOSAIC.
 
Hugo’s program assists migrant workers in cases of abuse, medical and dental issues, substandard housing and overcrowding. His talk was eye-opening and compelling.
 
This program began out of a presentation to various government ministers and resulted in the creation of 22 agencies funded by Service Canada, the Law Foundation and other organizations.
 
The funds provided cover many of the needs of migrant workers however some key areas are unaddressed. For instance:  MOSIAC found a number of Vietnamese workers being abused and evacuated them. While those workers applied for permission to stay, which took time, their wages, medical coverage and food were not covered. Then the floods happened in the valley adding crisis to crisis.
 
MOSAIC identified 150 workers in great distress as a result of the floods. Often they needed help with wages as, if the job stops, it takes a long time to apply for EI and the forms can be confusing. They're also lacking funds to get them through the day. Often MOSAIC staff pay for things out of their own pocket. Hugo says he has to tell his staff to stop working at times, they’ve so devoted and are so affected by what they see.
 
These workers are essential to our economy, they do work Canadians won’t or can’t do. Hugo cautioned that when you go to an Okanagan wine tasting you’re not seeing what’s going on behind the scenes.
 
When workers need legal help due to employer abuse they need legal counsel. Hugo hopes to be able to hire a lawyer to assist with these issues.
 
MOSAIC has brought bad housing down from 70% to 40% but it’s still not enough. Sometimes the conditions are terrible – workers sleeping on the floor. A video setting out the need for a Migrant Workers Emergency Fund is at https://youtu.be/KGUdClnmCWI.
 
They get calls every day from workers, 6,000 arrive in BC each year and Hugo estimates they get 30,000 requests for assistance annually. Despite this they’re aware that many don’t complain due to language and cultural differences. Often farm work is very remote, plus they’re staying only a relatively short time, which complicates things.
 
On the positive side, Worksafe BC and the Firefighters have been very helpful. They also received a $50,000.00 donation from CLAC (CLAC | Better Together).
Hugo suggests we might establish a Rotary Emergency Response Fund, which could include other Rotary clubs in the area. We could also advocate on behalf of the Migrant Workers Emergency Fund.
 
The CLAC foundation will match any other donations made before the end of June, which is something to keep in mind re any contribution we make. If you’d like to donate as individual, you can do so at Migrant Workers Emergency Fund.
 
Hugo is also working toward obtaining funding for newcomers with disabilities. He feels with climate change and COVID these issues will be big.
 
Our speakers were Margaret Carley and Andriy Dubovyy.
 
Today (n.b. May1st 2022) your correspondent reports on the lunch meeting of April 29th 2022 (quite obviously, some dating precision is required of these rapidly evolving events). The subject was Ukraine: at the time this publication, the central drive southwards to Kiev (as it was) is bogged down by half-mud-submerged Russian tanks and supply vehicles (apparently mostly abandoned by the Russians) and a siege of Mariupol that is characterized by Russian pounding of that port city by rockets and artillery with the apparent purpose of reducing the city to uninhabitable ruination. Nevertheless it is quite apparent, if only from the newscasts and video images from that ravaged country, that Ukrainian morale is much higher than might be expected.
 
In that light, we were privileged to welcome as our speaker Margaret Carley, a good Canadian ‘teacher', a former BMO executive, and latterly real estate agent, who had the good fortune to be born in Ukraine, still speaks Ukrainian, and reveres her status as a native-born Ukrainian. And it was not by mistake the she brought with her another, somewhat younger, Ukrainian who works in the media.
 
A brief history of Ukraine did not come amiss, it being one of the most unfortunately-placed racial/national  groups in the western world. Ukraine is in many respects not so much a nation as an historical and geographic conception of a discrete people who have experienced invasions, racist upheavals, and a fractious history, all of which have been largely dictated by geography and geology. As Margaret reviewed the history of Ukraine, one sees a ’nation’ conceived in strife and the ambitions of others who discerned in its alluvial plain a cornucopia of economic resources, and a population that it was relatively easy to attack and subjugate. In earlier times, the region (it is best to describe it in those terms for a few centuries) was the largest component of the Lithuanian Empire, itself the largest ’nation-state’ in Europe for much of the 16th and 17th centuries, which perhaps saw its splendour quickly excised at the seminal Battle of Tannenberg in 1410, but thereafter the ‘Polish’ component of which revived, until in 1618 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was twice the size of France, a period after which the 1658 Russo-Polish War occurred, during which, in essence, Russia ‘absorbed’ Ukraine.
 
The history of Eastern Europe as studied today is largely one of fractional indifference: immensely complex, fraught with irrational strife, and complicated by the lure of certain economic and geographical anomalies (the centrality of the Ukrainian plains and the ending of the Hungarian plains at the Eastern extremity of Austria) that has almost precluded an understanding of the region at times other than those of horrendous strife (Teutoburger Wald, Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, and the 1st and 2nd World Wars), such that the afternoon’s history lesson was one that made us appreciate how limited is our Western sense of weltanschauung. Given the time limitations, the ‘lesson’ was necessarily curtailed: further study can well be continued in Volume 1 of The Bolshevik Revolution by E.H.Carr … a heavy read but a worthwhile one.
 
But we were not finished. After Margaret, we heard from her guest, Andriy Dubovyy, who proudly sported  a Ukrainian-flag badge, and who told us even more about the reality of Ukraine, its people, the nation and the country itself. Obviously a ‘son of the soil’ he described the strength of the nation in its sense of unity (assisted of course by its President) and the will to survive of the people. He described the soil of the nation as being almost it raison d’être, Russia and Ukraine producing a very large proportion of the global supply of grains. Naturally he addressed the nature of the resistance as being solid and well-lead, but needing, of course, modern and relevant armaments. It became evident that we were seeing something of the reason why the Russian Army was being demonstrated to be something of a paper tiger … and simultaneously as an international pariah.
 
Given the times in which we are living, and the very real support that the Ukrainian people are receiving, this presentation was one that could probably have occupied us for the rest of the afternoon: its complexity was manifest and the obvious interest in the listeners was such that could probably have occupied another hour or two in what became a necessary history lesson. We are however obviously going to have to wait for a good while to see how it all ends: but we will likely not have a problem in obtaining more, and equally relevant, speakers when such a time arrives.
 
 
We welcomed an erudite and learned Rotarian, a member of the Rotary Club and one of its leaders in the search for Peace, its extent, Rotary’s involvement, and the present state of its commitment to  international advancement. Chris Offer, a man of great experience in a number of fields, took us back to 1921 when at the Rotary convention in Edinburgh the 4th object of Rotary (“Peace and World Understanding”) became the 4th Object of Rotary, a feature of its operations for the next century. In 1942 (a seminal year, of course) a UNESCO conference in London codified the concept, which was further cemented by 25 Rotarians at the UN Charter conference held in San Francisco, where Rotary was one off 42 observer organizations. Most recently the Peace Center was established in Uganda in 2021 (a dubiously ‘peaceful’ environment, be it noted).

While being shown some interesting ‘The Rotarian’ covers, we were reminded, almost by chance, that Peace is by no means defined by ‘the Absence of War’ (that of February 1942 featured a close-up of a smiling Russian sailor, more a story of peaceable hopes than a realistic demonstration of that period of the history of strife, and another fascinating slide demonstrated the essential components of peace and its foundations (‘Well Functioning Government', 'Free Flow of Information’, ‘Acceptance of the rights of Others’ and the like, concepts integral to Peace in its broadest sense, but which do not naturally flow from a discussion of “what is peace?”).

Rotary’s Areas of Focus include arenas that we would perhaps not normally associate with a discussion about Rotary’s role in the worldwide issue, and includes ‘Disease Prevention and Treatment’, ‘Water Sanitation and Hygiene’ and ‘Education and Literacy’, areas not normally tied to any generally held concept of ‘Peace”. We were also shown the publications of the IEP, and a very graphic map of the regions of the world where peace is becoming the norm (North and South America), where the ideal is deteriorating (the centre of the African Continent, and Northern Eurasia), and the most “peaceful counties” (headed by Iceland, New Zealand and Denmark) and the least peaceful (which we probably would not have difficulty guessing comprise Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, veritable cesspits of bad government and wanton violence).

Chris concluded his presentation with a list of what ‘one Rotarian can do’. These propositions include signing up for the Rotary Positive Peace Academy, nominating a Rotary Peace Fellow Candidate, and a Rotary Peace Fellow candidate for the 2023 class. There is much that each Rotarian can effectively accomplish.

This was a profound, enlightening and perhaps rather worrying lecture at a time of such international tensions and strife that the whole concept of “Peace” being attainable appears remote, even ‘pie in the sky’. But it is perhaps upon such concepts as were discussed on this Friday that mankind can found a lasting peacefulness, if not actual “Peace", however defined).
 
Lawrence (Lawrie) Duff - December  6, 1924 – February 21, 2022
 
Jean, Lydia and Bishnu will be attending the District Conference in Prince George in mid-May.  Lawrie Duff will be honoured in the “Time to Remember” presentation with the following information:
 
Rotary Membership total: 62 years    
1960 Downtown Rotary Club of Calgary
                              1980 Rotary club of Calgary East
                              2010 Rotary club Vancouver Arbutus
 
Lawrie's father, Robert Duff, had been a Rotarian since the 1920’s.
 
Lawrie was a Rotary Foundation Major Donor Level 1.  He was also a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow, a Sgt-at-Arms for Rotary Vancouver Arbutus and the designated photographer for his Rotary Clubs
 
Lawrie’s career as a photographer started when he enlisted in the RCAF in 1943. He was stationed in England 1944-45 as Ground Crew Photographer and was in the Army of Occupation in Hamburg Germany from 1945 to 1946.
 
Lawrie married Elizabeth in 1949 and they had three daughters.  They live and work in Vancouver. In 1953 he founded Duffoto Process Company in Calgary. His company employed 139 people over 44 years. He was also involved in Calgary Real Estate 1949 – 2022 and helped restore a historical building in Ainsworth Hot Springs to turn it into a museum (1964-2008). Lawrie retired in 2010 and continued to be an active and much loved Rotarian in Vancouver.
 
Lydia reported that the 1000x5 book recycling project for zero to 5 year olds collected 624 books in a 2 week book drive at Lord Roberts School in the West End.  Many thanks to Holly and Leilani at the LRS Parent Advisory Committee for making this possible.  Thanks also to the very generous parents who donated their gently used books.
 
Each book now has a label with the Rotary Wheel and an image of a young child reading .  The label says
“1000x5 Vancouver
This book is a gift from the Rotary Club of Vancouver Arbutus”
 
We had 2 volunteer labelling sessions for the books received in this campaign.  Thanks to the members who helped.
 
Thanks also to Yoonhi who picked an order of new books while she was on Vancouver Island so we could save the shipping costs.
 
