Lots of good in Rotary, every day, every year…

We lose good Rotarians all the time, either they move away, leave for reasons of their own or through a death.  We lost a dear friend this year Rosemary Smart.  Her energy and passion for life and Rotary was infectious. She will be missed in our club and in life.  I send out prayers to Jim Smart and hope he will return to Rotary and his Rotary Friends.

rosemary and jim

The Wild Fires this year were devastating for areas like Princeton, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Ashcroft/Cache Creek.

What does a bunch of Rotarians do in a pinch when a small community like 100 Mile House is in need of organizing food for returning victims?  They jump in vehicles and drive to the town and sort food all day. And they do it with a smile and the feeling of doing good and the chance to get together for some bonding and fellowships.  Two clubs came together this day to lend a hand.

Volunteering for 100 Mile House

We get some great speakers at Rotary meetings and this year we had the Hon Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Judith Guichon attend our club meeting.  President of RC Of Kamloops Daybreak is a wood turner, so I commissioned him to make her a symbolic wooden bowl made from the large tree that was felled in front of the hospital and we engraved the Rotary emblem.

Rotary Bowl


Rotary Socials = Fellowships

There are many benefits to Rotary, the one that is very powerful is the bonds you make, the support you get from others, and the friendships that last a lifetime.  Rotarians young and old get to share similar interests and a history of working together as a team to help others.

The social on August 19th 2017 was for celebrating anything and everything. We celebrated friends, anniversaries, engagements and a retirement.  The band the Journeymen were fantastic and our friend Cristal Odenbach also graced us with her singing and humours MC talents.  The night was pleasant, not smoky, and a lot of dancing was enjoyed.

August to September

August was a quiet month for Rotary in general however our club had a few socials, like our annual corn roast at the Newson’s.  Our newer energetic younger member Tyson who organizes the Brewloops in September grabbed an opportunity for our club to host the beer gardens for the Tragically Hip showing at Riverside Park.  Good funds raised by serving Craft Brews. It was so much fun slingin beer for four hours!

From all over the world, the Youth Exchange arrive in August and September.  September we went to the Inbound Weekend in Penticton and were impressed with the young leaders of tomorrow.


DG Vern Neilsen set the tone with some inspiration to the youth and the committee, inspiring them to give this year their best and learn and share. He also was able to share his personal story with everyone.


Jim and I headed to Winnipeg or the Zone Institute, a Rotary training conference that gathered the District Governors past and present and future all together for a indepth training session for their term as District Governors. The latter part of the week was geared to general leadership inspired plenary sessions.

Dean Rohrs our RI Director was the chair and did a wonderful job of attracting key note speakers like Oscar Arias who spoke at the Human Rights Museum dinner gala on Friday night.  Truly a most spectacular experience for us.


June to July


The month of June was filled with Rotary Club Installations including our club’s.  I was invited to two other club installations; Rotary Club of Chase and Rotary Club of Kamloops.

Our club’s venue was at the Fawcett Thoroughbred ranch in Heffley Creek, a really nice outdoor setting however the storm came through and we were invited to continue indoors around a most beautiful living room that features a stream and Koi pond. Kim Cooper and her directors were installed by ADG Mike Dedels. Many awards given out to the outgoing board.  Rotarian of the Year selected by members was Anna Harrison.  Anna has worked tirelessly at membership growth, fundraising activities and extends her energy outside the club at district level.

Chase had their install at the local hall and they invited local dignitaries. The food served was homemade and so delicious. They get top marks for the food of the month for sure.  Young Roy was installed as their president and his goals are membership growth and high energy. WP_20160611_19_03_21_ProSterling handed out the Rotarian of the Year to Richard Waugh, a second time recipient for his club.



The Rotary Club of Kamloops had their installation event at Hotel 540 Kamloops 2016poolside. The turn out was great. A little warm that night but quite entertaining. PDG Marvin Munro had the honors of installing Devon O’Toole, Irish Style.


Every club has their own style and culture and it doesn’t matter how the evening is arranged.  An evening of recognizing people, showing importance of the leaders of the club and the social WP_20160618_20_33_24_Pro aspect, is all too important and improves the sustainability of the Rotary Club.




Vern Neilsen was installed at his club by PDG Greg Luring. It was all performedDG Vern 2016 with the power out and still worked out well. It was nice to see about 12 PDG’s attend for this momentous occasion for Vern Neilsen, DG for 2016-2017.

Group Study Exchange from Australia
The crew visited Kamloops and ADG Mike Dedels did a great job at touring the four young vocational people and the Rotarian team leader around this area.WP_20160607_07_32_35_Pro

They were specifically interested in farming, animal husbandry and of course they visited another winery. They were done with wineries however, having spent most of their 5 weeks touring Washington and the Okanagan vineyards.

I hosted Claire who was into fisheries. She didn’t have too much vocational touring of this line of work but said she thoroughly enjoyed the entire time in the USA and Canada.   We have a new place to visit now in Australia.

Taking a break from Rotary in August. Checking back with you in September.

From Club Fun to District Fun

Preparing for their presentation
YE at Conference Preparing for their presentation

March to May

St Paddy’s Day Club Fundraiser in March: our club put on a fun evening event with an Irish theme, live music and games. A fun raiser that saw about $12,000 for our worthwhile community service projects.

