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Rotary Club of Thunder Bay - Port Arthur

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  • ROTARY SAILING EVENING announcement from your sailing fellowship organizers – Nicole and Kevin. On Thursday July 9, 2015 , members of the Port Arthur Rotary Club are invited to go out ...

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  • This year, our district conference is in Duluth Minnesota! Port Arthur Rotary Club along with the two other rotary clubs in Thunder Bay and the Nipigon Club are the only Canadian clubs in our ...

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  • Our second make-up meeting was held on Thursday, March 5th at 5pm at the Breakwater Tap House. We had a great time talking about 'What Makes a Great Rotarian' among other things! Thanks for ...

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  • Every fourth Thursday of the Month, members of the Port Arthur Rotary Club can be found at the Dew Drop Inn. . We start the morning at 10:00 am to prepare the meal and are usually finished by ...

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At Our Club: June 30, 2015

Madame President Irene Kozlowski graciously chaired her year- end meeting today to acclaim and many a tribute. A splendid year it was, and terminated by a heart-felt reflection (the 4- Way Test) as well as many tributes to her fellow Rotarians.

Irene is flanked on left by President-Elect,(taking the podium next week), Darren Fisk (congrats to you Darren) and Past-President Judi Turner (great meeting arrangement Judi).

Brenda Winter accepts Rotarian of the Year Award from Irene Kozlowski; a very hard-working and deserving recipient. Well done Brenda!


Jim McDonald receives 3 plus year Paul Harris pin from Maria Hudolin (her 7 plus year pin awarded today), with President Irene looking on. Jim and Maria, both Past-Presidents epitomize the Rotary ideal. Congratulations to both.


At Our Club: June 23, 2015


On her second to last meeting day as President, Irene Kozlowski (third from right) was acclaimed and thanked for an outstanding year by Rotary Assistant District Governor Irene Sottile (far right).

The meeting also featured presentations of another cycle of funding allocations from our club to worthy community recipients: Mike Nitz (far left) for United Way; Margaret Hajdinjak (third from left) for the 5th Annual Out of Darkness Memorial Walk; Mary Anne Comuzzi (middle) for the George Jeffrey Children’s Centre 2015 Soapbox Race for kids; and Nadine Turcotte (second from right) for Our Kids Count –Roots of Empathy Celebration (May, 2015).

Allocations Chair Kevin Holloway ( second from left) thanked all those participating, including the worthy recipients and fellow Rotarians. There were 12 approved allocations for this Rotary year.


At Our Club: June 16, 2015


Today at Rotary three Directors: from the left  Krysta Logozzo, Brenda Winter, Laurie Tulloch  presented  reports about their portfolios. President Irene notified the Club that Leslie Savitsky and Karen Marconi (absent) will present at a later date.


At Our Club: June 9, 2015


Past President Maria Hudolin (pictured at right) spoke about her March trip to Monterrico Guatemala as part of a World Community Service project that involves District 5580 Clubs: Superior, Duluth Harbortown, Duluth 25, Fargo, Port Arthur Rotary and the Vista Hermosa Club in Guatemala. The project was the continuation of a school construction project started last year and is jointly sponsored by Districts 5580 and 4250. Total project costs were $9000 US Dollars. Maria's costs to participate in the 10 day project was $2200 US Dollars that included air fare, land costs and incidentals. Maria spoke about her 17 years in Rotary and this being the first international service project that she had been involved in. She highly recommended the experience to the audience. Maria was introduced by Acting President Brenda Winter (pictured at left) and thanked by Past President Art Warwick.


At Our Club: June 2, 2015

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Our club exchange student, Jitte Wigbold (the Netherlands), delivered her final address today to a large and appreciative (and emotional?) crowd of members and guests. Simply put, an outstanding year (almost completed) by an endearing and very mature student rep from her country. The club is very proud of her. Pictured with Jitte are host parents (Warren and Barb Philp—happy 25th today), President Irene Kozlowski, host parent Leslie Savitsky, and Exchange Chair Matthew Diegle.



Allocations Chair Kevin Holloway presented a round of very deserving recipients of Port Arthur Rotary funds for excellent community work. The club is pleased to support these fine organizations. Pictured are (Past-President Holloway and President Irene Kozlowski) along with:

  • Harbour Youth Services awarded for literacy, represented by program members Joanne Tomlinson (second  from far left) and Genevieve Veltri (second from far right); 
  • St. John’s Ambulance awarded for Summer Camp 911, represented by Diana Sustawenko (immediate left of centre); 
  • Walk with Doc, represented by Pat Carli (centre); 
  • North West Science Fair represented by Brienne Olibris (far right). 

