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Rotary Club of St Thomas Ontario


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Notes from district:
Link to the RYE International convention 5Jun21
Note from District President:
London Ontario had tragic news this week when 4 family members a grandmother, mom, dad and daughter where killed.  One of the five family members struck, the son remains in hospital. They were run down by the driver of a truck because they were Muslim. The community responded with #ourlondonfamily and by creating a human chain 7 kilometers long from the accident site to the Mosque on Oxford St where a vigil attended by several thousand citizens was being held.
A number of Rotarians have asked how “Can we help with financial support for the son who survived? “ or is there anything else we can do?
One of my insurance brokers Abdo, is part of the Muslim community.  He has expressed that at this time money is not required for the boy. The family will take care of the son’s needs and the Islamic community will support them too.
A go fund me request ( https://www.gofundme.com/f/salman-family-accident-relief ) has been set up.  You will notice the fund description “Sadaqa jariya “ (an Arabic term). It is an important concept within Islam - it is a gift that not only benefits others in this life but also benefits us and our loved ones in the next. “When a person dies, all their deeds end except three: a continuing charity, beneficial knowledge and a child who prays for them.” Currently the fund has almost $600,000 for the community fund.
The GoFundme Monies raised will be available to any initiative of the charity and assistance to improve the Muslim Community as a whole.
The best thing we can do as Rotarians is to understand that as a community they want to be better understood.  A few years ago, I attended the Mosque as an invite from Lambeth Rotary Club and even though I work with Abdo, and we discuss the differences in our faith, it was helpful to visit and speak with the church leaders.
When time is right, I would suggest Rotarians find ways to make this part of the discussion in your diversity, equity and inclusion plan.  Learning more about multiple faiths can lead us to a better understanding. I have included our district 6330 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy and I am available to help your club start your DEI plan.
Free Reading Program email:

Free Reading Program Demo Schedule:
June 10 to June 15.  

