Service Above Self
We meet Thursdays at 7:00 AM
Langford Fire Hall
2625 Peatt Road
Victoria, BC V9B 3T9
It's great to do business with a Rotarian.
We have Corporate memberships available whereby a corporation can designate several people to attend our meetings and every other month our President will ask a business member to give a short talk about his or her business. We will add your business to our "Business Directory" and invite you to a networking dinner.
We emphasize the fellowship that is a vital part of the Rotary experience and this is the First Object of Rotary. Our membership is comprised of business people and retired people living in the Westshore region of Victoria (Langford, Colwood, Metchosen and Highlands). We also have members who live outside this area but who can easily get to our meetings.
Established in 1972, Colwood Rotary is part of one of the oldest and largest service organizations in the world. We invite you to come and join the fun of weekly fellowship, the joy of contributing to our local community and the excitement of lending a hand to people. The projects undertaken over the years have been many and varied. Drawing from a broad base of experience within the business community of the Westshore of Victoria, the Rotary Club of Colwood has been able to have an influence that reaches around the world. For further information (250) 474-5287.
Posted by Mike Wedekind on May 16, 2013
On May 16th 2013 Pamela was inducted into Rotary by ADG Hugh Robertson. At that time, on that day Pamela, was the newest Rotarian in the world. Welcome aboard Pamela and we all look forward to working with you for the good of Rotary with "Service Above Self".
Posted by Bonnie Keleher on May 16, 2013
Chris got involved in Need2 when a young girl killed herself outside his office window. NEED2 used to run the Need crisis line for 38 years, but with funding cuts has now been moved to Nanaimo to serve the entire Island.Need2 tries to reach out to youth to prevent suicide. They talk to kids about suicide and about how they can help themselves or their friends. Goes to groups and schools to help give them the tools to recognize a problem. Ten percent of the youth in a school class may have issues where they are considering suicide. For every young person who attempts suicide, there are a hundred who consider it. Youth suicide occurs in every type of family. The mental health system is not set up to assist or treat these kids. There is limited capacity. It takes all of us to help. When asked, youth who are considering suicide often say that they are looking for a connection, for someone who cares – for a personal connection more often than counselling. They have set up online chats on youthspace.ca , where kids can chat and talk anonymously online about issues. They have a mandate to contact the police or intervention services if a young person is threatening suicide. Need2 also runs community workshops where community groups can help out. Need2 is currently starting a campaign called Making a Noise to let youth know they don't have to resort to suicide. The website is turnitup.ca Their aim is to make a million minutes of noise between now and Nov 23, 2013. They are inviting youth organizations to tune in and raise awareness and money.
Posted by Bonnie Keleher on May 09, 2013
Julie Barlow, the Coordinator of Engagement at Pearson College introduced Jon and Joseph.
Pearson College has about 160 students from 80 countries, including from every province in Canada. Students pay no tuition. School is funded mostly by philanthropy . Students are between ages 16 to 19. The college believes young people need to get to know other people from other countries in order to understand other cultures. They put students together from different countries in the same dorm. Students get to know the community through projects and volunteering. Jon (Denmark) spoke about his background. He is interested in film making and biology. He met a First Nation man and after talking with him, made a film about forgiveness. Joseph (Sierra Leone) came to Pearson after coming in second in the country in the national exams. It’s been a life changing experience. He was originally thinking of going into mining engineering but has realized how much environmental damage mining does, so is looking at other forms of engineering. Joseph’s sister has been the inspiration of a project Jon and Joseph plan to do after they graduate next month. Joseph’s sister in Sierra Leone started a school on her own when she saw few children had the opportunity for an education. She worked on constructing a makeshift school and started with 11 students. More came. There is no government funding for new schools in Sierra Leone and little for the schools there currently are. Many teachers go unpaid. His sister has faced many difficulties. The building needs a roof, there is no running water, no walls and little money to pay the teachers since few parents can afford to pay the school. And the school now has 250 children. But this is a school which has been started by people who live in the country, not be foreign assistance. To raise funds for the school his sister has started, Joseph and Jon are going to Sierra Leone to make a documentary film about the school. Joseph hopes to include pieces about his own experiences when he went to school. The goal of documentary is to create awareness and support.
