Today our Incoming President, Diana Matsuda Chaired the meeting for President Bruce Huxtable who was out of town playing with his grandchildren.
 
Guests:
Louise Sousa – Aldea Maya
Sharon Welsh – Rotary Club of Nanaimo Downtown
 
Two minutes of Rotary:
Gord Svenson – How can we sell Rotary? Some of us sell our own products. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have an enormous base of followers that can be accessed by everyone. Gord gave props to Diana and Cara for the development of a great website for our Club. Visual videos are a great way to get the point across. Images make it real, and show true emotions. Images may help our Club engage the public and new members at our fundraisers and service events. As we get older 35% of us have friends drop in less and less. Socializing once a week (ie: Rotary meetings)  is proven to extend the lifespan of the elderly. Young people can be turned off by a weekly meeting commitment because fo their busy lives. So do we HAVE to meet every week? Or could we meet once a month and do something in the community the other (3) weeks? We have to engage young people. Our routine is familiar and hasn’t changed in (25) years. We need to think creatively about what we do and how we run our Club.
 
Announcements:
2014-15 Installation is a second meeting of the week on June 20th. Diana had a sign up sheet on front table. It will be $30 per person at Arrowsmith Hall in Errington. Arrowsmith Hall is located on the Coombs Fairgrounds at 1014 Ford Road.  Please to the following link for map and directions to the hall: http://www.coombsfair.com/location.php
 
Port Alberni Boots and Rails is on July 16. All Area 3 Clubs are invited. There will be a train ride from the Port Alberni train station, a tour of  a mill and a winery. Ken Whiteman ADG is organizing the event. There will be a sign up sheet for our Club which will be sent to Ken. Tickets are $40 per person.
 
Beachfest: Sign up sheets were on the tables this morning. Contact Gord Elliott.
 
Membership Dues: Invoices were provided again this week if you didn’t get one. We need payment ASAP (before the end of June).
 
Lynne Pearson presented Louise Sousa (Aldea Maya) with a donation of $200 as part of our International endeavors. The group rebuilt a middle school in the village of Chukumuk near Lake Atitlan in Guatemala that was decimated by a landslide. Louise presented beautiful nature paintings done by the Grade 8 & 9 students of the village. Paintings will be auctioned off at their Appy and Auction fundraiser. It is $20 per ticket on June 22 at the Arrowsmith Golf Club  and are for sale at Art Glass in Parksville or email Louise at aldeamayaca@gmail.com. Louise believes in education that includes creative arts and crafts as part of the education system. They now have more than (100) students enrolled. This is the first time the village has had education past grade (9) ever. Butterflies and flowers are a common theme throughout the paintings as calendars from north America were used as inspiration. In the process of teaching these children to paint, the instructor with a background in psychiatric counseling discovered her own talent for art and now sells her work.
 
Hero Holidays: Diana and Bill attended the Qualicum Beach Club meeting this week. The trip is on-line now here http://livedifferent.com/hero-holiday/trips/parksville-am-rotary-club. The password is: rotary (all lower case) for all information. There is a simple 4-step process for registration. The minimum number of participants has been met, so it’s on!
 
Guest Speaker:
Arthur Wong: Don Luke introduced Arthur, praising him for his involvement in our Club and the community at large. When he was approached to do his classification talk he really had to think about what it is he does. As a General Manager of a hotel he is really a jack of all trades. His wife is Pauline. Arthur was born in Canterbury, England. His parents travelled alot and moved to Croydon, England. He received a degree in Mathematics. After graduating he realized he didn’t want to have anything to do with finance. He just couldn’t picture himself sitting in an office all day. At that point he decided to travel to Hong Kong (his parents are originally from there). Arthur ended up staying for (5) years and got is first hotel job in a (162) room lavish Renaissance Hotel. He then travelled to China and then Vietnam where he opened the first hotel and first (10) storey building in the city. This is also where he met his wife. When Hong Kong went back to China, so they had to make a decision about what they were going to do. At this point they came to Vancouver, BC. When he first came he thought he would just find work an settle down and retire! That was when he was only in his 20s! In Vancouver he worked for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. From there he took an opportunity to go to Edmonton to the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. After about a year he was asked to move again to Newport Beach, CA. The job at Fairmont Newport Beach helped to grow his career in the rooms division and food an beverage sector. Arthur also did brief stints in Miami and Cairo to assist in opening hotels there. He spent four and half years in California, but was getting bored. From there he participated in opening a hotel in Shanghai. This was the Fairmont Peace hotel,  which is the building with bright green roof and a history dating back to 1928. Two years later his contract was up and his boss approached him with another project in the Philippines. The Fairmont, Raffles and Raffles residences includes (3) complexes all in one. Running one hotel comes easy to Arthur, but running (3) at the same time was a challenge. He took it to the point where everything was up and runnin…it just takes a different level of energy to open a hotel…he also felt like at times he had to turn away from the ‘truth’ is this environment…at this time he toiled with the decision to keep travelling or to settle down somewhere again and put down roots. So Arthur and Pauline chose to come back to Canada in September 2013. They were thinking Vancouver…and then…he got bored again. They moved out to Canmore, BC with Bellstar. They were there for (10) days, it snowed and the temperature was -10 degrees Celsius. He forgot the cold in his travels so when his boss offered the position in Parksville…without a second thought he took the job here to transition the Beach Club to a Bellstar Hotel. Bellstar as a company has a clear mandate that includes respect, honesty and service to others which is what Arthur believes in. These values are echoed in the beliefs of Rotary International, so joining our Club was a good fit. Cara thanked Arthur for his contribution to our Club. We are so happy to have you as part of our membership…please don’t take off across the world again any time soon!
 
Birthdays, anniversaries, Sergeant at Arms:
Joke: Cara’s Koala Bear joke received a few groans from the crowd, and she also received a fine much to her chagrin…SHE thought it was funny…
 
 
Birthdays: Garry Cox, June 15
Anniversaries: Jane & Ray Walker, June 16
Sergeant at Arms: It’s jeans day. The secret words are ‘older people’ from Gord’s TMR…he had a really elaborate excuse for not having a dollar, in the end he gave all his money to someone needy…so John sponsored him. Many happy dollars were given for Arthur’s presentation.
 
Meeting adjourned 8:15AM.
 
Next weeks meeting:
Ainsley Moore – Parksville & District Association for Community Living