Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Sep 15, 2019
September 19, 2019: Dragon Boat summary and Nick Preikschas Rotaract President, Gary Wreford will introduce, and Doug Thompson will thank our speakers.
Head Table:  Our President Brent Shackleton, invites Gary Wreford, Mark Smith, Jim Snider, Rena Spevack Orr, Gord Steed and Fritz Steigmeier, to join him at the head table.

Today at Rotary: Sometimes we forget how many activities and commitments that our Club has – and thus we forget the full spectrum of our efforts to foster a better world.  It is good to be reminded and this past meeting was just such an opportunity.  President Brent reiterated his focus on ensuring that the Club is flexible in meeting the “times” and that membership is an attractive proposition for younger people.  To further this he encouraged members to attend the strategic planning session on Nov 2 where new ideas and approaches will be welcome.
Catherine Hahn, in her role as Club Administration chair, enumerated those committees which fall under her purview.  As she ran through the list – including Avon River clean-up, Adopt-a-Highway, Student Banquet, Literacy (esp. the short story contest), Respite House, Rural-Urban, Hospice and Liaison with Rotary Minor Hockey among others, one could not but be both impressed and humbled by the responsibilities that Rotary has assumed and its determination to fulfill those responsibilities.
Ken Nesbitt, in his role as Foundation chair, spoke of the key role that the Foundation plays in providing funds for our activities, particularly the outreach to El Salvador where we are involved with the Stratford Festival in a project to provide positive alternatives to violence through theatre, Commit which provides health and community-building help in Central America, and of course the highly regarded Aquabox.  Mr. Nesbitt mentioned that the weekly “Foundation Draw” raises almost $5,000 and helps our community Request Committee provide healthcare and health products assistance to people in need in Stratford.  Finally, Mr. Nesbitt reinforced the letter from Harry Brightwell about the importance of the Perpetual Fund as a means of long-term support.
Gerry Thuss, chair of Fundraising and Publicity, outlined the ways in which the Club raises monies for our activities.  Citing a staggering array of events – Dragon Boat, Home and Leisure Show, Golf Tournament, Scotch Mist, Car Rally, Arts and Crafts Fair and Catch the Ace among others – he emphasized not only the essential funds raised but also the involvement of so many of members as committee members and event volunteers.  All the events listed above have become staples on the Stratford community calendar and keep Rotary in the forefront of people’s thoughts.  Mr. Thuss exhorted the members to seek out a much needed chair for the Publicity Committee.
Finally, Peter Maranger, in the dying moments of the meeting, spoke about our efforts with youth.  He mentioned the New Generations Exchange project, our work with Northern indigenous students, the student exchange programme, and Junior Achievement.  He also reminded us of the importance of Interact and its role in building leaders for our community and our world.
Rotary has nearly 100 years of service to Stratford and the wider world and over time that service has intensified and diversified.  As we approach our Centenary, we can take pride in all that we do, and then plunge forward to keep it going.
Your tired, footsore but still upright Scribbler,
Scribe: Guy Chadsey
Dragon Boat Festival 2019
Guests: We welcomed Colleen Frizzell – Stratford, Nick Preikschas - Rotaract Club.
Draw: Wendy Wilkinson was the winner of the draw prize donated by Clark Mitchell.
Make-ups: Nothing to report, if you do a make-up please send me an email at
September’s Attendance Committee: John Hood Tidman (I/C), Ken Nesbitt, Berny Nymeyer, Gordon Sherwin, Harry Brightwell, Ian Fisher, John Fisher, Basil Hurst.
October’s Attendance Committee: George Schroeder (I/C), Doug Thompson, Angus MacDermid, Gary Wreford, Lynn McKone, Rob Ritz, Mike Nielsen, Bert Clifford, Peter Roach.