And thanks to the generous publishers of these books: Orca Publishing and Native Northwest, who have provided deep discounts to support our project.
 
Thanks also to Colleen Dickie at the Vancouver School District for her help, her guidance, for picking up books when they are ready and for even supplying boxes when we were desperate for ways to transport books.
 
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In addition, Elena spoke about the upcoming Candlelight Prayer Vigil for Ukraine on March 25, 2022.  Details are at Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral (uocvancouver.com)
 
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It was great to have guests John from Nova Scotia, Carol from Calgary (via the Heritage Park Club) and Ken from Ottawa join our Zoom meeting.
 
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Our speaker today was Mary Pichette, author, speaker, and trainer.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mary's passion has always been to empower women and families so they can create better lives for themselves. Her background in social work and helping women overcome their PTSD has given her significant insight into the challenges families can face in good times and bad.

Mary has carried forward her passion to help and today her drive is to have every Canadian complete their Will and Estate plan. It is one small way she seeks to help us and our families be better in how we live today.
 
In today's changed world, too many families have discovered that without a legally sound Medical Power of Attorney, family members can be left in shock and chaos as they try to make medical decisions without guidance and forethought.  A family's grief is magnified a thousand fold and drawn out for years when they are left without a final love letter.  Mary does her best to inform Canadians of the urgency of having a sound estate plan.
 
 
You are invited to an evening of Fun, Fellowship and Fundraiser of the Lower Mainland Rotary Foundation of District 5040 at the Palace of Riverside Banquet Halls. Doors open at 5:30 pm and experience the Filipino way of welcoming guests. Dinner to be served at 7:00pm. We will have silent auction and 50/50. There will be great performances and dancing all night.
 
Get your ticket by scanning the QR Code below or click this link:
 
 
See you all!
 
Our speaker for this Zoom meeting was Arissa Lau, a representative (and notable speaker for) the Vancouver branch of Crime Stoppers.
 
This nation-wide entity is an independent, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is the operation of a ‘reporting system’ for the collection of information about crimes and criminals. Endorsed by all levels of the criminal justice system, it operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The information is collected by a live person (not a computer) and at this point can say that it operates in a possible 115 languages. No details of the caller are taken, and the assurance is always that the caller will never have to testify in court … and is not required to leave a phone number or an address. This preservation of privacy has been endorsed by the Supreme Court of Canada (R v. Leipert [1997] 1 SCR 281) and ensures that there will, at least through the Crime Stoppers medium, be no fear of retribution visited upon those who choose to report information about the commission of a crime.
 
One is pleased to note that the provision of information may lead to the payment of a fee, generally up to $5,000 if the information leads to a charge or an arrest. The caller is provided with a code number, and it is with this number that communication (further information or advice about an award, for examples) is established and maintained. There is also a mobile app that is available (though one might be concerned as to the ‘security’ that this mechanism might affect) and the number is (for those of us who might be interested!) 1-800-222-8477. And it succeeds: since 1976 there have been, through this collective mechanism, 965,163 arrests, 1,501,776 cases processed, property recovered to the value of $2,122,776,681, and drugs seized with a value of $8,976,384,548. The effect of all this ‘crime stopping’ is that, worldwide, there is a crime reported at the rate of 14 per minute. (Of course, this makes the witnesses to this presentation wonder about the extent of crime overall - here we are plainly dealing with the tip of a gigantic iceberg!).
 
Closer to home, the system seems to be equally effective: in Vancouver in 2021 there arrived 4,741 tips, property and drug cases of the value of $2,290,000 (though one might cavil at the precision of this figure) and 96 separate charges. Since the inception of the programme it is calculated that over half a billion dollar in property and drugs have been recovered
 
It has to be said that the presentation was excellent, but, one suspects, the information itself was somewhat stunning to most of us. We were treated to a rare view of the mechanics of a system that obviously works … but one still has to wonder how extensive is that iceberg.
 
We welcomed our speaker Colleen Dickie, Manager – Early Learning of the Vancouver School Board's StrongStart program to our luncheon at Seasons in the Park.
 
Colleen's subject was one of considerable contemporary significance, and of much longer a relevance to the education of our children and the welfare of any society - that of reading and, just as importantly, the youthful joy of reading. The School Board has programmes and facilities (by coincidence, our Club is at this very time in the midst of 1000x5, the acquisition of books for the less well favoured by our society with ready access to suitable books and learning) that are surprisingly varied in their scope and substance.

The first, and perhaps the most important of all such learning is for the young or gain an early appreciation of books and their central role in our current society.

In the beginning their is the transition to kindergarten, or many children quite a trying experience. The StrongStart Programme is designed for 4 year-olds, and along with physical literacy and healthy eating is an essential component of a successful youthful path to a happy experience once in school.

Vancouver has a good number of successful StrongStart programmes but with 29 School Districts and only 19 such facilities in operation, the number is still inadequate. There are a good number of ‘institutions’ that assist (Kiwassa, Coastal Health and the Vancouver Symphony are some examples), but there is an excess of demand over supply. The Immigrant and Refugee Early Learning Programmes are quite as important as the “Welcome to Kindergarten” for the 4-5 year-olds, but as Colleen concluded, the essential core need is to learn to love books and communicate with others.
 
 
 
 
Yesterday we lost a dear friend, Lawrie Duff. In notifying us, Lawrie's daughter Jane wrote:
 
"The Rotary Club meant a great deal to my father. He was nominated as a member in the 1950's. His father joined The Rotary Club of Calgary in the 1920's. He really believed in the organization's mandate, did a great deal of volunteer work and visited clubs all over the world making many lifelong friends along the way. You welcomed him so graciously when he joined your club and he looked forward to every meeting, also the virtual ones. Thank you for your friendship."
 
May Lawrie rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing to all who loved him. He will be greatly missed.
A Busy Club Assembly
 
President Dianna presided over the Assembly and gave a fine invocation quoting Mother Theresa
 
Elena provided a Rotary Moment:
  • On February 23 we celebrate the 117th World Understanding and Peace Day. Quite a Milestone!
  • She also noted that our International President asks us to lead by example, to be a good tenant in the world, and to support women’s needs.
  • He also presented us with a challenge: for each member to bring one person to Rotary. That does not have to be our club but it would be nice.
 
President Dianna invited us to start with our “happy bucks” for the week.
Here are some of the good things reported:
 
Teddie is back from her stay in the hospital and is all smiles; Grant is blessed with a son who did well on his report card. He also says he has spoken to Shail again; Lawrie is cheerfully grateful for the spring flowers and budding trees; Elena is excited that her company’s start-up is close to launching; Leigh and his wife had a happy first sleep-over with their granddaughter; Yoonhi shared the location of the best doughnut shop ever – in Port Alberni, and gave a nod to Bare Bones Fish and Chip shop too (Yum, we’re all over those travel tips!); Jean is thrilled that her exercise classes have resumed and has registered for the Rotary Convention in Prince George; Bill pushed for a restart to in-person meetings and stated he is passionately in favor of looking after the environment.
 
On to the Business of the day … There was Lots of it!
 
Membership:
Chair Hans reported that he has been speaking to 2 people who are interested in joining us. Well done, Hans.
 
The Projects committee has been busy:
Lydia reported that we have Lord Roberts Elementary on board to do a 2 week donated book drive, in early March, for our 1000 x 5 Project. This gets more books into the hands of kids up to 5 years of age. Members are also using emails, social networks and other means to get gently used books donated. Ron reported that we still have approximately $2,000 available to buy new baby books too.
 
Ron also gave us details regarding the cheque presentation for Surf Riders, to be held on Kits Beach, where shore line clean ups happen annually. Thank you Joy for championing this.
 
Yoonhi described attending the donation presentation at “Helping Families in Need Society” with a good contingent of members. (The ‘giant cheque’ looked great!) Yoonhi took photos of the impressive operation and will lead the way for us to do some hands-on volunteering there.
 
Draft Constitution Accepted:
Though we have society status through our Rotary Arbutus Fund, our co-presidents made a good case for also formally applying for society status for the Club itself. A formal constitution was needed. The Club members agreed to use the constitution written by Rotary International to expedite the matter. A motion was presented to “accept the Draft Constitution as circulated and to initiate Provincial Society Status”. It passed to that effect. Co-Presidents Dianna and Grant are taking care of the paperwork.
 
Policy Committee of District 5040
Leigh is our very capable representative on this hard working committee. He reported that the District by-laws were done last year, and policies are now under consideration. The Board of 5040 will deal with their passage. A procedure manual is also being created. And they are working on a Privacy Policy. Leigh reminds us that input is always welcome. He notes that the District Committee meets for 2 hours every week getting the details right and that he is busy and happy about their progress.
 
In Person Meetings:
There was considerable discussion about re-launching our luncheon meetings at Seasons Restaurant as well as our socials at various places and times. After discussion it was decided to have at least one Zoom meeting each month should be maintained for those whose work lives make it hard to attend in person. Dianna and Grant will issue a schedule to all members. Check your emails. I think there is a Dim Sum lunch social planned. The most important thing will be attendance at Seasons.
 
And remember, ‘hybrid’ meetings (Zoom for those unable to attend lunch in person) are always available when we’re at Seasons. They have the tech and Grant knows how to use it! So join us and hear some great speakers.
Next up is Colleen Dickie on the 25th.
 
(But remember there is no meeting on Family Day this month.)
Lost and Found
 
Great News from co-President Grant: he has had an actual conversation with Shail! We found him thanks to Mary. Grant reports that Shail is feeling much improved and is well taken care of.
 
Lydia reported that she had sent him a card and a letter. Anyone wishing to connect with Shail please ask Mary or Grant for his address and phone number.
 
When you’re stuck in a hospital and can’t have visitors, a letter or a call is much appreciated.
 
The Project Committee is Buzzing
 
We learned from Projects Manager Ron that there will soon be a $1,000 cheque presentation to Surf Riders, a shoreline clean-up and ocean watch organisation that we have had a long association with, thanks to our member Joy. We have volunteered at their shore clean-ups.
 
Also in the works is a donation presentation for $2,000 to the charity ‘Helping Families in Need’. They have many programs including Santa Buddy, Birthday Buddy toy room, and an adopt -a-family at Christmas program. They have grocery gift cards for those in need and sock programs. And they have a furniture and house-wares collecting and donation service.
 
But wait, there’s more. The thing that warms our hearts is that it is entirely volunteer run. Just like Rotary!
 
Since we are always looking for hands-on volunteer ideas, here are a few programs that we could pitch in with: crews helping people pick out household goods, linens and lamps; sorting and shelving toys and making gift baskets; Checking and repairing electrical items; sorting and shelving cutlery, clothing, house-wares, blankets, quilts and bed linens; furniture pick-ups unloading and deliveries; gift-wrapping toys … there’s more but you get the picture.
 
