Rotary Club of Vernon Silver Star

 
Club Executives & Directors
President
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Secretary
Treasurer
Community Service
International Service
New Generations Service
Membership
The Rotary Foundation (TRF)
Club Administration
Public Relations
Scholarships
Vipers 50/50 Raffles
Athletic Awards
Rotary Ride (Cycling)
BBQ Coordinator 2
Father Daughter Ball
Relief Secretary
BBQ Coordinator 3
Sargeant at Arms
Smoke Alarm Project
BBQ Coordinator 1
District Grant Writer
 
 

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Club Information

The Club that Shines Early

Vernon Silver Star

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 6:45 AM
Village Green Hotel
4801 27th Street
Vernon, BC  V1T 4Z1
Canada
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Home Page Stories
 

New member Paul Philps told us he was born in Richmond, BC, but grew up in Leduc & Edmonton, AB, following his father’s career as a pastor.  He obtained a degree in Education, with specialties in Social Studies & Physical Education, but unfortunately his graduation coincided with a period where Alberta laid off 1,700 teachers.  Paul found work making mattresses for Sealy, & was quickly promoted to lead a crew of 50 people.  At age 21, he lost his mother to cancer, & moved to Vancouver, where he got into print sales & sang in a band for several years.  He then began accountancy courses, & at age 30 set out to South Korea for a teaching job.  Due to visa problems, this job didn’t work out, but he continued his travels to Japan, Australia, New Zealand & China.  Upon returning home to the Vancouver area, he met & soon married Heather.  After a couple of years in Surrey, & earning his CPA, Paul & Heather moved to her hometown – Vernon, where he found work with RBC Dominion Securities.  Their second child was born just a few weeks ago.  In addition to Rotary, Paul is involved with JCI & enjoys public speaking competitions.

 

 
 
Don Miller (C) hosted Brad Clements (L) & Dwayne Thomson’s description of plans for the Okanagan Rail Trail.  The City of Kelowna, Lake Country, Greater Vernon & the Okanagan Indian Band have established an Inter-Jurisdictional Team (IDT) to design & build the trail, following a series of community input sessions.  CN has yet to complete removal of ties, & will remain responsible for environmental cleanups.  The Central Okanagan Foundation & Community Foundation of the North Okanagan will collect, hold & receipt donations.  Construction of the trail will occur in phases, dependent upon donations.  The cost to build the 48km trail, including a 4.6m wide compacted crushed aggregate surface, drainage, basic signage, access control, upgraded crossings & finance charges, is expected to be about $7.9m.  This doesn’t include parking or washrooms.  Trail Ambassadors, Campaign Partners & Business Partners will be sought to provide volunteers, fundraising & in-kind donations.  The trail is expected to be busiest during spring & fall shoulder seasons, enhancing our valley tourist industry.  There hundreds of rail trails all over the world, but few with the length & scenery offered by the Okanagan.
 

 
 
Geordie McLennan hosted Scott McKenzie of the Vernon Paddling Centre Society, located at Paddlewheel Park on Okanagan Lake.  VPCS is a non-profit organization promoting safe & skillful paddling.  Affordable memberships include unlimited use of club boats, with optional boat storage.  “Drop-ins” are also available, & new paddlers are always welcome.  The club owns outrigger canoes for one, two & six paddlers, plus standup paddleboards, canoes & surfskis.  They have an active coaching & racing program, & participate in group paddles & races both in & outside BC.  There’s also a social program including year-round events.
 

 
 
Dan Rieb hosted Frances Warner, a retired urban planner, (shown with her architect husband Doug) who spoke on behalf of the Vernon chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW).  Aside from the learning & entertainment at their regular meetings, these ladies fundraise to support local literacy, the Women’s Transition House Society, Capsule College & other charities.  At 7pm on Fri, May 6th, at OC’s Lecture Theatre, they’re hosting three speakers to discuss “Tomorrow’s Homes – Efficient By Design,” followed Sat, May 7th by their third annual “Eco-friendly Home Tour” of three super-efficient local homes, plus the new Kal Tire office building.  Designed & built to minimize energy needs, some structures are now able to produce more energy than they consume, while enjoying a much cleaner & more natural interior environment.    
 

