Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Jul 06, 2019
July 11, 2019: Picnic in the Park.


Today at Rotary:  The beginning of a President’s term in Rotary is a time for introducing oneself, presenting goals and hopes and enthusing members to be active in the upcoming year.  As incoming President, Brent Shackleton was eloquent, humourous and challenging.
 
 
First  duty of our new President Brent Shackleton to exchange banners with Past Presidents Sam and Julie Dragieh from  Windsor Rosedale Club .
 
President Brent began by introducing the new Boards of both Stratford Rotary and the Foundation – the first time there have been two separate Boards.   He spent a few minutes talking about his roots in Stratford and area, growing up on a farm which specialized in mushrooms and corn.  Then onto Western for a degree in economics which was followed by the start of what, to date, has been a 35 year career in real estate and auctioneering.  He also spoke lovingly of his family – his mother Lorraine was present – and his wife and three children.  As a side bar, President Brent identified his three “heroes” – Ernest Shackleton (the polar explorer), Abraham Lincoln (whose unfortunate assassination our new leader is hoping not to emulate!) and Sir Winston Churchill (whose addiction to cigars and Pol Roger champagne we are hoping President Brent will forgo).   
 
 
What we are working towards for our Rotary of the future.
 
 
President Brent mentioned his father’s membership and commitment to Rotary and that he was carrying on that tradition of service above self - a tradition that in Stratford has seen such important projects as Hospice, Commit, Respite House and involvement in the hospital and parks campaigns.
 
President Brent outlined his manifesto for his incumbency.  Number One was to ensure that Club prepared for the celebration of its 100th birthday in 2021.  This would a chance for our club to remember and highlight the significant contributions that it has made in Stratford, the diverse membership over the years and the importance of Rotary in sustaining the high quality of community living that we enjoy here.
 
Number Two was to prepare for the future of our club and for the role of Rotary in our community by developing a new Strategic Plan.  President Brent spoke of his own awakening to the challenges that the 21st century presents to traditional service organizations: membership – both recruitment and retention; changing demographics – especially with the needs of millennials; seismic shifts in communications – esp. social media; and the pressures to be more flexible with traditions such as meetings, time commitments, networking and diversity.  President Brent emphasized that Rotary must return to its essential roots while recognizing the world in which we now belong.  He quoted Paul Harris, “This is a changing world: we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.”
 
Finally Number Three is to inaugurate a new project – to ask ourselves the question “What if…” and take on the challenge with the same resolution and zeal that have ensured the success of all our projects to date.   President Brent stressed that he is very optimistic about the future of Rotary both locally and globally and that the challenges come with excitement and their own rewards not only for us but for our communities and our world.
 
President Brent with mother Lorraine and wife Terry (not in picture) at meeting for moral support and fond memory of dad Wayne also past member of club.
 
Your loyal, modest and sober Scribbler,
 
Scribe: Guy Chadsey
 
Rick Orr giving club proceeds of sale of T H Orr book to President Brent for $380.
 
Guests: Today we welcomed: Sam and Julie Dragich - Rotary Club of Windsor – Roseland, Ashley Henry, AG Dianne Yundt - Festival City Rotary club, Lucas Carvalho - New generation exchange, Lorraine Shackleton.
 
Foundation Draw: The prize was donated by an anonymous donor and won by John Hood Tidman.
 
Make-ups: No report. 
 
July’s Attendance Committee: Rheo Thompson (I/C), Steve Lichty, Bob Lightfoot, Bill Lemmon, Pat Redshaw, Jim Snider, Carolyn Drummond, R.J. Stevenson-Read.