President Ann-Shirley Goodell was at the podium today and we had 17 members at breakfast plus Steve McGrandle and our exchange student. A beautiful morning, with the promise of sunny skies today and forever.

Sheila Anderson is back from Scotland and France, where she and Patrick cycled among the vineyards and enjoyed a stay at the vacation home of Abigail Turner's parents. France was great, she said, but we didn't hear much about the vineyards in Scotland. Jim Clarke is back from Maui where the weather was perfect, the surf was up and the tourists were gone. Lawrence Bicknell is back from England where his mother is having health challenges and he's not talking about the weather. Cam Scott, on the other hand, is MIA, allegedly in Whitehorse. Who knows about the weather there.

Rotary moment

Ann-Shirley gave us the story of the RWHN. The what?  Rotary World Help Network was started in 1991 by the Vancouver club, around the time they chartered a club in Kiev, the first Ukrainian club after the demise of the Soviet Union. To asist the new Kiev club with projects helping local hospitals and schools, Vancouver organized the shipment of surplus equipment from Canada to Ukraine. That grew over time into an ongoing warehouse full of surplus stuff, waiting to be loaded into 40-foot containers and shipped to developing countries, in support of many clubs' service projects. All this is done with volunteer labour plus cash contributions (memberships) by Rotary clubs. Our club pays $250 per year and is asked to provide volunteers to help load a container from time to time. The warehouse at the old Riverview Hospital site in Coquitlam is amazing. If you haven't done so lately, volunteer to go out there to help some Saturday and see for yourself.

Club news

Guess Who's Coming For Dinner is this Saturday. If you haven't received an email with where you go and what you bring, contact Ann-Shirley and get the info. Bon appetite, tout le monde!

Luisa Godoy, our student from Brazil, told us she survived shopping in Bellingham with Cleo Perez (and a Venezuelan meal, too) and has been learning about Hallowe'en pumpkins with Patricia Hargreaves, her host mom, and about Thanksgiving dinner with the Bicknell family. Lots of Canadian things, all new to her.

The Nominating Committee is accepting candidates for the 2014-2015 board. If you've always wanted a seat on the board, with all the prestige and privilege that entails, just give your name to Julie Mantle this week.

Today's program

Our speaker was Gene Vickers, a member of the Rotary Club of Coquitlam Centennial. After a 2-year hiatus, he's glad to be back in Rotary and talking about "Rotary: what's in it for me?"

Gene praised the value of the 4-Way Test and the successes of youth programs like Youth Exchange and RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards). He likes to sometimes use the humour of a clown nose to change attitudes, particularly during traffic jams that can cause road rage. And, he gave a personal experience when a random act of kindness set off a chain of similar actions by total strangers.

Gene's overall theme was that Rotary gives each of us the opportunity to change lives. That's what's in it for us.


Have fun at Guess Who and we'll see you next Wednesday for breakfast.