Education and Literacy Month

September is Education and Literacy month in our Rotary World, and this is also one of the Rotary Foundation’s six areas of focus. We know that basic education and literacy are essential for reducing poverty, improving health, encouraging community and economic development, and promoting peace. In other words, education and literacy are essential for success in our other five areas of focus. 58 million children worldwide not in school, and even after four years of primary school an estimated 250 million children cannot read and write, while 781 million adults are illiterate. It is encouraging, however, that progress is being made around the world with education and literacy: a recent UN report indicated that literacy rates among adults and youths are on the rise and the gender gap in literacy is narrowing. We must keep at it!
Many of District 5040’s Rotary Clubs and Rotarians are involved in literacy projects around the world. But we also have literacy needs right here at home. A major effort in this regard for several years has been the Write2Read program which provides resources and facilities to rural First Nations communities in Western British Columbia. PDG Bob Blacker has led this project for many years, and developed a great partnership with Government House in this effort. Many of our Rotary Clubs and Rotarians participate through the Write2Read project. Write2Read was first intended to bring books to a small First Nation community, but a generous donation by a Rotarian provided a building for a library which opened in 2011. Now 14 learning centres have been opened throughout BC and another 10 are planned.
Write2Read reaches far beyond books and buildings. Through fellowship and mentorship in Rotary and beyond, Rotarians like Shirley-Pat Chamberlain of Williams Lake Daybreak have developed Write2Read into an avenue for multi-generational action to transform individuals and communities, including herself. Through fellowship and mentorship, values, ethics and experience are being passed down so that lessons can be built upon and not relearned.
District 5040 Rotary Clubs are also active in other ways in support of literacy, in some cases bringing breakfast programs and one on one reading to schools with needs, or supporting Literacy organizations such as Decoda Literacy Solutions. What does your club do to support literacy and education? There are so many ways you can get involved.
Here in BC most of us live in a society and a part of the world where we take education and literacy for granted. But it is not so in other places. As some examples, if all women completed primary education there would be 66% fewer maternal deaths, a child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five and, if all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty, which would be equivalent to a 12% cut in world poverty.
Apologies to Karen Bation
Apologies to Karen Bation – President of our new Rotary Club of Vancouver Mountainview – for my misspelling of her name last month.
DG Club Visits Continue – Check Out Don’s Diary
Deb and I are continuing with our District Governor visits to Rotary Clubs throughout District 5040 and we are having a most productive and enjoyable time. We appreciate the warm welcomes that we receive everywhere we go, and we are excited to see the wonderful projects and Rotary work that each of the clubs are doing. As I write this, we have now visited nine clubs (only 40 to go!) and are about to head north again for Burns Lake, Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert. By the end of November we will have visited all of District 5040’s 49 clubs; our schedule is posted on the District Calendar.
I hope that you will visit and check out our blog – Don’s Diary – where you will find up to date stories and photos from each club visit. It is updated weekly as we make our travels.
Rotary BC Wildfire Recovery Fund
One thing that has been most impactful as we travel around BC this summer is seeing firsthand some of the devastation and community impact from the wildfires that continue to burn. As we all know, this fire season has now eclipsed all others and is the worst in our Province’s history. We hope things settle down soon and that our communities are able to get to the task of recovery and rebuilding for their future.
The Rotary BC Wildfire Recovery Fund has been established to help with that recovery and rebuild period, and these funds will be channelled to Rotary club projects in the affected communities. There have been many commitments made to this fund, from Rotary Clubs, from individuals, and even from other Rotary Districts. Recently, the Rotary Club of Mackenzie held a bingo night in their community and raised $1,400 for the fund (well done by this small but very active Rotary Club!) and the Rotary Club of Vancouver has pledged $10,000 to the fund. District 5040 will also commit a contribution, so the fund is growing and will make a real difference in the good we are able to do as our communities rebuild from this disaster.
The Rotary BC Wildfire Recovery Fund continues to be open for contributions – details on how to contribute are on  Thanks to all who have already supported, and if you haven’t yet, please consider it.
District Positions Available for the Coming Rotary Year
Have you considered expanding your Rotary horizons by volunteering in a District Role? Being a part of the District 5040 leadership team offers a broad range of benefits, from the new friends you will make, to the increased training and exposure to the world of Rotary you will get by seeing Rotary at a multi club level. There are always positions available, and we are now working to fill in the succession plan for 2018 – 2019 and beyond. Some of the specific positions we are working to fill are:
  • District Treasurer  (currently Janice Froese)
  • Assistant Governor Northwest  (currently Brian Downie)
  • Assistant Governor Sea to Sky   (currently Liz Scott)
  • Assistant Governor Vancouver  (currently Davinder Grewal)
District roles are typically three year terms and in the above cases, the incumbents are all completing their three year terms at the end of this current Rotary Year.
If anyone out there would like to learn more or has interest in these, or any other District positions, contact District Governor Elect Darcy Long at or myself at
Friendship Exchange – Romania
District 5040 Friendship Exchange Chair, PDG Sonia Baron, has announced that we will have a Friendship Exchange with Romania (District 2241) in this Rotary year. Here is an opportunity to visit another part of the world and learn and share each other’s cultures. There is room for 12 participants from District 5040 to participate. Dates for us to visit Romania are May 13 to 27, 2018 and the visitors from District 2241 will visit us June 4 to June 18, 2018. Find out more by connecting with Sonia at
Barry Rassin to be next President of Rotary International
The Rotary International Nominating Committee has announced that the new President of Rotary International for the 2018 – 2019 Rotary year will be Barry Rassin, from the Rotary Club of East Nassau, Bahamas. Barry will come on board quickly, replacing Sam Owori who tragically passed away recently.
Rotary Leadership Institute Registration Open
You can now register on line for Rotary Leadership Institute’s Fall 2017 sessions. The three levels of RLI will be held as follows:
  • RLI One - September 23, 2017 in Richmond
  • RLI Two - October 26 in Burnaby
  • RLI Three - November 25 in Burnaby
Register at
Thanks to all our amazing Rotary Clubs and Rotarians in District 5040.
Don Evans
Governor 2017 - 2018
Rotary District 5040
Membership Update
We are looking for feedback on two new membership initiatives.  One, is we have asked the AG’s to be “Secret Shoppers”.  By this we mean we are asking them to evaluate your meeting day from a list of criteria that speaks to meeting day best practices.  They are to share the results with their clubs.  We would like some feedback, both positive or negative. 
Secondly, we are striving to increase our success rate with the Rotary International lead generation program.  Ross Birchall, from the Prince George club, makes the first call to these people that have filled out their personal information on the RI website and have asked to be contacted.  Ross helps them to determine: 1.  Is Rotary right for them?  2.  He helps guide them to the best club fit.  As he doesn’t know what is the focus for each club we have asked the clubs to fill out a  “Club Profile Sheet”.  Click if you need a copy of the form and please send these to .  They will become part of our club resource base and it will help you get new members.
Rotaract Update
In August, all of the clubs in the District collaborate on organizing the Pacific Canada Experience (PACE), which is a roundtrip that fosters global Rotaract ties and provides an authentic experience of Canada’s multiculturalism while facilitating international friendships.This year we are hosting 6 international Rotaractors from the Dominican Republic, Fiji, Finland, Germany, South Africa, and Sweden. PACE kicked off on August 25th and will wrap up on September 3rd.

