Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Mar 01, 2018
March 8, 2018: Paul Ford “Goderich -Exeter Railway”, John Fisher will introduce our speaker.

Head Table:  Our President Linda Bathe, invites John Fisher, Harry Brightwell, Colin Brisbois, Norm Briscoe, Colleen Brown, Doug Brown and Tine Buechler, to join her at the head table.
 
President Linda Bathe giving an update on Hospice and our Rotary Club donations to date of $581,773 of our  1 million dollar pledge.
 
 
This Week: Election of Rotary Club of Stratford Directors/Executive for 2018-2019        
 
Paul Roulston read the list of candidates, circulated previously by email:
 
President:  Paul Roulston
Past President:  Linda Bathe
Club Secretaries:  Bert Clifford and Charlene Gordon
Treasurer:  Ralph Robinson
Club Service:  Brent Shackleton
Club Rotary Foundation:  Arlene Pol
Club Public Relations and Fund Raising: Katherine Hahn
Club Administration:  Ken Nesbitt
Club Youth Services:  Gerry Thuss
 
Directors:  Director 2nd Yr.:  Guy Bellehumeur
Director 2nd Yr.:  Lynn McKone
Director 2nd Yr.:  Dan Scarborough
Director 2nd Yr.:  Tracy Van Kalsbeek
Director 1st Yr.:   Bill Braun
Director 1st Yr.:   Peter Maranger
 
He called for nominations from the floor. Hearing none, he moved: to close the nominations and approve the slate of directors.  Seconded by Doug Page.  Carried by a show of hands.
 
 
Elizabeth Gaffney: Mini Classification – Civil Engineer
 
 
Elizabeth Gaffney giving mini classification talk from civil engineering to fitness.
 
Today is especially significant for Elizabeth because March 1st, 2018, is the first official Professional Engineers Day in Ontario.  Elizabeth, like many Stratford natives, was keen to leave town after high school and applied to study zoology at Western, Queen’s and Trinity College, University of Toronto. Having been told that she had neither the smarts nor influential family background for acceptance to Trinity, she promptly accepted when the offer of admission arrived. Eventually, she had seen enough of frogs’ eggs and fruit flies and confessed to her father that she was really interested in how things work.  On his advice she enrolled in civil engineering at U of T, where she persevered, despite challenges in math, graduating in 1983.  Typically, large companies like Ontario Hydro and the Ministry of Transportation were not hiring that year, so she took a ‘temporary’ 33-year position in the family business, Gaffney Construction. There she did it all – from office maintenance, to finances, human resources, project management, all while completing an MBA at Laurier. Elizabeth is pleased to say that she never experienced problems as a woman in a male-dominated profession and business.  Instead she received only help and encouragement.  Likewise, she was welcomed as the first female member of this Rotary Club. When the family business closed in 2016, Elizabeth found herself with no job and prospects limited by a non-competition clause. Undaunted, she has initiated a new career with PF Solutions, training adults and helping them find employment.  She also does construction estimation and manages family-owned properties. As a bonus, she now gets to take vacation!
 
Channelling Sinatra, Elizabeth sang that she has had a few regrets, “but then again, too few to mention.” She has two wonderful children and a rewarding lifelong commitment to volunteerism in her community. As a certified fitness instructor, she conducts 3 to 4 classes each week.  She is a cantor and fundraiser in her church, a Special Olympics volunteer, and a proud and active Rotarian.  Life is good: bring on the next adventure!
 
Pat Feryn: Mini Classification- Agronomist
 
Pat Fern giving mini classification talk on agronomy.
 
Agronomy is the scientific study of soil management and crop production. Pat helps producers raise more food on the same amount of soil.  His recent presentation to the Southwest Agricultural Conference focused on soil nutrient management, specifically the Canadian fertilizer industry’s 4R stewardship program for sustainable agriculture: Right place, Right rate, Right time, Right source. He also works as a crop advisor and is the agricultural representative on the Source Protection Committee of the Thames watershed.  Additionally, Pat operates his own farm, owns and manages a five-unit apartment in Stratford and has just started a landscape lighting business with his wife Jane, who is a landscape architect.  They are showcasing their wares at this weekend’s Garden Festival.
 
Pat is active on the Rotary International Service Committee project in Nicaragua, providing agricultural expertise and helping to acquire and distribute needed tools to the host orphanage and in adjacent villages.  This has included advice and equipment for the establishment of beehives, acquisition of a chainsaw and gardening tools, donated by Home Hardware, and distribution of about 40 soccer balls donated by Stratford Youth Soccer.  He and his wife are also working with a Syrian family of six who arrived in Stratford from Egypt.  Over the past few months, they have made great progress learning English and getting established in schools and the community.
 
Scribe: Pat Shewen
 
Guests:  Today we welcomed: Steve Weed and Laura Pogson (FCRC).
 
Draw: The draw prizes today were donated by Clarke Mitchell and an Anonymous donor and won by Gary Morris and Kevin Silver.
 
Rotary Announcements March 1, 2018
 
 
Gerry Thuss:  Presented a cheque to the Catch the Ace winner Bruce McLaren who won $195.
 
