We got a late start to 2013! We spent the evening with “what else?”--- Another Rotarian! 

We were in the middle of “what else,” but another Rotary discussion! When someone said “Oops, we missed the moment”!  It was about ten minutes past the stroke of midnight. We hugged, offered best wishes and “yes” carried on the conversation. 

The important dialogue was the planning of The Pas Winterfest where we get to host the Youth Exchange students in March. This event will take place March 7-10, 2013. 

Exchange Melfort 2013 Flags 

We spent the weekend of January 18-21 with the students in Melfort, SK and filled them in about The Pas. The Melfort weekend went well despite the very cold weather. The Melfort Club did very well considering the juggling of events because of the cold. The previous weekend had been cancelled due to a winter storm.  Skiing and snowboarding were great but the hayride had to be cancelled. 

Exchange Melfort 2013 Students 

Indoor events of swimming, bowling, and curling were enjoyed and the Sunday dinner was excellent. We had expected no less from this club that has hosted exchange student programs for so many, many years. Thank you and keep up the great work! 

We have special Thanks to Jackie Taylor from the Nipawin Club. Jackie has been our Outbound Student Coordinator for the Youth Exchange Program for longer than I can remember. We have always enjoyed working with Jackie. Jackie assures us that her replacement, Leanne Kessler, from Saskatoon Meewasin will be a big asset to the program. Congratulations, Leanne. And Thank you for doing this huge job for the students. Leanne officially takes over at the end of April at the orientation in Russell.

The majority of our time has been spent working on the Manual of Procedure and our conference planning. We did get out fishing twice and caught well. Snow blowing has been more than last year already and we still have three more months of winter. 

Conference plans are doing well. We have on line registration up and running at http://rotary5550conference.ca/. Some of the events are still being organized and will be on the website as soon as possible.

The Manual has been rewritten and is awaiting adjustment. We have to thank our legal advisor and Parliamentarian David who has helped a lot with this. David came up with a plan for a new Organizational Chart which will improve the continuity of the manual and by-laws. We are just finishing this chart. We expect to have the Executive approve it in early February. Once this is done we can coordinate the manual to the chart. The next step will be to have the board members agree. We expect to have the final draft at the general meeting at conference for final approval.

The District Transition team and Training team have been working hard and steady, making sure that we are ready for July 1st and the new grants management system.

As an added note from the RI Stewardship department:

“I am happy to inform you that District 5550 was 100% up-to-date with reporting requirements for grants sponsored by the district and its clubs as of the January 2013 analysis.”

Our Membership Chair, Gail Dodds (Estevan Club) has informed us that there is a slight increase in the overall District membership. Although we have had some members leave for various reasons, some clubs have been able to increase membership. We do have 25 percent female members in our District which is higher than the RI average of 17%. Gail will be at PETS to discuss some of the ideas that clubs have used for this progression. 

Kenora Donation Neilson

 A $5,000 donation to the Lake of the Woods Hospital Foundation has been made in honour of Rotarian Earl Nelson. Pictured left to right is President Mike Szajewski, Foundation Managing Director Jess Rheault, Earl's son Rotarian David Nelson, and Community Services Director John Dahl.

Unfortunately we have had a great Rotarian pass on and would like to offer our condolences to his family. On January 10th, the Rotary Club of Kenora’s Earl Nelson, a Rotarian for 58 years passed away. (see obituary). 

Congratulations to PDG Nancy Morris (and driver Dave, too). Nancy has been asked by President Tanaka to represent him at the District 7820 conference in May. This will take place in Halifax the week before our conference. What a great honor for Nancy and our District.  We know Governor Tom McCaughey (7820) and were thinking of calling ahead and offering Dave’s services as a driver!

DG Tom has since sent a letter asking for the clubs to support a literacy program throughout Rotary. The club Presidents have received a copy of this request.  In his letter Tom says:

Tom McCaugheyDid you know that low adult literacy costs Canadian businesses over $4 billion annually?

The 2005 Statistics Canada presented their findings on the 2003 International Adult and Literacy Skills Survey showing that 48% of Canadians 16 years of age and older do not have the literacy skills they need to keep pace with the escalating demands of our society and economy. …

The first step in addressing workplace literacy is to understand what employers know about the topic and to gauge their willingness/opinions on an approach.  An ABC Life Literacy Canada survey has been adapted and the goal is to have every Rotarian in Canada take it to their company and have it completed by the appropriate individual.  

Please do the survey.


Rotary Foundation reports show that our District contributions are on par with last year. If clubs continue with their donations as per their Annual Program Fund goals, they should surpass 2011-12. Keep up the good work and thank you for your support!

We have received some interesting information about Polio from our Zones 24-32, Rotary International, Director (2012-14), Bryn Styles. He wrote:

Bryn Styles“The IPPC (International Polio Plus Committee) committee and our support staff are anxious to quantify the success in Canada so the advocacy program can be encouraged worldwide….

What we need is to find out how many clubs are planning on having an event during the week of the 17 Feb 2013 or are planning an event at a later date.

Could you please contact your clubs and find out if a club is having an event, the type of event, when it will be held and if there will be media coverage? If there is other information that clubs wish to share then that would be most welcome. 

All of this information can be used when our Rotary senior leaders talk with the Canadian government and we can indicate to them the support for polio eradication within Canada.”

Please send me the information at your earliest convenience at  rghubbs@gmail.com 

We have received some special Polio days from a few clubs and hope for more. We have also gotten one Presidential Citation application. Be sure to consider filling one out for your club.

District Governor Elect Ed and our Foundation Chair Eva have been undergoing their training for an exciting year bringing in the new Future Vision plan. Although there seems to be some questions as to how and why, it should be beneficial. It is interesting to see Ed’s new theme. But for now, let’s just remember: “Peace through Service”

Enjoy the snow. Don’t shovel too much, and stay warm and safe!