At Our Club: May 26, 2015


Dr. Michael Campbell, Director of Research Operations at the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (and adjunct professor of chemistry at Lakehead University) returned today to follow up on the cyclotron project, now completed and ready for inaugural operations in making medical isotopes for radiopharmacy and providing a huge boost to patient care as well as research and business opportunities of major scope in the Thunder Bay area. He is flanked by Rotarian Past-President Kevin Holloway (also on the Regional Foundation Board) and President Irene Kozlowski.

The presentation covered all facets of the project including the science, the bunker site construction with research labs and production areas, and many aspects of the overall impact to the community; an astounding achievement all around. The Q &A period as expected was most informative.
“Dr. Mike” was thanked by David Legge. Is it possible to get him back yet again, that would be wonderful?For more detail, including a virtual tour, check out:


At Our Club: May 19, 2015

imageThe 2015 Rotary 4-Way Essay Contest winners are pictured here: far right is winner Madison Ranta (Grade 12, Churchill), and centre right , runner up Casey Hudyma. They are flanked by President Irene Kozlowski, Brenda Winter, Essay Contest facilitator, and President-elect elect Vonnie Cheng (who delivered an eloquent thank you) . Third place winner Amber Ziebarth (on “My Dream for Equality”) was not able to make it today.
All submissions were outstanding. Brenda Winter, in introducing the winners noted that “having students “write” is becoming unusual.” Rotary is very proud of all 3 winners.

  • Madison’s essay was on the Thunder Bay People Project, an essay coupled with a photography based survey of citizens using chalkboard responses to the question “what are you most thankful for?” She skillfully correlated her results with the 4 way test. Her presentation was very succinct, relevant and charming. Click here to read her essay.
  • Casey’s essay was on NWOSSA: Student Leadership for the Soul. Click here to read her essay.
  • Amber's essay was on equality: My Dream for Equality. Click here to read her essay.


At Our Club: May 12, 2015

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Hannah Smith
Eric Watson
Anton Demetrakopoulos
Jacqueline Dyck

La Verendrye 

Jessica Galarneau
Isabelle Paradis 
Brianna van Rassel
Mathew Sloan

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Superior CVI  

Alexandra Campbell 
Katie Plummer 
Caitlin Mundy 
Teodora Todosia

St. Ignatius

Ashley Andrea
Danielle Andrusky
Laura Liu
Jordan Niemi

Rotarian Rob Grady introduced students from the 4 north end high schools (along with their teacher reps and even a parent), who received distinction awards for volunteerism from the club. Rob read off outstanding contributions for each student. They were suitably thanked by another Rotarian (educator) Past President Laurie Tulloch. Many, many talented kids were honoured with thousands of volunteer hours tallied up. The pictures above include Rob and current club President Irene Kozlowski. Congratulations to all…future and present student leaders.


At Our Club: May 5, 2015


Guardian Angels lead for Thunder Bay Ian Hodgkinson is here pictured with Mayor Keith Hobbs. Mr. Hodgkinson delivered a truly passionate speech on his life and it’s many vicissitudes. Then a wee bit on the Guardian Angels. His lows and highs went the gamut from student days at PACI (under Principle and today’s introducer Art Warwick) to wrestling icon El  Vampiro and rock star in L.A. to a slide downward then back up as a leader of the Guardian Angels, Thunder Bay branch. A more fulsome report can be reached at A hearty round of applause followed after Kevin Holloway’s thoughtful thank you.


imageOn hand today was Jitte Wigbold and her family from The Netherlands; having a wonderful time and reunion with their daughter. Dad Erwin is seen with Mom Ellen, brother Joppe, Jitte; and host parents and family members Leslie Savitsky, and the Philps-Barb, Warren and their daughter Emily. Rotary flags were exchanged and a small ceremony was held on Remembrancer day and Liberation Day in the Netherlands.


At Our Club: April 28, 2015


Hospice Northwest ( was on full display today. Pictured (left to right: Club President Irene Kozlowski; Rotarian Mary Anne Comuzzi..generous supporter and donor; Joan Williams, Executive Director of Hospice Northwest; and Barb Philp of the Rotary family and Hospice Board member).

Warren Philp introduced his wife Barb, who outlined her interest in this fine support organization and details of the “Hike for Hospice” fundraising event at Boulevard Park, Sunday , May 3rd. She challenged the club to form its own team and church goers are ok-ed to participate. Executive Director Joan Williams then provided a clear and cogent overview of the not for profit organization (previously Via Vitae), describing it’s holistic approach to recruiting and training volunteers to assist with clients and families facing death. A brochure was circulated. Mary Anne Comuzzi spoke from her heart on the great value of Hospice Northwest and pledged a very generous sum (she was thanked appropriately). Matthew Diegel thanked the presenters, again verifying the value and need for these services.


At Our Club: April 21, 2015


President Irene Kozlowski is flanked by Jill Zachary (PP, Fort William club and international Rotary facilitator of renown) on her right, and Maria Hudolin (the very first Port Arthur Rotary Club female President as well as recent 5580 Assistant District Governor): all in a festive mood after their presentation today on the new and improved “Rotary Friendship Exchange.”

