Story Archives
Anyone who thinks one person can’t make a difference hasn’t met Rotarian Virginia Worcester.  A member of the Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach, Virginia was stunned to learn that every day, children in the communities of Oceanside are going hungry. While some schools have stepped up to offer breakfast, lunch and snack programs that are actively addressing this crisis, the weekend remains a difficult time for many families.
Following a four month hiatus due to Covid-19, Parksville AM Rotarians once again joined Little Mountain residents and members of the Back Country Hunters and Anglers to finish the job they started over two years ago - taking out the trash at the bottom of Little Mountain!

About two-thirds of the garbage has now been removed, a staggering 14 tons. This has been the result of over 10 years of dumping from the top of the cliff, resulting in a disgusting mess at its base which has disfigured an area once known for the beauty of its pristine forest setting.
Like the entire world, Rotary is dealing with a “new normal”, where old practises and traditions may no longer be acceptable. With July 1 marking the annual transition of Rotary officers, new leadership will now guide the Parksville and Qualicum Beach clubs through uncharted territory in a year that will be like none other.

And what a list of challenges they have to contend with … how to keep members engaged when the usual Rotary handshake is now a “no-no” … how to attract new members when face-to-face contact is limited and projects are curtailed … how to continue to raise money for humanitarian causes when many Rotary fundraisers have been cancelled …. how to carry out community projects within restrictive guidelines … the list goes on.
The Rotary Club of Parksville AM has a history of serving Rotary District 5020 in leadership roles.  As of July 1, 2020, Lynne Pearson has taken on the challenge of Assistant Governor (AG) for Area 3, a position she will hold for a 3 year term.

Lynne takes up the mantle from another Parksville AM member, John O'Brien who has served the District since 2017 with enthusiasm, commitment and boundless energy. We can be proud of the fact that Lynne is the 4th Assistant Governor to serve the District from the Rotary Club of Parksville AM.  Ian Dewar served as AG for the 2005-2006 term, with Bashir El-Khalafawi lending his talents to the role from 2007-2008.
Twenty-five years ago, in 1994, Bashir El-Khalafawi was the Founding President of the newly formed Rotary Club of Parksville AM.  In 2020, Bashir reprised his role, becoming the Club's 26th president in the year following the Club's 25th anniversary.  The installation took place June 17 at a local park so that social distancing guidelines could be observed.  Club members brought lawn chairs and picnic lunches, and the usual spirit of camaraderie and good humour were very much in evidence.
During the era of COVID-19, seeing people on the streets wearing masks has gone from oddity to commonplace.  Noting the increasing demand, Louise Wright came up with an idea to supply masks to those in need, while supporting Rotary at the same time.  Although not a Rotarian herself, Louise’s spouse Gord Svenson is a long time Rotarian and a founding member of the Rotary Club of Parksville AM.
We are on the home stretch in our goal of cleaning up Little Mountain of the trash and debris that has been a blight on this pristine area for so many years.
This initiative began in May of 2019 and the goal is to finish the job in May of 2020.  So far, through the support of Mike Gillen from Kestrel Helicopters, two major lifts have resulted in the removal of 13 tons of waste.
Rotarians have been on the job site in Mexico for the past five years!  See Rotarians "Up Their Game" in Mexico. For more photos and a daily account of how a "small but mighty" group of Rotarians and friends built an adult education centre in just 8 days, click here.  Daily updates from our 2019 are posted on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 5

And be sure to read about the International Award received by the Rotary Club of Parksville AM for their ongoing work in Mexico.

Rotarian Bashir El-Khalafawi rings the bells for the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign.  This is an annual commitment for the Rotary Club of Parksville AM and this year, Club members will cover 20 shifts, thus assisting the Salvation Army in reaching its goal and helping so many in our community. 

The SOS Caring for Community at Christmas Program ensures that local children and youth experience the magic of Christmas, and that adults and seniors also experience joy and dignity over the holidays.  This year marks the 11th year of the Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive, the biggest toy drive of its kind on Vancouver Island.
As students head back to school this fall, two Ballenas grads begin a new educational chapter, with support from the Rotary Club of Parksville AM for their post-secondary studies.  Rotary President and former Ballenas Principal Bill Rawlins was delighted to recognize the accomplishments of two students through the presentation of Rotary scholarships.

The Rotary Club of Parksville AM is exceedingly proud to announce that Rotarian Bill Rawlins has been awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.  The award was presented by the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia on behalf of Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada on September 5 at a ceremony at Government House.
Rotary Team Mexico 2019 is making their way (with a few bumps along the way) to Vicente Guerrero, Mexico. The team is thrilled to have a youth contingent this year. This year's project will see the construction of a high school classroom. Stay tuned for more updates!
The Rotary Club of Parksville AM has decided it is time to take out the trash on Little Mountain. Over the years, the base of this beautiful pristine area of Parksville has become a dumping ground, either because the dumpers didn’t want to pay for proper disposal of their garbage or because they thought it would be exciting to throw something large over a 100 foot cliff.