Sunday, June 26, 2011

Squamish a Night to Remember

New Rotarians welcomed to RC of Squamish

In front of the Royal Hudson
On Friday, June 24 at the West Coast Railway Museum in Squamish I  installed the new officers and board members of the club for 2011-12.  What a fantastic backdrop. The Royal Hudson was pulled into the round house and a number of other vintage rolling stock for the evening.  President Pat Taylor gave a great PowerPoint presentation on all the numerous projects the club has taken on this year. PDG Chris Offer presented six PH Fellow recognition certificates and AG Sheri Davis presented the PHF pins.  I also had the pleasure of inducting  two new  Rotarians . Congratulations to President Pat and her  2010-11 team for a very successful year for the Rotary Club of Squamish.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Change Over Night at West Van Sunrise

On Thursday, June 23 I was pleased to assist with the presentation of a number of Paul Harris Fellow recognition at the RC of West Vancouver Sunrise change over dinner. DGE Hans Doge installed the new board for 2011-12.

It was a great evening at the West Vancouver Yacht Club. The background of Howe Sound and the marina made for a wonderful setting for a Rotary event. In my presentation to the club I had the opportunity to thank the club members for all the work they have done in the past year in building communities and bridging continents and in particular for their sponsor ship of the new Rotary club of Bowen Island. The club made Bowen Island charter president Piers Hayes a PH Fellow.

DG Penny

President Jason Bowman, DG Penny, AG Ken Wilson

Monday, June 20, 2011

New West Interact

Students of NWSS’s Interact Club gather around their cheque for $900 to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. The students raised the money through bake sales at the school to help fund neurodevelopmental support systems, or positional aids, to promote the development of premature babies while they are in their cribs. These aids help mimic the mother’s womb by reducing noise and light irritation; providing support for babies’ heads, shoulders, hips, pelvis and knees; and promoting limb flexion.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rotary World Help Network wins Award

Congratulations to the Rotary World Help Network for being selected as the winner of the 2011 Donald MacRae Peace Award for Zone 24.
The award will be presented in Boston in August 2011 at the Zone 24-32 Institute.
This award recognizes the hundreds of hours of volunteer time put in by the many Rotarians, their spouses, partners, family and friends who collect medical, humanitarian and educational supplies and ship the supplies around the world to support impoverished communities and in many cases support work being done by Rotary clubs with Rotary Foundation grants and World Community Service projects. The Rotary World Help Network is a multi club and multi district project. RWHN in the past 15 years has shipped hundreds of sea containers of humanitarian aid worth millions of dollars nearly all is donated surplus material.
The Rotary Zone Donald MacRae Peace Award is an annual award presented by Rotary Zones 24 and 32 to recognize and honour an individual or organization for outstanding achievement consistent with the ideals of Rotary as expressed in the Fourth Object of Rotary.  "The advancement of International understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional people united in the ideal of service"
The award commemorates the contribution of Halifax Rotarian Donald MacRae, who in a speech to the International Convention in Kansas City in June 1918 proposed that Rotary become an agent for the promotion of goodwill and peace among nations - the first time that this vision of Rotary was expressed publicly.
Reflecting the vision created by MacRae, the award focuses on advancing international goodwill, understanding and peace through peace-making efforts or humanitarian activity of international significance.
The recipient of the Donald MacRae Peace Award receives an inscribed glass plaque and a commemorative certificate. The individual or organization nominated must be one whose life, mission, or work demonstrates outstanding achievement consistent with the ideals of the Fourth Object of Rotary International, having made an outstanding contribution to this cause through international efforts such as World Community Service. Awards will not be made posthumously.
The selection committee is composed of five members from Zone 24, named by the R.I. Director responsible for Zone 24.
Thank you Rotary World Help Network and every committee member and volunteer for your dedication, passion and commitment to service. You have changed the lives for the better for thousands of children, families and communities.  We are all indebted to you. 
Penny Offer
Governor 2011-12

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Rotary Library Opens

In late 2007, British Columbia Lieutenant Governor Steven Point, was chatting with his aide de camp, Bob Blacker, past governor of District 5040. He asked Bob what Rotary was doing to promote literacy.  Out of this discussion developed the Government House – Rotary partnership to build libraries in BC’s isolated first nations communities.
On May 31st Lt. Governor Point, DG Penny Offer, PDG Bob Blacker, Ron Malmas, President of the RC of Williams Lake Daybreak and First Nations representatives opened the Tl’esqox Literacy Centre at Toosey west of Williams Lake in the Chilcotin. The project received funding from The Rotary Foundation - District Grant, RC of Williams Lake, RC of Langley Central (D5050) and Bridco Trailers 
The following story is from the Williams Lake Tribune by Robyn Chambers
B.C. Lt. Gov. Steven Point stood in the middle of a hockey rink on the Tl’esqox First Nation Tuesday and addressed the crowd that had gathered for the formal occasion; he told his audience of adults, youth and children of his struggle with poverty and literacy and implored them to work towards literacy because of its ability to open doors.
Point, Queen Elizabeth II ’s representative in B.C., was at the First Nation community to officially open the community’s new library that was borne out of a partnership between his office and the Rotary International Joint Literacy Project to bring literacy resources to remote and isolated communities throughout the province.
The Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Club partnered with Tl’esqox, the Rotary Club of Langley Central, the Rotary Club of Langley and Langley-based Britco for the project that included the donation of a modular building formerly used during the 2010 Olympic Games , and books and other resources to stock the newly minted Tl’esqox Library.
Point, a former chief and tribal chair of the Sto:lo Nation Government and former provincial court judge, told the crowd that it wasn’t until high school when he read his first book from cover to cover.The story of a civil rights lawyer who fought for minority rights in the United States later convinced him to return to school. But he struggled lacking basic literacy skills.
“I had to go back to a class every lunch hour at college. A Sesame Street program taught me how to understand English grammar,” he recalled.
Point says he realized the gravity of the situation facing literacy amongst the First Nations population when he attended his first meeting of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.He saw that while many chiefs understood their rights and what they were fighting for they could not comprehend the written word.
That was when I understood we were poor and standing at the margins of a country called Canada,” he said.  “I understood if we were going to change that and bring our people out of poverty; if we were going to accomplish what elders wanted in terms of rights, we had to begin to understand the written word. We had to send our young people to school.”
Point said literacy is the key to helping First Nations people understand the world, be empowered and participate fully in it.“For too long we’ve been standing on the outside looking into government. It’s high time we begin to run for positions and find out what’s going on in the world to bring it home to the people. “But it begins with literacy and understanding — hanging on to our culture and language but with another tool too:  literacy.”
Point thanked the organizations that had collaborated to help to make the library a reality. He told them they’d, “brought us to a different place in history to a new plateau. All I can say is thank you.”
Later, Tl’esqox First Nation education co-ordinator Shirley Johnny-Grambush, said a library in the community’s backyard would mean residents no longer have to travel to Williams Lake to access books.  School-aged children in the community had previously used school libraries and families had to travel every few weeks to the Williams Lake library in the community’s van if they wanted access to books.
“This is much easier. It’s closer to home instead of taking an hour in a vehicle so it’s much better and we’ll have more time,” Johnny-Grambush said.“We want to help promote the habit of reading; there’s a lot of children who really love books.”
Some of the books were chosen by community members and others were donated. Johnny-Grambush says the library will purchase new ones on a regular basis. Although there’s much work to be done cataloguing the library’s stock, the facility is now open to the community.