Watch for Ray Abernethy to join us as a speaker once we are able to have in-person meetings. He is a ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ too!
 
We’re also entering our season for the bursary presentations and the Hoop-a-thon event.
 
Watch for more about that soon.
 
Thanks to Dianna and Grant for their work on our new Constitution. It is a labour of love but not a lovely labour …
 
Speaker - Lina Azeez of the Watershed Watch Salmon Society
 
We were pleased to be addressed by Lina Azeez on the subject of fish habitat, salmon in particular, within BC, after a year, perhaps one of many, that has seen profound difficulties in fish management. Lina was initially brought up in Sri Lanka (a land with an abundance of water), emigrated from there because of an internecine war to Dubai (a land of practically no fresh water), and then settled in B.C. and Yukon. The arrival in Yukon was of importance, as she went by a small craft all the way down the Fraser on a 25-day journey to the Salish Sea: this taught her to see at first-hand how the natural habitat for our fishing industry is under considerable stress, not only from US fishermen culling BC’s natural stocks, but also from Canadian misuse of land adjacent to the supposed riparian abundance.
 
This large quantity of water (Canada ‘possesses’ some 25% of the world’s fresh water) is partially a chimera, for there is a huge volume stocked up behind dams, for example, which salmon can only navigate by artificial means. And we are all aware of the fact that we are in an era of climate change, which is now having the visible effect of dykes and water-management mechanisms generally being destroyed, and of their antiquity being made so apparent in the lower reaches of the Fraser. Lina pointed to a particular situation wherein one systemic collapse of the old dykes resulted in a breach the size of a football field, a disaster for future breeding salmon (whose cycle of birth to death is 4 years) to the extent of losing perhaps 60-70% of an entire future generation.
 
Of course, there is also another side to this natural depredation, and that is that the flooding of the Fraser basin makes the land so fertile. But that fact also means that there are 2m people living within the reach of the natural boundaries of the flooding river. We have some 100 pumping stations and 500 gates which will spontaneously ease the pressures of an over-abundance of flooding waters, but while they act as effective controls in normal circumstances, we have recently seen how abnormal occasions can arise when the aged infrastructure cannot adequately handle the over-abundance of water, and yet at the same time operate as a clog upon the ability of returning salmon to navigate their way up-river.
 
We also saw some evidence of the need to update the fish-control features. The gates installed for flood-control are of little value to fish (in fact, the very opposite, for they are easily shredded if they find their way into the mechanisms: this is a problem that can be overcome with axial pumps, but this is hardly an inexpensive solution).
 
It was a sobering and enlightening talk that produced some worthwhile discussion. Mike Farnworth has announced a Flood Infrastructure scheme that is designed to face a major and developing problem, that of replacing obsolete infrastructure and outdated management schemata. There are of course substantial flood recovery problems, and there is need for more and updated pumping stations, which are costed at about $1.2m apiece. However, First Nations, with a strongly expressed interest in the whole subject of fishing management, are not interested, and quite reasonably so, simple (sic) reconstruction of what has hitherto sufficed being quite inadequate.
 
And Lina’s parting words were redolent of issues which one felt to be close to her heart: “ … and this doesn’t begin to deal with fish-farms and over-fishing!"
 
Lina also suggested a site we can use to send a letter to the powers that be in support of their work. It's https://watershedwatch.ca/tell-trudeau-and-horgan-to-invest-in-wild-salmon-habitat/.
 
 
  • President Grant reminded people to let Mary know if you have made your Rotary Foundation or Polio Plus donation directly to RI. That way she and Sam can make sure that everyone’ donation is ascribed to our club. Just a little note to Mary will do. She’ll take it from there.
  • Co-President Dianna is working hard on our constitution and several members, including Leigh, are reviewing it. The work is in good hands.
  • Speaking of Dianna, she has taken over the task of finding speakers for us, so direct any ideas you have to her. She is working on March since the speakers for February were already booked.
  • And speaking of speakers, Mary has found Shail!!  He is being cared for at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Contact Mary if you want to send a letter or card. Lydia has already sent both to him, but we are sure he would appreciate all good wishes.
  • Your in-coming Presidents, Jean and Lydia have been doing President-elect pre-training to prepare for the intensive PETS courses in February. They also met this week to talk about potential Club Goals. If you have some ideas, please contact them directly.
Projects:
  • Michael and Grant report that the Christmas decorations have been taken down at Abbeyfield Senior’s Home. Well done, guys!
In other project work:
  • Another 100 brand new baby books were delivered to the VSB Early Learning program. They were very gratefully received. Make sure to attend the meeting on February 25th when Colleen, the head of the School Board’s Early Learning division will speak about their many programs to help children as they enter School for the first time.
  • And the club has embarked on a social media, family-and-friends donation drive to find gently used books for 3 to 5 year olds. This age group needs books too and we need to acquire them by other means until we can access schools (which are currently off-limits to all but teachers and students) and parents for our book drives. Lydia has sent info and letter templates out to all members to help them with their approaches to their social circle.
Speaker - Michael Cowhig
 
As is so often the case, we were treated to a first-class talk by one of our own members, Michael Cowhig.
 
 
We all know Michael as a wit and a first-class photographer, and on this occasion he took us through a tour of Churchill, Manitoba, a spot that geography seems to have almost left behind. In the recent past almost completely impossible to reach except by air, the city now thrives on tourism: the map shows it to be a long flight from Winnipeg, although now there has been a resumption of access by train that serves the city three times a week, and it looks as though it does so in some style (although for the majority of the time the ’station’ is the Museum). As a passing thought, Michael pointed to the apparent iniquity of the events after 2017, when the train track was washed out in several places and its US ‘owners’ declined to effect repairs, a task that in the end fell to be the responsibility of the Canadian Government. It was repaired … but at the cost of the abandonment of Churchill as a seaport, grain exports then being diverted permanently to Vancouver. Churchill has been left to depend for its survival entirely upon the tourist trade.

That trade is managed with consummate care. The accommodations are unusual, comprising long, white ‘barracks’ that provide all of the normal amenities of life, and the town boasts the cleanest streets that one is ever likely to see! The need for the cleanliness is that while wildlife is the main draw for visitors, polar bears could become an ever-present danger if they were attracted into ‘town’ by anything remotely resembling edible garbage. Bears, as Michael explained, are very efficient at utilizing their energy intake: they spend most of their lives hunting for food, usually favouring seals (particularly their blubber), and presumably some other aquatic delicacies. The time not spent hunting and eating seems to be spent in sleeping and resting - carbohydrates are not to be wasted!

The pictures of the bears themselves were of course very fine. The actual ‘expeditions’ are carried out in Crawlers, rather inelegant long and wide ‘busses’ that rise some 6 feet off the ground with massive tires, a design allowing superb and safe views of the bears themselves, and some interesting efforts by the bears to fruitlessly reach up the vehicles’ sides to provide superb close-up photographic opportunities for the passengers. These ingenious machines cost approximately $1m apiece, and the vehicles' interiors are spacious rather than luxurious, for they have to be able, for all of their expeditions to serve all of the practical needs of their passengers, there being a prohibition on any passenger getting out of a vehicle when actually on one of the tours. Some even sport a type of verandah deck at their sterns, though the outside temperature somewhat discourages too much outdoor  activity (on the day of our talk, the temperature on Hudson Bay was -32 degrees).

At this point there are believed to be 900-1,000 polar bears in Churchill’s general vicinity, and, as stated, there is very little reason for them ever to venture into the town itself … though if they do, an alarm warns the residents of their presence. There are said to be, additionally, some 60,000 beluga whales in Hudson Bay: far from a frozen desert, the northern part of Canada (and there are thousands of kilometres of Canada still left to the north of Churchill) that we saw demonstrated a dry, cold and featureless arena with far more natural inhabitants than one would anticipate.
 
Not only an entertaining presentation by Michael, but quite educational, one would suspect, to most of us.
The Joys of International Projects
 
Speaker Bridget Jacob of the Ladner Rotary Club, gave a fascinating account of the International project she was involved in during 2019.  It was sponsored jointly by the Rotary Clubs of Ladner and of Richmond Sunrise. 
 
Partners, colleagues, friends and believers took on that year’s theme of “ROTARY CONNECTS THE WORLD” and headed for the Philippines. All along the way the power of saying YES! was evident. 
 
The Ladner Club and the Richmond Sunrise Clubs wanted to bring the ARES Education System to the Philippines. ARES, or the Asian Ruggedized Education System is a compact, simple, fact-filled shoe-box size electronic database of world knowledge for pre-kindergarten kids to high school students. Our goal was to donate 3 of the ARES systems to 3 different High Schools along with 30 simple chrome book laptops  by which the system could be accessed.  In addition, enough books and shelving were donated to equip 5 different elementary schools on the island of Panglao. 
 
So the adventure began: First financial donations were collected from the 2 Rotary Clubs and an application for a District 5040 Grant was completed.  Next, with the help of their local Interactors, hundreds of books were collected. Finally, through a partnership with the legendary Rotary World Help Network, the books, medical equipment, mattresses, wheel chairs, computers (and gently used soccer team shirts for young players) were all loaded onto a container headed for Cebu.
 
The ship’s container arrived in Cebu City and was transported to Panglao ahead of the arrival of the ARES team.  In February 2020 the team arrived in Manila to be greeted by many of the Rotarians who had been part of a Rotary Friendship Exchange to Vancouver the previous year.  The team was welcomed with a marvellous show at IMUS National High School where the first ARES donation was made.  Onward to Cebu and a ferry to Panglao where the real work began.  The container had been unloaded but the books still had to be distributed to the schools so sleeves were rolled up and many local Rotarians and community workers pitched in to ensure the books reached the appropriate elementary schools.
 
For the Ladner Rotarians all these exciting projects were a thrill to see. Bridget was quick to note that their books were not just a donation to the 5 schools – they set up real libraries!  A team was assigned to properly label all books by age, category, subject etc.  … is that still called the Dewey Decimal system?
 
To make sure all funds went to the projects, the Rotarians paid their own travel expenses.  They were generously supported and feted by local clubs from Manila, Cebu and Panglao.
 
As a final note of concern, Bridget reminded us that their project completed on the very eve of the incoming pandemic.  These days many ships are delayed or stranded at ports where extra demurrage charges are incurred.  We shall see how this might affect Rotary World Help.
 
Bridget is an enthusiastic and committed Rotarian and her Club’s work on this project was inspiring as was Bridget herself.  Well done Ladner and Sunrise Rotarians!
 
and our Michael Frost had this to share regarding Bridget's presentation:
 
Our guest speaker, Bridget Jacob, is a lawyer and a member of the Richmond AM Club, though this is perhaps the end of the line for what has been a peripatetic life: born in Malta, residing then in Europe, and then alighting upon those verdant pastures that we call Richmond, Bridget proved an erudite and excellent speaker, in particular on the subject of a major project that her Club, alongside that of Ladner, recently completed in the Philippines. The presentation was one of considerable quality. As with most presentations, a picture tells a thousand words, and the photographic journey through Manila, Pang Lao and Cebu greatly enhanced the tale of the provisions of libraries, sports facilities and some excellently described local cuisine to parts of a country that is still relatively poor and vulnerable to disastrous typhoons, floods, a wayward government, and a geographical problem in living so close to what China considers its domain.

