Fellow Rotarians and Friends of Rotary.  It is indeed a pleasure to share this evening’s celebrations with you all. 
Thank you for indulging me with a few last comments as we celebrate the closing of a door and the impact that 80 years can make. 
 The Rotary Club of Minnedosa was formed in November of 1943. 
1943 was an eventful year.  There were some cool people that were born in 1943, besides perhaps any in this room!
  1. Nancy Green Raine- alpine skier, Olympic and World Champion
  2. Randy Bachman- no need to say more!
  3. Joni Mitchell- another great!
  4. Lyle Vanclief- Politician and Minister of Agriculture
  5. Stuart Garson becomes Premier replacing John Bracken
There were several events but one that jumped out at me was that the Canadian 1st infantry division invaded Sicily.
Stories from that time indicated that local farmers needed help to take their crops off in the fall of 1944 and so local Rotary members volunteered to help stook grain to assist with operations.
Being an independent woman, I thought it might be of note that it wasn’t until 1950, that Rotary was moving towards more inclusivity by removing the word male in communications.  But it wasn’t until 1989 that women were welcomed into Rotary.  39 years.  Within one year there are over 20000 women worldwide that joined the organization.  I joined.  Mostly because I had been an exchange student in 1980 and the Rotarians in Australia taught me what Rotary could be and that year away changed the trajectory of my life. 
Reflecting on things that have been accomplished over the club’s history- there are just so many impactful moments, projects and friendships built along the way. The Rotary Bridge and Don Hay’s leadership in completing this project, 7500 pounds of beef cooked by Bob Manns over 25+ years of the Funfest Dinner; the Annual Book Sale, started by John and Lois Neabel and now managed by Peggy and Tony Mullie, 23 years of inbound and outbound Youth Exchange students, The mentorship of the CHANGE philanthropic group at MCI and their commitment to a school in Hesu, Ethiopia and the list goes on.
Through the thoughtful process of winding down the club there have been many opportunities to reflect on the 80 years of service.  We received messages and notes from those that have been involved with Rotary, particularly youth exchange students.   I thought these words captured the essence of how I felt about my involvement with this local and international program.   
 It starts off like this….
“ I am not sure you, or your fellow Rotarians ( Past and Present), will ever receive the standing ovation and thanks that you deserve”
The Many, Many, MANY hours spent planning, organizing, making calls, networking, working on various projects, crafting, cooking the infamous BBQ, raising funds and awareness, hosting students, encouraging, and empowering students and the list goes on…were not spent in vain.  Volunteer hours are demonstrated everywhere in Minnedosa.  You have touched numerous lives- likely more hearts and minds than you will ever know or could be quantified. 
If you only hear it from me and no one else, you should know the immense gratitude that I have for Rotary and the Rotary Club of Minnedosa.  You might assume that I am most grateful for programs like Rotary Exchange and my year spent abroad, RYLA Camp, or the International Interact Conference etc. 
However, the real impact was teaching Service Above Self, and encouraging global perspectives on all topics, not just the 60 second sound bite on the 6’o clock news.  Empowering youth, and the community at large, to reflect on how we can affect change to improve the lives of all, not just ourselves.  You helped a group of teenagers feel like they could change the world, like we had agency over our own lives and power to change the things we did not agree with.  And you taught us that the world is small and interconnected, and generally a kind and safe place- particularly, when you seek out those likeminded people that endeavor to make our communities, and in turn the world, a better, more caring place.   Personally, I think that a critical piece of my upbringing was service and giving back to the community.  This was taught by example and mentored by so many in the community.    The Rotary Sign may fall, and the Rotary Bridge may crumble, and the walking track will likely change overtime, but you changed the way people think about one another, how we care for one another.  The legacy will live on in the ancestors of the benefactors of Rotary. 
And who knows….maybe some “young” kids will come along and start another Rotary Club in 10 or 20 years.”
Dr. Lauren Galbraith, MSc, MD, CCFP (OSS).Outbound student to France 2007-2008
To all of you, thank you for being friends of the Rotary Club of Minnedosa.  Your support for community projects and endeavors did not go unnoticed by those of us that were members.  To my fellow Rotarians…we may no longer meet at the complex in Minnedosa, but we will be forever changed by the fellowship we shared, regardless of how long you were a member of the club.  May our paths cross many times for we will always be connected. 
Please rise and join me in a Toast to Rotary. 
Toast to Rotary….  The legacy will live on in the ancestors of the benefactors of Rotary.  Cheers!