High Park Rotary Club—Minutes for the Meeting of September 5th, 2013

Present:  Hugh Dimock, John Humphreys, Paul Pereira, Carole Rowsell, Don Sirko, Robin Sorys

Guests: District Governor Valarie Wafer, Assistant District Governor Mary Lou Harrison, Fernando Neubern from the Rotary Club of Garca Real, and Magdallini Agrafioti

Call to order: by Don: 7:45 a.m.


Mark your calendars:


  • October 10 visit by Ms. Peggy Nash - our federal MP for Parkdale-High Park, Official Opposition Critic for Finance, will be visiting our Rotary club.
  • Sept. 12 visit by Gord Dobbin to update on TV Auction planning.
Today's Speaker: 
  • Mary Lou introduced Valarie. Valarie has been awarded a queen's diamond jubilee medal for hiring those with disabilities.

Notes from Valarie’s “Engage”  talk:

  • When choosing a partner for marriage, we don't think that a few dates are enough to make-up our minds. When a prospective Rotarian chooses to join, why do we think that they well be able to make an effective decision after a few visits?
  • Our pitch to Rotarians has relied in large part on the value of loyalty, but the current generation is impatient. The traditional 30 second elevator speech for “Why Rotary” mentions the 1.2 million service-oriented members we have around the wold, the prospect for friendship and personal growth, opportunities for lifetime learning and global citizenship, an environment free of politics and religion, and an opportunity to serve. This list does not appeal to the younger demographic. They do not seek structure nor fellowship, but opportunities to help others around the world, to vaccinate children, and to bring fresh water to communities, now. The young want to be engaged today.
  • Rotary has created a new chair for engaging young professionals with a focus on new technologies such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Rotary has also released a new website.
  • Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary International, recognized our need to adapt early on. “This is a changing world; we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.”  (Paul Harris, This Rotarian Age, circa 1935)
  • Valarie's talk closed with an appeal for engagement:
    1. Attend the District conference in October.
    2. Have a meeting once a month outside the club.
    3. Find a signature hands-on project to allow people to participate with sweat rather than dollars.
    4. Take the challenge to change and be engaged with Rotary.

Valarie described how she uses Facebook and Twitter to maintain a Rotary presence online. Mary Lou Harrison uses Facebook for both her Rotary and her personal life. Paul asked if Rotary had considered a successor to the TV Auction for fundraising since he hasn't used one of those boxes in 15 years. He suggested something like Kickstarter to fundraise for particular projects. Carole brought up a project in Kingston, Jamaica that might be suitable for a Kickstarter-like

The Pot:


After some speculation regarding the fairness of the ticket draw. Doubts were shattered when Paul's ticket was finally chosen. Paul failed, however, to choose the joker, leading to new speculation that there may not even be a joker in the deck. The pot lives.

Meeting adjourned: at 8:30 a.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Paul Pereira