Posted by Marderé Birkill on Sep 29, 2018

Member Highlight - Marderé

Well, we didn't get a volunteer for the very trying questionnaire to get to know people this month. So, I volunteered to be in the spotlight for this month.
When did you join Rotary?
Being new in the area, I am interested in getting to know the community, meet more people, and give back. Good friends of mine have been long standing members of Rotary, and their stories of community, and friendships all over the world intrigued me.
How long have you been a member of our club?
About 8 months.
Who are the most important people in your life? 
My family. 3 beautiful kids, and two (soon 3) amazing grandchildren, parent who emigrated to join us at a very late stage in their lives, and brothers and their families.
What is your Rotary moment?  An experience that made being a Rotarian the right thing for you?
Seriously being a new member, every event is a Rotary moment. There is always something new, a comradery, something new to learn, a new opportunity to give.
  • If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
    • Write the book I have threatening to write for a few years. Stay up to date with administration, and paint a picture.
  • What was cool when you were young but isn’t cool now?
    • A Walkman. Can anybody remember the walkman – it was so cool to walk around with  music on your ears.
  • If you were arrested with no explanation what would your family and friends assume you had done?
    • Breaking a personal best speed record on the High Way.
  • Would you rather go hang gliding or whitewater rafting?
    • Whitewater rafting any time. And I have done it – it is exhilarating. I really see no need propel myself from dizzy height in any setting. I have a terrible fear of heights.
  • Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
    • Madagascar. The architecture, food and scenery are amazing. Lemurs are really as amusing as they in the movie. Beautiful beaches and forests, interesting cuisine, and the largest outdoor market in the world – a shoppers paradise, but you have to negotiate in French. 
  • What inanimate object do you wish you could eliminate from existence?
    • Definitely plastic. I have eventually jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon. The damage to our oceans and rivers is devasting, and if I had unlimited resources I would start a company that uses all the existing plastic to pave roads and build houses. If I had unlimited influence, I’d ban the manufacturing of plastic.
  • If you were moving to another country, but could only pack one carry-on sized bag, what would you pack?
    • Anybody who knows me would know the chances of me packing in a small bag for anything longer than a night is extremely unlikely. But I think I could squeeze in my laptop, an external hard drive with copies of all the photos in all my photo albums, my two favourite paintings, my 5 favourite books, my Bible, journal, and I’d use magic to shrink a Persian carpet to take with me. Then I would wear a few layers of clothing, and stuff my largest handbag with toiletries, makeup and more clothes.
  • What songs hit you with a wave of nostalgia every time you hear them
    • So many really: Traumerei (Schubert), The Swan (Saint-Saens), Chiquitita (Abba) and anything Andrea Bocelli sings.
  • What outdoor activity haven’t you tried, but would like to?
    • Paddling on the North Saskatchewan river, hiking to Machu Pichu, cycling & hiking the El Camino
  • Would you rather live on the beach or in a cabin in the woods?
    • Tough choice, I would like both, or maybe a cabin at the edge of the woods, a short distance from the beach.