 
 
Our Tue, Apr 5th breakfast meeting was replaced by an early evening social event at Olive Us Oils in downtown Vernon.  19 guests, including 5 spouses joined our members for an overview of Rotary, & description of our clubs’ contribution to the community.  Wine and appies were enjoyed during a social time, followed by tastings of delicious extra virgin olive oils & vinegars, infused with a wide variety of flavours.  From Ray Morin & his “foodie” daughter Bailey, we learned that both white & dark balsamic vinegars come from trebbiano grapes, the latter being aged longer, using wood barrels.  Several of our members engaged fully in the opportunity to sample many of the delicious combinations of oil & vinegar!
 

 
 
Jim Kanester hosted Vernon Fire & Rescue Services’ 15th Chief, Keith Green, who spoke about their upcoming Sat, May 7th celebration of their 125th anniversary.  The Vernon Fire Brigade was formed in 1891.  The first firehall was where Marten Brewpub is presently located.  Their first fire truck was a used unit purchased for $150. In 1894, they had supplies valued at $888, & installed a large bell in the hall’s tower, at a cost of $176.  Chief Green aims to have this old bell re-installed at the hall in early May.  Our current firehall opened, along with our City Hall, old library & museum complex, in 1966.  Firehall #2 is at Okanagan Landing, & #3 recently opened at Predator Ridge.  Engine #1 was purchased about 2012 for about $800,000, & the nearly 25 year old 105ft aerial truck will soon be replaced at a cost of over $1m.
 

 
 
Keith Johnston presented a video of incoming RI President John Germ, speaking to Presidents Elect & ADGs Elect at a recent Seattle President Elect Training Seminar event.  He asked “How Are You Going To Spend The Rest Of Your Life?” & suggested Rotarians should engage themselves, & prospective members, in using their talents to make their communities, & the world, a better place.  John believes local Rotary club Presidents have the most influence on Rotary – where the work gets done.  Both current & prospective Rotarians ask “What’s In It For Me?” & need ways to feel engaged in the work of building community.  By setting goals, Presidents can give members that opportunity.  Clubs need to respond to the need for a diversity of ways, in addition to traditional meetings, where members can meet their needs, while contributing meaningfully to making their community better.  
 

 
 
Our lovely Barrita Durward, owner/operator of Cotton’s Chocolates, was chosen March 7th as “2016 Business Person of the Year” at the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards.  Sponsored by Kal Tire, this award recognizes her 20 years of success as a chocolatier, plus her contributions not just to our community, but also her continuing support of Mexican orphans through her “Sweet Smiles” charity.
 

 
 
Rob Irving thanks Don Blakely & Jeremy Griffiths of Vernon Search & Rescue.  They last spoke to us in Jan 2012.  As one of 80 BC SAR units, they’re the 8th busiest, & one of the most capable.  In 2015, they executed 58 rescues, including 13 with a helicopter.  In 2012, we donated $5,000 for training of their helicopter winch rescue volunteers.  They now have highly trained in-flight & ground crews, combined with an exceptionally well-equipped aircraft, performing a wide range of rescue operations.  West Kelowna’s Wildcat Helicopters, in partnership with Emergency Management BC, maintains a dedicated winch-equipped Bell 412, with a break-apart stretcher, advanced secure radios, & a special heating system for hypothermia victims.  Patients are now able to be transported directly to hospital.  Vernon has the first volunteer BC SAR unit using a winch-equipped helicopter, which greatly expands the chances of survival for outdoor adventure enthusiasts, motorists & other accident victims in remote locations throughout southern BC.
 

