President Elect
Vice President
Past President
Website Manager
Rotary Club of Lethbridge East
We meet Tuesdays
at 6:00 p.m.   
The Saddle Room
Lethbridge Exhibition Park 
3401 Parkside Dr South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B3
   Click here for a map to the Saddle Room    

     Welcome to our club!

News and Stories from The Rotary Club of Lethbridge East
The Rotary Club of Lethbridge East partnered with the Lethbridge & District Exhibition in the Rotary Adventures in Agriculture program .  This was the fourth year that we have teamed up with the Exhibition to send students to Regina to take part in this program.  The students spend 4 event packed days visiting many agriculture related businesses, the Canadian Western Agribition, the Saskatchewan Legislative Building and several other events.   The Adventures in Agriculture Program is hosted by the Rotary Club of Regina Eastview.  Our hats go off to these Rotarians for providing a very educational fun filled opportunity for some bright students to see and experience agriculture related careers, businesses and exhibits.  
From left to right, the Adventures in Agriculture 2017 students are Dawson Pahl, Erica Haugan, Alease Scholten, Adriana VanTryp, Nickola Haugan.  
Watch this short video that shows some of the highlights, projects and activities of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge East over the last 56 years.   These photos were compiled by this year's Co-President Fran Leggett for the visit of our current District 5360 Governor, Rick Istead.  We are all looking forward to the next 56 years!   
The Rotary Club of Lethbridge East met at Mike and Diana Greer's home to celebrate the end of a great Rotary year.  Activities included: "Pass the Gavel" to the new co-presidents Chris McLean and Fran Leggett, a welcome back to Canada to last year's outbound exchange student Coral Skiba and a last chance to say farewell to this year's inbound exchange student Linette Kux.  There was lots of great food and fellowship.  Many thanks to Mike and Diana for hosting this event.  
Above:  Rotary Club of Lethbridge East and exchange students Coral Skiba and Linette Kux behind the flag.  
Coral Skiba (left) has recently returned from a year in Austria.  
Linette Kux will be returning to Austria in July after a year in Lethbridge.
Linette Kux receiving gifts.  She sure liked her moccasins and Tshirt.  We're trying to make her as Canadian as we can before sending her home.  Left to right: Chris McLean and Fran Leggett (incoming co-presidents), Audrey King (outgoing co-president) and Linette.  
Audrey King getting ready to pass the gavel to Fran and Chris.  
Mike Greer, our host, was also celebrating his 65th birthday.  Mike (left) with Roger Rampling and Cheryl Mains.   
Henning Muendel, a member of our club, gave an amazing presentation on May 30, 2017, about his recent return to the Paniyas of the Nilgiri Hills.  This was Henning's 7th trip to visit this colony.  The colony was established as a tribal area for Paniyas people 1966.  These Paniya people, prior to receiving this land, had been indentured servants and had almost no material possessions, no education and limited skills.  The NGO, NAWA (Nilgiris Adivasi Welfare Association) was responsible for the establishment of this tribal farm community.  Dr. Narasimhan was one of the key people in NAWA at the time of Henning's first journey to the Nilgiri Hills.  On this visit, there was a celebration of  Dr. Narasimhan's 100th birth anniversary at NAWA headquarters in Kotagiri and a few days later at the Paniya colony, nearly 200 km from Kotagiri.  
Henning, through the Canadian CUSO organization became the first farm manager for this tribal farm.  This incredible story is too long to tell in this format.  Readers are encouraged to read Henning's book on this subject.  My Life Among the Paniyas of the Nilgiri Hills which can be purchased on line through several vendors.  : e.g. via from time to time via Amazon:
Below are some photos from Henning's first visit as farm manager in 1966 through to his latest visit in 2017.  Many of the children in the 1966 pictures are now grandparents and some are shown with Henning in 2017.
Grain preparation in 1966
The tea plantation on the Paniyas' land has added a source of cash which has enhanced the lifestyles of the community.
Henning was sent to India by CUSO as  fresh Masters in Agronomy/Plant Breeding and International Agricultural Development.   His duties included managing a farm and a newly created tribal area.  Henning realized that this group of Paniyas needed education and Henning was instrumental in getting many of the people education.  
Henning with “his” first students in 1966.  
