Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Mar 11, 2018
March 15, 2018: Debra Swan “Classification”, Rick Orr will introduce, and Colleen Brown will thank our speaker.

Head Table:  Our President Linda Bathe, invites Rick Orr, Heather Carr, John Carruthers, Tony Carter, Guy Chadsey, Carolynne Champagne and Stephen Chandler, to join her at the head table.
Guest Speakers Train Masters of Goderich Exeter Railway from left Greg Burton, Paul Ford, introduced by John Fisher.
This Week: Today Paul Ford and Greg Burton talked about the Goderich-Exeter Railway.  Both men are trainmasters/operation managers of the railway.  The railway is one of many “short line” railways owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. – a U.S. company which owns many short line railways throughout North America.  The Stratford lines were purchased from CN Rail in 1992.  The Goderich-Exeter Railway (GEXR) operates 291 km of track, it is head-quartered in Stratford and has 44 employees.  The railway covers Goderich, Georgetown, London, Elmira, Cambridge, Kitchener and Guelph. It handles 16,935 carloads of freight annually including; rock salt, wheat, fertilizer, auto parts etc., with 32 customers in the communities they serve. The railway has 13 diesel electric locomotives which they own.   Because the railway is head-quartered in Stratford locomotives have been given names of Shakespearean characters, for example,  #177 is Titania, #178 is Paulina and #179 is Portia. The tracks are not owned by the company but are leased from CN Rail.
Safety and community service are the key goals for the railway.  They have upgraded many rail crossings to make them safer, however, have continuing problems with trespassers crossing or walking on the tracks.  People walking down tracks with earphones cannot hear oncoming trains and the railway works to try to combat this danger, including rail safety programs in schools. The maximum speed for trains on all tracks is 55 kmh.
This being International Women’s Day, Paul Ford advised that in Canada there are 13 female engineers.  In answer to a question, he told us the average earnings of engineers are around $100K.
Railways have always been important to Stratford, and Paul said they are proud to continue to be part of this important transportation network.
Our speakers were introduced by John Fisher and thanked by Charlene Gordon.
Scribe:  Gordon Sherwin
Alan Wakelin introducing Susan Shurrie the new manager of the Rotary Complex Rotary booth.
Guests:  Today we welcomed: Wayne Young – FCRC, Myrna Inglis - Walkerton Rotary Club, Steve Weed, Wendy Wilkinson – Stratford, Susan Shurrie.
Last week’s winner of Catch the Ace  Rotarian Bruce McLaren
Draw: The draw prize today was donated by Anonymous (GC from LCBO) and won by Gary Wreford.
Rotary Announcements March 8, 2018
Al Wakelin introduced Susan Shurrie the new manager of the Rotary Concession Booth.  We are happy to have Susan to manage the inventory and the booth staff.
Gary Wreford:  The Interact Club at St Mike’s continues to operate.  They recently had a fundraiser and donated the money to AquaBox.  The Rotaract Club is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Rotaract with an open house at Molly Blooms this Tuesday night at 7:00pm  It would be great to support Laurie Brown the President and the rest of the members of our local Rotaract Club.
Ken Nesbitt and Gerry Thuss, the Catch the Ace Co-Chairs, along with Bill Braun, the other team leader, and the rest of the committee have been meeting since December 2016 organizing this fundraiser.  The Ace still lives into the 17th week.  We will be selling tickets at the Rotary Booth at the Home Show.  We may sell tickets at the Rural Urban Evening.  We need enough volunteers every Saturday. After week 16 we have sold $15,000 worth of tickets, given out $3000 and the jackpot will be close to $5000.  Volunteer sign up is on Club Runner and there will be a sign-up sheet at the ticket sales locations.  Please help out when you can.
Charlene Gordon:  The Club photos are ready and will be at the meeting next week so if you signed up for a printed copy, please bring $12.  Also, there are still volunteer spots open to help with parking at the Dairy Expo. Your volunteer time is appreciated.
Pat Feryn: The Commit Project has been awarded the YMCA Peace Award…Congratulations.
Katherine Hahn: Rural Urban Dinner Thursday April 19th.  Tickets will not be set aside for members so if you would like tickets they will be on sale next week for $35 each so please bring cash or a cheque.  The Car Rally will be held on August 11th with the rain date on August 12th .
President’s Corner
Today is National Woman’s day, Whether you identify as a feminist or not we can all agree the world would be a better place if it was truly a meritocracy and we could do away with hiring quotas and gender politics.
Unfortunately, we have a ways to go:
The World Economic forum estimates globally, it will take another 217 years to reach gender parity.  So today we celebrate women’s accomplishments that brought us a bit closer in 2017:
- Dr. Donna May Kimmaliardjuk (Dr. K) from Chesterfield Inlet Nunavut is on track to become the first Inuk heart surgeon. She is a fourth-year resident at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
-Finally, a royal decree in Saudi Arabia allowed women to drive. 
-Danica Roem became the first openly trans person to be elected to a state legislature in the United States.
-Lebanon, Tunisia, and Jordan repealed archaic laws that had allowed rapists to avoid criminal prosecution by marrying their victims.   India's Supreme Court banned instant divorces and Kyrgyzstan bolstered its domestic-violence law.
-Wonder Woman became the highest-grossing superhero origin film of all time, 
-Afghanistan's first all-female orchestra performed in Europe. The 30 young women have faced death threats and intimidation at home, where until recently music was illegal, and women were forbidden from attending public gatherings.
-Valerie Plante was elected as Montreal’s first female mayor in the city's 375-year history.  She ran on a platform of “I am the best man for the job”
-And finally, Jodie Whittaker became the first female Doctor Who in the 54-year history of the TV series. 
The property committee needs a couple more members to step up to help with Thursday meetings, please let me or Charlene know if you can help.
Make-ups: Angus MacDermid, March 7, 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.