 
 
Dave Hoyte hosted Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund for a question & answer period.  Topics included our Official Community Plan – not currently a hot topic; airport expansion – a new federal MoT standard means we have until Sep 2017 to begin a runway extension to accommodate larger executive jets, for companies like Kal Tire, which provide a substantial portion of our airport’s revenue through fuel sales;  new larger buildings downtown – 6, 8 & 10 storey buildings are in the pipeline, dependent upon developers’ confidence in a market for downtown condos; a bike & pedestrian path extension from Polson Park to Kal Lake;  provision of parking near Kal Beach, for anticipated users of the new rail trail; western bypass route – Mayor Mund doesn’t believe it will happen, as the provincial MoT doesn’t see it as a priority, & as the primary funder, would determine the scope of the project & route; water rates – comparisons with Kelowna’s lower rates will change when Kelowna begins planned major upgrades to their system; “greening” & clean-up of property – the City doesn’t have the power to dictate how owners maintain their private property.  
 

 
 
The Salvation Army Vernon’s Corp Officers, Captains Ray Lamont & Curtis Plante, hosted by Leigh Hewer, explained how increasing demands for food bank & social resources over the past decade, combined with decreasing resources, led to a need for numerous structural & personnel changes, aimed at sustainable operations.  They now have fewer employees, but more with full time jobs with benefits.  Clients looking for food are now regularly interviewed by trained caseworkers, to ensure they meet eligibility criteria, & to address underlying issues, provide referrals & reduce or eliminate their dependence.  A variety of programs are designed to address childrens’ needs, stressed parents & lonely individuals, etc.  Vernon’s “House of Hope” is now in a better financial position to offer more people more meaningful help, but their ultimate goal is to help build a community where their help isn’t needed.   
 

 
 
Wendy Hesketh talked about her Oct 2015 trip to Bolivia, with her husband Al, our 2011-12 RYES Lukki (now Lukas) and a group of Germans organized by Lukas' father.  She showed us beautiful pictures of the country.  There was no green grass and it was a very high altitude country.  The hiking was very, very, very long but they saw some amazing places.  The height on one mountain was 6,020 metres.  Wendy suffered some days of sickness but explained that when she chewed the Coca Leaf or drank that tea she felt better.  One day they experienced howling winds, lost their guide over an edge and had Alpaca's running in their group.  They saw Lake Titicaca and lots of Islands.  It sounded like a well organized tour but much harder than expected.
 
 

 
 
Jim Kanester, our Scholarship Coordinator, hosted Vernon Secondary School grad Tess Emily Depres, now a UBCO sciences student, who thanked us for our contribution to her education costs.  Unlike many of us Rotarians, who could earn enough in a month’s summer job to pay our post-secondary tuition fees, students today struggle to pay about $5,000 in tuition, plus another $1,000 for books.
 

 
 
  
Andy Wylie is a passionately proud Canadian, intent upon celebrating the April 9th to 12th, 2017 centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.  Many historians see this WW1 battle as Canada’s military “coming of age.”  It was the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps worked together as a single unit.  Under the command of Canada’s brilliant General Sir Arthur Currie, Canadian troops captured the Vimy Ridge stronghold, which the Germans had heavily fortified, where several attempts by others had failed.  Today, the impressive Canadian National Vimy Memorial, which occupies 100 hectares in northeast France given in perpetuity to Canada, remains a potent reminder of the importance of this piece of our history.  Andy has a vision to turn the back yard & rear lane of his 29th Street home, east of Rocky Mountain Transport, into a celebration of Vimy, with flags, decorated explanatory panels & a scale wooden replica of the famous stone memorial in France.  It would be easily accessible by cyclists & pedestrians expected to use the new rail trail network through Vernon, & could become a notable tourist attraction.  Andy is hoping our club will lend its support to this project, which also coincides with Canada’s 150th birthday.
 

 
 
New Rotarian Paul Philps, CPA, CMA, is “pinned,” during his induction, by sponsor Dave Weatherill.  Paul is an investment advisor with RBC Dominion Securities.  He & his wife Heather welcomed their second daughter just yesterday!
 