Posted by Bonnie Keleher on Apr 18, 2013
Speaker, Deb Alcadinho, Victoria Women in Need. Community engagement officer The Women in Need are known in Victoria for their 3 thrift stores, but they are much more than this. The Thrift Stores are there to raise funds for their programs. The Women in Need is about transforming the lives of women. They have done this for the past 20 years. WIN helps women rebuild their lives to become strong, productive women in the community. WIN has worked with over 20,000 women. They support about 1000 women each year. All this is paid for through their thrift shops. WIN offers help to women in crisis and bringing them to self sufficiency. Rather than reinventing the programs, WIN acts as a referral agency to other support organizations, helping women get the assistance they need from the community providers. The WIN gift certificate program, provides women with a gift certificate to purchase whatever they believe they need, rather than the organization determining what they need. They provide gift certificates to 15 supporting organizations as well. WIN also offers access to training in basic skills, including cooking, financial, parenting, etc. The New Start program sets a woman up in her own home with furniture, linens, household items and kitchen supplies – whatever is required. Some items come from items donated for the thrift store, others are purchased using the gift cards. WIN removes the financial barriers, providing access to transportation, child care, schooling and training. The program is all about working with and empowering women.
Posted by Bonnie Keleher on Mar 14, 2013
Guest speaker - Judge Gerald Pash
Judge Pash is appointed as Citizenship Judge for BC. He has received an award for active engaged citizenship. Gerald Pash grew up in the Westshore area of Victoria so is familiar with this region.It is a considerable process to get to be citizenship judge, taking as much as 4 years. The Senior Citizenship judge is a very important job for the country. There are only 34 Senior Citizenship judges in the country. As a Citizenship Judge, he is not an employee of Immigration Canada.
Citizenship judges play a number of roles:
- Review approximately 160,000 citizenship applications per year;
- Assess applicants to ensure they meet the requirements of the Citizenship Act and the Citizenship Regulations;
- Administer the oath of citizenship and highlight the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship to new Canadians;
- Maintain the integrity of the citizenship process; and
- Promote citizenship by working with school boards, service clubs, multicultural groups and other community organizations.
Posted by Bonnie Keleher on Feb 28, 2013
Presentation by – G.E.M. Munro with the Amarok Society
G.E.M. Munro has devoted his life and career to improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged people across Canada and abroad. The pursuit of this objective carried him into residence in unfortunate communities across most of Canada, before carrying him overseas. He has written the book “South Asian Adventures with the Active Poor” which is a fundraiser for Amarok Society.
Bangladesh is the poorest of the poor countries in the world, the most densely populated country in the world. G.E.M. and his family initially went to Bangladesh to attempt to help improve the education and school system for the poor. There are an enormous number of children who are too poor to go to school. After going through some of the worst slums in the world, he knew they would not make much difference by simply building schools and filling them. That would never reach these poor children. They needed a different approach. So he thought of going to the mothers of these poor children and educating the mothers so they can educate their children.
Posted by Bonnie Keleher on Feb 21, 2013
Presentation by Jane Penn and Bob Beckett on the Children of Haiti
Bob Beckett started with a video of the Orphanage project that the community and City of
Langford were involved with. This video has just been completed. It is to be used as a tool to
show people the value of getting involved in opportunities to help those in need. The video
demonstrated the extraordinary work of volunteers who helped to create a clean safe space for
orphans to live after the devastation left after the earthquake. Bob spoke of all the things they
learned as they helped with the project.