The pictures of Manila, and Bridget’s description of the heat, the crowding (it is a city of some 12m souls) and the description of the joy with which school supplies are received by the under-resourced schools all combined to show that Bridget’s reason for joining Rotary (to provide to the segment of the third world that needs so much assistance) had succeeded inasmuch as some 424 containers of needed goods (and books are still necessary in a country where use of the computer is less than many in the West believe) have been delivered to that nation. On the evidence before us, Bridget’s experience in what has obviously been a selfless endeavour, has been both fulfilling and fulfilled.

Your correspondent was particularly taken with the picture presented of Cebu, as he had occasion to visit its rather sorry roadstead in 1962 for some 3 days. What we see now is a city of some 3m of considerable economic importance, and with a geographical advantage for the site of a container port that is both modern and symptomatic of the vast progress made over the intervening years. At that time I saw a port of few facilities, more horse-drawn carts and wagons than trucks, and many pedestrians who had slung around their hips gun-belts (with guns, be it said) more redolent of Western movies than of even-then modernity. Now this presentation showed us classrooms, libraries and happy young students whose lives have unquestionably been augmented by projects such as the one which we saw at our meeting. It would have been nice if we could have seen more of the success of such Rotary projects!
 
 
 
In other Club news:
 
President Dianna and President Grant both encouraged us to join Zoom meetings at other clubs. It’s simple, just look at the Club’s website and find out when their meeting is scheduled and get the access info.
 
Here’s a question for you –
                 
How many years has Rotary Vancouver Arbutus been operating? 
 
                  Answer: Since 1977. 
 
                  A venerable 52 years of service!
 
And speaking of old … discussion about our constitution and by-laws took place.  It was decided we’d do some sprucing up and backfilling to the modern era.  Our By Laws were updated a couple of years ago and now a Constitution needs a look.
 
Projects
 
Ron and Lydia gave a 1000 x 5 Book project update
 
We will be sending 100 new “baby board books” to the Vancouver School District’s Early Learning division in each of the next 4 months. 
 
Since we are unable to set up donation bins at schools until the lockdown at VSB is over, we need gently used books for kids 3 to 5 years old.
 
Club members are asked to send a request out to their social circle, friends, family and other acquaintances asking for used-and-in-good-condition books for 0 to 5 year olds.  We can pick up or they can drop off to our members.
 
Lydia will write up an explanatory note that members can use in their efforts to get used book donations.  Watch for that in your email and let’s get collecting!
 
And be sure to attend the meeting on February 25th when Colleen Dickie, dynamic educator, Manager of Early Learning, and our champion at the Vancouver School Board (Yay!) will be our speaker.  She will tell us about the many programs she and her team have to help young children get ready for school. We are now one of their pre-primary champions!
 
Next Week’s special speaker is Michael Cowhig. You will have seen a large white friend over his shoulder in Zoom meetings.  Michael will tell us all about his trip to the arctic. Some gorgeous photos are sure to appear.  See you all on January 28th!
 
 
One of our new projects is to provide 1000 books to children by the time they are 5 years old.  Our president received an envelope full of home made thank you cards from our first Early Learning/Strong Start class.
Home Page Stories
 
Dianna and Grant Bow Out Gracefully2022/23 Board and Presidents Installed
 
A new Rotary Year begins in July!  It is a joy to be Past-President and look back on a big year of accomplishments. Grant and Dianna have been exemplary Presidents and recounted their experience of sharing the role. They both agreed that it was better having two to share the load. That is, of course, what incoming Presidents for 2022/23, Jean and Lydia will also do, as will Presidents-Elect Hans and Bishnu in 2023/24.
 
Incoming Rotary District 5040 District Governor John Berry officiated with the help of Assistant District Governor Mary Anne Velayo.  Michael Cowhig said a few words about the Rotary 4-way test.
 
Grant used an analogy to open his remarks, saying that Rotary Arbutus has grown from a single seat bush plane to a 747 Jumbo “where we need two presidents and possibly a flight engineer!"
 
He thanked Lydia for countless hours she donated to help the club then went on: “We’re very grateful to Lana our treasurer, and Yoonhi our secretary, for their skills, membership chair Hans for his dedication and helping to guide our new members, Lexie who worked tirelessly on our return to the Arbutus Members’ Club for luncheons, Michael Cowhig for staying in touch with the Point Grey Interact Club and facilitating the return of RYLA, hopefully next year.  Michael Frost wrote copy for our speakers and Yoonhi and Jean kept information on our website and Facebook pages.  Sam and Mary led our Foundation donation efforts.  Last but not least, thanks to Ron our project Chair.  He led with energy, enthusiasm and inventiveness.  With his leadership we did a tremendous amount of work. We donated $10,000 to Honour House, a refuge for first responders with PTSD (so they could install a water tank for forest fire protection);  $2,000 went to Watershed Watch for Salmon enhancement projects and Mundy Café for DTES help to the homeless.  We donated $8,000 to post-secondary bursaries for high school students, and $4,000 to the ‘Hoopathon’ fundraiser for more youth scholarships, including $1,000 to the LEAF program (indigenous girls).  We invested $5,500 in the 1,000x5 books for preschoolers program which partners with the Vancouver School District’s Early Learning programs. $2,000 went to the MOSAIC Immigrant Services Emergency Fund for agricultural workers, $900 to Rotary Youth Leadership’s North program and $2,000 went to the Helping Families in Need Society. Our members have individually donated to help Ukraine, wildfire relief, flood relief and Polio Plus.  We had a number of hands on projects too, used clothing and fundraising drives, bags and purses for the homeless in the downtown east side, we helped with the Aunt Leah’s Christmas tree lot sales and decorated the Abbeyfield seniors’ home at Christmas.”
 
Grant went on to say that in joint ventures and outreach “We worked with Aunt Leah’s, Abbeyfield, First Nations groups, first responders, the Lytton community, post fire, both by donating clothing and fundraising.  We worked with Vancouver School  Board’s Early Learning Program, we bought pierogis to help fundraising for Ukraine and showed up for their vigil, we donated household items for new Ukrainian immigrants, and  brought in interesting and diverse speakers to our members and guests.  We had representatives at the Vancouver City Hall for a polio free day, and we worked on  Hoop-a-thon both financially and in person.”
 
“As opportunities to work with other Rotary clubs in District 5040 arose, we attended District meetings and workshops, had a presence at the District Conference, and had member Leigh sitting on the District Policy Committee.  And did you know, to date the Rotary Club of Vancouver Arbutus has donated $303,960 to the Foundation? One member has become a member of the prestigious Polio Plus Society and many members support Polio Plus through their own donations.”
 
“It’s important that we take this time to reflect on the great things we did this year as Rotarians.”
 
“Let’s celebrate our successes as we transition to next year’s leadership team. “
 
In closing Grant added, “Let’s remember that there is still a lot of good we can do in our community, in our District and in our world.”
 
Co-President Dianna presented the following “Rotarian in Action” certificates to:
 
Yoonhi as Secretary and tireless volunteer “who has demonstrated through her actions and deeds the importance of giving back to the community. Through her dedication and commitment to the goals and objectives of Rotary she has made this place a better place to live. Yoonhi works effectively and energetically in the background.  She worked tirelessly on the 1000x5 Book Project.”
Lydia: as President-elect, championed the 1000x5 Book Project, helped Ron, our Project Manager get it off the ground, and intervened with Lotteries for funding. We have distributed almost 2,000 recycled and new books in less than 6 months.  
Lana as Treasurer:  in recognition of all the work she does in the background, setting up our finances, paying our bills and connecting with Rotary International.
 
Incoming Co-President Lydia introduced the incoming Board members and then noted that there are many others who make the organization function including:
SamFoundation Chair    
HansMembership chair and Moritz (Young Recruitment)
Publicity/VisibilityMembership support team
BulletinMichael Frost, Jean and Lydia
Youth Chair/Bursary LeadGrant
Speaker bookingsElena and Dianna, with assistance by Joy
Volunteer hours reporterJoy
Social OrganisersCommittee of the whole
FundraisingCommittee of the whole
Sargeant at ArmsDianna
 
In other news:
 
We have a big Team of volunteers for the Bicycle Fund raiser ready to go!  Thanks to all for stepping up
 
Lydia has three people joining her for the trip to meet Jennifer Jones, our new RI President Elect, at the Richmond Tree Planting Ceremony
 
Great News: Teddie is recovering well from her broken leg and sounds cheerful as ever. We are going to make her an “Honorary Member” as of July 01.

More Great News:  We have a Picnic Social Planned (Thanks Elena!) for July 22.  Stay tuned for more info and hold the date!
Thanks to Grant and Lana for all the hard work of getting the student bursary awards out!
 
The Rotary Ride for Hearing on July 10th is well under way. Our club will volunteer for one station – on Spanish Banks. This one is for early risers - our slot starts at 6am and set up is also required. Thanks to Dianna, her niece, Christine, Chris, some spouses and partners and Michael “If I wake up in time” says he.
 
The drive for early and mid-career members
 
 
We heard a presentation from our soon-to-be new member Moritz Hirche.
 
Moritz, who is an Executive Recruiter, spoke on Young Membership initiatives … from a strategic location in Tofino where he was camping. Grant was able to project his well-prepared slides from his home office – oh, the wonders of Zoom!
 
Moritz’s plan gives a nod to the focus on greater visibility (including participation in local community events), a key goal for the in-coming Presidents. This goal will support membership drives in an on-going fashion.
 
One of the first steps is to improve our social media profile, which Moritz has volunteered to do, getting us on several on-line platforms including LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as on Trello or Slack for in-house communication and planning. Good material is needed, particularly for Instagram. So look up what you might have in the way of photos and get ready. Moritz also suggested visiting other clubs to glean their best practices, analyzing local businesses, focusing on what our target groups are, updating our onboarding process, setting up a club manual, having top speakers as a draw and many other great ideas.
 
Hans, our Membership Chair, has folders from past campaigns that will be helpful and Leigh immediately sent out an earlier club brochure example. We will focus on our projects and plans. Our websites will get a polish with some well produced materials and lots of pictures.
 
Lydia reminded members that Rotary International has many great materials which we can access and adapt.
 
Discussions were lively as people recounted their own experience with membership issues. Moritz suggests there be a membership update at each meeting so our focus is maintained. Christine noted that she has experience with an on-boarding program they used in Calgary. Let’s access that knowledge.
 
