Rotary Club of Oak Bay
Bulletin, 23 June 2020
by Tav Mac
Another successful Zoom meeting was opened by President Joan Firkins who gleefully remarked that this was her last meeting as President. She outlined what we could expect from a very busy agenda, the highlight of which would be the installation of the new club Board of Directors for the 2020-21 Rotary year.
O Canada proved to be a wonderful presentation of all things good about the character of our great nation.  From poutine to hockey, video clips showed what we are all about.  Doris Lewis followed up with another impressive blessing, giving thanks for the projects that Rotary executes throughout the world and thanks for the many leaders, going back to Paul Harris, that have made us a source of good around the globe.  She also asked for a blessing on our incoming Board of Directors.
The Chair introduced our guests.  They include DG Mo and Dale Roberts, Katie Coard, incoming AG for our area, Brian Moore from Sacramento, Chris Causton, past mayor of Oak Bay and member of the Harbourside club, Sam Purdy, president of the Sooke club, Hanna, Lorna’s granddaughter and Gillian Corrigan.  Incoming president Steve also had many family supporters present including his wife, Karen.
The first order of business was conducted by Membership Chair Ben Smillie who welcomed Jim Hicke back to our club’s membership after over a year’s absence.  Jim is a past member of the Royal Oak Club and the e-Rotary Club. Professionally, he was associated with BC Correction Services and with earthquake preparedness.  Jim has been extensively involved with his communities including having been a Shriner and has worked with Shelter box and Disaster Aid.
President Joan gave us a review of her term as our Club President. She commented on many aspects of club life noting that the year had been one of challenges and changes.  The format for our Tuesday meetings was changed as an experiment at the beginning of the year. Members have accepted and approved of the three times a month format, with the fourth week being for the Board meeting. Little did we know that we would finish the year meeting on Zoom!  One of the challenges with the new Covid format is to keep member engagement at a high level as we isolate and distance. Joan feels we have done this successfully. None the less, we lost some members during the year but also introduced six new members to our club. Rotary International has issued a statement confirming our global diversity and inclusiveness. Our Club accepts the responsibility of confirming these characteristics as part of our local and international presence.  For the first time, we have been able to pay our annual dues online.  We have hosted an exchange student, Henrik from Finland. We have worked closely with youth in Rotoract and Interact.  We have reviewed our Constitution and Bylaws.  We have been involved in food distribution projects.  Fund raising has been successful and we have met our goals to the Rotary Foundation.  Finally, Joan let all club members know that we had qualified for the Rotary Presidential citation.
Joan humbly thanked all the members for giving her the honour of leading the club (for a second time) and thanked everyone for their support and participation.  She concluded her remarks by wishing the incoming Board and President Steve success in their term of office.
At the end of her report all the members present gave Joan a heart-felt round of applause and many screened thumbs up. The last 12 months have proved to be challenging and also different but Joan’s leadership has kept us together and strong. Thanks to you from all of us, Joan!
Celebrations Master, Heather noted that Ron and Jane had an 11-year anniversary last week.
The Chair invited Joan Peggs to install the Board for the coming Rotary year, 2020-21.  Joan P gave an interesting analogy of the club running like a well managed bus with a driver, navigators and, of course, the inevitable back seat drivers.  She cited our club as having an enviable history of success in all areas of service.  The induction took place with all the Board members committing to continue their strong performance.  Steve will lead us. There was a very interesting virtual exchange of the gavel between Joan, who tossed it into the air and we watched as the gavel floated around the coast and over Victoria to land in Steve’s hand.  Good catch Steve!  Thanks to Adam for taking this from concept to presentation.
Steve Sharlow, incoming club president, took the podium and started by thanking Joan for her excellent leadership. Saying that he considered Joan a driven leader he admitted that she would be a hard act to follow.  Steve predicted that the future months will be a new experience for all of us.  During the Covid crisis, we will need to do things differently and while the internet will support our activities, we will need to reach out to others and be helpful and thoughtful.  Steve emphasized the importance of youth programs.  Also, fund raising will be a major challenge but using the internet can yield great success as evidenced by an online auction conducted by his church.  Steve welcomed the challenges ahead and encouraged all members to do things to help the club through the months ahead.
A delightful musical interlude was brought to us from Ceci and Pablo who played Mozart for everyone’s pleasure.
Finally, Joan F announced the award for the Rotarian of the Year award.  Joan Peggs was a clear winner and she is considered the consummate Rotarian, living up to the Ideals of Rotary, The Four-Way Test, the code of conduct and providing Service above Self.  Joan served as club president for two consecutive terms, has led the flag program since inception and has served on many club committees.  She is finishing a 3-year term as an Assistant Governor, District 5020, and chaired the recent district training conference.  Surprisingly, John Jordan suddenly appeared in Joan’s living room and awarded a plaque to her.  Congratulations Joan P.  Your contributions to Rotary are legendary and this award is well deserved.
The meeting was a high value event and as we move into yet another year the club seems highly motivated and will continue to move forward in providing successful service to our communities.
Meeting Adjourned.
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