There were 24 members in attendance this morning, along with 3 guests: Bev Birchard, soon-to-be new member; Todd Holkestad, Food & Beverage Manager at the The Beach Club; and Nigel Gray, our guest speaker.

It was a special treat to begin the morning by inducting a new member to the Club.  Bev Birchard became the world's newest Rotarian and was warmly welcomed by all members.

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Announcements:

  • President Jo announced the cancellation of Crabfest for 2013, citing the reasons as our inability to secure a guaranteed supply of crab at a set price and the fact that we will need all our volunteers for the RCMP Musical Ride in August.
  • The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre has requested our help at their annual Open House on June 22.  We will operate the concession and supervise parking at this event which provides good visibility for Rotary in the community.
  • John O'Brien has prepared a proposal for a series of monthly entrepreneurial presentations as part of our guest speaker series.  These will draw upon entrepreneurs from our community who will tell members about their businesses.

Our guest speaker this morning was Nigel Gray from MacDonald Gray Consultants.  Nigel and our own Cara MacDonald have over 20 years of experience in design, planning and consulting services, with a specific focus on a natural systems-based approach to land development.  Nigel's presentation this morning dealt with small lot residential development and how it works.  In an excellent Powerpoint presentation, he described how the standard single-family home from the 1950s, designed for larger families, is no longer required for the modern family which now averages 2 - 2.6 members.

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Nigel outlined a scenario whereby single family properties in a neighbourhead are purchased and consolidated, resulting in an apartment block in the midst of a single family neighbourhood.  He contrasted this with the creation of small lots which optimize the use of the neighbourhood infrastructure, meeting the changing needs, wants and values of existing and future residents throughout their life cycle.  Such lots include ground-oriented housing for families with children, along with smaller houses and yards for seniors, empty nesters and singles. Nigel affirmed that small lots increase attainable housing supply by reducing the cost of land through smaller lot sizes, reduce material costs through compact building forms, and provide opportunities for "victory gardens" to reduce food costs.  Further, smaller lots revitalize older neighbourhoods with new infill construction, and reduce urban sprawl by accommodating market demand.  The philosophy of MacDonald Gray Consultants is to introduce gradual organic change so that the density is gradually increased but the character of the neighbourhood remains.

The 50/50 was won this morning by Helen Dyck while Bob Cummings provided our morning smile.  The Sergeant-at-Arms did an admirable job, despite admitting to being somewhat bleary-eyed from the night before.  Happy Dollars centred around Bev's membership, Nigel's presentation, and the fact that the BC election is now over.

Tracy Greenshields was the Birthday Girl this week, while anniversaries were celebrated by Gord & Lois Elliott and Sandy & Gil Herle.

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