Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Christmas Letter
December 17, 2019
 
 
There are many Christmas traditions that we love and enjoy. The red socks or Santa’s Stockings originate with Saint Nicholas of Myra. St. Nicholas was an early Christian bishop of the ancient maritime city of Myra located in Asia Minor (Turkey) during the time of the Roman Empire. He was born around 270 AD and died around 343 AD.
 
Legend has it that Nicholas interceded most vigorously on behalf of the poor, sick and needy in and around his community. Nicholas did not enjoy public recognition for his work of charity and therefore did his work anonymously. Because Nicholas himself was orphaned at a young age, he empathized with those he served. While most orphans are very poor, Nicholas inherited great wealth from his merchant parents. Nicholas invested his inheritance and gave generously to those he served for the remainder of his life.
 
The story of the stockings came about because of Nicholas’s habit of putting his gifts into the stocking or hat of the recipient. Because of his selflessness, Nicholas was declared a Saint by the Holy Roman Catholic Church, about 250 years after his death.
 
There are many other stories, legends and myths about St. Nicolas that exist to this day. The overwhelming themes that have been constant over the centuries about St. Nick are that 1) he was jovial, 2) he was loving, 3) he took care of the needy and 4), he was self-effacing.
 
These four qualities are worthy of our emulation. As President of Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary, I see these qualities in each of you, the members of our club. Each of you has been someone’s secret Santa in the past and will be again in the future. However, unlike the legend of Santa Claus that only shows up once a year, we show up 365 days a year. 
 
We show up in Tegucigalpa by educating children. We show up in South Africa by providing water and sanitation. We show up by helping to eradicate polio. We show up locally by providing students’ scholarships and we show up by promoting our city’s tourism in our beautiful Kootenay region. We show up by promoting health and wellness through the Gran Fondo. We show up by promoting culture through our film festival. We show up by supporting cross cultural experiences through our youth exchange programs. We show up by encouraging moral and ethical living to our Mount Baker students.
 
The best part of what we do is in our desire to meet regularly on Tuesday mornings. It is at these meetings that we get energized and encouraged to face another week to be a mirror of Saint Nicolas.
 
As we break for the Christmas Season, let us continue to be faithful to the spirit of Christmas and to our Rotary Club’s mission in our community.
 
Merry Christmas!
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