The general discussion concluded that younger members will attract other younger members so we need to keep that in mind.
 
The challenge of getting the true messages about Rotary out into the world appears to have been taken up. Christine is ready to help with social media and offered the opinion that we should look at this as a “myth-busting opportunity”! Mike also voiced his enthusiasm, reminding us that our activities should always be front and centre. And Grant, always the thoughtful one, said that we need all members to commit to contributing a certain number of hours every week to Rotary so we put meat on the bones of all this great enthusiasm. A Membership Committee report at each meeting should lend some focus.
 
And here’s an idea: we all use a note on the bottom of all correspondence that says:
 
“Proud member of Rotary Vancouver Arbutus”
 
Perhaps with links to our website and/or photos.
 
In closing Lydia mentioned that she’d like to have a Sergeant-at-Arms for the coming year. Dianna Smith has volunteered. Thanks Dianna!
 
 
 
We were pleased to be able to greet Ron Suzuki as our featured speaker, whose chosen subject was the facts about, and the effects of, the internment of the Japanese community of the Lower Mainland in December 1941. Ron’s family lived in Steveston at the time of Pearl Harbour (that community constituted about two-thirds of that riverside community at that time) and the preoccupation of riparian community in that year was manifested by the fact that there were approximately 22,000 persons who were relocated into substandard housing (disused hotels and the like) in the interior, and the community’s 1,200 fishing vessels distributed among non-Japanese fishers residing in the that area of Richmond.
 
It would seem that Ron was - and obviously is - made of strong stuff, for while he plainly suffered grievously from the resulting mistreatment at the hands of fellow Canadians, he and his family regarded themselves as lucky in their varied relationships, even with local Ukrainians, who at the time were not much better off than the interned Japanese. Living conditions were plainly rugged, the community existed with the absolute minimum of civil rights.
 
Considering the trials and tribulations which Ron must have suffered in his formative years, his talk was an almost unrelenting appreciation of the manner in which life has treated him, even to the extent of his having joined the Vancouver Sunrise Rotary Club upon his retirement. And from his talk, we listeners could glean that his ‘retirement’ followed an almost unrelenting interest in the fostering and tuition of the young, both by way of encouragement to engage wholeheartedly in sporting activities and to concentrate on gaining an education. He and his family remained in the Interior until they were ‘allowed’ to return to Delta in 1951, at which time the family ‘made a deal’ with a local cannery, and were fortunate to find a "house” … which until 1953 was without electricity or hot running water.
 
Obviously something of a polymath, Ron, when at Delta Secondary School, gave himself the task of remembering the names of all of the approximately 2,000 pupils, and shortly thereafter became one of the founding organizers of the Vancouver East Sports League, which provided sports opportunities the young and for low-income communities, and his sterling efforts were publicly remembered when upon his retirement he was awarded a Civic Merit Award by the city, a very distinct award that, before it can be given, must receive the unanimous agreement of all the members of city council.
 
If Canadians are in any doubt as to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity, this talk was something of an educational trip for, one suspects, a good proportion of today’s audience.
 
(Your correspondent should point out that many of Ron’s real achievements are omitted from this précised tale: there is much left to tell.)
 
Rotarians have donated fifteen million dollars to help Ukraine.
 
 
 
In the days that, we all hope, represent the decline of the necessity of Zoom meetings (though perhaps not their complete disappearance), we received an erudite and detailed report from incoming Joint-President Lydia respecting her attendance at the Convention held in Prince George and the expectations for the coming year. The latter discussion she prefaced by describing three overriding themes: the first is literacy, then youth and, perhaps above all, the expansion of membership.

Lydia described the newest of Rotary’s goals as the Environment, a subject which had already gained a certain focus in the planning of Jean and herself. Naturally, our Club already has some cachet in light of the substantial work carried out so successfully by Past-President Joyce in the cleaning of local, and particularly on far-away, shores both with and apart from other club’ assistance (at which earlier time it had to be focused on ‘economic development’).

Lydia and Joy have indeed formulated some useful ideas arising from discussions arising ‘at large’. One particular theme is the eternal issue of ‘Club Revitalization’, our Club in particular having shrunk substantially in membership over the past decade (this is not real ‘shrinkage’ actually, our accretion of Members having been reasonably healthy, but age, moving away and the Passing of Members has left an undeniable impression of numerical decline).

Literacy, Youth and the Environment will therefore form the core of the coming year’s activities, which she and Joy are to a degree working on with attention to interesting speakers, not always easy in the reign of Zoom. Additionally, she proposes an occasional Nighttime Beachwalk along the foreshore: this, of course, will demand the enthusiasm of the younger and fitter of our members ... a group which at this point perhaps needs a few new acolytes. Lydia describes this as a ‘Visibility Event’, a description that might need a bit more explication! Lights and candles she described: your correspondent is looking forward to the details, which one hopes may include a dose of hot toddy.

The three overriding themes will be Literacy, Youth and Environment (the first of which is already under way). The last-named was already a major topic of discussion at the Conference, and of course we already have some experience upon which to build.

Turning to ‘local’ issues, revitalizing the membership is going to be a prime focus: there is no reason why a good number of suitable candidates should not be expected. Lydia believes that an active membership of 30 to 40 members is achievable, and some ‘activities’, such as popcorn stands at public markets are doable, though such activities are going to have to be carefully devised to bring in the right candidates. We can propose to some neighbourhoods such thing as clean-up projects and the like, and approach some groups by seeking exposure on community websites. The active collection of books can also be combined with actively approaching communities. We will also invite top-notch environment-advocates to speak to us, preferably with an enhanced guest-list.

Finally, we have experience and expertise that we can proffer to the community: we need an enhanced group in the future, and to a degree the process will need some funding. This was a thoughtful and perhaps profound presentation, one deserving of continued attention ... this is set to be an active Rotary Year!
 
 
 
Our club welcomed Sarah Kirby-Yung, Vancouver City Councillor, to our lunch at Seasons in the Park.
 
Sarah was first elected to Vancouver City Council in 2018, previously serving as a Commissioner and Chair of the Vancouver Park Board. Sarah's focus is on achieving meaningful action on housing affordability, public space enhancement, and support for small businesses. She spoke on various topics, particularly the following:
  • A major challenge of each new city council is that they inherit a 4-year budget from the previous council.
  • Affordable housing is very much on everyone's mind, and the City is always negotiating with developers to strike a balance between density and public amenities, including provisions for affordable housing.
  • The City also works closely with BC Housing to develop affordable housing where BC Housing provides the initiatives and the City controls zoning. 
  • Public opinions vary widely between higher density and neighborhood preservation as many Vancouverites resist densification.
  • Living in Vancouver has become so expensive that only about 20% of Vancouver Police Officers actually live in Vancouver, so in the case of a major emergency, officers living in neighbouring cities such as Burnaby, Richmond, or Coquitlam might have difficulty coming into Vancouver to help with response.  Thus, planning is underway to facilitate better priorities in assisting first responders to settle within Vancouver boundaries.  Same issue exists with Vancouver retailers and businesses trying to hire people who actually live in Vancouver. 
Thank you Sarah!
Our guest Zoom speaker on Friday, May 6th was Hugo Velazquez, Senior Manager of the Community Outreach, Advocacy and Migrant Worker Programs at MOSAIC.
 
Hugo’s program assists migrant workers in cases of abuse, medical and dental issues, substandard housing and overcrowding. His talk was eye-opening and compelling.
 
This program began out of a presentation to various government ministers and resulted in the creation of 22 agencies funded by Service Canada, the Law Foundation and other organizations.
 
The funds provided cover many of the needs of migrant workers however some key areas are unaddressed. For instance:  MOSIAC found a number of Vietnamese workers being abused and evacuated them. While those workers applied for permission to stay, which took time, their wages, medical coverage and food were not covered. Then the floods happened in the valley adding crisis to crisis.
 
MOSAIC identified 150 workers in great distress as a result of the floods. Often they needed help with wages as, if the job stops, it takes a long time to apply for EI and the forms can be confusing. They're also lacking funds to get them through the day. Often MOSAIC staff pay for things out of their own pocket. Hugo says he has to tell his staff to stop working at times, they’ve so devoted and are so affected by what they see.
 
These workers are essential to our economy, they do work Canadians won’t or can’t do. Hugo cautioned that when you go to an Okanagan wine tasting you’re not seeing what’s going on behind the scenes.
 
When workers need legal help due to employer abuse they need legal counsel. Hugo hopes to be able to hire a lawyer to assist with these issues.
 
MOSAIC has brought bad housing down from 70% to 40% but it’s still not enough. Sometimes the conditions are terrible – workers sleeping on the floor. A video setting out the need for a Migrant Workers Emergency Fund is at https://youtu.be/KGUdClnmCWI.
 
They get calls every day from workers, 6,000 arrive in BC each year and Hugo estimates they get 30,000 requests for assistance annually. Despite this they’re aware that many don’t complain due to language and cultural differences. Often farm work is very remote, plus they’re staying only a relatively short time, which complicates things.
 
On the positive side, Worksafe BC and the Firefighters have been very helpful. They also received a $50,000.00 donation from CLAC (CLAC | Better Together).
Hugo suggests we might establish a Rotary Emergency Response Fund, which could include other Rotary clubs in the area. We could also advocate on behalf of the Migrant Workers Emergency Fund.
 
The CLAC foundation will match any other donations made before the end of June, which is something to keep in mind re any contribution we make. If you’d like to donate as individual, you can do so at Migrant Workers Emergency Fund.
 
Hugo is also working toward obtaining funding for newcomers with disabilities. He feels with climate change and COVID these issues will be big.
 
Our speakers were Margaret Carley and Andriy Dubovyy.
 
Today (n.b. May1st 2022) your correspondent reports on the lunch meeting of April 29th 2022 (quite obviously, some dating precision is required of these rapidly evolving events). The subject was Ukraine: at the time this publication, the central drive southwards to Kiev (as it was) is bogged down by half-mud-submerged Russian tanks and supply vehicles (apparently mostly abandoned by the Russians) and a siege of Mariupol that is characterized by Russian pounding of that port city by rockets and artillery with the apparent purpose of reducing the city to uninhabitable ruination. Nevertheless it is quite apparent, if only from the newscasts and video images from that ravaged country, that Ukrainian morale is much higher than might be expected.
 
In that light, we were privileged to welcome as our speaker Margaret Carley, a good Canadian ‘teacher', a former BMO executive, and latterly real estate agent, who had the good fortune to be born in Ukraine, still speaks Ukrainian, and reveres her status as a native-born Ukrainian. And it was not by mistake the she brought with her another, somewhat younger, Ukrainian who works in the media.
 
