Russell Hampton
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Editor's Notes

Entering August there appears to be a large sentiment of post crisis exhaustion, and disappointment that the new normal doesn't remotely resemble the old normal. In that stream of thought I will share the mask update:
Masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces in Edmonton as of August 1 in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
And there is very little public tolerance for those who forgot their masks in "in the car". 
So, we have to know how to wear the mask correctly as well.
The truth be told - I have been caught wearing it incorrectly - I find it a bit claustrophobic behind the mask and sunglasses.
How to care for your fabric masks:
And my personal favourite - how to stop your glasses from fogging up while wearing a mask:
And soon we will be having dual meetings and I will be seeing you masked up in my best mask. (I have a collection).
Yours in Rotary Service
Marderé Birkill
This Month
Aug 10, 2020 1:00 PM
How we have pivoted during Covid-19 pandemic. What do we see in the new normal?
Aug 17, 2020 1:00 PM
Life behind the Iron Curtain of Eastern Europe
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Kevin Keough
August 2
Russ Mann
August 5
Alec Murray
August 7
Mathias Deuel
August 20
Sean Price
August 23
John Whitmore
August 27

Volunteering Activities

Millennium House bar-b-que - Saturday August 22nd, 2020
The Rotary Club of Edmonton has a long relationship with "Millennium House", a transitional housing complex in the Boyle MacCauley neighborhood.
We supported the construction as a millennium year legacy project, and host annual summer bar-b-que and Christmas lunch events for the residents, the partnership is beneficial for all concerned. Our summer bar-b-que this year will occur on Saturday August 22nd, with proper safety protocols for these times. (face masks, social distancing, hand washing measures)
Club member Melinda Noyes is organizing ( and president Brian Edwards ( is chief cook and bottle washer. Please contact either if it fits for you. We need the help of about 4 people to provision, organize service and clean up.
Bulletin Editor
Marderé Birkill
Note from the President
Hello all and welcome to the Rotary year 2020-21. Like all Rotary years for club presidents, it will be challenging and interesting.
First, I will say a word about outgoing President Neil Lang. I learned much from Neil these past years as I worked with him on Rotary matters. Most important has been to lead with one’s values, and lead with your heart. All else will follow, and people will be inspired to engage and participate, each in their own way.
In my opening comments on July 6th, I spoke about my ‘Rotary moment” being inspired by a Rotary created and supported “Easter Seals” camp.  My inspiration was seeing how Rotary, from modest beginnings, created a program that is making a difference in the lives of so many others, both volunteers and those at risk or vulnerable in our society; and having some fun in the process. These are themes to which I will return over the course of this year.
We have many strengths as a club, including:
  • Solid finances, due to fundraising leadership and prudent expenditure from past presidents John Yamamoto, Brent Abbott, Don McFarlane, and Neil Lang. We have some money in the bank and the obligations are only those commitments that we make.
  • A bequest from former member Frank Morgan, plus some monies returned to the club from our club’s foundation, to total about $265,000. We are currently working on how to manage these funds.
  • A robust membership of 70 committed Rotarians, with existing and new members bringing new perspectives, capabilities and spirit to the club.
For our club, as the downtown club I believe we need to focus on downtown Edmonton, hence our motto of “Downtown with a Purpose”. The need is great, and our work of even more relevance in these COVID-19 pandemic times. Edmonton thrives as a community when the downtown is an inclusive place.
We are a club with big aspirations and reach, with a great board, committee chairs, and support from the District.
RI President for 2020-21 Holger Knaack leads this year with “Rotary Opens Opportunities” for us to embrace change that will strengthen us, even as we remain true to and guided by our core values.
“We have to be revolutionary from time to time” is a quote from Rotary’s founder, Paul Harris.
I have outlined a number of priorities for this year, that if not revolutionary are pushing the boundaries of our past practices. Amongst them are:
  • Further, improve our financial stability  - Operate our club for member dues.
  • Continue with fundraising activities, both traditional casino and golf events, and hosting our Step Up luncheon in these pandemic times, mixed with some online raffle, silent auction or other
  • Continue to be active and relevant through our avenues of service, some of which are to:
  • development of youth leaders with Rotary values
  • the keystone supporting the project
  • ​​​​​​​Operation Friendship Service for Seniors, lunch programs for at-risk students in public and separate board primary schools.
  • Search out new ways to be relevant and impactful in our community
  • Improve our understanding, relationship, and working with First Nations / Indigenous people, both as part of Canada’s history and as a large, at-risk population in downtown Edmonton.
  • Ensure we have some fun and fellowship, through alternate meetings (venue, time and day of the week) and mystery dinners
  • Continue with our excellent speaker program, perhaps mixed in with some club assemblies and alternate types of Monday lunches.​​​​​​​
I look forward to the upcoming year and thank all members for the opportunity to lead our club as the 105th President. Let’s have a great year, where we all live our Rotary moment.
Brian Edwards
President 2020-21
Rotary Club of Edmonton
Updates from the Playground in the Ukraine
Earlier this year, The Emmanuel Foundation and Rotary District 5370 Playground Committee finalized a letter of agreement with Rotary Club of Kyiv Multinational and YMCA Ukraine. This letter of agreement was drafted by a club member, Rod Karius in his role as Co-Chair of the district’s playground committee. Other club members have been involved from working on our organizing committee (Brian Edwards, Wendy Lickacz, Rod Karius, Michael Bull), and fundraising and donations (Wendy Lickacz, Michael Bull, John Yamamoto, Rod Karius). There are members of other Rotary clubs involved in the project Edmonton Riverview, Edmonton West, YEG Passport club.and the Rotary Club of Sherwood Park.
This project started with a visit to Kyiv, Ukraine in November 2017 by my wife, Michele, and I. We had received an introduction to meet with the General Secretary of Ukraine YMCA.   On our return, I felt that there was an opportunity to do a humanitarian project in Ukraine. Ukraine remains in an armed conflict with its breakaway Eastern states backed by Russia who has taken control of Crimea. There are over a million Ukrainian refugees who have moved from the areas of conflict to Central and Western Ukraine. Kyiv, the Capital in Central Ukraine has received many of these.