The Rotary Club of Edmonton
President message Jan 2021
Inspiration from our President, Brian Edwards
Brian at Iida's farewell this summer before returning to Finland.
President’s column – January 20th, Edmontarian
The calendar year 2021 is off to a great start with a terrific speaker program planned out. We are fortunate to have such reach into the Edmonton community to hear and learn from the leaders who are making a difference.
There are many opportunities for our club to lead with “Service Above Self”. With the rich legacy of our club, we are known to support those in need. A “Hand-up” or a “Hand-out”; a bit of guide and support for people to believe in themselves. There are many opportunities to support the development of the next generation of leaders to make a difference in our community.
Our club finances are in very good shape. Our club membership is committed and active. We have the financial and human capital to be ever the more impactful in our community. However, where to focus, or multiple focus areas? The need is greater than our capabilities. We are a club of 70 people, punching above our weight. And while we can do much, we are not the club from 30 years ago with 250 members.
The board of directors is starting to think through a strategic planning process to guide the club over the next multi-year period of time. We all have an investment in Rotary, and expectation for the return on that investment. Whether that is the newest member looking to contribute or the most experienced member who has done much, yet also looking to what comes next?
As a membership driven club, what do members want from their membership and where do you wish to focus? 
How should our club unfold?
This year’s theme of “Rotary Opens Opportunities” is very apt.
What does “Service Above Self” mean to you?
We are just starting, and there will be more information over the coming weeks and months. We need to sort out how to run an inclusive process in these covid-19 times. How to gain input, discuss and make decisions?
Rotary is needed ever the more in our community.
President Brian Edwards
We would like to thank Brian for inspiring us to organize our successful Robert Burns event and the gracious decision to support the Edmonton Food Bank.  
Neil Lang & Scott Montgomery
Scotch and Wine raffle
graphic courtesy John Phoa
One week left on this amazing raffle.    The picture will show all the items in each basket.   Tickets sales close 11:59 pm Wednesday January 28th with the draw on February 4th.  During our last raffle the 20 tickets for $50 sold out early so get your tickets early.
So please support the Edmonton Food bank!
Basket items may change because of more donations but currently:
First Prize basket contains 6 scotch and 1 wine.
Second Prize basket contains 4 scotch and 5 wine.
Third Prize basket contains 1 scotch and 7 wine.
.... a fourth prize to be announced shortly!
Of course do not drink and drive.  Drink responsibly. Stay at home.  Follow the Rotary 4 way test.  
Remember this is all for the Edmonton Food Bank.
January 25th meeting
Wee meeting Monday 
Lads and Lassies, please join us Monday January 25th for our second annual Scottish themed "Robert Burns" meeting.  PLEASE invite others to participate online.  Speaking will be a member of the Edmonton Burns Club plus if technology works, a live bag piper.   Scottish door prizes to be given out. Can't miss it. Join in at 11:45 am Monday.
Alex Thomson is a Robert Burns aficionado who will tell us about the influence of famous Scots such as Burns and the many Scottish immigrants who helped in the formation of Alberta and Canada as we know it today. 
In keeping with the theme of the day, feel free to wear Scottish tartan socks, a tartan tie or scarf and celebrate the occasion! 
Speaker: Alex Thomson
Although Alex Thomson was born in Aylesbury, England, he was only a "wee one" when his Scottish father moved the family back to Ayrshire, just south of Edinburgh. His early schooling was taken in West Kilbride and Ardrossan Scotland. After high school, he attended University of the West of Scotland in Paisley near Glasgow, acquiring credentials which qualified him for a career in the real estate industry. But he chose first to volunteer for an international youth organization from 1997 through 2003 where he travelled and worked in countries such as Japan and Hawaii. Alex immigrated to Canada in 2005 and began a successful career in commercial real estate with Avison Young. In 2009, he was admitted to membership in the Edmonton Burns Club and in 2012 became the youngest member ever elected as President of the Club. He was also the first President to ever read his inaugural address from an iPhone! As a long-time admirer of Robert Burns and his many acclaimed works, Alex enjoys speaking to audiences about Scotland's "favorite poet" and his native homeland. Because he too has a gift for writing poetry, Alex has become the "Bard" of the Edmonton Burns Club. His soft Scottish brogue has delivered narrative and dramatic works to many audiences including Edmonton Burns Club meetings and the Club's annual, sold-out Burns Night banquet. 
Don't forget to purchase a raffle ticket for contributions to the Edmonton Food Bank.
Scott Montgomery
Edmonton's Robert Burns statue
Father Mike
As recently announced, our club lost a key senior member with the passing of Father Mike McCaffery.  
We shall miss him.  Click on the "Read More" to see reflections from club members.
Note from Wendy Lickacz;
"Father Mike can you teach me how to pray?  Yes keep it short simple and do it often."
