Rotary Club of Oak Bay Victoria British Columbia Canada Rotary District 5020
2008-2009 Rotary International Theme: Make Dreams Real
District 5020 Governor 08-09: Brian Beagle
Join us at Noon on Tuesdays at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre ( MAP)

Meeting, August 5, 2008, reported by David Philip. CLICK HERE for Print Version

President Neil opened the meeting (number 1776) on time and thanked Rod Sim for the superb bulletin which he had written last week. Your present scribe today is overawed by its quality and humour. Neil announced that August is membership month. His quote from President Glenn W. Kinross of Hamilton, Australia seemed appropriate: “Rotary’s greatest strength will always be the individual Rotarian. No other organization has such powerful human resources." President Neil exhorted the club, to seek out individuals who appear to share the Rotary beliefs in service and invite them to join the Rotary family. His sage advice was that in the end it is Rotary and the people who Rotary serve in our community and around the world who benefit. Our membership chair is Jim Force. Neil challenged the membership to approach Jim and tell him of people in the community that this committee should approach. Tom Lidkea opened the meeting, on the piano, with “O Canada”. Joan Peggs gave a thoughtful and well presented invocation.

Sergeant at Arms, Dallas Chapple, was in fine fettle, and she wentabout her task of fining as if she were trying to reduce the national debt. Fines were levied for those who did not attend the events of the weekend. Namely, the Symphony Splash and the concert given by her father Dal Richards. Giles Bixler was fined for wearing shorts. Neil Madsen was fined for having a bandage on his hand, supposedly to get sympathy for his plight of having had corrective surgery on the offending extremity. Tricia Timmermans was fined for not having a name tag. The fines came so thick and fast that your scribe ran out of ink and had to change pens.

Happy and Sad Dollars:
Vicky Pitt was happy that she could wear high heels again. Mary Canty told us about how happy she was that she had been visited by three of Oak Bay’s finest firemen. There was a comment that her joy was such that she could become an arsonist. David Philip gave $51 to the foundation in recognition of his upcoming 51st wedding anniversary.
Tav Macpherson gave two happy dollars for going to the UK and two sad dollars for missing the golf tournament. Joan Peggs won the draw, but failed to find the white marble.

rotary wheel


Visiting Rotarians And Guests
Introduced by Jack Petrie

Liz Ashton, Harbourside, Education-College;
Troy Alexander, Royal Oak, Mortgage Broker;
Helen Beirnes, Guest Speaker, guest of the club.

Helen Beirnes  


John Picken introduced the guest speaker, Helen Beirnes. Helen is a past president and the first woman president of the Rotary Club of Oak Bay. She is particularly proud of this honour, for which she worked so hard.

John gave us Helen’s curriculum vitae. She is such an active and understanding person who has fought and won many of the anti-feminine battles, which she has encountered. She had an early career in fashion in New York and Europe. She came to B.C. in 1952, was active in newspapers and television in the 50s and was Alderman for the city of Victoria from 1977 to 1979. She has been involved with recreation and theatre and helped to establish the McPherson Playhouse Society. She worked with the Ministry of Tourism under Grace McCarthy, another dynamic individual. Helen played a large part in the hospitality industry in Victoria. She has served on many boards, too numerous to mention. In 1993-94, she was the President of the Rotary club of Oak Bay and is a Paul Harris Fellow. She was made a freeman of the city of Victoria.

Helen was given a very warm welcome by the club. Her opening remarks showed a sense of humour and purpose. She said, "People can fix things, if given the chance and the money. As Rotarians we have the chance to improve the lot of millions.” She applauded the number of women that we have in the club today. “Women are natural nurturers, and it is in their natures to help their families and the communities in which they live.” She commented on the many wonderful people that she had met as a Rotarian in our club. She shared with us some of her experiences in attempting to break down the barriers with other Rotary clubs, particularly in Grand Cayman where she found a way to be seated with a bunch of chauvinistic men. During her watch as president of the Rotary Club of Oak Bay, she pointed out some of her accomplishments, in particular the Peter Pan Water Park. She was instrumental in advocating a meeting place for teenagers. With some levity she wondered if we still have the candy floss machine. Joan Firkins came in for an honorable mention from her. Helen said that Joan, when she was first introduced to an international Rotary meeting got the bug, and it has been onward and upward ever since with Joan, as we know. Joan has become a major force in our district and in Rotary International. We all shine in the reflection of her achievements. Helen looked back on an experience that she had with attempting to enter the front door of the Union Club of British Columbia in Victoria. She ended up going through the kitchen even though she was President of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce at the time.

Helen ended her talk, philosophically. She said: "Women are still making progress. The barriers are breaking down, but there is still much to be done. Rotary is the beneficiary of the efforts of the women members. It took a long time for Rotary to realize the value of the contributions that could be made by having women members.” This is coming to pass. Our Club is the richer for it. Vicky Pitt thanked Helen and suggested that she should consider renewing her membership in the club to which she had eluded during her talk. President Neil forgot the club’s presentation mug which is given to guest speakers and said that he would arrange for Helen to receive one. He did give, however, a certificate to signify that a tree would be planted in her name in Africa. Before the meeting ended, President Neil commented that Helen had been a close member in his family circle and that she and his mother had been models together in their younger days. He also pointed out that it was only as recently as 1987 that women were allowed to be full members of Rotary.

Helen Beirnes, Neil Rawnsley
Helen is warmly thanked by President Neil.


Highlight Ad - Jim Force


David Maxwell has made a plea for support for the golf tournament. The numbers are down.

Lorna Curtis made a plea for prizes for the golf tournament.

golf logo
AUGUST 22, 2008
Click logo for more info!

Players - $150
Hole Sponsors - $500





September 12, 2008, Victoria Area Rotary Clubs Rotary Lunch with Special Guests, D K Lee, 2008-2009 RI President (below),


and founder & CEO of Shelterbox, Tom Henderson (below). Tom Henderson
WHERE: Delta Ocean Point Resort

Tickets $75 includes tax receipt of $40.

Click the icon here and try it out. Once logged in (use email address & firstname.lastname), you can change your password if you wish, fill in the blanks on your own personal page, check out the upcoming speakers and events, join or start a forum, and more. Play with the menu at the top of each page, and experience all that ClubRunner has to offer.

AUGUST 12: Tricia Timmermans, Introduction to ClubRunner - be there or be square.
AUGUST 19: Jim Force, Membership
AUGUST 26: Roger Skillings, Preparing Canadian Athletes for the Olympics
12-Aug Prentice Pritchard Sills Sayers Schopper
19-Aug Sim Sims Snively Taylor Timmermans
26-Aug McLean Bamji Bedford Beauvais Bixler

Click here
Advertisers Rotary


Site design and management by Tricia Timmermans, Photo-J Inc
Website enquiries:
Copyright © 2008: Rotary Club of Oak Bay

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Tav Macpherson Tom Croft Realty Rod Sim CA CFP Jim Force John Snively Jack Petrie Joan Peggs David Philip Ted Harrison Studio Vicky Pitt