Rotary Club of Oak Bay
Bulletin, 1 September 2020
By Dave Maxwell
 
 
President Steve called the zoom meeting to order at 12:15pm with 24 Rotarians attending. The National Anthem video was followed by the invocation delivered by Jennifer Sharlow
 
Guests:  Neil Rawnsley indicated that there were no visiting Rotarians and our guests were the two speakers, Holly Bennett and Spencer Hawkswell.  
 
Announcements:
Joan Firkins: reported on the amazing accomplishment of Rotary International around the eradication of Polio in Africa with no new cases now for 4 years!  There were only 100 new cases in Pakistan and Afghanistan which is where Rotary will focus next. This is an amazing accomplishment and we as Rotarians should be so proud. Joan shared a CTV news story with Canadian President Elect Jennifer Jones committing further support from Rotary.
Chris Kershaw: Please refer to Chris’s email of today asking for help with some gardening at the Refugee House in Oak Bay. The grand opening is 19 September so we need to help make the house look amazing with some minor gardening.  Please consider coming our Sept 10 and/or Sept 14th at 2.00pm. All the details are in Chris’s email.
President Steve:  Shared the thank you picture from “Our Place” following our Clubs $1,500 donation of a much-needed washer and dryer. Stay tuned for the CEO of Our Place, Julian Daly, to speak to the Club on 20 October.
 
Program:
Tav introduced todays speakers from TheraPsil.   A word coming from “therapy” and from “psilocybin”.  The speakers were Holly Bennett, Director of Communications, and Spencer Hawkswell, the CEO.  
 
TheraPsil is a non profit organization formed in 2019. It is a Coalition and Patient advocacy group aimed at promoting access to the drug Psilocybin, combined with Psychotherapy, to help terminally ill patients during their end of life care. The group’s goal is to provide training, education and research to professionals and governments so that individuals can access this combination of drugs and therapy as an alternative to other solutions. See www.therapsil.ca  
 
 Psilocybin is also called magic mushrooms and has been used for hundreds of years the world over, but has been illegal in Canada since 1974.  Together with psychotherapy, the objective is to decrease the impact of end of life distress which can include anxiety, depression and hopelessness that may accompany terminal illness. This drug and its acceptance into mainstream healthcare is undergoing much of the same journey that cannabis did in its early days.
 
Research at UCLA, NYU and JH is early and ongoing but early results indicate that combined with psychotherapy, the drug helps with a person’s wellbeing, decreases depression and hopelessness and helps improve psychological distress for months beyond the initial session. More work is needed and more advocacy for patients and professionals is one of the main goals of the group now. With education, some 60% of Canadians polled are in support of the use of psilocybin and therapy.
 
Chris Kershaw thanked the speakers and we were encouraged to find out more information for our  family and friends who may benefit from this sort of intervention. www.therapsil.ca or email info@therapsil.ca
 
Celebrations Master: Tav Mac.  World events and recent action by different sports players and  leagues lead to a boycott of games in support of action against racial injustice. This was the basis of Tav’s fines this week and like the athletes he “took the knee” and declined to levy fines and happy/sad dollars. He suggested we all donate $7.00 to the Club fund. Well done Tav!!  
 
President Steve thanked us all for our attention. 
 
No video this week but Joan will have a great one cued up for next week!!
 
Meeting adjourned at 115pm.
 
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