A brief history of Ukraine did not come amiss, it being one of the most unfortunately-placed racial/national  groups in the western world. Ukraine is in many respects not so much a nation as an historical and geographic conception of a discrete people who have experienced invasions, racist upheavals, and a fractious history, all of which have been largely dictated by geography and geology. As Margaret reviewed the history of Ukraine, one sees a ’nation’ conceived in strife and the ambitions of others who discerned in its alluvial plain a cornucopia of economic resources, and a population that it was relatively easy to attack and subjugate. In earlier times, the region (it is best to describe it in those terms for a few centuries) was the largest component of the Lithuanian Empire, itself the largest ’nation-state’ in Europe for much of the 16th and 17th centuries, which perhaps saw its splendour quickly excised at the seminal Battle of Tannenberg in 1410, but thereafter the ‘Polish’ component of which revived, until in 1618 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was twice the size of France, a period after which the 1658 Russo-Polish War occurred, during which, in essence, Russia ‘absorbed’ Ukraine.
 
The history of Eastern Europe as studied today is largely one of fractional indifference: immensely complex, fraught with irrational strife, and complicated by the lure of certain economic and geographical anomalies (the centrality of the Ukrainian plains and the ending of the Hungarian plains at the Eastern extremity of Austria) that has almost precluded an understanding of the region at times other than those of horrendous strife (Teutoburger Wald, Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, and the 1st and 2nd World Wars), such that the afternoon’s history lesson was one that made us appreciate how limited is our Western sense of weltanschauung. Given the time limitations, the ‘lesson’ was necessarily curtailed: further study can well be continued in Volume 1 of The Bolshevik Revolution by E.H.Carr … a heavy read but a worthwhile one.
 
But we were not finished. After Margaret, we heard from her guest, Andriy Dubovyy, who proudly sported  a Ukrainian-flag badge, and who told us even more about the reality of Ukraine, its people, the nation and the country itself. Obviously a ‘son of the soil’ he described the strength of the nation in its sense of unity (assisted of course by its President) and the will to survive of the people. He described the soil of the nation as being almost it raison d’être, Russia and Ukraine producing a very large proportion of the global supply of grains. Naturally he addressed the nature of the resistance as being solid and well-lead, but needing, of course, modern and relevant armaments. It became evident that we were seeing something of the reason why the Russian Army was being demonstrated to be something of a paper tiger … and simultaneously as an international pariah.
 
Given the times in which we are living, and the very real support that the Ukrainian people are receiving, this presentation was one that could probably have occupied us for the rest of the afternoon: its complexity was manifest and the obvious interest in the listeners was such that could probably have occupied another hour or two in what became a necessary history lesson. We are however obviously going to have to wait for a good while to see how it all ends: but we will likely not have a problem in obtaining more, and equally relevant, speakers when such a time arrives.
 
 
We welcomed an erudite and learned Rotarian, a member of the Rotary Club and one of its leaders in the search for Peace, its extent, Rotary’s involvement, and the present state of its commitment to  international advancement. Chris Offer, a man of great experience in a number of fields, took us back to 1921 when at the Rotary convention in Edinburgh the 4th object of Rotary (“Peace and World Understanding”) became the 4th Object of Rotary, a feature of its operations for the next century. In 1942 (a seminal year, of course) a UNESCO conference in London codified the concept, which was further cemented by 25 Rotarians at the UN Charter conference held in San Francisco, where Rotary was one off 42 observer organizations. Most recently the Peace Center was established in Uganda in 2021 (a dubiously ‘peaceful’ environment, be it noted).

While being shown some interesting ‘The Rotarian’ covers, we were reminded, almost by chance, that Peace is by no means defined by ‘the Absence of War’ (that of February 1942 featured a close-up of a smiling Russian sailor, more a story of peaceable hopes than a realistic demonstration of that period of the history of strife, and another fascinating slide demonstrated the essential components of peace and its foundations (‘Well Functioning Government', 'Free Flow of Information’, ‘Acceptance of the rights of Others’ and the like, concepts integral to Peace in its broadest sense, but which do not naturally flow from a discussion of “what is peace?”).

Rotary’s Areas of Focus include arenas that we would perhaps not normally associate with a discussion about Rotary’s role in the worldwide issue, and includes ‘Disease Prevention and Treatment’, ‘Water Sanitation and Hygiene’ and ‘Education and Literacy’, areas not normally tied to any generally held concept of ‘Peace”. We were also shown the publications of the IEP, and a very graphic map of the regions of the world where peace is becoming the norm (North and South America), where the ideal is deteriorating (the centre of the African Continent, and Northern Eurasia), and the most “peaceful counties” (headed by Iceland, New Zealand and Denmark) and the least peaceful (which we probably would not have difficulty guessing comprise Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, veritable cesspits of bad government and wanton violence).

Chris concluded his presentation with a list of what ‘one Rotarian can do’. These propositions include signing up for the Rotary Positive Peace Academy, nominating a Rotary Peace Fellow Candidate, and a Rotary Peace Fellow candidate for the 2023 class. There is much that each Rotarian can effectively accomplish.

This was a profound, enlightening and perhaps rather worrying lecture at a time of such international tensions and strife that the whole concept of “Peace” being attainable appears remote, even ‘pie in the sky’. But it is perhaps upon such concepts as were discussed on this Friday that mankind can found a lasting peacefulness, if not actual “Peace", however defined).
 
Lawrence (Lawrie) Duff - December  6, 1924 – February 21, 2022
 
Jean, Lydia and Bishnu will be attending the District Conference in Prince George in mid-May.  Lawrie Duff will be honoured in the “Time to Remember” presentation with the following information:
 
Rotary Membership total: 62 years    
1960 Downtown Rotary Club of Calgary
                              1980 Rotary club of Calgary East
                              2010 Rotary club Vancouver Arbutus
 
Lawrie's father, Robert Duff, had been a Rotarian since the 1920’s.
 
Lawrie was a Rotary Foundation Major Donor Level 1.  He was also a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow, a Sgt-at-Arms for Rotary Vancouver Arbutus and the designated photographer for his Rotary Clubs
 
Lawrie’s career as a photographer started when he enlisted in the RCAF in 1943. He was stationed in England 1944-45 as Ground Crew Photographer and was in the Army of Occupation in Hamburg Germany from 1945 to 1946.
 
Lawrie married Elizabeth in 1949 and they had three daughters.  They live and work in Vancouver. In 1953 he founded Duffoto Process Company in Calgary. His company employed 139 people over 44 years. He was also involved in Calgary Real Estate 1949 – 2022 and helped restore a historical building in Ainsworth Hot Springs to turn it into a museum (1964-2008). Lawrie retired in 2010 and continued to be an active and much loved Rotarian in Vancouver.
 
Lydia reported that the 1000x5 book recycling project for zero to 5 year olds collected 624 books in a 2 week book drive at Lord Roberts School in the West End.  Many thanks to Holly and Leilani at the LRS Parent Advisory Committee for making this possible.  Thanks also to the very generous parents who donated their gently used books.
 
Each book now has a label with the Rotary Wheel and an image of a young child reading .  The label says
“1000x5 Vancouver
This book is a gift from the Rotary Club of Vancouver Arbutus”
 
We had 2 volunteer labelling sessions for the books received in this campaign.  Thanks to the members who helped.
 
Thanks also to Yoonhi who picked an order of new books while she was on Vancouver Island so we could save the shipping costs.
 
And thanks to the generous publishers of these books: Orca Publishing and Native Northwest, who have provided deep discounts to support our project.
 
Thanks also to Colleen Dickie at the Vancouver School District for her help, her guidance, for picking up books when they are ready and for even supplying boxes when we were desperate for ways to transport books.
 
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In addition, Elena spoke about the upcoming Candlelight Prayer Vigil for Ukraine on March 25, 2022.  Details are at Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral (uocvancouver.com)
 
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It was great to have guests John from Nova Scotia, Carol from Calgary (via the Heritage Park Club) and Ken from Ottawa join our Zoom meeting.
 
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Our speaker today was Mary Pichette, author, speaker, and trainer.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mary's passion has always been to empower women and families so they can create better lives for themselves. Her background in social work and helping women overcome their PTSD has given her significant insight into the challenges families can face in good times and bad.

Mary has carried forward her passion to help and today her drive is to have every Canadian complete their Will and Estate plan. It is one small way she seeks to help us and our families be better in how we live today.
 
In today's changed world, too many families have discovered that without a legally sound Medical Power of Attorney, family members can be left in shock and chaos as they try to make medical decisions without guidance and forethought.  A family's grief is magnified a thousand fold and drawn out for years when they are left without a final love letter.  Mary does her best to inform Canadians of the urgency of having a sound estate plan.
 
 
You are invited to an evening of Fun, Fellowship and Fundraiser of the Lower Mainland Rotary Foundation of District 5040 at the Palace of Riverside Banquet Halls. Doors open at 5:30 pm and experience the Filipino way of welcoming guests. Dinner to be served at 7:00pm. We will have silent auction and 50/50. There will be great performances and dancing all night.
 
Get your ticket by scanning the QR Code below or click this link:
 
 
See you all!
 
Our speaker for this Zoom meeting was Arissa Lau, a representative (and notable speaker for) the Vancouver branch of Crime Stoppers.
 
This nation-wide entity is an independent, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is the operation of a ‘reporting system’ for the collection of information about crimes and criminals. Endorsed by all levels of the criminal justice system, it operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The information is collected by a live person (not a computer) and at this point can say that it operates in a possible 115 languages. No details of the caller are taken, and the assurance is always that the caller will never have to testify in court … and is not required to leave a phone number or an address. This preservation of privacy has been endorsed by the Supreme Court of Canada (R v. Leipert [1997] 1 SCR 281) and ensures that there will, at least through the Crime Stoppers medium, be no fear of retribution visited upon those who choose to report information about the commission of a crime.
 
One is pleased to note that the provision of information may lead to the payment of a fee, generally up to $5,000 if the information leads to a charge or an arrest. The caller is provided with a code number, and it is with this number that communication (further information or advice about an award, for examples) is established and maintained. There is also a mobile app that is available (though one might be concerned as to the ‘security’ that this mechanism might affect) and the number is (for those of us who might be interested!) 1-800-222-8477. And it succeeds: since 1976 there have been, through this collective mechanism, 965,163 arrests, 1,501,776 cases processed, property recovered to the value of $2,122,776,681, and drugs seized with a value of $8,976,384,548. The effect of all this ‘crime stopping’ is that, worldwide, there is a crime reported at the rate of 14 per minute. (Of course, this makes the witnesses to this presentation wonder about the extent of crime overall - here we are plainly dealing with the tip of a gigantic iceberg!).
 
Closer to home, the system seems to be equally effective: in Vancouver in 2021 there arrived 4,741 tips, property and drug cases of the value of $2,290,000 (though one might cavil at the precision of this figure) and 96 separate charges. Since the inception of the programme it is calculated that over half a billion dollar in property and drugs have been recovered
 
It has to be said that the presentation was excellent, but, one suspects, the information itself was somewhat stunning to most of us. We were treated to a rare view of the mechanics of a system that obviously works … but one still has to wonder how extensive is that iceberg.
 
