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German Exchange
German Group Study Exchange

My father was a Rotarian in Birmingham, England when I was growing up. When he died in 1987 I read in the paper that Rotary International was allowing women into Rotary. So I found a local Rotarian - in St. John's - and got an invitation to a meeting at the Hotel Newfoundland. When I was introduced I was asked why I had wanted to attend. So I said - "My father was a Rotarian and I'd like to carry on the tradition." There was a stony silence - what had not been reported in the paper was that each Club was able to choose whether to allow women members or not. This Club took until 1993 for their first woman member to join.
I finally joined the Rotary Club of Nanaimo North in the fall of 1998. I was on the phone with my lawyer Sheila Anderson when she said she was working on some Rotary business. I told her that I had been turned down by the Club in St. John’s so she dragged me along – the rest is history.

My accountant and Rotarian Lorana at the Dragon Boat 2006

My ex-Lawyer and Past President
at the Dragon Boat 2006
About a year later, Chris was giving talks about Aquaculture at many of the Vancouver Island Rotary Clubs – I tagged along. I ended up getting a pin for “perfect attendance” the following June. I told them that I had missed lots of meetings, but was told that when I visited the other Clubs I was doing a Make-Up. I have had perfect attendance ever since – in fact if all my visits to other Clubs and sanctioned events are counted, I have about 200% attendance.

Rotary is a worldwide organization of 1.2 million men and women who donate their time and money to better the world.

The Rotary Club of Nanaimo North gives seven scholarships annually to high school and college students; for the past five years has supported an in school mentoring program for Big Brothers and Big Sisters; has donated money to the local Boys and Girls Club to purchase vehicles to move kids around before and after school as well as many other projects. We have joined with the other four Nanaimo Rotary Clubs to donate $100,000 to the Malaspina University College Library which was completed in 2005; to help build a skate board park in North Nanaimo and to help build the most used toilet facility on the Island Highway at Northfield Road exit in Nanaimo.
Citrus Fundraiser
In my first year in Rotary I was asked to help with an in-Club auction. I remembered all the Planned Parenthood auctions in Newfoundland so I jumped in.

A few months later I found out that my new role was Fund Raising Committee Chair! It was a great shock and a bit intimidating. But I remembered that in Newfoundland we had always bought wonderful citrus fruit just before Christmas from Florida through the schools.

So we brought in a tractor trailer load of oranges and grapefruit - 36,000 lbs of fruit! We sold most of them bringing in over $32,000 - we made a really good profit.

The Club continued to sell oranges and grapefruit. In the fall of 2004 our regular supplier was hit hard by a hurricane and we used another supplier. In 2005 we discontinued the citrus fundraiser - hurricanes and the cost of oil had made the selling price very high.

Glynis our Rotary President
at Dragon Boat 2006
The calendars are sold for $20 including taxes and if you buy 5 for $100 we give you a free one. Please email me with your order and I'll check on the mailing charges.
In the fall of 2004, when I was President, I dreamed up the idea of an Art Calendar - Celebrating Vancouver Island Art.

A fellow member, Christine Craigie shared my vision and we contacted as many artists as we could on the Island and asked them to submit their very best art via email attachments by March 31st 2005. We had about 50 artists submit work.

A jury of three gallery managers or owners chose the best 24 and we asked the public to pay $5 to tell us which 12 they liked the best. The 12 finalists were featured in the 2006 Rotary Art Calendar, click here

In the Fall of 2005 we had a Gala where we auctioned off the original art with a reserve that the artist chose. If it sold at or above the reserve, we kept a 40% fee. If it did not sell the artist were given back their art. The whole project was very successful and profitable.
Dragon Boat Festival Bars
During the past 10 years dragon boat racing has taken off worldwide. Dragon Boat Racing is the second most popular sport in the world according to Paddler magazine.

In 2003 Nanaimo had its first Dragon Boat Festival. Our Rotary Club was asked to run the Beer Gardens on Saturday and Sunday, plus four evening events.

Our Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival has grown from under 30 teams in the first year to almost 80 teams this year. Check out the Festival website at

Our Rotary Club has been running the bars in each year. This year we sold $30,000 worth of beer, wine and coolers in the three days - we did not run out - we had 48 cans of beer and 7 bottles of wine left at the end!

Our Club members, relatives and friends donated 521 hours of service at this year's event. We do this for 10% of the gross sales - this works out to be less than $6 an hour. The money raised is used by our Club in our ongoing community service.
Dragon Boats
Dragon Boats

Chris and Gill, Christine and Mike
Chris and Gill, Christine and Mike at Dragon Boat 2006
Gill as President
Gill as President
In late 2002 I was asked if I would be President of the Rotary Club of Nanaimo North for the Rotary year 2004 to 2005. I asked Chris if he was willing to help me with this and he agreed.

In late June 2004 I was installed as President of my Club. It was a very formal affair as the Executive were installed and told their duties. Then Chris walked into the room in slickers and a sou'wester!. He proceeded to screech in my Executive.

Chris made them eat some bologna - Newfoundland steak, then drink some Screech - dark rum. Then he told them that normally they would have to kiss a cod, but since the cod were all gone they would have to kiss a lobster!

That started my year!

Rotary started in 1905 so I was President during the Centennial year and I loved every minute of it.
Gill, Chris and Kayla