April 15: The outbound YE weekend in Lake Chelan attended by some of our DG chain, as well this is for the outbound students and their families to learn more about Rotary YE. The YE committee lead by Richard DeRock was well run and one can see the amount of work that goes into these YE weekends. Tiresome and full of passion for such a great program.  Lake Chelan is so beautiful, I cannot wait to return.

April 23: Spring Training in Kelowna hosted by DGE Vern Neilsen. 75 plus members attended for the 11am-3pm leadership training. It was kind of like a brush up for the President Elects who just returned from PETS in February and for them to include their incoming board.  The AG facilitators were to the point with their information and the groups were able to have a bit of group discussion and fellowship, ideas sharing which proves valuable for building better friendships.

Bruce and Marjolein came up for Membership Matters.  They put on an organized and easy to follow presentation on membership. It was well attended by Kamloops Clubs including some from Salmon Arm and Rotaract.

I attended a Wednesday evening North Kamloops Rotary Family Dinner: Rotary Club Of Kamloops puts on a large family dinner every other Wednesday. The people that enjoy a meal by these hard working Rotarians are so appreciative.  Chris Sequin, who attends most said he has known these kids since they were toddlers, seeing them grow up over the years and benefitting from these gatherings; makes it all worth it.

RLI weekend was April 30th as well as the Kamloops/Chase/Kelowna Food Drive. A busy Rotary Day. Those that attended RLI could not do their beloved Food Drive. We are never short of volunteers to pick up food from every household.  RLI was organized by Ron Hooper – not sure where he gets his energy – RLI/Vision. He is so good at this. I attended first thing to facilitate Rotary Opportunities. It was so much fun, I hope I inspired some to look into Rotary Fellowships and Rotary Action Groups. After my presentation I scooted out for my event.
This was my second past club Presidents Reunion at our home which saw 19 of our past 36 club presidents attend with their spouses. A very nice warm night on the balcony overlooking the city, a group photo.

May 2-8: Jim and I travel from Kelowna to Yakima.
We stopped into Kelowna to attend a funeral, stay with good friends and then head to Wenatchee to see Jim and Carol Adamson for dinner Tuesday. I wanted to get to know them better and see how his year as DG was and find some inspiring ideas to help me. I always thought his DG year was one of the best and I have always liked his style.  It was a good few days.  We then headed to Tim’s YMCA camp just past Leavenworth on Wednesday. We enjoyed spending time with Tim McElravy during YE events and wanted to see where he worked. We arrived and toured the cabins and then came upon the most beautiful lake.

We left Tim after lunch and headed for Yakima to stay for four nights which lead up to their district conference.

Yakima Conference May 6-9 was superb. Great speakers, good rooms and location, nice Thursday BBQ, and home hosting as always was a highlight. The Luring’s had us attend the most beautiful home in Yakima, featuring 26000 sq. ft. of elegance overlooking the valley. I am still in awe. WP_20160513_19_11_08_Pro

May 28: “I Did it for Rotary” Wine tour. Club Fundraiser
Our club organized its 2nd annual wine tour and this time it was to Summerland.  The organizers worked with Summerland Rotary specifically Roch who put on an amazing lunch and dinner for us and assisted with the wine tour to the wineries.  The Summerland Rotary Club served lobster for dinner, which was probably the best I have had.

Our club raised about $11,000 for the one day event with sponsorships and attendees and their club raised some money from a live auction.

May 31: Vision Session
Ron Hooper is coming from Salmon Arm to help out with Vision session for Kamloops Rotaract. Myself and our P.P. Anna Harrison will assist tonight. It should be interesting to see what the younger generations strategy sessions produce.

Planning Time

March has been a month of focusing on my own Rotary club, work, and the start of golf.

I have spent time working on the schedule for this years travels in Rotary and booking hotels.  I am booked for facilitating Training sessions, RLI, and a Vision session in April/May.

Osoyoos district training April 23, RLI April 30 and a May Vision session for Rotaract.

Conference in May has been booked for Yakima.

Youth Exchange Weekend in Lake Chelan April 15th weekend for Outbound orientation will be interesting and I am looking forward to a lakeside weekend away. It is about 4.5 hour drive from Kamloops.


February 2016

This month has been busy. 20160201_204151880_iOSI attended Kamloops Rotary meeting and was asked to help honor those new members of Rotary.

February is for club presidents. Pre pets was held in Kelowna the last weekend of January and in the South the first weekend of February, and was well organized by Vern Neilsen DGE.

AG’s facilitated the various sessions to help the incoming presidents prepare for their year and for PETS in Seattle February 26th.

In between we had the pleasure of going back to Revelstoke like we did last year for Youth Exchange. Inbound and outbound youth gathered to meet up again to enjoy outdoor activities as well as learn more about their role in Rotary and their YE experience.

Robin/Richard DeRock and his committee do an outstanding job with YE for our district and should be commended.  Revelstoke Rotary Club and specifically Graham Harper are hard at work organizing the event at Powder Springs hotel for accommodation, meals and activities for the youth. They had a fun time and our student Valeria newly arrived from Columbia did too.

We are off to Omak this weekend for the Foundation Seminar and looking forward to the new location 12 Tribes Casino Hotel.