Gimli BrandstromOn the last day of September we visited the Rotary Clubs of Gimli and Selkirk. The view of Lake Winnipeg from the club’s meeting room provided a delightful background to both the Board and club meetings in Gimli. DG Ed and AG Elaine Elliott had the pleasure of assisting in the induction of a new member (Wilfred Brandstrom) into the Gimli Rotary club.

Selkirk Skate ParkThe pleasant drive from Gimli to Selkirk on a nice, warm, sunny day brought DG Ed into Selkirk early enough to get a tour of two recent projects of the Selkirk Rotary Club – the Skatepark (completed and definitely in use when we arrived) and the new library (still under construction) with a large, special area for young children and their even younger siblings to spend time with their parent or guardian. The weather was so pleasant that organizers decided to hold both their board and club meetings in Benjamin’s Courtyard, a pleasant outdoor dining experience.

The first club visit in October was Portage la Prairie. A board meeting in the Portage la Prairies council chamber was followed by a tour of some of the Rotary Club’s projects over the years and then a buffet lunch (with a large turnout of members) at Canad Inns. During the club meeting, two members of the Portage PCU Grand Halllocal media – Clarise Klassen (managing editor of The Graphic and the Herald Leader) and Paul Harland (general manager of the local radio station and assistant coach of the Portage Terriers) were honoured for their contribution to Rotary and to the community. A display of current and past fundraisers (sale of vegetables and chicken dinners, an annual regimental ball, cycle-a-ton, walk-a-thon, cabaret, bingos, casino nights, talent nights, etc.), of international (installation of hand water pumps, purchase of school books, providing hospital supplies, a school for deaf & blind students) and local projects (“republic of manitobah park”, Portage Rotary Playground, Herman Prior Seniors Centre, the PCU recreational centre), as well of student activities (Rotary Youth exchange annually since the late 1970s, RYLA and MUNA) provided evidence of a very active Rotary club in Portage la Prairie. Following the meeting, DG Ed’s tour of Rotary projects continued. It included the playground and the PCU Centre, with its swimming and wave pool, two arenas, walking track, fitness centre and meeting rooms.

South Eastman PetersThe visit to the Rotary Club of South Eastman on October 8th was a more subdued, laid back affair. After the club meeting, DG Ed was provided with a gift package that contained locally made chokecherry jam and whole wheat flour ground at the windmill in the Mennonite Heritage Village.

The re-scheduled meeting with the Rotary Club of Winnipeg-Transcona took place at the Canad Inn Transcona at noon on Thursday, October 10th, with President Tom Hallas presiding. DG Ed was pleased to see the revitalization of this club.


Meetings Meetings

Meetings Meetings

Clockwise: Winnipeg Charleswood, Winnipeg Fort Garry, South-Eastman, Winnipeg St. James

 The Rotary Club of Winnipeg- St James meets at 7:15 AM on Friday mornings. The board meeting took place the night before at the board room of the business of the club’s secretary-treasurer, Stuart. Before DG Ed could proceed with his presentation on his Vibrant Club Award, board member Lucy gave him an earful about the lack of Rotarians involved in the planning meetings of the annual Rotary Career Symposium (no lack of Rotary volunteers DURING the Career Symposium, though!).  The next morning, DG Ed (who is not particularly fond of early morning breakfast meetings) showed up at the St James Rotary Club’s meeting site at the Viscount Gort at 7 AM  (15 minutes before the start of the meeting!!!). He said he wanted to see when members did actually show up for the club’s 7:15 AM meeting. Once again, he was totally amazed at the liveliness of members who show up for breakfast meetings. (Fortunately for DG Ed, District 5550 has only three Rotary Clubs – out of 48 – that meet weekly for early morning breakfasts.)

Northern Waters

Northern Waters

Top to Bottom: Seagulls Lake Athapapuskow, Grass River at Hwy 392-Snow Lake, Grass River at Highway 6, Grass River's Pisew Falls

 It wasn’t until Monday, October 21st, that DG Ed got to visit the last two Rotary Clubs in District 5550. He met at noon with the Rotary Club of Winnipeg-Fort Garry at the Holiday Inn South. There, he had an opportunity to present Ernie Orpin with the club’s Honorary Life Membership, Rotarian Jarrett Davidson with his first Paul Harris Fellowship Award and Rotarian Don Fletcher with his Sapphire Paul Harris pin. Later in the afternoon, DG Ed met with the members of his home club – the Rotary Club of Winnipeg-Charleswood, at the Breezy Bend Country Club in Headingly. He was greeted as a long-lost relative by the familiar faces (and one new member) that came out to hear his presentation. It felt good to be home again.  Club visits were done.

What’s next?

  • A 10 year anniversary celebration with the Rotary Club of Winnipeg East AM that will be held at Kum Koon Gardens on November 7th and
  • the Winnipeg Rotaract’s  “Bud, Spud and Steak” fundraiser for ShelterBox that will take place at the Area Nightclub (1792 Pembina Hwy) on November 21st.

See you there?