DRR, Johanna Johnson has made it her goal increase the number of Rotaractors involved at the district level and has created a committee of Rotaractors dedicated making this the 50th Anniversary of Rotaract the best year yet for Rotaract in District 5040. Please join me in welcoming the newly formed District Rotaract Committee:
  • Project Chair: Marianna Hammerstrom (North Shore)
  • Public Relations Chair: Carina McClelland (Burnaby)
  • Social & Installation Dinner Chairs: Thomas Miller & Bobby Bissessar (Vancouver Young Professionals)
  • Training Chair: Maryam Bee (Richmond)
Rotaract Club of North Shore is having a Burger and Beer Fundraiser on September 1, for more info.
Please stay tuned for exciting Rotaract organized events and fundraisers!
RI President Ian Risley comments on Membership

Dear fellow Rotarians,

I joined Rotary in 1978, when I was relatively young and had just started my accounting practice. My reason for doing so was because I thought that it would be good for my business to be associated with the movers and shakers of my community. But it didn’t take long for Juliet and me to realize that Rotary offered us so much more. Yes, Rotary provided us with ways to make friends and help build a business. But it also became the best way I know of to make a difference in our communities, both local and globally.

Wanna learn more about Rotary?
Want to find out more about Rotary and hone your leadership skills at the same time?  If your answer is yes we have the courses for you.  Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI).
We have scheduled Part I, II and III sessions for this fall. New for this year: In addition to the traditional class room sessions we have scheduled online sessions for those who can't attend in person.
Buy Furniture  ...  Support the Rotary BC Wildfire Recovery fund
Thanks Richmond Businessman Paul Hui for his generous donation of his warehouse inventory to The Rotary Club of Richmond. Quality Rattan and Wicker furniture is available 70% to 80% off.  Proceeds go B.C. Wildfire Relief and other Rotary projects. More Info


David Suzuki will be a keynote speaker at the Rotary Presidential conference
David Suzuki will be a keynote speaker at the Rotary Presidential conference in Vancouver February 9 – 11, 2018. He is an award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster. He is renowned for his radio and television programs that explain the complexities of the natural sciences in a compelling, easily understood way. Dr. Suzuki is a geneticist. He graduated from Amherst College (Massachusetts) in 1958 with an Honours BA in Biology, followed by a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961. His eight-part BBC/PBS series, The Secret of Life, was praised internationally, as was his five part series The Brain for the Discovery Channel.
DG Calendar
Sep 06, Williams Lake
Sep 07, 100 Mile House
Sep 12, Williams Lake Daybreak
Sep 19, Powell River Sunrise
Sep 20, Powell River
Sep 22, Pender Harbour
Sep 26, Sechelt
Sep 27, Sunshine Coast
Sep 28, Gibsons
Upcoming Events
Whiskey Around the World
Blue Ocean Golf Club
Sep 23, 2017
Brandywine Boogie
Sep 23, 2017
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Rotary Leadership Institute Part 1 - Saturday, September 23 2017
Sep 23, 2017
8:00 AM – 4:15 PM
Rotary Leadership Institute Part 2 - Saturday, October 28, 2017
Oct 28, 2017
8:00 AM – 4:15 PM
Rotary Leadership Institute Part 3 - Saturday, November 25, 2017
Nov 25, 2017
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Pemberton - boardwalk at One Mile Lake with Club President Dave den Duyf, Phill Read & Liz Scroggins
Pemberton - boardwalk at One Mile Lake - Club President Dave den Duyf, Phill Read & Liz Scroggins
Rotary Club of Whistler
Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium
Rotary Beef BBQ - Squamish
Rotary Beef BBQ - Squamish
Rotary Beef BBQ - Squamish
Pet Safe Coalition - Quesnel
Quesnel cheque presented to Pet Safe Coalition's Debbie Knabke
Burns Lake Spirit Square
Burns Lake - Rod Reid trail upgrade with President Richard, Laura, Luke, and Jac
Rotaract - Pacific Canada Experience (PACE)
Rotaract - PACE
Rotaract - PACE
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
© Copyright Rotary District 5040
Please send feedback to