With the orphanage completed, Bob Beckett then spoke about the next Haiti project they hope
to begin soon – helping out the school which is nearby. The Cubans are rebuilding the school,
but there are many other things where help is required. Sooke School district is partnering with
Rotary and the City of Langford to work on the Haiti school project. Jane Penn spoke on her
experience when she went to Haiti. She has been involved in many projects in her life, through
the Armed Forces and through her position as a teacher and principal, but this was one of the
most moving occasions. She was involved in bringing school supplies to the school on their last
visit in November. Some of the things they brought were not as useful as they thought, simply
because there weren’t enough. There are over 900 students in the school , having to stagger
their schedules – either morning school or afternoon school. Reusable materials such as
blackboards, chalk, and writing tablets are more useful. They have learned that what seems an
easy solution is not always so. Setting up a well can be problematic, because it can draw the
community who are facing water issues and then security becomes an issue. They cannot
predetermine a solution, but must consult with the people there to see what they need.
Sometimes these opportunities help to guide people into a new focus of life. She asks for each
person to consider how they might help. Because the main language they speak is
French/Creole, language and communication was always a challenge. Want to set up a Skype
communication with the principal in Haiti, but need to do so in French. The next group plans to
go to Haiti in Nov 2013.
Posted by Bonnie Keleher on Feb 14, 2013
Guest Speaker: Denise Brown - 1000 by 5 program
Denise is the project leader for the Westshore 1000 by 5 program. The program was established to make sure that children from infant to 5 years in at risk families have access to books. Their aim is to make sure that each child has the opportunity to have 1000 books read to them by age 5.
Research proves that children who are read to each day have better language and literacy skills. Reading to infants as young as 6 months is proven to increase their language skills and reading also provides that much needed human contact. It’s easy to get to 1000 if you read to your child every day. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the same book over and over, it’s the exposure to language and reading which is important. Families who make a commitment to read to their children increase their child’s success in school. There are homes where families have not established the habit of reading to their young child. Often these homes have few books. The number of books in a home often is an indicator of a child’s literacy level. The 1000 by 5 program aims to provide these families with free books.
The 1000 by 5 program started in Saanich about 4 years ago. Since then, they have provide over 56000 books to families in the area. The Victoria branch started 2 years ago. The West Shore program started in Sept. 2012. Since that time, they have distributed 3970 books. At an estimated cost of $10 per book, this equates to $39700 worth of books in less than 6 months. Recently Orca books donated any excess of young children’s books to 1000 by 5. The West Shore program received over 1000 books from this.
The program collects used books from schools and other places. Bins are left at each school and the school board office. The books are then sorted, cleaned and put into gift bags by volunteers. The volunteers select only books which are in good condition and they consider a good quality book for young children under 5. Many parents are at risk themselves and so they try to select books these parents will read over and over to their child, both interesting and simple. Once in gift bags, the books are taken to various community centres where at risk families are being served, such as Strong Start centres and Military Resource Centre. These centres distribute the books.
Posted by Bonnie Keleher on Jan 31, 2013
Alan Pederson introduced Mickey Fleming – a former member of our Rotary club and member of the Westshore Rotary club, and representative for Cherish Community Living
Mickey has been with Rotary since 1990. She got involved with the Hayworth Living Group when Rotary help to establish the WestShore senior living centre. She has been involved in the Mackie residential living centre, which is so popular that it has a waiting list.
She believes that the Cherish Community Living customer driven approach to senior living is the way of the future. Seniors should be able to decide how they want to live, not have their lifestyle dictated to them through a hierarchical system.
Posted by Bonnie Keleher on Jan 24, 2013
Guest Speaker - Jim Cambridge - superintendent of SD62
Jim Cambridge provided news about the new secondary schools.
Jim has worked in Sooke district for over 30 years as a teacher, principal and administrator. The Sooke district currently has a stable in school population, but is predicted to increase in the next 10 years, unlike many other districts.
The plan for the district is that Belmont will be replaced by one secondary school on the old Glen Lake elementary site with an additional 5 acres, with additional field space on the adjacent recreation fields available through an agreement with Langford. This school would hold about 1200 students and would open Sept 2015.
A second secondary school would be in Colwood on the Royal Bay gravel pit site. This would hold about 800 students with the capacity to expand for another 400 students. This school would also open in Sept 2015,
The Belmont site will be sold and the money will go back to the province.