Rotary Club of Kitchener


March 29, 2021

Meeting Recording

A recording of Today’s Meeting can be found by clicking here.

President's Comments

President Louise reminded members of several upcoming events for both our own and other local clubs:
Don’t forget our next Trail Cleanup is set for Monday, April 22 at 4:00. Register here at Trail Cleanup
Kitchener Rotary - Waterloo Brewing Beer Education and Tasting - April 22nd
We are holding a 5 club virtual event on Thursday April 22nd at 7pm - Join us to hear brew master Juan Cala discuss and sample beers - We will also be promoting our Catch the Ace @RotaryinKW fundraiser throughout the evening. Friends and Family are invited and can register at:  Waterloo Brewing - Beer Master Education
Guelph Trillium Rotary - Ready for a Good laugh? - April 10th
The Rotary Club of Guelph Trillium is excited to bring three Canadian comics to inject some humour into our lives. This hour-long online fundraiser is taking place on Saturday, April 10, 8.00 pm and tickets are $50 per household, including a $25 tax receipt. Register at: Ready for a Good laugh?
Kitchener Grand River Rotary - Culinary Studio Cooking Class - April 7th
Kitchener Grand River Rotary is holding an online cooking class (Wednesday, April 7th at 5pm) $90.  If you are interested in attending please send Louise an email and she will assist in the registration.
Kitchener Grand River Rotary - Mudpuppy Race - May 2nd
This will be an individual event this year.  Please contact Louise directly for more information.
Waterloo Golf Tournament - Rebel Creek - June 3rd
For more information:  Golf Four KidsAbility 
Since many of our Youth activities were cancelled this year due to COVID-19 we donated $650 to Junior Achievement from our Youth Activities budget.  In response we received the following note from Melissa Derbyshire, CFRE, the Director of Philanthropy with Junior Achievement
Dear Louise and Rotary Members,
Thank you so much for your recent donation of $650 in response to our letter. Attached is your charitable receipt.  Your support means one full class will receive important financial literacy skills and prepare them for a brighter future.  Thank you also for being part of our 50th anniversary celebration!  We plan to recognize your support on social media, on our website and in other publications.

Visiting Rotarians

Elena Shpinel, Rotary Club of Moscow International


Betty Bax, Grand River Hospital Foundation, Guest of President Louise and Paul Rostrup and potential new corporate member
Ailtana Santana, Guest of President Louise and Mike Morrice
John English, Honour Club Member and our guest speaker (see below)

Happy Jar

Many members are delighted to have recently had their vaccination against COVID-19 or have them scheduled in the near future including – Neil Swayze, David Smith, Shawky Fahel and Bill Proctor.
Mike Morrice was pleased to announce that he will be seeking the nomination for the Green Party again as their candidate in the next federal election.

Club Announcements

Howard Pell reminded members that he is compiling our 100th Anniversary Photo Book and is asking members to send in any Rotary photos they may have.  Any quality, any format, he will sort it out.
Paul Rostrup let the members know that our Catch The Ace fundraiser will be now listed in the Home Lottery News, a website that promotes charitable online fundraisers.  The Ace has still not been caught and the progressive jackpot is now over $18,000

Program Highlights

Our speaker today was John English, an honourary member of our club, who was introduced by David Martindale.
John English served as a Liberal Member of Parliament for Kitchener between 1993 and 1997. Subsequently, he served as a special ambassador for landmines and as a special envoy for the election of Canada to the United Nations Security Council.  He has also served as president of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, co-editor of the Canadian Historical Review, chair of the board of the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum, and was the executive director of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Canada's largest think tank devoted exclusively to the study of international affairs. He was also the general editor of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.  He is currently the founding director of The Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto where he is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs. He was a distinguished visiting professor at the Canadian Forces College in 2010–11 and is now a distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Waterloo.
English has written many books and articles, and was the official biographer of former Canadian prime minister Lester Pearson; this work was published in two volumes. At the request of the Trudeau family, he wrote the biography of Pierre Trudeau.  In October 2006, the first volume, Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Volume One: 1919–1968 (ISBN 0-676-97521-6), was published. The second volume, entitled Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Vol. 2 1968–2000, was published in October 2009.  His most recent book is "Ice and Water: Politics, Peoples, and the Arctic Council," for which he won the John Lyman Book Award for maritime history.
He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Honorary Senior Fellow of Renison University College, member of numerous editorial boards, and a recipient of many literary awards.  He has won the John A. Macdonald Prize of the Canadian Historical Association, the Canadian Author's Association Non-Fiction Prize, the University of British Columbia Biography Prize, and twice-won the Dafoe Prize. Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Volume One was shortlisted for the Charles Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction in February 2007, and in January 2010, Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Volume Two received the same honour. Volume One was also chosen as a Best Book of the Decade by Chapters.  Both volumes were also short-listed for the Governor-General's Non-Fiction Prize. Volume Two won the 2009 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.  He is the recipient of the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
On June 30, 2016, English was promoted to an Officer of the Order of Canada from member by Governor General David Johnston for "his contributions as a historian, author and administrator who has expanded our knowledge and understanding of Canada's rich political heritage."[1]
John spoke about the relationship between Canada and the United States in the post Trump era.  He provided many charts, graphs and statistics to illustrate how things changed under President Trump some of our similarities and some of our differences.  He began with a quotation “The Americans are our best friends whether we like it or not.”
The level of confidence in US and Trump by country was shown.  During the Obama Presidency about 80% of Canadians had a significant level of confidence in the US and the president.  By 2020 this had dropped to only 20% for president Trump.
Much of his presentation focused on the great divide that exists in the US.  This can be seen in the gender of those who voted Republican or Democratic, racial background, location in the country, or economic wellbeing.
Inequality in America has changed dramatically over the past 100 years.  It was at its minimum in the early 1970’s but has increased significantly since then.  A major factor in effectiveness of democracy is the extent to which citizens join groups with shared interests and provide service to others.  This trend has also decreased since the 1970’s and particularly during the Trump presidency.
During a recent television interview about US and Chinese relations some Americans were surprised at the position the Chinese were taking in response Thomas Friedman in the New York Times on March 23 wrote:
“Surprised? What did you think, that the Chinese didn’t notice that our last president inspired his followers to ransack our capitol, that a majority of his party did not recognize the results of our democratic election, that a member of our congress believes that Jewish-run space lasers cause forest fires, that left-wing anarchists were allowed to take over a section of downtown Portland, creating havoc for months, that during the pandemic the U.S. printed money to help its consumers keep spending-much of it on Chinese-made goods-while China printed money to invest in even more infrastructure , and that gun violence in America is out of control.”

Closing Remarks & Reminders

President Louise thanked John and noted that in appreciation of his talk, a donation would be made to The Rotary Foundation to inoculate 100 children against polio. 
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Registered Event
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Dave Smith
March 6
Mr. Madu Madu
March 24
Join Date
John Tibbits
March 15, 2003
18 years