The Rotary Club of
St Thomas
6Jan21 Malcolm's history with our club
President Gerry called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.  He expressed the hope that we may be able to meet in person sometime in 2021. He is missing the bell to begin and end meetings, so Ron and Trudy arranged to retrieve it from the storage cupboard.
Zoom attendance was 9 today.  Pat Martyn sent word that she is taking care of grandchildren after everyone tested negative for Covid. 
“Voices of Broadway” virtual concert is $10 admission.  See below.
Next week’s meeting will be the District Noon Zoom on Tuesday January 12th at noon, which replaces our Wednesday meeting. There is a link in the email sent by Gerry.  The main topic will be cyber security, which is timely, as we are conducting many videoconferences.
On January 27th the Rotary Club of London is holding a virtual Trivia Night.  Admission is $60 for a team of 6 or less people.  Registration is via the Facebook page.  The winning team will receive 25% of proceeds as a donation to a charity of their choice. Contact Gerry if you are interested in being on a team.
A thank you note was received from the offices of Karen Vecchio, MP and Jeff Yurek MPP for our participation in the Reverse Santa Claus Parade. 
Gerry read a letter of gratitude from Ginny Trepanier of the Grace Café re our recent donation of $500.
The Club received a rebate of $68 from the District regarding our insurance.
If you are paying Rotary dues by installment, please send your second installment of the year to treasurer Mary.  It is due now.
We were sorry to hear that Gerald Vreman is stepping back from the club for the time being.
The Board of Directors will discuss the procurement of the brass name plates (from the former President’s plaque) from the Elgin County Museum, Heritage Centre archives and what to do with them.
John and Chris Sanders’ son Ben is playing a role on the Frankie Drake Mysteries TV program airing now on Monday nights at 9 p.m. He is featured in several episodes.
On a sad note, Ron Somerville reports that his brother-in-law, Jim Buibydas (boy-ba-das) passed away. Ron spent many hours with Jim while driving him to medical appointments and treatments.
Malcolm Rust's History with the Rotary Club of St Thomas
SEE ABOVE: First impressions are important. My first impressions of Rotary were formed during my time in high school.   (notice the 6th girl from the left, go up to the third row and that’s me). I learned to respect The Rotary Club a group of men who generously offered leadership in my community and made funds available for worthy causes.  I secretly decided that if ever I joined a service club it would be Rotary.
This club has had a long association with the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital.  Soon after the club was formed in 1950 it made a donation to the hospital to furnish the chapel. That space is now a prayer room used by all faiths.
Another community service project was to provide two-way radio communications equipment to enable in-coming ambulances to advise the hospital of the pending arrival of patients and the severity of their condition.
Recently, the club donated $10,000 towards the building of the North wing with its state of the art facilities.
I became a hospital employee in 1981 having completed my theological education, 20 years of pastoral work in churches and then an intensive year of clinical training at Toronto General and Queen Street Mental Health Centre.  I had achieved a Specialist certification in Institutional Ministry.
In this photograph, marking the start of my work as a multifaith chaplain, I was joined by Jon Skafel, CEO and 2 clergy representing the local faith communities.
Bert Thacker, hospital CEO was a Rotarian, was later President of the club in 1966.  He had the distinction of becoming District Governor, District 633 as it was in those days, in 1977-78.
Jon Skafel was also a member of this club whilst CEO at the hospital. Jon suffered a major traffic accident and spend a prolonged period in recuperation never being able to return to his position..  During that period Terry Kondrat became the CEO and he and I worked closely together.  Terry asked me to represent the hospital by joining the club.
Ed Willson was my sponsor.  For years, Ed had been the ambulance manager at the hospital.  He gave me Rotary materials and encouraged me to join.
Shortly before his recent death Ed and I chatted about those days and I was able to thank him sincerely for being so persuasive.
So I joined this club in May 1996 – nearly 25 years ago.  Following my retirement from the hospital and after major surgery, and after much persuasion I became Club President 2014-15.
I have been honoured with 6 Paul Harris Fellowships
Frank Sanders was still a force in the club, in those days. He had a particular interest in Eyesight Universal but soon after I joined he developed a passion to furnish a dental clinic in the Kerala District of Southern India in the city of Trivandrum.  Frank had been introduced to a couple, both dentists, and had been made aware of the huge need for low cost or free dental treatments for thousands of people.
In true Frank style, he coopted me. We canvased the clubs in the district and raised over $100,000 USD.   So Rotary provided the equipment and the team of doctors went to work giving professional care to those who could least afford it.
I do not think there has been another project in our District, like that since. Frank made telephone calls, wrote letters and with or without him I visited clubs and spoke at every opportunity. What an introduction to Rotary!
All this activity meant that I was being noticed in the district.  The late Ken Wilmott invited me to join the committee that selected Ambassadorial Scholars to go overseas for a year of post graduate training. At the end of Ken’s 3 yr. term I served as chair for 3 years more.  For several years I was invited to speak at the Annual Conferences at sessions that incorporated the Memorial Service for deceased Rotarians. Then as changes came to Rotary I was invited to join the selection committee for Global Scholars for a few years.
Retirement has given us opportunities to travel.  Rotary has given me the opportunity to visit with many Rotarians, on cruise ships, in many different States and in England.
This club had been involved for several years in Rotary Youth Exchange.  The late Lee Smith had served in this capacity. But the program had been discontinued for several years. We were approached by a young lady who wanted the opportunity. We organized, found host parents for an inbound student and sent Erin Chesterfield to Thailand for an academic year.  She has since travelled extensively to visit other exchange students in many different countries. She now lives in Union with her husband and 2 little girls, works for the Ontario government and is a volunteer firefighter.
Every student, especially those inbound, presented interesting challenges to the committee.  And if it wasn’t the student, it was the host families who kept us on our toes.
This was a happy celebration at Pat and George’s home one June.  Pat Martyn and Melody McKinnon seen in this picture served on the club’s RYE committee.
Ray and Shirley Broadbent worked so hard for The Rotary Music Festival.  Then it went through some challenging years as Ron Somerville did heroic work to pull things together. The leadership then passed to Gerald Vreman and I served as secretary to the Music Festival Committee for several years.
It was a privilege to be on the club’s Board of Directors and the Constitution and Bylaws were revised.
I have served on the club Foundation’s Board of Directors including a term as the Foundation President.  I drafted the club’s Investment Statement and serve as the chair of our Investment Committee
Anyone married to a Rotarian knows the hours of volunteer work that are involved.  I have been helped and supported during these 25 years by Donna.
Thank you.
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Upcoming Events
History in Rotary - Malcolm Rust
Jan 06, 2021
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
District Zoom Meeting
Jan 12, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
History in Rotary - Bill Horn
Jan 20, 2021
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
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