Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Jul 02, 2018
July 5, 2018: Paul Roulston, “New President’s Inauguration”

Head Table:  Our President Paul Roulston, invites all major chairpersons, to join him at the head table.
 
Rotary Club of Stratford celebrating 151 Canada Day birthday.
 
Sargent at Arms Alan giving his final performance and winning best dressed contest. Sargent at Arms Alan giving his final performance and winning best dressed contest.
 
 
This Week:   Today we were in a celebratory mood. This was our day to celebrate Canada's birthday, and we did a pretty good job of that with all the red shirts present and our own two Sargents at Arms Alan and Sue Wakelin (Alan in RCMP uniform.) who gave us a little history lesson that included everything invented by Canadians. As well today we had a double program because this was our day to celebrate with Linda her year as president and also to welcome to our meeting a group of Rotarians from Nigeria to talk about a joint proposal to build and equip a neonatal unit at a hospital in Lagos, Nigeria.
 
President Linda exchanging flags with a Rotary Club from Nigeria Omole Golden who also gave a presentation on need for help with Neonatal Unit in Nigeria.
 
The group of 9 men and women from Nigeria were from the Rotary club of Omole - Golden in Lagos which is in Rotary District 9110. Included  was a group leader,  a president and a past president. Sam, a spokesperson for the group did a power point presentation about the possible joint global grant project between Rotary in Nigeria and Rotary here.
 
The project would be to build and equip a neonatal unit for a community of 4 million people  (approximately 382 births per year) at a cost of $65,278. The unit would be equipped with 10 incubators and would be ready to operate by April 2019.
 
The Nigerian guests handed out some beautifully made Nigerian hats and they accepted an invitation to lead us in singing. They chose to lead us in "The more we get together" and "Its a Small World" - songs that many knew and that emphasized friendship and cooperation.
 
The original connection with our Rotary club happened a year ago at the previous RI Convention in Atlanta when they met Katherine Hahn and made plans to come here following the RI Toronto convention this year.
Katherine Hahn and Kevin Silver led the next part of the meeting with a big "Thank You" and a big "Well Done"  to Linda. Using pictures, Kevin listed highlights of this year.
 
It was now time for Linda to present her review the 2017-18 Rotary year. 
 
She presented the impressive list of fundraising projects and the money raised in each case.  As well she listed the many club projects carried out this past year. When all projects are combined in one list it is hard to believe that so much Rotary work happened in one year.  We have reason to be proud of all these accomplishments.
 
Mimi Price presented Linda with a Paul Harris fellow Award and Kevin Silver presented Linda with her past president's pin.
 
Linda then presented incoming president Paul Roulston with the blue tuxedo jacket and Paul was able to  declare the meeting closed with a good ringing of the gong.
 
 
Past president Kevin Silver after giving   a slide presentation on Linda’s year and the traditional presenting of coat and gavel to incoming President Paul Roulston.
 
Katherine Hahn congratulating President Linda on great year.
 
Scribe: Norm Bird
 
Guests:  Today we welcomed 9 Rotarians from the Rotary club Omole-Golden, Lagos, Nigeria and also two Rotarian guests of Stephen Chandler who were from Harare Zimbabwe. As well we welcomed from Stratford Deb Franke, David Furhman and Laura Pogson.
 
Draw: The draw prize today was donated by President Linda and it was for a pair of prescription sunglasses from Romeo Optometry and was won by Alex Smith.
 
Mimi presenting Linda with her second Paul Harris fellow.
 
 
Paul Harris Award: Congratulations to President Linda, our newest Paul Harris Fellow. This was a very appropriate time to so honour Linda as she completes a very successful year as club president. Kevin Silver made the presentation and husband David and sister Deb were on hand to help us give Linda a well-deserved and spontaneous standing ovation.
 
 
Make-ups: no report
 
Rotary Announcements June 28, 2018
 
Katherine Hahn:  Registration is open for the Car Rally, just make sure that we all know that any car can participate in the Car Rally, you just need 4 wheels, a driver and a navigator.  The Car Show is looking for collector cars for that part of the day.  You can register on line or if you need help call or email Katherine to register.
 
President’s Farewell Speech
 
So, this speech was pretty easy to write in the state of Rotary High right after a RI Convention.
 
If you ever get a chance to go I urge you to take it. You will come away with a sense of what an amazing organization you belong to and the scope of the important work Rotary is doing around the world. In fact, this year in its 101st year the RI Foundation raised a record of over $372 million dollars to continue doing good in the world including being on the verge of eliminating the wild polio virus.
 
