Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Aug 02, 2019
August 8, 2019: Jen Benjamin Youth Worker Stratford police, “Scams and Frauds”, Jerry McEwin, will introduce, and Alan Wakelin will thank our speaker.

Head Table:  Our President Brent Shackleton, invites Jerry McEwin, Steve Rae, Pat Redshaw, Lutzen Riedstra, Patricia Riehl, Rob Ritz and Peter Roach, to join him at the head table.

Today at Rotary: Our speaker today was Bill James-Abra, who first came to Stratford as the chaplain for the Palliative Care unit at Stratford General Hospital and who has had a private counselling practice in the city for the last 10 years.
Guest speaker Bill James Abra speaking on Climate momentum a new group raising climate change awareness in Stratford.
Bill is concerned about climate change, having heard fears expressed by his clients and has done his own research into the situation.  Yale University has released a study about Climate Change Communication that shows that individuals are deeply concerned by the climate crisis and many have a desire to build the human capacity to intervene.
He believes that the City of Stratford and area is the type of community that can bring about real positive change for the environment.  People respond well to a consistent and cohesive approach to any problem.  The type of relationships that people enjoy in our area, where they know the people they are talking with, make change possible.
Bill is also concerned that many people think that Climate Change is something that is remote and yet to come.  He told us that severe weather events cost the insurance industry in Ontario over $1B in 2018.  Climate change is here and now and needs our attention.
Bill and his friend Anne Carbert launched a website on April 2019,  The goals of the website are to build a sense of what is possible, to enable conversations on the subject and to be a resource to groups and individuals interested in doing more for the environment. 
If you check out the website, you will find notices of networking events held monthly, and articles written by volunteer contributors that cite the change that can happen when people work together. 
One example is a company called Cornerstone Renewables that procures materials that would otherwise go to landfills for use in the biogas industry.  This company diverted 240,000 Tonnes of material in the last year, reducing the carbon emissions equivalent to 2000 cars from the atmosphere.  Local biogas digesters are part of this effort, including Athlone BioPower (Brian and Wendy Anderson), Henry and Inge Koskamp of Sebringville and Dave Green at Embro.
Another example is the reduction of electricity consumption due to the use of LED lighting in municipal buildings, including arenas.  Change can have an impact.
Bill spoke about the hardships faced by previous generations who grew up during the depression and the world wars.  Those folks endured and shone during those difficult times.  Now is the time for our generation to shine.
Bill was introduced by Rena Spevak-Orr and thanked by Doug Thompson.
Scribe:  Wendy Anderson
Attendance Ribbons: President Brent presented ribbons to: 100 - Doug Brown, Pattie Reihl, John Wright, 1300 - Elizabeth Gaffney and 1600 - Rob Ritz.
Rotary recipients of Attendance ribbons.
Care and Cheer – Bill Lemmon has had hip surgery recently.  Keep him in your thoughts.
Rotary Announcements
  • Reminder of the upcoming (August 22) evening meeting at Katherine Hahn’s home.  The culmination of the membership drive so be sure to bring any potential members you have in mind.  There will be a pork chop BBQ and we are asked to bring a salad or dessert.  Members need to sign up so that food planning can happen.  Cost of the meal TBD.
  • Annual Dave Blackburn Car Rally – registration for the car rally is now open, restricted to the first 50 cars.  Look it up on Clubrunner.
  • Catch the Ace -  Although ticket sales are down by 25% after the first 20 weeks, profit for the club has nearly doubled due to reduced expenses.  To date, the profit is over $6000.00   It is a very worthwhile project that is always looking for volunteers.  Check Clubrunner to see where you can help.
  • Dragon Boat Festival- The platinum sponsor for the next two years was announced today -  The Boars Head and The Queens Inn.  Thanks for this commitment to the Dragon Boat Festival and the many Rotary projects that it supports.
Gary Wreford and Robert Ritz unfolding banner announce new platinum sponsor ( Queen’s Inn)for Dragon Boat.
  • Legislation Committee – Part of the process of updating the Rotary Club of Stratford Charitable Foundation objects includes vetting by Service Ontario and the Canada Revenue Agency.  The CRA has asked for more detail regarding both the projects raising money and the projects receiving funding.  If you are the chair of a committee that falls into either of those categories, you can expect to be contacted to help prepare a response for the CRA.
  • A video produced by Global Medic, featuring the distribution of our Aquaboxes following the Cyclone crisis in Mozambique this spring was viewed by the membership.  A request was made to have the video available on the club facebook page.
  • Attendance ribbons were presented to John Wright, Patricia Riehl and Doug Brown for 100 meetings, Elizabeth Gaffney for 1300 meetings and Robert Ritz for 1600 meetings.
  • Congratulations to JoAnne and John Hood Tidman on their 25th wedding anniversary this week.
Guests:  Today we welcomed Kirk Riehl, Festival City Rotary Club, Lucas Carvalho, Brazil   New Generations Exchange.
Draw: The prize today donated by Wendy Anderson, Ticket drawn and won by guest speaker Bill James-Abra
Make-ups: No report. 
August’s Attendance Committee: Mike Gruszczynski (I/C), Jim Hayes, Steve Monteith, Josef Frank, David Braye, Paul Roulston, Bob Gulliford, Norm Bird, Bryan Lapier.