 
 

Past President Janet Green thanks Vernon / North Okanagan RCMP Detachment Commander Supt. Jim McNamara, who has 30 years of experience in policing, primarily in operational and front-line duties. He first came here in 2010, as the Operations Officer, in charge of day-to-day operations. The detachment serves a diverse area including Vernon, Coldstream, Spallumcheen, Armstrong, Enderby, Lumby, Falkland and the Splatsin and Okanagan First Nations.  Supt. McNamara previously worked in an advisory role for the BC RCMP in its Southeast District office, ensuring RCMP detachments were meeting the expectations of the communities they served. His previous experience also includes watch and operations commands, command of the Tactical Troop, and oversight of crime prevention and victim services for a large Lower Mainland detachment. All his policing service is within BC.  He’s integrated the operations of five detachments serving a population of about 82,000 people.  His resources include about 100 regular officers, 48 support staff, 17 Auxiliary Constables, 4 Reservists & about 60 volunteers.  Policing is expensive!  The annual cost of a regular Constable, with benefits & a car, is about $164,000.  In 2015, his detachment responded to over 28,000 calls, & held over 2,200 prisoners.  His (our) biggest challenge is dealing with property crimes committed by substance abusers, many of whom have untreated mental health issues, due to lack of treatment facilities.  He also talked a bit about municipal concerns arising from the requirement that communities of over 5,000 people must pay for 30% of overall policing costs.

 

 
 
Dr Craig Goplen hosted his wife Judie, shown above with Bob Clarke.  Judie is a former emergency room head nurse & public health nurse, who now works with Dr Brian Chai, an internist & gastroenterologist, who specializes in the treatment of the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).  It’s estimated that only 30-50% of Canadians with HCV have been diagnosed.  Blood donors are screened for HCV, but a typical checkup by a family physician won’t necessarily include such screening.  People born between 1945 & 1965 are most susceptible.  Many people with HCV are able to fight off the disease, but those whose livers are chronically affected will develop cirrhosis (scarring), leading to liver failure.  A liver transplant costs about $2m.  Tremendous advances have been made in treatment for HCV over the past couple of decades – it’s now considered curable through a course of drug treatments, such as “Perfectovir,” which doesn’t cause the sickness associated with earlier drugs.  Because this drug costs about $70,000 per patient, it’s only supplied to those who meet certain criteria, & are selected through a review panel.  Still, it’s cost effective to treat, as those with HCV are at higher risk of cancer, heart disease, & other ailments.  For more info, see: http://www.liver.ca/liver-disease/types/viral_hepatitis/Hepatitis_C.aspx
 

 
 
Dan Rieb (left) hosted well-known local birder Don Cecile, who spoke about his Spring 2015 experience spending six weeks in Barrow, Alaska, as volunteer research assistant, conducting shorebird surveys.  Don is a former teacher & school VP, who now runs Sandhill Properties, a real estate investment & property management company.  He’s also an active thespian & naturalist.  Barrow, AK, on the Beaufort Sea, with a population of just over 4,000, is the U.S.A.’s northernmost community.  Surrounded by flat, ankle-high vegetation, many locals rely on traditional hunting & fishing.  This is prime polar bear country – but sadly, Don didn’t see one on this trip.  He & his colleagues, working indirectly for the US Fish & Wildlife Service, assessed 5-600 shorebirds, including many varieties of killdeer, snowy owls, eider ducks, jaegers, red-necked stints, long-tailed ducks, American golden plovers, dunlins, pectoral sandpipers & pacific loons.  Most of these birds come several thousand miles north for a short stay to breed & hatch their eggs, then return south.  
 

 
 
Paige Webster, a double dogwood graduate, from W.L. Seaton was awarded a $1,000 bursary for her studies at Okanagan College.  She was very appreciative of the gift.  It was  interesting to hear about her future study goals and her journey through a French immersion education here in Vernon. 
 

