Rotary Club of Oak Bay Victoria British Columbia Canada Rotary District 5020
2009-2010 Rotary International Theme: The Future of Rotary is in Your Hands
District 5020 Governor 2009-2010: Alex Alexander. Assistant Governor: Tav Macpherson
Join us at Noon on Tuesdays at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre ( MAP)

Program for December 8, 2009, reported by David Sills. CLICK HERE for Print Version

Visiting Rotarians And Guests

Hans Ockermeuller introduced guest Eugen Bannerman, a guest of Joan Peggs. There were no visiting Rotarians. 

Musical Interlude:        (Tom Lidkea)
Familiar Christmas music wafted through the room as we enjoyed the pre-meeting fellowship time in the Lounge, which had been decorated for the holiday season. President Vicki continued the musical theme by joining Carol Toal in singing the “Welcome Song’ for visitors to this Rotary meeting. Barry Mutter recited the 4 Way Test but fortunately not to music


Capital Festival Christmas: John Snively noted that this musical festival runs from December 18 to 23 at St. Ann’s Academy. Pablo is featured on December 21 and 23.

Salvation Army Kettles: Rod Sim reminded members to consult the schedule and sign up for the opportunity to greet friends on Oak Bay Avenue during the Christmas season.

Fie Klinge: President Vicki announced that the Club had received a Christmas card and newsletter from Fie which would be distributed via e-mail.

NOTE from Joan: The Union Club does not have valet parking in place for the Christmas party on Tuesday December 15th. However, Pescatores, on Humboldt Street just west of Gordon Street, has been offering valet parking. You might wish to check there and see if you can access theirs.

Brian Price

Brian Lamb introduced our guest speaker, Brian Price, a member of the Canadian Men’s Eight Rowing Team who won the Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Brian Price has enjoyed a ten year career as a member of the National Rowing Team and has amassed an incredible record – three World Championship bronze medals and  five Gold, one silver and one bronze World Cup medals. As well, he has won three Grand Challenge Cup victories at the prestigious Royal Henley Regatta in England.

A ‘Virtual Reality’ tour is what we received today. Brian had us beside him in his Coxswain's seat as he described the Canadian team’s 2008 race for the Gold medal in Bejing. We were there as they put their craft into the water, as they rowed to the starting point and as they raced down the course, cheered on by the thousands of spectators lining the shores. We listened intently as Brian described their position at each quarter of the 2,000-meter race, and how they managed to keep ahead of the pesky British team. The tension in the room was palpable even though we already knew the final outcome. We then watched a short three minute video of the race which was almost anti-climatic after the excitement generated by his talk to the Club.

Brian's story is, however, much more than the race. He grew up in Belleville, Ontario with childhood dreams of Olympic achievements. A bout with leukemia at the age of seven was a major hurdle to overcome as was his shortened growth during recovery. Perseverance and endurance won the day as he progressed through life. As he said: “To be short is not a disadvantage for a coxswain.” He is the author of the forthcoming book Cancer Survivor to Olympic Gold – My Life, My Road, My Lessons’. Brian received a spontaneous standing ovation, followed by a brief thank you from Rod Sim. Indeed when thanking a speaker of this caliber, the best one can do is provide a brief “thank you very much”, hand over the cherished Rotary mug and depart the stage. When Brian was asked exactly what the duties of a coxswain are, this reporter learned the following: (1) steer the boat, (2) execute the race plan and (3) motivate the crew. Brian has mastered all three functions, especially the latter which, to my mind, is the key to victory.

Price Family
Photo of Price Family provided by Vicky Pitt.


Tom’s Reign                                   
Our Sergeant-at Arms, Tom Croft, introduced his secret handshaker, himself. If you did not shake Tom’s hand then you incurred a fine. Specific fines were levied on individuals who did not know the venue and the time of the Club Christmas party, as were all those members who have not signed up for the event. Joan Peggs was cited for her appearance in the Oak Bay News, but spared a fine because it referred to her work with recent sales of poinsettias (which raised $1609.32). John Snively was fined for a supposed interview on the CBC which was apparently seen by only one Club member. A Sad Dollar was received from Wolf to celebrate a significant birthday plus a Happy Dollar for receiving a Medicare Card and free passage from B.C. Ferries.

A note today from Christie Johnson on the APU project in Malawi: Memory Chazeza has just received confirmation that 100% of the girls who wrote their Junior Certificate Exams (the 2008 intake of 80 girls) have passed!  This is unheard of in Malawi where the average pass rate in co-ed public secondary schools in Malawi is 80%, with the very high majority of successes being boys. Apparently when the news first arrived at APU, the villagers and parents could be seen running at top speed towards APU to find out if the rumors were true. They formed a huge dance line and were singing and dancing all around the APU grounds.

December 22: Christmas New Year Celebrations - Club Members

Christmas Dinner
22-Dec Nazar Toal Taylor Snively Sims
No Meeting
Cash Desk: Edgell; 50-50: Lawrie

Service above Self - He Profits Most who Serves Best
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