Posted by Don Evans on Oct 14, 2017
Tuesday, September 26 and we are back on the Sunshine Coast, this time in Sechelt.  We meet up with Norm Blair, President of the Rotary Club of Sechelt, and tour around a bit.  This club is focussed on local projects that are eco friendly and sustainable, and our first stop is at the Community School where they are in the process of building a greenhouse that will help students learn about local food production.  
They also focus on community partnerships, and we next stop at the observatory where they work in support of the local Astronomy Society.  Then it is off for a walk on the newly graded Wormy Lake trails with the Sechelt Trails Society, reclaiming an area where a fire had hit just a few years earlier.  The club's main fundraisers are the Calendar project and their growing Oscar's Eve event.  We end the day at their evening meeting and have a good conversation with the Rotarians there.
Wednesday, September 27 and we spend much of the day with the Rotary Club of Sunshine Coast - Sechelt.  President Ken Beall and Rotarian Kevin Davie take us to some of their projects in the community, including stops at the Rotary Friendship Park on the waterfront with its large Rotary wheel, the arena where the club has provided new change rooms / washrooms, the washroom facilities at Davis Bay and the Sunshine Coast Arts Council facility where benches now grace the garden.  This club is also active in Youth Exchange and is host to Fiorenza from Italy this year, as well as having a very large International project in Kenya where the club has provided wells, a tractor and bowser as well as computer labs and solar lighting over the years.   Their Ndandini, Kenya project was the first from our District to receive the Canadian match on a Global Grant (the third of their three grants to date) and the project has exceeded $400,000 in total now.
They have just held a very successful Whiskey Tasting (Whiskey Around the World)  event which is a major fundraiser, in addition to calendar sales and other local events.   We meet with the club's board at 10:30 and then with the club at its regular meeting at noon.  There is a full house and we have a good interactive session, where we also assist with the induction of their newest member Jim Miller - a Rotarian who has transferred over from Whistler.
Thursday, September 28 - We head south to Gibsons for our final day on the Sunshine Coast.  The Rotary Club of Gibsons is a very active club and we meet up with AG Carol Doyle and President Greig Soohen to see some of their work.  We visit Elphinstone Secondary School where there is an active Interact club and chat with Principal John Brisebois - he is interested in getting more involvement beyond Gibsons for his students and Rotary can provide some options here.  Then we are off to Gibsons Town Hall to meet with Ian Poole and talk about the Armor's Beach project, next to the Harbour to see the Rotary Gazebo on the end of the pier and to Huckleberry Day Care where the club has just completed building a new fence, allowing the Day Care to qualify for an expansion.   Last stop is at Christenson Village seniors home where the club is contributing to an innovative Early Dementia Research project called "Raising the Curtain".
We meet with the club's board at 5:00PM and learn about their major fundraiser - the Gibsons and Sechelt Rotary Club TV Auction - and get updated on the club's operations.  Here we also get an update on the Hippo Roller project which is active in South Africa and stewarded by Luke Vorstermans.
We have a full house with several guests present for the club's dinner meeting and have a wonderful time with all of them - although with a sad moment of reflection on the recent loss of their member and former Assistant Governor Sam Simpson.  But the meeting opening is very special as ten year old Alyea Abdullah leads us in the singing of O Canada.   Chad and Bruce, whom we met at the Christenson Home earlier, are there and receive a presentation of the cheque in support of their project and we assist with the induction of new member Brittany Broderson.   All in all, a great way to end the day and our Sunshine Coast visits.
We bid goodbye to Gibsons and the Sunshine Coast.   A special thanks to Assistant Governor Carol Doyle who has been at all six clubs with us on the Coast.   As we head home on the ferry we have reached a milestone on our club visits - we have now visited 22 clubs - all the ones that involve travel beyond the Metro Vancouver area.   We have seen many places in BC like never before and are so amazed  by the projects and involvement of Rotarians everywhere.