Each demo is about 20 minutes with time for questions following.
All times are Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)
Date and Time
Link (on Zoom)
Monday, June 14 at 12:30 PM
Monday, June 14 at 8:30 PM
Tuesday, June 15 at 12:30 PM
Tuesday, June 15 at 8:30 PM
Malcolm mentioned that Laurie Baldwin-Sands of St. Thomas City Council, appeared in Aylmer Express regarding Honouring Indigenous Peoples. Nancy and President Gerry wore orange clothing in remembrance of indigenous children that have disappeared.
Bill was in Ohio with visitor Maggie who will have hip surgery there. Best wishes go to her.
Trudy, Bob, Nancy and Ron are serving at the vaccination clinic.
Barbara spoke of the difficulty finding speakers for our meetings during the pandemic.
Malcolm recalled that one of the first RYE Rotary Youth Exchange participants from Ridgetown Mandy Howlett, recently gave birth to her first child.
President Gerry reported that he has 2 boxes of tulips from the Polio Plus Tulip sales that can be purchased.
The Board will meet after next week’s meeting (9Jun21) to sort out the details of the Changeover meeting 23Jun21.
Members of the executive of both the RCRC and our club will meet to discuss the mutual cooperation we have regarding the naming rights of the community meeting room at Hospice Elgin.
Our club has applied for and will receive Rotary International Citation this year re our participation, fellowship, District Training, Polio contributions, noon Zoom and online participation. District President set a goal of 70% participation by district clubs, but incoming President Erin’s goal is 100%. Ron recognized our history of receiving citations.
President Gerry spoke of a new member (a friend of Bob’s) who will join our club.
Re Horton Street Market: Volunteers are needed to set up a table, speak favourably about your  clubs’ fundraising both locally and internationally. 2 weeks ago, Interactors raised almost $500 for the Woman’s Shelter. A discussion followed about “what organizations should we collect for?” Barbara said local recipients will be easier to collect for. Both Adriana and Malcolm asserted that money collected must go to the organization collected for which we were advertising the collection and that we should not collect at Horton Street Market without designating a recipient. Nancy went on to say that we must coordinate with the charity we are collecting for and that the information we give out about the charity matches with the charity. It was easy in Connie’s absence to ask her to do the coordination. Suggested charities are Polio Plus, Ignite (teen centre), YWCA tiny homes, St. Thomas-Elgin Good Bank, Inn out of the Cold, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Grace Café, Courage for Freedom. We are asked to provide 3 volunteers for 10 Saturdays. We are doing this every second week starting Saturday June 12th. Shifts are either 4 hours or 2 hours.  Talk to Gerry re when you could help.
Questions, Answers, Comments
President Elect Barbara and husband Bob received a Magic Show kit from Dan White in the US that are “props in a box”. This gift was from their daughter in honour of their anniversary. Barbara, being the show person that she is, demonstrated the “transfixing properties” of a black pendulum and a velvet bag.
Ron: He was getting a vaccination shot at the Memorial Arena, and volunteering there but, so far, came across only 2 people he knew. This must mean that the numbers of people he knows after a lifetime here are diluted by the increasing population in St Thomas.
Weekly Meetings – 19 and 26 May, 2021 – Via Zoom
  • Honouring Indigenous Persons (HIP) presentation District 6330 noon Zoom 19 May21: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5EqxoiqxNQ We are asked to start a dialogue with our local indigenous nations. We can do that by learning about the culture through oral traditions, writings/books, APTN, and scheduling meetings. Nancy will ask Clay Melnike from District 6330 to speak to us about establishing dialogue with local Indigenous peoples. Ron’s grandson visited an indigenous nation and found youth in isolation, suicidal, and people severely damaged by colonialism and residential schools. Catharine reported of the difficulty she experienced while helping bring health services to Aboriginal communities while working with the federal government in Ottawa. Her son served by delivering COVID vaccines. We need to establish a trust relash\\relationship.
Pat Caven also spoke of projects in Cameroon and Guatemala that are struggling because of local unrest.
  • June 5: celebration of 50 years of Rotary Youth Exchange. Starts at 9:00 am, no cost. Register on district site: http://www.rotary6330.org
  • May 19 Board : decided to donate $500 to India Relief Project (oxygen concentrators)DONE.
  • Rotary Clubs of London Bottle Drive June 12
  • Tulip campaign: good news: all 500 boxes that the District had available are spoken for. The bad news: no more sales. Our club has ordered 60 boxes, which will enable us to make a donation to Polio Plus of at least $800. I would ask that those of you who have not yet prepaid to do so soon so I can send in our payment to the district coordinator (cheque, cash or etransfer to gtjanssen@gmail.com .
  • Thursday, 27 May, at 12:00 noon: fifth webinar in the accountability and inclusion series: “Building a Welcoming Community for People with Disabilities”. Everyone Register at:  https://rotary-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EPWYxK45SxOG5nUtpMus-Q                                                                                          
  • Catharine announced that she has completed training courses and is now a Certified Holistic Cancer Care Coach. She will add a series of coaching sessions to her business at http://www.BracaShirts.ca  .
  • Please let President Gerry know if and when you would be available to do either a two hour of four hour shift and help promote our club and one of our worthy causes at the Horton St Market. He has a signup sheet.
  • The New Tour committee will meet next Tuesday.
  • May 11th, District 6330 Rotaract committee invited Michael Angelo Caruso to present, Liftoff: How to Find Mentors and Retain a Network That Helps You Soar! Here is the link from his presentation; https://youtu.be/RpyY4xue1Lg
  • Register for the virtual RI Convention: https://convention.rotary.org/en/taipei/speakers
  • Stay tuned for announcement about the venue for the changeover meeting 23Jun21
Program 26May21:
Stove Team Project, Stratford Rotary Club  https://www.esrag.org/commit-stove-project
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Changes to regular meetings see "Upcoming Events"

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Wednesdays at 12:15 PM
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