|Program for March 6, 2007, reported by Jim Force
Standing beside the Victim Services vehicle after the meeting on February 27
are Ben Andersen and Executive Director of Victim Services, Derek Greer
President-Elect Jack Petrie presided in the absence of our skiing President. A joke about spring in New York was followed by O Canada, accompanied by Tom Lidkea, and grace by Mark Bedford.
Visiting Rotarians & Guests, introduced by Joan Firkins:
Paul Hartigan, Fort McMurray, Property Management;
Greg Read, Stratford, ON., Education.
Brent McNeill, speaker, and William Phelan were guests of the Club.
Sergeant-at-Arms: Mark Bedford levied the fines, as Tom Lidkea collected them in the kettle. There were the usual early leavers and those who hadn’t signed-in. Given that there were only two guests and two visiting Rotarians there were lots of loonies from tables without guest, as well as there were fines for those who hadn’t shaken hands with a guest. In keeping with his responsibilities
as Sgt-at-Arms, Mark continues to remind us of our protocols and manners. Anyone who hadn’t yet contributed to the PolioPlus letters they received from Joan Firkins also were asked to donate a toonie to the kettle.
The weekly 50/50 draw was won by Heather Aked. Not only was her number called, but she drew the white marble, which rewarded her with $89, $75 of which came from the pot and $14 from today’s ticket purchases.
Hans Ockermueller and Bob Beauvais both contributed a couple of happy dollars for the good time they had skiing on the week-end with fellow Rotarians. Joan Firkins passed on a compliment she received at this year’s DLTA about what a fine job folks from our club had done at last year’s DLTA.
Health of the Club: Mary Canty reported that all club members are healthy.
Joan Firkins invited club members to make their contributions to the Polio Plus letters she distributed today before the end of the month. (22 members donated $1,015. Well Done!)
||THE S@A reminded folks of the need for volunteers for the April 14th Palm Tree sale.
Heather Aked asked those interested in attending the March 21st Fireside meeting to please sign up if they anticipated attending.
Lorna Curtis announced the next club social event: A limo-wine tour on May 12th leaving at 11:30 and returning later in the afternoon. For the cost of $90 per person, you will visit three wineries, have a great lunch and the company of fellow Rotarians. The event is
limited to 30 participants.
Jim Force announced that next week directly after Tuesday’s luncheon we will be having a packing party for the Kid’s Kits. 4 or 5 volunteers are needed to assist with the packing.
Neil Madsen introduced our guest speaker, Brent McNeill, who is a local Oak Bay audiologist
and happens to be Neil’s personal audiologist. Brent holds a diploma in Biomedical Electronics from BCIT as well as a Masters Degree in Audiology from Western Washington
University. He has 26 years experience as an audiologist and opened a private practice in Oak Bay in 1994. He also lectures at both UVic and UBC.
Brent opened his talk with a description of two audiological projects supported by Rotarians.
One had to do with providing funds for St. Paul’s Clinic in Vancouver, while the other involved supplying hearing aids, testing equipment and training to two different African countries.
From there Brent went on to describe the anatomy of the ear as both complex, beautiful and consequently difficult to heal. One of the fascinating aspects of the outer ear is the production
of wax, which is of value in that it deters little bugs from making their home in your ear as well as keeping the ear clean. The middle ear, we were told, is composed of three tiny bones that amplify the sound and transmit it to the inner ear. The inner ear is composed of millions of nerve endings, hair cells, of which there are two types. The outer three rows of nerve ending are the ones that when damaged by loud sounds, aging, and the like, cause much of the hearing loss problems people experience. The inner nerve endings are the ones that transmit electrical impulses to the brain where sounds are interpreted. Unfortunately, the brain’s processing of these impulses are poorly understood.
After this very brief but informative anatomy lesson, Brent discussed some of the latest advances in hearing aid technology. Given the latest technology for testing hair cell functioning
within the inner ear, the provincial government is promoting a province-wide program
for testing infants. Early detection of hearing loss goes a long way to improving a child’s language development and life in general. This testing is currently available in Victoria
and slowly expanding around the province. Among new developments in hearing aids is the use of blue tooth technology for amplifying cell phone sounds via the hearing aid. As well there is a relatively new behind-the-ear hearing aid that has a small tube that inserts in the ear. The advantage of this hearing aid is that it doesn’t block off the opening of the outer ear and allows for a more natural sound of one’s own voice. Brent also showed a combination microphone and receiver used to assist hearing when in large crowds.
Brent finished his presentation at about 1:20, which left time for numerous questions. One of the most interesting responses had to do with a new virus that is being developed that will be injected into the inner ear and stimulate the growth of damaged hair cells.
Ted Harrison thanked Brent and, with his usual sense of humor, announced that he looks forward to this new virus and the re-growth of his own damaged hair cells.