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Rotary Club of St Thomas Ontario


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President Scott Carrie presided.
Natalie Redman introduced MPP Jeff Yurek. See Jeff's contact info below:
Jeff is part of Yurek’s Pharmacy started by his father 1963. In 2011 he became active with the Conservative Party of Ontario to become the MPP for our constituency. He initiated Ryan’s Law;
Ryan's Law is an Ontario, Canada law that forces schools to allow children to have their inhalers with them. It is named after Ryan Gibbons of Straffordville, Ontario who died on 9 October 2012 aged 12, because his school would not let him carry his inhaler with him. (compliments Wikipedia)
Jeff has been involved with the forestry and transportation ministries. Currently, he is Minister for Environment, Conservation and Parks.
The Covid-19 emergency order has been extended to 30Jun20. Elgin county has survived the battle  better than other municipalities. Batting cages, drive in theatres have been allowed to open with conditions. Jeff felt sorry for young people wanting to socialize. Ontario Hydro will hold to the 12cent per kwh, 24 hour/day fee schedule (subsidized by taxpayers by $160,000/month). Jeff talked about testing protocols. Mobile testing sites have been activated.
Cathy asked about pandemic pay for health care facilities.
Malcolm was thankful that local health care facilities have a low incidence. Jeff reported that a local provider got COVID but did not pass on to patients.
Bill Chantler asked about the local manufacture of PPE. Jeff: A PPE fund has been established to encourage the same. A car plant from Michigan wants to make gowns in Ontario. Canadian Tire Corp is the largest source of product from China going to Canada.
Helen asked about antibody testing. Jeff: This needs to pass by Health Canada.
Sue Bandeen and Wade Coombs asked when schools will open. Jeff: The plan is for schools to open in the fall.
Jeff spoke about what restaurants will need to do to reopen. Local councils and Health Units can make their own orders.
Wade Coombs commented that if St Thomas opens and London does not, people will come to St Thomas. In normal times that might be considered good, but maybe not now.
Scott Carrie asked when the beaches will be open. Jeff said he is personally involved in decisions about that.
Paul Lovelock asked when elective surgeries will restart. Cathy stated that they will start soon.
Jeff is overseeing 4 discussion groups:
1-Waste Management; using science and new technologies to replace landfills that will close.
2-Parks Recreation and Tourism.
3- Hydrogen economy; this is a favourite of Jeff’s;  he would like to see a pilot using hydrogen to fuel for cabs in Toronto. Hydrogen could be generated from energy ordinarily wasted from electricity generating facilities.
4- Clean Tech can be applied to agricultural applications and wastewater recycling.
Trudy: What are quarantine requirements when returning from outside Canada? Everyone will be quarantined (2wks?). Jeff is very concerned that the US border is set to reopen 21 Jun20.
Scott thanked Jeff for his insights.
Helen reported about the masks she made for the hospital. She has requests for scrub bags.
Diane Chantler: The East Coast Kitchen Party required 800 Zoom connections; 1000 to 1500 people were involved in generating $50000 revenue. $1800 will go to RCRC youth exchange.
Gerry thanked the RCRC for inviting us to their Zoom meeting. Funds coming to the RCST from the ECKP will to the Woman’s Shelter. RCST was thanked for choosing the Roadhouse as the ECKP caterer.
Scott C and Sue Bandeen reported about Anna’s return to Italy from the youth exchange. All the exchange students returned to their home country without incident.
Malcolm reported about the loss of Ed Willson from RCST. He was an example of loyalty to Rotary. Ed had asked Malcolm to join our club.
District Conference is 13Jun20 by Zoom; be sure to register.
Visitors today were: Peter Fitzsimons, Camilla McGill and Maggie Horn.
Maggie and Bill's recent trip to US was uneventful; they felt intimidated by Canadian Border Security on their return as they were lectured about quarantine for 2 weeks and the fines for non compliance. They ate at restaurants with Covid precautions.
Barb reported on the upcoming East Coast Kitchen Party (ECKP). See this link: https://trellis.org/rotaryclubofstthomas We are invited to order through our local caterer, the Roadhouse. Their special for this event is Fish and Chips. Barb hopes our revenue generated from this event that will go to the Foundation to be $5000.
Ron asked that Happy Finns be made virtual and spoke of his time with a Rotary club in Kenya. Nancy said that Lambeth does Happy Bucks virtually.
There will be a board meeting following the club meeting next Wed at 1:15 pm.
Camilla McGill and Peter Fitszimons have been working together since 2013 as members of the International Service Committee of the Rotary Club Sarnia Bluewaterland.
Peter was born and raised in Northern Ireland. He developed an interest in Rotary because his father was a Rotarian.Peter has been a Rotarian for 25 years and was President of Sarnia Bluewaterland in 2006-2007. He and his wife Sheila have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Peter was CEO of the Community Care Access Centre in Sarnia-Lambton and retired to become a consultant. He now devotes his time to Rotary local and International projects.
Camilla joined the Rotary Club of Sarnia Bluewaterland in 2013 after moving back to Canada from the USA. Since becoming a Rotarian in 2005 she has concentrated on international
projects after learning about the fabulous grants given by The Rotary Foundation. Her employment has been varied, caused by the need to move often. She has been a medical technologist, a marketing manager, and an interculturalist. She is married to Pat McGill with whom she has three children.
Camilla and Peter speak to us about the Yombra, Kenya water project.
Christopher Romer came to community college in Sarnia to learn nursing skills he could take back to Kenya. He could not pay so the Rotary Club paid tuition and someone provided room and board. He wanted to pay back these expenses, but the club asked him to pay it forward; that was the start of the water project.
Currently, water is collected into cisterns from rain falling on roofs. The water from nearby Lake Victoria is too polluted because of the mining there. The project will be a modern bore hole water well. A Reverse Osmosis system will purify the water that would otherwise have too much Flourine etc. Residents will purchase water using their mobile phones; banks need not be involved. There is an assessment from residents of the community. The Safe Water Committee wants the project to be sustainable. They have raised $80000 but need another $28000.
Things happen differently in Kenya. In Canada we are task oriented, whereas in Kenya relationships must be proper before starting a task.
The Passport Club of London will donate proceeds from the ECKP to this project.
Please see slide show:
Ed Willson, a familiar face of the Rotary Club of St. Thomas has left us
Ed Willson died peacefully at his home on Wednesday May 27, 2020.  He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Kathy Willson, three children, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. A proud Rotarian since 1990 (when he joined the same time as Ron Somerville), Ed worked on an extensive number of Rotary projects including Operation Eyesight Universal, the Christmas Tour of Homes, Rotary Youth Exchange, the Rotary Music Festival and the Pinafore Park splash pad to name a few. Ed generously shared his finish carpentry skills by building objects for the club.  A lectern and storage cupboard remain in use to this day. Ed and his Rotary buddies built a Food Trailer for fundraising at local events. Ed also served as Sergeant-At-Arms and on the Club Board of Directors for more than two decades, as President for the 1985-86 year and he had the distinguished honour of receiving five Paul Harris awards. Ed and Kathy thoroughly enjoyed attending two Rotary International Conventions in Nice, France and Calgary, Alberta.
Pics of Music Festival Trophy winners compliments of Elaine Catchpole. The winners are: Annie Ruan (Harry Vreman Scholarship), Reuben Redekop (Stephanie Leung trophy), Khon-Yen Lai (Silver Tray).

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