Rob Ritz:  Promoted “parking in the rain or the sunshine” for CDX.  Sign up is on Club Runner.  Please take a look at the list’
 
President’s Corner:
 
First I will pass on a thank you email I received:
 
Dear Linda, I am writing to thank your club for entertaining John Eberhard's presentation on Haiti and for the generous donation to further efforts in Aquin, Haiti... Warm regards, Steve Knox, Pres Rotary Club of London
 
Next, I would like to assure everyone that after much deliberation the “Rotary Meets Here” sign has been secured and is now being held at Culliton Law office…to be installed here at a date to be determined.
 
Reminder of the Rotary Travelogue this Sunday at 3pm at the Queen of the Square:  Utah, Life Elevated.
 
Board Update: Meeting Feb 20,
 
Colleen Brown and Ryan Erb of the Block Parent Committee presented to the board. They informed us the federal funding for this project will end as of this month.  There have been discussions with the provincial government about stepping in with support.  Our local committee is active and well supported by the local police.  There will be further discussions about our commitment when we know if the province will help.
 
There was a presentation from the Dragon Boat Committee regarding possible new ways to promote and raise funds at the event. More research is required before a decision can be reached.
 
Kevin will be circulating forms to those interested in ordering Rotary Business Cards.
 
We are trying to organize an event where RI Convention attendees could come to Stratford either before or after the convention to see a production at the Festival.  If anyone would like to help with this please contact Charlene.
 
The board is looking for ideas for a district grant.  Each year we can apply for a grant for up to $2000 USD. The application is due April 30th.  If any committee has a small project that might qualify please let Charlene know.
 
Ron Shaw is part of a district exchange to Croatia and we will be hosting the group here in June.  Host families will be required…more information to come.
 
We are not hosting a Northern Exchange student this year for which we had budgeted $7000.  The board received a request and approved an expenditure of $2000 from this money to ship hockey equipment to First Nations Communities in Northern Ontario.
 
Kevin, on behalf of the membership committee, presented a proposal regarding new classes of memberships including Honorary, Associate and Friend of Rotary.  The board provided input and the document will be revised and sent to the Legislation Committee
 
The board was asked to reconsider the voting requirements when considering an expenditure of over $10,000.
The follow motion was carried:
:  A Board vote will continue to require a majority to pass. A Club vote for an expenditure over $10,000 will require 2/3 of the members voting (electronic voting included) to pass.
 
 
Hospice Update:
 
Fundraising:  As you will remember this club made a pledge to the hospice for $400,000 over 10 years and in exchange for naming rights we set a goal of raising 1 million dollars in total over 10 years including donations from other Rotary clubs in Perth and donations from Rotarian friends of hospice.  We are doing well with donations from the Festival City Club, the Mitchell Club, the St Mary’s Club, our local Rotaract club and about 30 Rotarians so far.  The total raised to date is $581,773. 
 
I will make sure to share the total raised with the club regularly.  If you would like to add your name to the list of Rotarian Friends of Hospice please let me know. All donations you make to hospice will be added to the total.
 
So, as you may know, the bids for the job of building the hospice were opened last Thursday afternoon.  I was planning to announce the winning bidder and a date for groundbreaking however we have run into a bump in the road.
 
The Building Committee and Board were more than surprised when the bids presented were 40 to 50% higher than the architect’s estimates.
 
The Architect was chosen through a competitive bid process, in part because of their experience with other on-budget hospice projects. The process did include local architects one of which chose not to bid but served on the selection committee instead.  The building design process took nearly 12 months, with several refinements made to ensure the project scope remained within budget. ROA, our Architects have a good track record with 3 recent bids coming in within $10,000 of the estimate.  Their contract with us stipulates that if the bids are more than 20% overestimate they are obligated to redesign the building for no extra cost.
 
The bids came from 6 Ministry approved contractors, 3 of which were local.  The lowest bid was not from a local contractor.  The reasons for the high bids are complex, however, we were told that the contractors had difficulty finding sub-contractors to bid because they were too busy.
 
The Building Committee is addressing the issue by:
 
  • Reassessing mechanical equipment and finishes to find options to save that will not impact the functioning of the facility
  • Phasing the project according to the budget including delaying completion of second floor as well as repurposing 4 of the 10 resident rooms until they are needed and funded by the Ministry. (Since we received 1.2 million from the Province for this project we must follow their process for awarding building contracts)
  • The Board is Seeking Ministry permission to retender the revised project to the 3 lowest bidders employing a “construction management” process rather than using a “stipulated sum” This would allow more flexibility with the sub- contractors.
Simultaneous to the Building Committee’s efforts to reduce the project cost, the Board is working with the lender to extend additional loan provisions as well as reassessing the fundraising target to ensure donations raised cover the increased cost projections.
 
The Board remains committed to current timelines, with an opening target of Spring, 2019. 
 
NAMING RIGHTS Rotary’s commitment of $1M for naming rights will not be affected by any increase in project costs.
 
ED DEPARTURE The recently hired ED has made the difficult decision to resume retirement.  There are no plans to rehire for Stratford until we are closer to opening, while Huron is working diligently to open this year.  Huron has decided to hire interim management until we are both up and running and plan to share an ED.
 
 
 
Make-ups: Angus MacDermid, February 28 at Fort Walton Beach RC.
 
March’s Attendance Committee: Rob Russell (I/C), Jim Scott, Dave Bean, Walt Bathe, John Wright, Andrea Page, Chris Thomson, Al Wakelin, Jo-Anne Hood Tidman, Doug Brown.