Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Jun 17, 2018
June 21, 2018: Croatian Exchange Group, “Life in Croatia”, Ron Shaw will introduce and Pre. Linda will thank our speakers.

Head Table:  Our President Linda Bathe, invites Ron Shaw, and the Exchange Group, to join her at the head table.
This Week:   Our June 14 meeting began with the introduction of Rotarians from South India who brought greetings from their club and exchanged banners with President Lynda. The "prez" also announced that at a recent fireside chat for new members, it was pointed out the need for ALL members to wear their name badge to help new members learn our names. As well, it was felt that the reciting of the 4-way test at meetings would remind us all of why we are Rotarians--soooo, we recited the 4 way test ! SAA Sue performed her duties on her own as her helper was "busy at home vacuuming the floors "! Rotarian Clarence McCallum celebrated his 93rd birthday--congrats Clarence, and a passionate plea was made to have "two holes-in-one Kevin" interviewed by CTV Kitchener re his historic accomplishment--who has contacts with CTV?
Guest speaker Raymonde Abboud introduced by Rheo T. Speaking on her experience in Lebanon through civil war.
Raymonde, our guest speaker, was born in Tripoli, Lebanon, and spend most of her life there before emigrating to Canada and retiring in Stratford. It was the civil war that lasted some 15 years, and claimed some 120,000 victims that caused Raymonde to flee Lebanon and emigrate to Canada. Today she volunteers at the hospital as well as other community venues in the city.
The civil war began in 1975 when a Christian Church in Beirut was fired upon by Palestinian militia. The city of Beirut became divided, and many innocent people became victims. The economy suffered as companies folded, unemployment became rampant, and persecutions from both sides became the norm. Israel aided the Lebanese people with food, water, clothing and medical care during the duration of the war. There were some 450 cease-fires during this civil war.
Raymonde and her mother were taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists. She told us how they were able to flee Beirut to the mountains by negotiating a 2 day leave to visit friends. They were told they could not take any overnight clothing/supplies with them, and en route to the mountains, their car was stopped, and the order was given to burn the car when they learned that they were Christians. Somehow their pleas convinced the militia to let them continue their journey, and when they arrived at their location, they had to be helped out of the car because they were so traumatized.
Another incident Raymonde cited was when she promised to get her bosses' mother out of Lebanon to Egypt. They boarded a boat loaded with goats for a 17-hour voyage--- with no food or drink. Just another example of life during a civil war, including living underground, living in fear, and sleepless nights from constant bombing. Today life is good in Beirut, although southern Beirut is still threatened by Syria.
It is stories like Raymonde's that remind us of the many blessings we enjoy daily here in Stratford, Ontario, Canada!  Rheo Thompson introduced Raymonde, and Elizabeth Gaffney thanked our speaker.
Scribe: Wilhelm Zitrone
Wendy Wilkinson our newest member.
Guests: PP N.P. Jayachandran - Kerala, India, Dr. Sapna Isohipa - Waterloo, ON
Foundation Draw – Rheo Thompson Chocolates, donated by Montana Wilson and Pat Shewen was the winner.
Make-ups: no report
Rotary Announcements: 
Michael Fox—The submission end date was May 31 with a 400% increase in submissions in the 19 and under a category.  This is a direct result of the Director of Education for the Avon Maitland School Board, Lisa Walsh, sending out the promotion to all the schools in the district.
Michael Fox updating on Short Story contest which had 4x increase this year. Great job Michael
This Sunday ‘Sloppy Joe and the Dust Bunnies’ will be representing Rotary and the Rib and Blues Festival at 2 pm for an hour.
Charlene Gordon:  The cheque is on the way from District for $1000 USD towards our $12,000 Can donation to The Local to be distributed to the food banks. THANKS TO CHARLENE FOR MAKING THIS DISTRICT GRANT HAPPEN.
Montana Wilson:  The Youth Services Committee this week looking towards the next Rotary year and looking for new members for the committee.  Anyone interested in working with youth, particularly Interact students at the high school please contact Montana or Arlene Pol for the next meeting date and time.
President’s Corner
We had a very successful Fireside Chat on Sunday evening with 13 members in attendance.  The new members mentioned that getting to know names is difficult and not all members wear their name tags…so this is fair warning to all:  The Sargent at Arms may decide to fine those who don’t wear their name tags at one of the next couple meetings.
I also realized we had not been reminded of the 4 Way Test recently, so I ask you to continue to consider it in all you think and do…we will recite it now for the benefit of the new members:
I would like to remind everyone about our Hospice Ground Breaking next Thursday early evening.  I sent out the invitation last night by email.  If you are going to attend, please call the RSVP number; just to get a rough head count.
June’s Attendance Committee:  Kevin Silver (I/C), Dave Scott, Gary Lingard, Paul Siberry, Pat Shewen, Doug Page, Pat Feryn, Jerry McEwin, Lisa Breault.