We welcomed our speaker Colleen Dickie, Manager – Early Learning of the Vancouver School Board's StrongStart program to our luncheon at Seasons in the Park.
 
Colleen's subject was one of considerable contemporary significance, and of much longer a relevance to the education of our children and the welfare of any society - that of reading and, just as importantly, the youthful joy of reading. The School Board has programmes and facilities (by coincidence, our Club is at this very time in the midst of 1000x5, the acquisition of books for the less well favoured by our society with ready access to suitable books and learning) that are surprisingly varied in their scope and substance.

The first, and perhaps the most important of all such learning is for the young or gain an early appreciation of books and their central role in our current society.

In the beginning their is the transition to kindergarten, or many children quite a trying experience. The StrongStart Programme is designed for 4 year-olds, and along with physical literacy and healthy eating is an essential component of a successful youthful path to a happy experience once in school.

Vancouver has a good number of successful StrongStart programmes but with 29 School Districts and only 19 such facilities in operation, the number is still inadequate. There are a good number of ‘institutions’ that assist (Kiwassa, Coastal Health and the Vancouver Symphony are some examples), but there is an excess of demand over supply. The Immigrant and Refugee Early Learning Programmes are quite as important as the “Welcome to Kindergarten” for the 4-5 year-olds, but as Colleen concluded, the essential core need is to learn to love books and communicate with others.
 
 
 
 
Yesterday we lost a dear friend, Lawrie Duff. In notifying us, Lawrie's daughter Jane wrote:
 
"The Rotary Club meant a great deal to my father. He was nominated as a member in the 1950's. His father joined The Rotary Club of Calgary in the 1920's. He really believed in the organization's mandate, did a great deal of volunteer work and visited clubs all over the world making many lifelong friends along the way. You welcomed him so graciously when he joined your club and he looked forward to every meeting, also the virtual ones. Thank you for your friendship."
 
May Lawrie rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing to all who loved him. He will be greatly missed.
A Busy Club Assembly
 
President Dianna presided over the Assembly and gave a fine invocation quoting Mother Theresa
 
Elena provided a Rotary Moment:
  • On February 23 we celebrate the 117th World Understanding and Peace Day. Quite a Milestone!
  • She also noted that our International President asks us to lead by example, to be a good tenant in the world, and to support women’s needs.
  • He also presented us with a challenge: for each member to bring one person to Rotary. That does not have to be our club but it would be nice.
 
President Dianna invited us to start with our “happy bucks” for the week.
Here are some of the good things reported:
 
Teddie is back from her stay in the hospital and is all smiles; Grant is blessed with a son who did well on his report card. He also says he has spoken to Shail again; Lawrie is cheerfully grateful for the spring flowers and budding trees; Elena is excited that her company’s start-up is close to launching; Leigh and his wife had a happy first sleep-over with their granddaughter; Yoonhi shared the location of the best doughnut shop ever – in Port Alberni, and gave a nod to Bare Bones Fish and Chip shop too (Yum, we’re all over those travel tips!); Jean is thrilled that her exercise classes have resumed and has registered for the Rotary Convention in Prince George; Bill pushed for a restart to in-person meetings and stated he is passionately in favor of looking after the environment.
 
On to the Business of the day … There was Lots of it!
 
Membership:
Chair Hans reported that he has been speaking to 2 people who are interested in joining us. Well done, Hans.
 
The Projects committee has been busy:
Lydia reported that we have Lord Roberts Elementary on board to do a 2 week donated book drive, in early March, for our 1000 x 5 Project. This gets more books into the hands of kids up to 5 years of age. Members are also using emails, social networks and other means to get gently used books donated. Ron reported that we still have approximately $2,000 available to buy new baby books too.
 
Ron also gave us details regarding the cheque presentation for Surf Riders, to be held on Kits Beach, where shore line clean ups happen annually. Thank you Joy for championing this.
 
Yoonhi described attending the donation presentation at “Helping Families in Need Society” with a good contingent of members. (The ‘giant cheque’ looked great!) Yoonhi took photos of the impressive operation and will lead the way for us to do some hands-on volunteering there.
 
Draft Constitution Accepted:
Though we have society status through our Rotary Arbutus Fund, our co-presidents made a good case for also formally applying for society status for the Club itself. A formal constitution was needed. The Club members agreed to use the constitution written by Rotary International to expedite the matter. A motion was presented to “accept the Draft Constitution as circulated and to initiate Provincial Society Status”. It passed to that effect. Co-Presidents Dianna and Grant are taking care of the paperwork.
 
Policy Committee of District 5040
Leigh is our very capable representative on this hard working committee. He reported that the District by-laws were done last year, and policies are now under consideration. The Board of 5040 will deal with their passage. A procedure manual is also being created. And they are working on a Privacy Policy. Leigh reminds us that input is always welcome. He notes that the District Committee meets for 2 hours every week getting the details right and that he is busy and happy about their progress.
 
In Person Meetings:
There was considerable discussion about re-launching our luncheon meetings at Seasons Restaurant as well as our socials at various places and times. After discussion it was decided to have at least one Zoom meeting each month should be maintained for those whose work lives make it hard to attend in person. Dianna and Grant will issue a schedule to all members. Check your emails. I think there is a Dim Sum lunch social planned. The most important thing will be attendance at Seasons.
 
And remember, ‘hybrid’ meetings (Zoom for those unable to attend lunch in person) are always available when we’re at Seasons. They have the tech and Grant knows how to use it! So join us and hear some great speakers.
Next up is Colleen Dickie on the 25th.
 
(But remember there is no meeting on Family Day this month.)
Lost and Found
 
Great News from co-President Grant: he has had an actual conversation with Shail! We found him thanks to Mary. Grant reports that Shail is feeling much improved and is well taken care of.
 
Lydia reported that she had sent him a card and a letter. Anyone wishing to connect with Shail please ask Mary or Grant for his address and phone number.
 
When you’re stuck in a hospital and can’t have visitors, a letter or a call is much appreciated.
 
The Project Committee is Buzzing
 
We learned from Projects Manager Ron that there will soon be a $1,000 cheque presentation to Surf Riders, a shoreline clean-up and ocean watch organisation that we have had a long association with, thanks to our member Joy. We have volunteered at their shore clean-ups.
 
Also in the works is a donation presentation for $2,000 to the charity ‘Helping Families in Need’. They have many programs including Santa Buddy, Birthday Buddy toy room, and an adopt -a-family at Christmas program. They have grocery gift cards for those in need and sock programs. And they have a furniture and house-wares collecting and donation service.
 
But wait, there’s more. The thing that warms our hearts is that it is entirely volunteer run. Just like Rotary!
 
Since we are always looking for hands-on volunteer ideas, here are a few programs that we could pitch in with: crews helping people pick out household goods, linens and lamps; sorting and shelving toys and making gift baskets; Checking and repairing electrical items; sorting and shelving cutlery, clothing, house-wares, blankets, quilts and bed linens; furniture pick-ups unloading and deliveries; gift-wrapping toys … there’s more but you get the picture.
 
Watch for Ray Abernethy to join us as a speaker once we are able to have in-person meetings. He is a ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ too!
 
We’re also entering our season for the bursary presentations and the Hoop-a-thon event.
 
Watch for more about that soon.
 
Thanks to Dianna and Grant for their work on our new Constitution. It is a labour of love but not a lovely labour …
 
Speaker - Lina Azeez of the Watershed Watch Salmon Society
 
We were pleased to be addressed by Lina Azeez on the subject of fish habitat, salmon in particular, within BC, after a year, perhaps one of many, that has seen profound difficulties in fish management. Lina was initially brought up in Sri Lanka (a land with an abundance of water), emigrated from there because of an internecine war to Dubai (a land of practically no fresh water), and then settled in B.C. and Yukon. The arrival in Yukon was of importance, as she went by a small craft all the way down the Fraser on a 25-day journey to the Salish Sea: this taught her to see at first-hand how the natural habitat for our fishing industry is under considerable stress, not only from US fishermen culling BC’s natural stocks, but also from Canadian misuse of land adjacent to the supposed riparian abundance.
 
This large quantity of water (Canada ‘possesses’ some 25% of the world’s fresh water) is partially a chimera, for there is a huge volume stocked up behind dams, for example, which salmon can only navigate by artificial means. And we are all aware of the fact that we are in an era of climate change, which is now having the visible effect of dykes and water-management mechanisms generally being destroyed, and of their antiquity being made so apparent in the lower reaches of the Fraser. Lina pointed to a particular situation wherein one systemic collapse of the old dykes resulted in a breach the size of a football field, a disaster for future breeding salmon (whose cycle of birth to death is 4 years) to the extent of losing perhaps 60-70% of an entire future generation.
 
Of course, there is also another side to this natural depredation, and that is that the flooding of the Fraser basin makes the land so fertile. But that fact also means that there are 2m people living within the reach of the natural boundaries of the flooding river. We have some 100 pumping stations and 500 gates which will spontaneously ease the pressures of an over-abundance of flooding waters, but while they act as effective controls in normal circumstances, we have recently seen how abnormal occasions can arise when the aged infrastructure cannot adequately handle the over-abundance of water, and yet at the same time operate as a clog upon the ability of returning salmon to navigate their way up-river.
 
We also saw some evidence of the need to update the fish-control features. The gates installed for flood-control are of little value to fish (in fact, the very opposite, for they are easily shredded if they find their way into the mechanisms: this is a problem that can be overcome with axial pumps, but this is hardly an inexpensive solution).
 
It was a sobering and enlightening talk that produced some worthwhile discussion. Mike Farnworth has announced a Flood Infrastructure scheme that is designed to face a major and developing problem, that of replacing obsolete infrastructure and outdated management schemata. There are of course substantial flood recovery problems, and there is need for more and updated pumping stations, which are costed at about $1.2m apiece. However, First Nations, with a strongly expressed interest in the whole subject of fishing management, are not interested, and quite reasonably so, simple (sic) reconstruction of what has hitherto sufficed being quite inadequate.
 
And Lina’s parting words were redolent of issues which one felt to be close to her heart: “ … and this doesn’t begin to deal with fish-farms and over-fishing!"
 
Lina also suggested a site we can use to send a letter to the powers that be in support of their work. It's https://watershedwatch.ca/tell-trudeau-and-horgan-to-invest-in-wild-salmon-habitat/.
 