1966: Narayini – third from right in back row; Ammini – her sister – third from right in front row; Kurian – their brother, 5th from right in front row (looking backwards)
2017: Narayini – front left; Ammini – her sister – beside her; Kurian – their brother, on right; with H-Henning Muendel in centre rear
Henning with Paniya school children in 1967; second from right is Vellikan C.
Above is Henning and Vellikan C. in 2017.
Above is Henning with some of the "children" from 1966.  Many of these Paniyas now have nice clothes, improved diets and education thanks to Henning's initial work and from the continued support by other organizations over the years.  
The picture above was taken at the inauguration of the community hospital that is shown in the background.  The Nilgiris Adivasi Golden Jubilee Hospital was built and equipped with funds donated by several organizations and Rotary Clubs including Rotary Club of Lethbridge East which was the lead club on this project.  
Location of the colony.
Above, farming by hand and with oxen in 1966.
Above, Henning and children in 1966.   And, 50 years later they remember how much Henning has helped them.
Some of the "grandchildren" in the computer lab on the colony.  The computer lab was established with donations by Henning and Bev Mundel.  
Some of the children have gone on to post-secondary education.  
Above and below, Henning with some of his students from 1966.  
Henning Muendel's presentation was very heart warming and thought-provoking.  We had some discussion after the presentation.  This Paniya colony is now self supporting.  Many of the residents have started their own businesses.  Several of the young people have gone on to post-secondary education.  There are many lessons to be learned from the continuous 50 year involvement  of the local NGO, the Nilgiris Adivasi Welfare Association with the Paniyas of the Nilgiri Hills, including Henning's (and his wife, Bev's) enduring commitment to the Paniyas .   Long term commitment, continued support, planning, integrity and empathy were all factors in helping a group of people go from indentured servitude to self sufficient people with a positive view of the future.  All Rotarians and others interested in international development can glean important information from this success story.    
On March 21, our club met at the Lethbridge Food Bank in lieu of our regular meeting.  We were put to work in 3 different areas of the Food Bank.  
1.  Packaging Oatmeal that our club had donated previous.
2.  Sorting donated food.
3.  Serving Clients
This volunteer project gave our club a better understanding of the day to day operations of the Lethbridge Food Bank.  It also gave our club a chance to interact with the dedicated and friendly staff.  We have gathered more knowledge of the system and its needs so we can improve our donations and projects with the Lethbridge Food Bank.  
For 7 years, the Rotary Club of Lethbridge East has made bulk food donations to the Lethbridge Food Bank.  The bulk food has included:  Quick Oats, Frozen Peas, Bulk Potatoes, Dry Great Northern Beans.  We have worked with the Rotary Club of Lethbridge, Frito-Lay, Viterra, Bonduelle, local farmers and others to provide over 63,000 pounds of healthy economical food in the past 7 years.  
Below are some action shots of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge East at work.  The pictures of the unloading and stacking of the pallets of Quick Oats are from previous loads of oats.  
At our regular meeting of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge East, we were treated to some heart warming stories by our in-bound exchange student Lynette Kux and by club member Dr. Chuck Galambos and his family.
Lynette recently returned from a trip to San Diego and to Tijuana, Mexico where she helped build a house for a very poor family.  Below are some pictures of Lynette hard at work, her house building team and a picture of a very grateful family that received the house.  Well done Lynette!
Our main speaker for the evening was Dr. Chuck Galambos.  Chuck with help from his daughters, Diana and Daniella and his Cuban born wife Leydis did a lively job of telling us about their recent trip to Cuba.  Chuck gave us a brief history of the island which included the long history of American involvement and the rise to power of Fidel Castro.  We learned about the Island of Youth ( Isla de la Juventud) as it is called today.  Leydis was born on this island and left for Canada 15 years ago.  The local economy is quite impoverished and there are many challenges for the people that live there.  It is difficult to live as there is very little cash in the economy and it is a challenge to find parts and equipment.  For foreign visitors it is extremely inexpensive.  There are beautiful beaches and great fresh fruits and vegetables.  Below are some pictures of the Galambos' trip to Isla de la Juventud.
