Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Jul 08, 2017
July 13, 2017: Picnic in the Park.   
This Week:  Today's program began with the the introduction, by Elizabeth Gaffney, of John Miller the Stratford Summer Music Director.
Speaker John Miller Director of Stratford Summer Music and PHF outlining a couple special events this year at SSM  including a tribute to First Nations. He is soon to retire from his larger than life role.
John Miller brought Keenan Reimer-Watts to meeting. He is pianist who is doing short Preludes for anyone wanting to celebrate a special person or occasion.
John indicated that he had spoken to some 6 Rotary clubs of late and none of them could sing O'Canada like our club--but more importantly, none of the clubs had as many female members as the Stratford Rotary Club ! John also complimented the club on our involvement with the summer music program, describing our participation as "vital in the development of summer music in Stratford". Kudos also went out to his worship Dave Hunt and Paul Roulston( for the meds that have kept John alive!) John reminded us of some of the events not to miss particularly the Trans Express Drummers from France--10 pm on July 18 at the Market Square. He also pointed out that the summer program, like our Rotary Club, will be promoting the HIP program--Honouring Indigenous People.
Linda Bathe our new president giving an outline of the recent Rotary International Convention and also her plans for her  year as president.
The second part of our program was new president Linda Bathe's inagural address. It has often been said that " the beginning is the most important part of the job"--you did that well Linda! And what a nice touch to have the Bathe family present for this meeting!
Linda spoke about the recent Rotary International Convention in Atlanta that she and Kathryn Hahn attended. Some 34,000 Rotarians from around the world gathered to celebrate the difference that Rotarians make-- internationally and locally.Polio Plus raised 1.2 billion dollars, thanks in large part to Bill Gates who will match our contributions two to one. Linda announced that our club will match any of us who contribute to the polio plus program this year up to $1,000--and she became the first to make such a contribution--leading by example Linda--well done.
Key thoughts from various speakers at the convention included:
1. volunteerism is the glue to making the world a better place
2. goals of clubs depend on each of us "doing what we can, when we can"
3. happiness requires a sense of purpose
4. get involved globally; give to causes that make a difference; help build your community
5. practise our theme: ROTARY: MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Key thoughts regarding our club in the coming year included:
1. continuing to evolve by reviewing and revising our bylaws
2. accepting the need to become more flexible in areas of membership and attendance
3. encouraging and introducing Rotary fellowships like RWAF--Rotary Wine Appreciation Fellowship !! There are countless more fellowships in Rotary--look them up on google.
4. what we do in this club is real--we make a difference--let us continue that trend
5. Linda promised to do her best--and that is all we can ask Linda. As Kevin did last year--" make the woodpile a little higher".
6. lastly, Linda encouraged the club members to attend the Rotary International Convention in Toronto next year--if you have never been to one you are missing out on an experience of a lifetime. Rotarians from over 165 different countries that share a common idea of making the world a better place is contagious. And you will have fun!
SCRIBE: Guillaume Citron
Brent Shackleton hosting St Mary’s Rotary Club exchange student Nikolas Cuello Carrizo who expressed thanks to Rotary for this opportunity.
Rena Orr giving a special First Nations grace.
Sue Wakelin our new Sargent at Arms starting her term
Draw: The draw prize today was donated by Paul Roulston and won by Steve Lichty.
Guests: Today we welcomed, Dave Fuhrman – Stratford, Nikolas Cuello - Student Exchange – Chile, John Woollatt – Stratford, Keenan Reiner-Watts - K-W, Anne Bathe – Stratford, Deb Frankie – Stratford, Dianne Yundt - Assistant Governor, Spencer Fuhrman - Stratford
Make-ups: No report
July’s Attendance Committee:  Bob Lightfoot (I/C), Tina Buechler, Jim Snider, Bill Braun, Rheo Thompson, Dan Vito, Steve Lichty, Reg White, Bill Lemmon.