 
  • President Grant reminded people to let Mary know if you have made your Rotary Foundation or Polio Plus donation directly to RI. That way she and Sam can make sure that everyone’ donation is ascribed to our club. Just a little note to Mary will do. She’ll take it from there.
  • Co-President Dianna is working hard on our constitution and several members, including Leigh, are reviewing it. The work is in good hands.
  • Speaking of Dianna, she has taken over the task of finding speakers for us, so direct any ideas you have to her. She is working on March since the speakers for February were already booked.
  • And speaking of speakers, Mary has found Shail!!  He is being cared for at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Contact Mary if you want to send a letter or card. Lydia has already sent both to him, but we are sure he would appreciate all good wishes.
  • Your in-coming Presidents, Jean and Lydia have been doing President-elect pre-training to prepare for the intensive PETS courses in February. They also met this week to talk about potential Club Goals. If you have some ideas, please contact them directly.
Projects:
  • Michael and Grant report that the Christmas decorations have been taken down at Abbeyfield Senior’s Home. Well done, guys!
In other project work:
  • Another 100 brand new baby books were delivered to the VSB Early Learning program. They were very gratefully received. Make sure to attend the meeting on February 25th when Colleen, the head of the School Board’s Early Learning division will speak about their many programs to help children as they enter School for the first time.
  • And the club has embarked on a social media, family-and-friends donation drive to find gently used books for 3 to 5 year olds. This age group needs books too and we need to acquire them by other means until we can access schools (which are currently off-limits to all but teachers and students) and parents for our book drives. Lydia has sent info and letter templates out to all members to help them with their approaches to their social circle.
Speaker - Michael Cowhig
 
As is so often the case, we were treated to a first-class talk by one of our own members, Michael Cowhig.
 
 
We all know Michael as a wit and a first-class photographer, and on this occasion he took us through a tour of Churchill, Manitoba, a spot that geography seems to have almost left behind. In the recent past almost completely impossible to reach except by air, the city now thrives on tourism: the map shows it to be a long flight from Winnipeg, although now there has been a resumption of access by train that serves the city three times a week, and it looks as though it does so in some style (although for the majority of the time the ’station’ is the Museum). As a passing thought, Michael pointed to the apparent iniquity of the events after 2017, when the train track was washed out in several places and its US ‘owners’ declined to effect repairs, a task that in the end fell to be the responsibility of the Canadian Government. It was repaired … but at the cost of the abandonment of Churchill as a seaport, grain exports then being diverted permanently to Vancouver. Churchill has been left to depend for its survival entirely upon the tourist trade.

That trade is managed with consummate care. The accommodations are unusual, comprising long, white ‘barracks’ that provide all of the normal amenities of life, and the town boasts the cleanest streets that one is ever likely to see! The need for the cleanliness is that while wildlife is the main draw for visitors, polar bears could become an ever-present danger if they were attracted into ‘town’ by anything remotely resembling edible garbage. Bears, as Michael explained, are very efficient at utilizing their energy intake: they spend most of their lives hunting for food, usually favouring seals (particularly their blubber), and presumably some other aquatic delicacies. The time not spent hunting and eating seems to be spent in sleeping and resting - carbohydrates are not to be wasted!

The pictures of the bears themselves were of course very fine. The actual ‘expeditions’ are carried out in Crawlers, rather inelegant long and wide ‘busses’ that rise some 6 feet off the ground with massive tires, a design allowing superb and safe views of the bears themselves, and some interesting efforts by the bears to fruitlessly reach up the vehicles’ sides to provide superb close-up photographic opportunities for the passengers. These ingenious machines cost approximately $1m apiece, and the vehicles' interiors are spacious rather than luxurious, for they have to be able, for all of their expeditions to serve all of the practical needs of their passengers, there being a prohibition on any passenger getting out of a vehicle when actually on one of the tours. Some even sport a type of verandah deck at their sterns, though the outside temperature somewhat discourages too much outdoor  activity (on the day of our talk, the temperature on Hudson Bay was -32 degrees).

At this point there are believed to be 900-1,000 polar bears in Churchill’s general vicinity, and, as stated, there is very little reason for them ever to venture into the town itself … though if they do, an alarm warns the residents of their presence. There are said to be, additionally, some 60,000 beluga whales in Hudson Bay: far from a frozen desert, the northern part of Canada (and there are thousands of kilometres of Canada still left to the north of Churchill) that we saw demonstrated a dry, cold and featureless arena with far more natural inhabitants than one would anticipate.
 
Not only an entertaining presentation by Michael, but quite educational, one would suspect, to most of us.
The Joys of International Projects
 
Speaker Bridget Jacob of the Ladner Rotary Club, gave a fascinating account of the International project she was involved in during 2019.  It was sponsored jointly by the Rotary Clubs of Ladner and of Richmond Sunrise. 
 
Partners, colleagues, friends and believers took on that year’s theme of “ROTARY CONNECTS THE WORLD” and headed for the Philippines. All along the way the power of saying YES! was evident. 
 
The Ladner Club and the Richmond Sunrise Clubs wanted to bring the ARES Education System to the Philippines. ARES, or the Asian Ruggedized Education System is a compact, simple, fact-filled shoe-box size electronic database of world knowledge for pre-kindergarten kids to high school students. Our goal was to donate 3 of the ARES systems to 3 different High Schools along with 30 simple chrome book laptops  by which the system could be accessed.  In addition, enough books and shelving were donated to equip 5 different elementary schools on the island of Panglao. 
 
So the adventure began: First financial donations were collected from the 2 Rotary Clubs and an application for a District 5040 Grant was completed.  Next, with the help of their local Interactors, hundreds of books were collected. Finally, through a partnership with the legendary Rotary World Help Network, the books, medical equipment, mattresses, wheel chairs, computers (and gently used soccer team shirts for young players) were all loaded onto a container headed for Cebu.
 
The ship’s container arrived in Cebu City and was transported to Panglao ahead of the arrival of the ARES team.  In February 2020 the team arrived in Manila to be greeted by many of the Rotarians who had been part of a Rotary Friendship Exchange to Vancouver the previous year.  The team was welcomed with a marvellous show at IMUS National High School where the first ARES donation was made.  Onward to Cebu and a ferry to Panglao where the real work began.  The container had been unloaded but the books still had to be distributed to the schools so sleeves were rolled up and many local Rotarians and community workers pitched in to ensure the books reached the appropriate elementary schools.
 
For the Ladner Rotarians all these exciting projects were a thrill to see. Bridget was quick to note that their books were not just a donation to the 5 schools – they set up real libraries!  A team was assigned to properly label all books by age, category, subject etc.  … is that still called the Dewey Decimal system?
 
To make sure all funds went to the projects, the Rotarians paid their own travel expenses.  They were generously supported and feted by local clubs from Manila, Cebu and Panglao.
 
As a final note of concern, Bridget reminded us that their project completed on the very eve of the incoming pandemic.  These days many ships are delayed or stranded at ports where extra demurrage charges are incurred.  We shall see how this might affect Rotary World Help.
 
Bridget is an enthusiastic and committed Rotarian and her Club’s work on this project was inspiring as was Bridget herself.  Well done Ladner and Sunrise Rotarians!
 
and our Michael Frost had this to share regarding Bridget's presentation:
 
Our guest speaker, Bridget Jacob, is a lawyer and a member of the Richmond AM Club, though this is perhaps the end of the line for what has been a peripatetic life: born in Malta, residing then in Europe, and then alighting upon those verdant pastures that we call Richmond, Bridget proved an erudite and excellent speaker, in particular on the subject of a major project that her Club, alongside that of Ladner, recently completed in the Philippines. The presentation was one of considerable quality. As with most presentations, a picture tells a thousand words, and the photographic journey through Manila, Pang Lao and Cebu greatly enhanced the tale of the provisions of libraries, sports facilities and some excellently described local cuisine to parts of a country that is still relatively poor and vulnerable to disastrous typhoons, floods, a wayward government, and a geographical problem in living so close to what China considers its domain.

The pictures of Manila, and Bridget’s description of the heat, the crowding (it is a city of some 12m souls) and the description of the joy with which school supplies are received by the under-resourced schools all combined to show that Bridget’s reason for joining Rotary (to provide to the segment of the third world that needs so much assistance) had succeeded inasmuch as some 424 containers of needed goods (and books are still necessary in a country where use of the computer is less than many in the West believe) have been delivered to that nation. On the evidence before us, Bridget’s experience in what has obviously been a selfless endeavour, has been both fulfilling and fulfilled.

Your correspondent was particularly taken with the picture presented of Cebu, as he had occasion to visit its rather sorry roadstead in 1962 for some 3 days. What we see now is a city of some 3m of considerable economic importance, and with a geographical advantage for the site of a container port that is both modern and symptomatic of the vast progress made over the intervening years. At that time I saw a port of few facilities, more horse-drawn carts and wagons than trucks, and many pedestrians who had slung around their hips gun-belts (with guns, be it said) more redolent of Western movies than of even-then modernity. Now this presentation showed us classrooms, libraries and happy young students whose lives have unquestionably been augmented by projects such as the one which we saw at our meeting. It would have been nice if we could have seen more of the success of such Rotary projects!
 
 
 
In other Club news:
 
President Dianna and President Grant both encouraged us to join Zoom meetings at other clubs. It’s simple, just look at the Club’s website and find out when their meeting is scheduled and get the access info.
 
Here’s a question for you –
                 
How many years has Rotary Vancouver Arbutus been operating? 
 
                  Answer: Since 1977. 
 
                  A venerable 52 years of service!
 
And speaking of old … discussion about our constitution and by-laws took place.  It was decided we’d do some sprucing up and backfilling to the modern era.  Our By Laws were updated a couple of years ago and now a Constitution needs a look.
 
Projects
 
Ron and Lydia gave a 1000 x 5 Book project update
 
We will be sending 100 new “baby board books” to the Vancouver School District’s Early Learning division in each of the next 4 months. 
 
Since we are unable to set up donation bins at schools until the lockdown at VSB is over, we need gently used books for kids 3 to 5 years old.
 
Club members are asked to send a request out to their social circle, friends, family and other acquaintances asking for used-and-in-good-condition books for 0 to 5 year olds.  We can pick up or they can drop off to our members.
 
Lydia will write up an explanatory note that members can use in their efforts to get used book donations.  Watch for that in your email and let’s get collecting!
 
And be sure to attend the meeting on February 25th when Colleen Dickie, dynamic educator, Manager of Early Learning, and our champion at the Vancouver School Board (Yay!) will be our speaker.  She will tell us about the many programs she and her team have to help young children get ready for school. We are now one of their pre-primary champions!
 
Next Week’s special speaker is Michael Cowhig. You will have seen a large white friend over his shoulder in Zoom meetings.  Michael will tell us all about his trip to the arctic. Some gorgeous photos are sure to appear.  See you all on January 28th!
 
 
One of our new projects is to provide 1000 books to children by the time they are 5 years old.  Our president received an envelope full of home made thank you cards from our first Early Learning/Strong Start class.
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Speakers
David Innes
Jul 08, 2022 12:30 PM
Vancouver Urban Ministry
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