We all learned some new things about Cuba.  Incredibly beautiful country with lots of history and political issues.  Thanks again Dr. Chuck and family.  
Carol Kundrik (Sunrise) introduced from the Calgary West Club to speak about the long-term and very successful micro-credit development project in Honduras which is now in Phase IV since it started in 1984 at the 10th Int’l RI Convention.  Steve reviewed the long and impressive history of the project that is linked RI’s commitment with the UN to reduce world hunger and poverty.  In 1989, more than 40,000 children were dying daily from hunger and malnutrition related diseases.  Today that number is less than 10,000 but still far too many children are suffering.
The micro-credit program has had more than 200 million borrowers and impacted more than 1B people by providing only $1.25/day to minimize hunger. UN’s goal is to eliminate child poverty and hunger by 2050 and RI and the global micro-credit program is playing a key role in this effort.  Ken Montgomery is a retired engineer and active in the project for many years.  He has visited more than 67 countries but is very committed to the Honduras project because it is the 2nd poorest country in Latin America with more 800,000 people suffering from hunger.
This HECD IVth phase of the project lead by his Calgary Club are attempting to raise $150K to be matched by RI and funding partners Opportunities Int’l Canada and IDH in Honduras.  This involves providing family business loans as small as $150 for various entrepreneurial ventures.  Repayment of loans have been very successful > 90% and had a major impact on reducing poverty and increasing their standard of living. Families do not have access to reasonable financing locally given the high interest rates (40-80%).  They are focusing larger SME (small to medium enterprise) projects of about $5K/each that will create 30-80 jobs over the next year and benefit more than 250 family members.
They are hoping to raise up to $5K from interested clubs.  In this regard Sunrise announced a $5000 contribution to the project and hope that RCLE will be able to contribute as well.
After some lively discussion about the challenges with corruption in countries like Honduras, Ken convinced the group that their efforts in due diligence and oversight have minimized these concerns.
Andrew thanked Steve and Ken for their passionate and informative presentation and wished them every success.  Our club will discuss this initiative further and hopefully be able to contribute in some meaningful way.
The playground construction crew made great progress on the installation of the new equipment this week.  Weather should allow completion of the project in early November thanks to some mild weather.  
Below:  Cement work October 26.
Pouring cement October 27.
Equipment installation getting started October 30. 
"RCLE Sugar Bowl playground equipment in boxes at site readied for construction: October 23, 2016.
There will be further updates to this story as progress is made on the Sugar Bowl Playground.  This is the second "refit" of the playground since it was intially built by members of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge East in 1971.  Photos by Bev Muendel-Atherstone.
Playground area has been prepped.  Original plaque is still there.  
New playground equipment is in boxes.
Boxes of playground equipment.                                                          
Another look at the site preparation.
Kim Derksen won a travel voucher a couple of years ago and used the proceeds to go to India to take part in National Immunization Day.  The Rotary Club of Lethbridge East had Kim speak to the club on October 12, 2016.  Kim, who is a nursing instructor at the University of Lethbridge, took us all on a short version of her trip to India in February of this year.  It was a very informative and interesting presentation. 
Kim is a member of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Sunrise.  She joined a group of Rotarians from California for the trip as it was the most convenient time to travel.  Kim arrived in Delhi and spent a few days seeing the amazing sights which includes lots of temples.  It was also a shock to Kim's senses to take in the sights, smells and income disparity.    
Kim travelled to a the city of Hathras with 4 of the volunteers.  In Hathras, they vaccinated up to 300 children per day in temporary clinics that were set up in businesses and government building.  Kim and her small group went out to a very primitive small village to vaccinate the children there.  Living conditions were very tough and unsanitary.
