The Rotary Club of
St Thomas
5May21 President Elect Barbara's History in Rotary
Bill and Maggie are visiting in USA.
Trudy is serving at the Memorial Arena vaccination clinic.(Picture bellow compliments of Trudy)
President Gerry (etransfer of cheque) wants your tulip order sooner than later; the maximum numbers available for purchase is 500, so don’t miss out. The ordering closes end July. $25 buys 25 bulbs per package which will arrive Sep/Oct 21. Ron wants some as prizes for our next fundraiser.
Malcolm announced the following opportunity about seminars sponsored by the St Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation. The Hospital Foundation knows how to use social media; maybe whoever set up their social media could help our club.
The Rotary International Convention is virtual this year; see .
Guest Speaker, President Elect Barbara Warnock (the youngest in the Picture below) and her History in Rotary:
On December 1, 1991 I became a member of the Rotary Club of Aylmer, part of the greatest organization in the world.
Joe Mennill, Past District Governor and the driving force behind the establishment of the Ontario Police College, had approached my husband, Bob, about becoming a Rotarian. He also mentioned it to me in passing. It was early days for welcoming women into Rotary. No longer did we have to accept secondary status as a RotaryAnn.  So on the night of November 25, 1991, I joined Marie Louise Borm and Shirley Fallowfield as the first three women inducted into the Rotary Club of Aylmer. The Borms had been active in Rotary for many years, attending international conventions and hosting Youth Exchange students. Marie Louise had accompanied Etienne to meetings following an industrial accident which left him with some brain damage. Certainly not enough to keep him home or to prevent him from expounding on any number of topics. Until the Aylmer club relinquished its charter, Marie Louise was an active member of the club.
Back in those days our club had a couple dozen members and some large annual projects, the least favourite of mine being Joe’s pet project, Easter Seals. From stuffing envelopes in his basement to canvassing the entire town door to door begging for donations, Easter Seals was a major fund raiser.
The Farmers’ Banquet required more man hours than I care to imagine and brought some incredible speakers to the town. We renamed it the Rural/Urban night in an attempt to bring farmers and consumers together but every project has its best before date and the banquet was quietly retired in the early 2000’s.
A major fundraiser was dumped in our laps when some irregularities in tallies brought the Aylmer Fair Board to us, asking if we would take over “manning” the Aylmer Fair Gates. We have many of the St. Thomas members to thank for your support over the years in this undertaking. My favourite shift was 8am – 1pm on Elk St. I was guaranteed to get in several hours of reading under the trees. The fair went from three days to four days to five days back to four days and we were there collecting entrance fees and parking fees and putting a friendly face on Rotary in our town.
The annual Rotary Christmas Concert brought together choirs from all the elementary schools and churches in Aylmer. It was a wonderful evening to bring in  the start of the Christmas season. Unfortunately, it fell victim to falling numbers in churches and falling budgets for music programs in the schools.
I first became president for the 1999-2000 year with our first female District Governor, a fact that was announced at every opportunity. We are seeing this phenomenon today with Jennifer Jones as RIPE. I always felt that women would really have made progress when a person’s gender no longer merited mention. 
That was the year, I’m sure Bill will remember, that we did the most amazing play for the millennium District Conference in Goderich in the middle of a hurricane-force storm and finished our performance after all the food had been devoured by those in the audience. But it was a great time.
During those years our family hosted several Youth Exchange students, most memorably Peter Petersen from Denmark with whom we are still in touch. Not so much with the kleptomaniac from Japan or Oh King from the Philippines who was under the impression that I was the house maid.
In 2001 I first took the position of District Group Study Exchange Chair, a position I held for 3 years, the most interesting being in 2003 in the midst of SARS. We had an exchange with the Philippines, a hot bed of SARS infections as was Toronto. It became apparent quite early on that this exchange was not going to happen but RI was insistent that there was no problem while I couldn’t get host families or even team members. Within a week of having contacted RI the exchange was postponed and eventually rescheduled for the following year.
2007 was a great year – I took a GSE team to Australia. The experience was unforgettable and life changing for the entire team. While perhaps the culture shock was not what would have been experienced had we gone to India or Brazil, it was like stepping back in time 20 years. Within the Rotary experience I found the most surprising thing was that many of the Australian clubs did not provide any financial support whatsoever to The Rotary Foundation. I was unable to discover the real reason but there was a total disconnect between the Foundation and many clubs. We can be incredibly proud of our annual contributions and the good works they facilitate.
As a club we undertook a number of large projects:  The Grind Skate Park in Aylmer and another in Vienna, the local splash pad in Balmoral Park, and the sugar shack in Springwater Conservation Area.  These were all accomplished with financial assistance of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
For the next few years Bob and I tossed the Presidential orb back and forth until we fumbled and the Rotary Club of Aylmer relinquished its charter.  It was a sad day.
But I cannot not be a Rotarian.  So I was very happy to be welcomed as a member of this Rotary Club.  It is so important to me to be part of an organization composed of good people who live by a code of ethics that is second to none.  I am proud to be a Rotarian; Rotary gives me opportunities to share my good fortune with those who are less fortunate; and Rotary allows me to work with and play with great people who are an important part of my life.  So thank you to Rotary, the Rotary Club of St. Thomas, and to my fellow Rotarians.
