Posted by Jim Ferguson
Greeter this week: James (Jim) Ferguson     
Last May my wife, Jocelyne, and I were able to visit the World War II D-Day beaches of Normandy, France, and also Ypres, Belgium, the site of heavy fighting in World War I between the Germans, and mainly the Canadian, French, British, and other British Commonwealth troops.
We both had some ties to the areas, as my Uncle Gordon, who had enlisted in the Regina Rifles, a Canadian Infantry Regiment, was killed by a German sniper shortly after D-Day, while advancing through the Belgian countryside.
Jocelyne's Grandfather, Prosper, was wounded (and gassed) in France during World War I, while fighting for Canada.
Luckily, he survived, and so did my dad, Hugh, who had enlisted in the Canadian Army, and Uncles Doug and Jack (both Canadian Air Force).
But many young men didn't come back from the wars in Europe.
It was sobering to visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France located on a bluff that overlooks Omaha Beach, that honors American troops who died in Europe in World War II.
More than 9,000 are buried there.

Just outside of Ypres, Belgium, in Tyne Cot Cemetery, is the resting place of 11,954 soldiers of the Commonwealth Forces. This is the largest number of burials contained in any Commonwealth cemetery of either the First or Second World War. It's the largest Commonwealth military cemetery in the world.
Many soldiers buried there have the inscription "Known Unto God", as they couldn't be completely identified.

While visiting the site, we were able to find the gravesite of a Canadian Private, James Ferguson, who was also from Saskatchewan, and died aged 19 years, far from home.

Not far from the cemetery is the site of Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae's Advanced Dressing Station that was just basically a bunker dug into a dyke, and was only about 8 feet by 8 feet.

His good friend, Lt. Alexis Helmer, was killed in the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915, close to the bunker, and his burial inspired John to write the classic Remembrance Day poem, "In Flanders Fields", while sitting in back of an ambulance:
 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow                                                 
    Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.   Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
  Loved and were loved, and now we lie
      In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
  The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

We should never forget their sacrifice for all the liberties that we enjoy today.
 
Canadiana
Remembering the 'Farmer Johns' of the Regina Rifles Regiment
They were farmers, students, northern fur trappers - ordinary young Saskatchewan men from all walks of life transformed into extraordinary warriors who helped end Nazi tyranny in Europe.
They were the men of the Regina Rifles Regiment, who were part of the invasion of Nazi-occupied France that began with the D-Day battle in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Read more HERE

Comments from our Guests and Members
Members and guest attending our weekly meetings are very important to us. Based on your comments we are able to produce many more educational, inspiring and entertaining weekly meetings.
Following are some of the comments we have received. Would you send us your comments please?
 

Very convenient and easy to schedule.

Ricki Gibson, RC of Strathcona Sunrise, D5020

The Forest Man presentation this week shows each of us what we are capable of doing to change the world for the better, even our small piece of it.  This is one of the reasons I became a Rotarian.

Sharon Blaker, Rotary E-Club of Canada One, D-5370

Convenience.

Jody Patfield, RC of Barrie, D-7010

Since the 1970's Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island from erosion. He has singlehandedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC. The island has eroded almost 50% in the last century due to most deforestation speeding the process up. His forest has transformed what was once a barren wasteland, into a lush oasis and once again a habitat for elephants, tigers, rhino's and the recent return of vultures.

Michael Thomas, Rotary Club of Stony Plain, Alberta, D-5370

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Announcements
Welcome to the 23,027 new Rotarians since July 1st, 2018!
I'm pleased to report our worldwide membership is 1,218,134 as of 30 September 2018 (This represents growth of 23,027 above the 1 July start figure).
To find the membership report by zone and district for the month ended 30 September 2018, please click on the following link:

Comparison to Start Figures: September 2018

Please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of your Membership Development staff with any questions.
Thank you for making membership a priority!

Brian King
Director of Membership Development
Rotary International
 
 
 
A Little Humour

Rotary Minute
Rotarian Kitty Bucsko is the Charter President and founder of the Rotary E-Club of the Caribbean, in District 7020, and also a member of the Rotary E-Club of Canada One, and helps out with material for our weekly meeting.
Kitty lives in Sarnia, Ontario for part of the year (spring, summer, fall), and lives in Anguilla the rest of the year (winter mostly).
As a Rotarian that lives in Northern Alberta during the winter, that fact makes me kind of sad :(
To read her report on "The Brown Bag Lunch" Program in Sarnia, Ontario,

Please click HERE

Rotary Jukebox
For a small donation, your favorite musician will be featured on one of our next e-meetings for everyone to enjoy.
Every week we'll have a draw and the lucky person will see their song featured!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR REQUEST
 

Speaker Program

This officially ends this week's meeting
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Supplied by Kitty Bucsko

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