Kim then travelled back to Delhi and visited several Rotary supported clinics.  One Rotary supported clinic provided free blood services to needing people of India.  They visited a government supported hospital that provided surgery and prothetic support to Polio sufferers.  One doctor had dedicated his career to helping Polio sufferers and he had preformed over 25,000 surgeries.  
In 1988 there were over 200,000 cases of Polio in India.  In 2013, India was declared Polio free.  There are still a lot of people suffering from Polio and the country must keep vaccinating as there is Polio in neighbouring Pakistan.  
Kim Derksen dressed in her "National Immunization Day" outfit presenting
to Rotary Club of Lethbridge East in the Saddle Room.
The World Health Organization and UNICEF have done an incredible job
in India's Polio Erradication Program.
Kim and other Rotary volunteers gave drops at various booths
on National Immunization Day in India
The Rotary Club of Lethbridge East received the letter posted below from the Superintendents of both Glacier and Waterton National Parks.  This workshop preceeded the annual Rotary International Peace Park Assembly.  Many club members have been active in theWaterton - Glacier International Peace Park Association for many years.  Please visit their website to learn more:
The Rotary Club of Lethbridge East did it again!  475 dozen roses were delivered to wives, family, friends, staff members at their homes and offices on October 6, 2016.  It was a very busy day that started early with wrapping the roses and finished with the last deliveries in the evening.  We greatly appreciate all the hard work from club members and other volunteers and we want to give special thanks to Chris McLean who lead this project this year for our club.  
Please watch the video below.  We received some great coverage by the Lethbridge CTV crew.  This video appeared on the CTV Lethbridge Evening News on October 7.  Chuck Galambos is shown delivering roses to the Royal Bank in downtown Lethbridge and there is a great interview with Bev Muendel-Atherstone.  
Below are some pictures of the roses, the card that is delivered with the Roses and some U of Lethbridge volunteers.  
Audrey and Evon Wrapping Roses                                                                                        
Bill Mains getting loaded up for another delivery run
Wes and Andrew - just visiting            Trinity loading up Chuck's car
Bob Jones getting ready                                                                                        
 Trinity and Chuck presenting roses at RBC
Our Inbound Youth Exchange Student for 2016-2017 is Linette Kux.  Linette, dressed in a traditional Austrian dirndl, gave our club her first formal presentation of the year.  Linette is 15 years old and comes to us from Austria.  Linette is from the village of Leogang which is famous for its proximity to the Saalbach – Hinterglemm ski resort which receives 23 million tourists annually.  
The club received an excellent presentation filled with beautiful photographs of scenery and historic castle from Austria.  Linette loves animals and sports which includes soccer, horse back riding and skiing. Linette's English is very good and is sure to improve during her stay in Lethbridge.  Our club is very pleased to host Linette for this year and we look forward to having her at our meetings, club events and family functions throughout the year.  Linette's sponsoring club in Austria is the Rotary Club of Zell am See (banner shown below).
Left to Right:  Glenn Coulter Co-President, Linette Kux, Audrey King (Co-President)
Rotary Youth Exchange Students from several districts gathered at East Glacier to participate in the Hands Across Borders 2016. Transboundary & Peace Park Assembly. This was a tremendous experience for the exchange students as the Transboundary Practitioners Workshop brought conservation management people from all around the world to Glacier National Park.  Our Youth Exchange Student for 2016-2017 Line Kux attended and had a lot of fun getting to know all the other exchange students from around the world.  Futher information about the Waterton Glacier Peace Park Assembly can be found by clicking on this hyperlink.
On June 15, 2016, the Rotary Club of Lethbridge East served humanity, got some exercise, fresh air and had a few laughs doing it.  For many years in a row, the club has been picking up garbage along Highway 4.  So Rotary may be noted for projects such as polio erradication, international student exchanges, community develops such as spray parks and playgrounds but just so you know, we even pick up garbage!  We had a extra laugh this year when Maria Trans, our clubs Youth Exchange Student from Denmark found one of Bev Muendel Atherstone's campaign signs in the ditch.  