Thank you Barbara for being an Inspiration!
The Aylmer club met regularly with the Rotary Club of St Thomas at Christmas and the Tillsonburg Club.
Nancy reminded Barbara about the Shelter Box program. Barbara said the one she has repacks into a much larger space than when shipped.
Gerry reported the first female District Governor was Judy Crawford of Goderich who went into action about the same time as Barbara.
From the District
Our May 19th noon Zoom will focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as it relates to Honouring Indigenous Persons and Economic Development in our communities. We will also have a update on Hand Up, supporting countries in need (link to follow). Also, see the link to the Thornbury Rotary Club initiatives on inclusion
Happy Events:
President Gerry – 5May is the anniversary of the Liberation of Holland.
Barbara – Her father was part of the Canadian Forces in Holland at that time.
Ron – His mother was born on 4May and would have been 100 years old.
Nancy – There is a Dutch Rembrandt at the National Gallery, Ottawa; that is an honour for Canada.
She is waiting for the “all Clear” to go to the cottage.
Malcolm – First grandchild’s (of 9) birthday. We are fortunate to have Barbara as President Elect.
Stew – His transplants are in a holding pattern waiting for the garden to warm up. Stew and Trish are also waiting of the “all clear” to go glamping in their new trailer.
Barbara – Norfolk County has a COVID snitch telephone line.
Trish – It was a sad day when Aylmer club laid down their charter, but it has been our gain. Many thanks for all the work completed by Barbara and Mary as members of this club. 
28Apr21 Social Club Meeting
  1. As decided at the last Foundation board meeting, we will donate a total of $50000 to Hospice Elgin. Funds will be allocated from the donation by Faye Ferguson, sale of the food trailer, and general fund.
  2. World Immunization Week – the Polio Eradication Program has proved that vaccines work. President Gerry presented a video about the Big Stars of the COVID charge to vaccinate. These global health leaders like U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore, and World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus talk about what Rotary has achieved in the fight to end polio.
  3. Stay tuned to President Gerry and President Elect Barbara as they role out the Polio Tulip Campaign. You help yourself and the Campaign when you place your order of 25 bulbs for fall planting.
  4. Our new fundraiser, the fall Discovery Tour is continuing favourably. There are 2 upcoming committee meetings next week.
  5. Next weeks Wednesday meeting will feature President Elect Barbara as she presents her “History in Rotary”.
  6. Danielle Perro, 2019 Rotary Global Grant Scholar, and labmate Magda Mareckova have just launched the first episode of their podcast series ‘Unheard of – The hidden voices of endometriosis’. The series is about raising endometriosis awareness and seeking for answers to some of the biggest questions identified by the endometriosis community, while elevating the voices that often go unheard – the voices of people with endometriosis and early-career specialists & researchers in the field. Please listen to our first teaser episode here:  
Re District Grants: President Gerry reported that we have a memo of understanding with the District such that we can apply for District Grants in the future. The District will match whatever the club invests. Training to start a District grant is available online from the District. The following is a discussion led by Nancy about grant eligible projects that come under the 7th Rotary Focus, the Environment:
  • A pollinator garden of purple flowers with a Polio Eradication theme and plaque
  • The Southampton club worked with the Horticulture Society on upkeep
  • Pinafore has an arbourist
  • Cost of a garden in a roundabout is 10-15 Thousand dollars
  • Gerry will investigate a garden at the entrance to the Elevated Park as he lives close to the chair.
Members “Soap Box”
Barbara and Mary both said it is not easy to live in Aylmer currently because many residents hesitate to get the vaccine while not complying with efforts to limit spread of COVID. Stew offered his personal explanation: We live in a me first society; if there is a perceived risk to a denier, no matter how small, they will not participate. There is no consideration of risk to others in the community or the larger population. They do not wish to participate for the greater good of the nation or any subset thereof.
Stew has grow lights that help to germinate vegetable seedlings while in a south facing window.
Barbara: Marinas are giving away blue winter boat covers that can be used as row cover for gardens.
Ron saw acres of plants grown under plastic sheeting.
Trudy showed her indoor garden of tomatoes etc.
Adriana: Marco Jr is at home finishing his Masters and does some gardening. Andew finished his last exam at Western/engineering. He got good marks. He would like to go to University and apprentice in Germany on a New Generations exchange.
Catharine: This was interesting news for her as she has a niece doing a Masters in Criminology; she could apply for this exchange.
Mary: She in unhappy with the COVID deniers as they can’t be forced by police to wear masks in public. She mentioned altercations deniers had with the police.
Nancy: Some people dying of COVID refuse to recognize COVID. Is this weaponizing God?
Barbara: Triage actions by health professionals force them to decide who lives and who dies.
Adriana: Spoke of COVID in Mexico. COVID patients have dark thick blood and are being treated at home. Some hospitals accept only COVID patients. She continues to have relatives with COVID.
Ron: Cannabis has been a staple crop for millennia. (Editor does not remember where that comment came from)
Another note from the Editor: I thought was not working because I could not get an email addressed to to come back to my personal email. But it worked for Trish and another email I got after placing it in “Contact Us” on the website. Board members are contactable from their links on the home page.
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May 12, 2021
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May 19, 2021
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Jun 23, 2021
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