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 Assistant Governor: David Stocks
Join us at Noon on Tuesdays at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre ( MAP)

Program for January 20, 2009, reported by David Sills CLICK HERE for Print Version

President Neil’s Opening Remarks:
The historical event taking place today in the United States and the hope that it has generated around the world leads me to pass on this quote from Robert F. Kennedy who at the time was the United States Attorney General. “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small potion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” Neil was referring to the inauguration today of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. In his address to the nation, the new president solicited a national call for service from all Americans. Neil noted the parallel to Rotary where service is at the center of all Rotary activities.


Kids Kits – Jim Force suggested that we ‘hit up’ our dentists for supplies to complete the items needed for these kits.
Whiskey Tasting Social This event, held January 16 at the Recreation Center, raised $1,500 for the club. Mr. Lidkea suggests that $1,000 be designated for the Malawi Girls’ School.
Painting Bee
Saturday, January 24, is the day to don your overalls and work out at the Teen Center from 9am to 4pm. Lunch will be served.

The Foundation
Tav announced that the club has raised over $16,000 to date for the Foundation, $5,153 for Polio Plus and $10,961 for the Program Fund. He invited members to attend the Regional Foundation Meeting in Vancouver at the end of January.

Parting Words
In closing the meeting, President Neil declared that we would finally get to hear his golfing story. By a lucky break he could not locate his notes so once again we were spared the pleasure.  As Mark Twain remarked – “Golf is a good walk spoiled."

Rotary Wheel

Visiting Rotarians And Guests Introduced by Wolf Schopper

Bill McLean, Orillia, Ontario;
Mary Coward (Speaker) Harbourside;
Catherine Langpap was a guest of Jack Petrie;
Carol Toal was a guest of Joan Peggs.
See below re new member.


ragmMicrocredit - A Powerful Tool to End Poverty
The inauguration of Barack Obama was clearly on Rod Sim’s mind as he introduced our guest speaker, Mary Coward. Mary will be speaking about RAGM, the Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit. Rod made reference to President Obama’s call for service and the need to end poverty and how Mary and RAGM could help President Obama achieve this goal. Mary is a member of the Harbourside Club and chaired the committee on World Community Service.  She organized the Microcredit workshop for the District in September, 2008. The Microcredit program to end poverty is the subject of her presentation. These programs extend small loans to very poor people for self-employment projects that generate income, allowing them to care for themselves and their families.

Mary Coward Anne Sims
Mary is presented with a Rotary Mug by Anne Sims

In 1998 The Rotary Foundation provided $400,000 as a ‘kick start’ grant.  Other sources of funds include the Grameen Bank, Oikocredit, World Vision and many small NGOs. Mary referred to the Quetzaltenango Program sponsored by the Harbourside Club for the women in this small city of 100,000 people in Guatemala. $36,025 was provided - $10,250 by Harbourside, $10,250 by District 5020 and $15,425 by RI. The project is overseen by the local Quetzaltenango Rotary Club. This money funded six micro groups consisting of 12 to 15 women each who meet monthly The loans are small, usually under $200 each and repayable over one year with interest at 2%. The money is used to purchase supplies for small home business enterprises. A good example in Guatemala would be weaving  colourful scarves and place mats which would be sold at craft fairs. You can get involved by visiting the RAGM web site at and creating a login to join the newsletter distribution list. Once logged in you may join as an official RAGM member. Mary recommended three books: Banker To The Poor by Janus, Small Loans, Big Dreams by Counts and The End Of Poverty by Sachs. This reporter can recommend the latter book by Jeffery Sachs as a thoughtful examination of  the reasons for poverty in most of the world and how the developed nations can contribute to its demise. By happenstance, as James Bond would say, our local banker, Ann Sims, was called to thank our speaker. In presenting Mary with the requisite Oak Bay Rotary mug, Ann allowed that RAGM was making all ‘the right moves’ banking wise in their  lending program.

Church in Antigua seen by your webmaster while walking to dinner last night. Greetings to you all from Guatemala.

Sergeant at Arms

For Pete’s Sake          (Peter Lawrie)
Our Sergeant-at Arms took a page from the Obama speech and introduced a new line of fineable offenses, this time for unfulfilled service!!! We were all allowed 30 seconds to meditate and commit silently to a service project of our choice. Results will somehow be measured at future meetings and fines applied where necessary. A cynic might suggest that 30 seconds of fine time has been lost in the process.
Two items from our ‘Lost and Found’ department were put up for auction; a misplaced director’s pen alleged to be pure silver realized $5.00, but there was no interest in an embroidered handkerchief.
A Sad dollar was received from Irene Davie for a perceived slight to women at the Imbibers’ fundraiser. Apparently the patter from the professional tester was addressed solely to the men despite Robbie Burns' fondness for the ladies. The S-at-A  promptly fined Mr. Lidkea for not running a tighter (pun intended) ship. Our President Elect won the big draw said to be worth well over one hundred dollars. The President was fined for his alleged comment “Is it June yet”.

New Member
The Club’s Board of Directors has approved Carol Toal’s application for new membership. Carol, a former member of the South Cowichan Club before moving to Victoria, is now settled into her new job as a social worker (her classification) at the Royal Jubilee Hospital and excited about rejoining Rotary. Carol has a wide knowledge of social service programs and needs in Victoria. As well she is a former business owner of a recreational camp facility, Camp Narnia. If you have any questions or concerns about Carol’s application, please contact either Neil Rawnsley, Club President or Jim Force, Membership Director. All members will join your editor in congratulating Carol and in hopes that she will find a happy new Rotary home in our Club.

January 2009 Programs

Jan 20

Mary Coward – Microcredit Project in Guatemala


Jan 27

Shelterbox – Anne Ohlgen

27-Jan Snively Taylor Timmermans Aked Bamji
Cash Desk: Peggs; 50-50: Beyer


PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CLUB MEMBER ADVERTISERS - click on their "cards" to visit their sites.
Advertisers Rotary

Site design and management and images 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