We are very proud to have long-time club member Bob Hironaka in our midst. Bob recently received the Alberta Order of Excellence recognition. Bob is an exceptional Rotarian, citizen, community inspiration and productive innovator.

ImageBob is an outstanding Rotarian, recipient of 5 Paul Harris Fellowships for his contributions to The Rotary Foundation, and a genuinely positive organizer for Rotary events. Bob has been deeply supportive of Group Study Exchange programs, through which young professionals visit other countries to learn in their fields and to build international relationships. Bob supervised a GSE group to Japan, and has hosted and planned visits and functions for countless incoming GSE groups.

For many years, Bob was one of the principal proponants and participants in the Young Voyageurs Program through which students from Quebec and Alberta participated in an exchange to enhance understanding within our Canadian culture. Bob has also been a strong supporter of the Rotary International Student Exchange, supporting both incoming, and outgoing Lethbridge students.

Bob has been a tireless organizer and supporter of Rotary community activities, and has held nearly every Executive / Committee Chair postion in the Rotary Club of Lethbridge East. He has introduced many people in the Lethbridge community to Rotary with his unique talent for identifying people's strengths. Bob is well known throughout the District and has become one of the "elder statesmen" for Rotary.

Bob is an outstanding citizen, a true inspiration to his community, and a very constructive innovator. Bob was behind the coming to fruition of projects such as the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Communites in Bloom, and so much more for our community ! Bob has also contributed to educational advancement in our City, as Chancellor at the University of Lethbridge.

Click Dr. Bob for more information about this incredible man !

Click News Flash Dr. Bob for photo of the 2012 Award Recipients.

Recently a Celebration Dinner was hosted in honor of Bob's special recognition - click Celebrate Dr. Bob  for photos of that event.

ImageImageImageLaura is our Club’s  inbound exchange student  from Troyes (pop 61,200), the regional capital of the Champagne-Ardenne district in the North-East of France. The area is beautifully rolling land, inundated with vineyards producing the world-famous champagne. Troyes has old architecture including Cathedral St. Pierre et St. Paul and timber-façade buildings, and sits along the river Seine 150km southeast of Paris.




Laura lives in a rural type setting in a large house with her parents and an older sister. Laura’s high school is a converted hospital from WWII ; she lives in residence and goes home on the weekends. She says she likes her family because, “They are not perfect”. Her mother was a tennis pro and national winner when Laura was younger; she now is a tennis teacher and Laura is very proud of her.  Her father works for the government ; he likes tennis - and that is what brought her parents together.  Her sister is into horses and participates in competitive riding. The whole family enjoys tennis.


Laura's hobbies includes playing guitar, photography, reading and writing and she would like to learn to play piano.  Her friends are her second family because they live together all week, Her best quote is, “It’s very important to have friends, because they are the best things in the world”.

When Laura goes home, she will take her final year of high school and will aspire to be a lawyer (avocat) specializing in International Law.Image






Laura is a delightful bright young lady, with whom we have shared various Alberta adventures - one that includied getting her gloves on fire over a Coleman stove pot when warming her hands after snow-shoeing with some of our club members …. . She is enthused and “agreeable” about the love our Club has for her and visa-versa, and she is learning a lot about life here. She is now 17 years old and is excitedly looking forward to becoming 18 in March of 2013. 

Enjoy your year Laura, it goes quickly……

Our darling Cassidy returned to Canada from Brazil ! No one is more excited than her mom and her granny. We say "welcome back" !! and we can't wait to hear all Cassidy's stories  .................... about plenty of hot running water, great water pressure, an exciting home-away-from-home, and lots of adventures and experiences.  

( For other views of Brazil and all its beauty AND soccer arenas : tune in to the FIFA world cup  !! )



Andrew Bronson is watching Lethbridge Food Bank staff unload 10,000 pounds of Quick Oats.  This is part of the 14,500 pounds donated this year.  Total donations from the combined efforts of the 4 Rotary Clubs is over 53,000 pounds.  

     Click here for a map to the Saddle Room