 
 
Bob France hosted Danielle Toperczer, a Professional Agrologist  & Manager with the Invasive Species Council of BC.  ISPBC is a non-profit which resists the introduction & spread of invasive plants, animals & organisms not native to BC, presenting risk or harm to native species & therefore our economy.  A combination of professional staff and volunteers provide outreach & education, training, operations & research, along with a variety of government, other non-profit & industry partners.  Their “Be Plantwise, Grow Me Instead” program provides both a brochure & a mobile app highlighting 26 of BC’s “Most Unwanted” horticulture plants, with recommended alternatives.  Among a number of examples discussed were English Ivy, Scotch Broom & Knotweeds.  Carp, eurasian milfoil & zebra mussels are other well-known invasive species representing serious threats to our habitat & economy.  See http://bcinvasives.ca/
 

 
 
Dave Weatherill hosted local teacher-on-call & avid sailor Eric Martinen, who talked about his recent adventure in our Great Lakes, aboard “Sea Dragon,” a 72’ yacht owned by Pangaea Exploration ( www.panexplore.com ).  This organization conducts marine conservation research & supports the development of conservation resources & scientists.  Eric’s trip was focused on measuring the prevalence & effects of plastics in our lakes – specifically polyethylene, or “microbeads,” which serve as abrasives in many consumer products, such as toothpaste & facial cleansers.  Because microbeads in our lakes & oceans are being ingested by birds & fish, & also by humans, our governments are under pressure to force reluctant manufacturers to speed up the replacement of microbeads by natural abrasives, such as ground walnut or apricot shells, etc.  Eric passed around samples of microbeads strained from a couple of consumer products.  We can all avoid microbeads by looking at the ingredients on labels, & not purchasing those with polyethylenes. 
 

 
 
Our club is sponsoring Margarite Zinovyeva as a Queen Silver Star Excellence Program candidate.  Despite only having been in Canada for three years, this delightful young lady is poised & ambitious.  She hopes to train as an architect, & enjoys photography, art, music & math.  She speaks Russian, German, Polish & English.  She says her biggest challenge is finding enough time in the day to fit in her schoolwork, QSSEP, & all those other interests. 
 

 
 
Dr Sandra Peacock, UBCO anthropologist, is thanked by our Sandra Ross.  Dr Peacock takes students to Tanzania for six weeks, to learn fieldwork skills, & how to contribute meaningfully to social developments in a subsistence farming economy.  She updated us on the results of our $4,000 contribution last year, to help improve washroom facilities at the Moivaro Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania.  Replacement of old dysfunctional washrooms, which were threatening closure of the school, allows about 950 students to continue their studies.  Dr Peacock, in conjunction with the Vijiji Foundation in Arusha & Rotarians nearby, has worked with our International Service Director, Sandra Ross, to complete & send a District Grant application for provision of a school kitchen & food storage facility, so more students can receive “Food for Thought,” & some of their parents can earn students’ hot lunches through in-kind donations of food.  We hope our next $4,000 will be matched by another $4,000 in District funds!
 

 
 
Several of our members got well into the Christmas spirit -- clockwise from top left: Dan Rieb, Dr John Wheeldon, Mike Wardlow, Bob Clarke, Leigh Hewer, Dave Weatherill, Bob France & Sandra Ross.
 
At our Dec 15th Annual General Meeting, Geordie McLennan was confirmed as our President Elect for next year.  Members approved new bylaws, based on a recommended RI set, modified to our needs.  We also amended our club vision, & approved a $4,000 donation, to be combined with a matching District Grant, for the “Lunch for Learners” program at Moivaro Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania.  Donations of $4,500 for the meal program at Teen Junction, plus $1,000 to the Junction Literacy Centre were also approved.
 
This past Sunday, Rob & Donna Irving hosted our club’s annual potluck Christmas Party.  Following an assignment of late member Glenn Green’s PHF points, President Bev Rundell presented Past President Janet Green with her third PHF award.
 

 
 
On Sat, Dec 12th, Silver Star Rotarians cooked & helped serve a fundraising breakfast for Hillview Elementary School.  Jim Kanester, Bob France & Leigh Hewer are shown at the grills.
 

 
 
 
Speakers
May 10, 2016
Host: Dan Rieb
Vernon Public Market Proposal, OFFSITE at Ratio Coffee, in old Train Station at #4-3101 29 St
May 17, 2016
 
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