This from Marie Ulveland;
"I once asked Father Mike if he was getting away for a winter vacation. He answered immediately - "Yes, I am going to the holy land." with a slightly puzzled look on my face, he said, with just a comic's perfect timing - It is of course Palm Springs, so I can play golf". 
From Jim Saunderson;
I was not lucky enough to know Father Mike well.  However, his love, humanity and humour came through as soon as you met him.  We are fortunate to have had him with us and our Club will not be the same know that he is gone.
According to Harry Buddle;
I’ve know Fr Mike since 1987 when Rotarian Ove Minsos QC introduced us and  suggested I join up.  We, Rotary & Edmonton, have lost a great person of faith who was kind but with a sense of humour, even though at my confession Fr Mike said “not you again!”
Note from John Wojcicki;
In addition to Fr Mike's engaging and conciliatory demeanor his humour stands out more than his collar!  I recall having Mike give my Mom her Last Rites and knowing how my Mom enjoyed humour (those of you who knew my Dad knew she had no choice!) when my Mom asked Mike where he was living now (which is the new location of Newman College/Seminary and formerly a residence for single pregnant teens) he replied "I'm living in the home for unwed Fathers". Brought a tear to all our eyes!
Note from Ron Coulombe;
Fr. Mike was a gentleman and he always had time for you. I worked with Fr. Mike on a number of fundraising campaigns and, if he believed in the cause, he was an exceptional fundraiser.
Note from Neil Lang;
Fr. Mike was a legend in our club as a former club president and occasional invocation and homily presenter with a bit of Irish humour and wit. He had a knack of breaking the ice and making everyone smile.   I remember attending a mystery dinner at his place and Mike showed us all his Golf and Oiler (Wayne Gretzky) material posted around his room.  He lived life with a passion for people.  Mike can be forgiven for being challenged with using Zoom but did manage to connect with us at our December Xmas meeting.   
Feel free to add your tribute to Father Mike by responding with a comment!
Editor's notes
Note from the new Editor
Many thanks to Marderé Burkill for pulling together the Edmontarian from it's very beginning.  It isn't easy cajoling people to write articles accompanied by photos.  Marderé set a high bar for me to reach for a quality newsletter.  I hope to attain this high level but I know I will need your help for interesting and relevant newsletter material.  Bare with me as I learn how to assemble the newsletter using the ClubRunner system.   For a change, you will notice that some articles in this newsletter will allow you to make online comments or reflection directly after each article.   This should allow more individual or personal connection.  Catch you next 'ish.  
Editor Neil
Have an idea for an article... that you could author?   send me a note.
Toast to Donators!
Many many thanks to the donators to the Scotch and Wine liquor baskets.  Their contribution tops up our contribution to the Edmonton Food Bank.  Total value of $1260.
The list of donators includes;  Brent Abbott, Michael Bull, Muriel Dunnigan, Brian Edwards,  Don McFarlane, Scott Montgomery, John Phoa, Sean Price, Jim Saunderson, JJ Tremblay and Marie Ulveland.    Join me in giving them a big virtual hug.
"SERVICE" important for club membership and your health?
Patrick Galvin from the Portland Oregon Rotary club submitted an interesting article on the importance of "Service" to a club for membership.
Please visit this 13 minute YouTube video:
Your turn to add your feedback....
So what did you think about Patrick's video?   Do you agree or disagree?  In what way?  Where or how can SERVICE be promoted for our Rotary club?   Feel free to add your comments and feedback.
Survey says....
Interesting results from the Newsletter survey from the December issue:
1. Continue with the monthly newsletters.
2. Less details on birthdays, anniversaries, list of directors, etc.
3. More info on past and future speakers.
4. More timely and informative details on special events.
5. More articles from the club's committees on a rotating basis.
6. More articles of where our donations have made a difference.
If you would like to add your comments, check out the survey at: 
Thanks to those who offered their support for the newsletter!
Neil, the editor
Brief survey statistics:
63% read a great deal of the newsletter while 25% read a lot of it.
42% find the President's message the most valuable to read.  followed by 28% for Event Announcements.
Many liked the current mix of articles.
85% would like the newsletter to continue monthly.
100% would like articles from committees, 88% would like articles of where our donations have made a difference.  75% want Special Event promotions.
results above are as of January 18th, 2021
Feb 22, 2021 12:00 PM
Club Assembly
Mar 01, 2021 12:00 PM
U of A School of Business, Author and Advisor to Alberta's Tech industry
Mar 08, 2021 12:00 PM
President - Norquest College
Mar 15, 2021 12:00 PM
RCoE - International Services Committee -
Mar 22, 2021 12:00 PM
Alberta's Economy - where are we headed?
Mar 29, 2021 12:00 PM
President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce
View entire list
Russell Hampton
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