There were 20 members in attendance this morning, along with three guests: Vic Andrusko, guest of Al Cameron; Kyle Fichler representing The Beach Club; and guest speaker, Bill Helin.

During Two Minutes of Rotary, Eric Walper spoke about his experiences as a new Rotarian, expressing his feeling that "the more you serve, the more you get back".  Rotary provides a wonderful opportunity for great fellowship while at the same time helping the community, and Eric is proud to be a Rotarian.

Due to confusion with our guest speaker over our meeting location, Don Luke and Garry Cox graciously agreed to fill in with an overview of the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, held this past June.  Garry spoke about the Pre-Convention which involved two days of seminars dealing with youth exchange, including short and long term exchange programs, hosting issues, Rotaract, Interact and RYLA.  He was gratified to learn that the same issues and problems arise all over the world and are not unique to us.  There were 30 RYE students at the sessions, most from Canada and the US and one from Port Hardy.

Garry noted that one of the best aspects of the convention was the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, including some that he and Don had met while on their trip to Africa.  Through the socialization that takes place outside the sessions, you really learn what Rotary is all about.  Garry's advice to future convention-goers is to bring plenty of business cards!

Don then spoke about the conference venue which was the stadium built for the World's Fair, held in Portugal in 1998.  With attendance of 25,000 people, it was sometimes difficult to get into the popular sessions.  Jane Goodall was one of the outstanding speakers, and other topics included the Foundation, water projects, Rotary Friendship Exchanges and the new Rotary website.  Plenary sessions were conducted in English, with simultaneous translation into nine languages; while breakout sessions usually had two language options.  The House of Friendship was also a central gathering spot, with opportunities to socialize, shop for Rotary products, and meet with other Rotarians promoting club projects.  Almost every living Past RI President was there. 

Even without photos and on very short notice, Don and Garry did a great job giving the members a sense of what a Rotary International convention is all about.  Many thanks for filling in our program this morning, guys!

Our guest speaker, Bill Helin was introduced by Bashir El-Khalafawi as an artist, designer, painter, wood carver, jewelry craftsman, storyteller, and a former member of our Club.  Bill began his presentation with a Tsimshian prayer.  Born in Prince Rupert, Bill has spent much of his 35 year career learning about and expressing his Tsimshian culture through his art and his work in schools.

Bill described his recent experience in Hong Kong where he spent three months carving two totem poles at an international school as their first artist-in-residence.  From a 30' log, Bill carved two 15' poles to accompany an existing totem pole, as three were needed to ensure proper feng shui.  His workspace was actually a corner of a sports field and he described a humorous incident when he was hit on the head with a soccer ball while busy with his chainsaw.  Three months of carving and working with children culminated in a totem pole raising ceremony which was translated into Chinese.

Bill then spoke of his work as an illustrator of children's books with Strong Nations publishers.  His work is part of a guided reading program which includes 16 books in the first phase and another 16 in a second series of Revolutionary Teaching books for early readers.  Bill is a firm believer in the power of education, noting that we also need to give literacy skills to parents so they can teach their children.  Kay Burgoyne thanked Bill for his presentation, noting his lasting impact on our Club through his beautiful banner design .

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The 50/50  of $20 was won by Jo Dunn.  Birthdays were celebrated by Angela Dadoush and Bev Birchard, and anniversaries by Kirk & Jaclyn Walper and by Eric and Fay Walper.  Happy dollars were donated for the presentations made by Bill, and by Garry and Don.  Helen Dyck was recognized for her new role as author on the Island Woman website.

Next week's meeting: Club Assembly