I want to talk about the Rotary Theme, People of Action. Here we see one of the new overlays RI has produced for this campaign with our very own Rotarian Pat Shewen and our Aquabox Project thanks to the editing skills of Katherine Hahn.
 
During the general sessions we had many speakers including The Director General of the World Health Organization, the President and CEO of UNICEF USA, Helen Clark the Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Administrator of the UN Development Program, a very charming and intelligent Laura Bush who promotes literacy and women’s health and to add some gender balance RI President Ian Riseley and our own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who was received like a rock star.
 
We were also treated to speeches by Rotary Peace and Global Grant Scholars, truly amazing young people who will lead the way forward.  
We heard about Rotary WASH Projects:  which stands for Water Sanitation and Hygiene and Rotarians from district 7020 about their Project HANWASH in partnership with the Government of Haiti, Rotary International and other NGO’s to provide clean water and sanitation in Haiti where now only 37% of the population are adequately served.
 
And a personal encounter of mine was with Eric who was proud to be a charter member of the new LGBTQ Rotary Fellowship.
 
All People of Action
 
But now to another group who fits the bill:  The Members of the Rotary Club of Stratford.  This club has amazed me…from the vantage point of your president I have witnessed the hundreds of thousands of tasks that are completed each year by you, our members, to make this club work.  You are…Definitely people of Action.
 
I want to share a list of our fundraisers and the money we have made.
Dragon Boat       Scotch Mist        Golf Tournament        Craft Show Silver Stick         Rural Urban        Spring Home Show        Catch the Ace Aquabox       
                 
When you add in other misc funds raised such as our donation to the Rotary Foundation through our annual dues, interest on our investments, parking at Dairy Expo, the fine box and Foundation draw etc…,  over $250,000 flowed through this club this year.
 
The projects we support are too many to list but the major ones include The Stratford Perth Rotary Hospice with over $600.000 pledged so far, Aquabox, (1100 boxes this Rotary year), The Respite House, Foodbank, Student Scholarships, United Way, Polio Plus, The Avon School Project, Rotary Hockey, The Rotary Complex, The Stratford Soccer Association, HIP or Honouring Indigenous Peoples, The Rotary Foundation and International Projects including our Global Grant for the Butembo Project approved this year.
 
There are all the other activities as well:  we hosted 2 New Generation Exchange Students, Rodrigo who is coming back to visit in August and Helene,. We sponsored Interact Clubs at the High Schools, held a short story contest that has grown exponentially, cleaned up the park and the highway and sponsored 10 new members into the club.
 
Remember when we showed solidarity with the community of Humboldt after the horrific bus crash.
 
We should be proud of what we have accomplished this year and I have been more than honoured to have served as your President.
 
I owe each of you a thank you but a few stand out:
 
First, to my husband Dave who kept me fed and sane despite getting the worst of me this year.
 
To Elizabeth Gaffney in whom I confided that I was a very nervous public speaker…she said if something makes you nervous keep doing it until it doesn’t.  It worked Elizabeth but not until about October.
 
To Kevin Silver for filling in for me every time I asked. 
 
To Patti Mike, Dan and Karel for their help with the AV set up including the confusing change of venues.
 
To Harry Brightwell for sticking with the Property Committee throughout my year
 
To Ralph for his tireless work as Treasurer and his helper Kevin Nonomura.
 
To Al and Sue Wakelin, Sergeants at Arms extraordinaire!
 
To Bert for tracking member engagement
 
To Nick for putting together out bulletin every week.
 
To Charlene, who we all know this club would be lost without.
 
To the members of the Board of Directors who were faced with some challenging decisions and did so with fairness and integrity.
 
I have left Mimi to last because I have something from yesterday’s general session I recorded just for her.  (video of the General Session of the Convention singing YMCA)
 
In one of the break-out sessions they shared a quote that struck a chord with me as I am sure it will with you.  As said by Albert Einstein;
 
“Those with the privilege to know have the duty to act.”
Thank you for being People of Action…..it has been a great year for The Rotary Club of Stratford.
 
Steven Chandler introducing his friends from Rhodesia.
 
July’s Attendance Committee:  Bill Braun (I/C), Rheo Thompson, Dan Vito, Steve Lichty, Bill Lemmon, Bob Lightfoot, Pat Redshaw, Jim Snider, Carolyn Drummond