The idea of international cross-cultural exchanges by small groups of Rotarians is not entirely new, dating back to 1944. The new improved version is being rolled out in earnest at the upcoming District Conference in Duluth, MN. “Team” reciprocal exchanges would be roughly 10-12 in number (Rotarians plus/minus significant others) over 10-14 days, and “Individual” visitor exchanges are also planned (usually over about 7 days). The idea is of courser a win-win admixture of adventure, fun and best of all international experience and friendship generation with like- minded Rotarians around the world. By 2015/16 a Thunder Bay “outbound” exchange with India (Tamul Nadu and new Delhi)is in the planning stages. Full details are welcomed by contacting Jill and Maria. Les femmes were introduced by a smiling Seppo Paivalainen.


At Our Club: April 14, 2015



Confederation College President and Rotarian Jim Madder is pictured with President Irene Kozlowski.
Jim presented at today’s meeting on “the Role of Confederation College in the Northwest; What Does the Future Hold?”
The College provides varied education resources in Thunder Bay and 8 smaller campuses in 70 communities.
The major foci include:

  1. Access and Success (both very important; 1500 students graduate per year and geographic challenges are met)
  2. Aboriginal learning (over 30% of students have an aboriginal background)
  3. Serving Northwestern Ontario, but increasingly drawing from southern Ontario, example the GTA.

Jim explained the importance of “synchronous learning” and the achievements of “upgrading” students (i.e. elevating their successes from lower grade levels to graduation). Key Performance Indicators include 91% employer satisfaction and 89% student found employment..2nd in the province). There is room for more as well. 400 international students (17 countries) find their niches here.
Dr. Madder is understandably enthused. The audience were impressed and a fine Q & A period took us through the hour. Jim was introduced and thanked, suitably, by Art Warwick and Laurie Tulloch respectively.



Rotary Radio Days - CKPR

Did you buy an ad this year for Rotary Radio Days?  If you'd like to take a listen to it, you can find it on this page:


At Our Club: April 7, 2015 


The Honourable Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North and Minister of Northern Development and Mines, returned today for a congenial update on his government and Northern Ontario: a “summary of priorities of his Ministry.” Pictured here with President Elect Vonnie Cheng (who chaired the meeting), Michael confirmed that he “was feeling like a million bucks.” Indeed he spoke with his usual passion and looks great too. A concise overview of many northern projects was of interest; Mr. Gravelle averring that Premier Wynne has made it clear that Northern Ontario is a priority for the government. Of special interest was the recent announcement of a Northern Industrial Electricity rate program as well as a hydro rebate for low-income families. The Ring of Fire was discussed as well where significant movement has occurred; the project is not “just on hold.” Numerous other new mining projects have sprung up, that the public may perhaps be less aware of. The Q and A was relevant. Mr. Gravelle was introduced by Krysta Logozzo and thanked by Cheryl Lamers. We look forward to welcoming you back again next year, Michael.


At Our Club: April 1, 2015 

imagePast District 5580 Governor Roly Turner is flanked by wife Judi (Past President) and current Assistant District Governor Irene Sottile, at today's meeting.
Roly stepped in for current District Governor Jim Ozbun for “the shortest DG speech in history.” Perhaps, but it was concise. His overview of the many club activities and contributions to the community (both in Thunder Bay and internationality) conveyed his respect and pride for the club. This holds also individually for his spouse and ADG Irene Sottile. The address was roundly approved by members and guests.


At Our Club: March 24, 2015 


Dr. Rob Foster, guest speaker is pictured with President-elect Darren Fisk, Jitte Wigbold our Rotary Exchange student from the Netherlands, and good friend Rotarian Warren Philp.

Dr. Foster was our club out-bound Rotary Exchange student for 1983-84. He presented on “ Rotary Youth Exchange-A Personal Perspective.” He made it clear that this experience was life-transformational. A bright lad even to begin with, the time spent in France (Aix-Les-Bains), primarily with one host family, was a further catalyst in forging a career as a respected biologist, scientist, field naturalist and consultant, currently co-owner of Northern Biosciences,” headquartered in Thunder Bay. Along the way he has studied and worked as a Rhodes scholar (Oxford, England), in Africa, the far east and more. The relationships made with many,( of course with his host family) have been lasting and powerful. Our Youth Exchange program was on grand display today. Warren Philp introduced Rob, and he was thanked generously by another old buddy Mike Douglas.


At Our Club: March 17, 2015 


imageDr. Andrew Dean, Dean of Science and Environmental Studies at Lakehead University, addressed the club today and is pictured with President Irene Kozlowski. The 50th Anniversary LU awareness campaign was highlighted in considerable detail. The university hopes to connect with over 30,000 alumni. Many impressive accomplishments were outlined. With 2 campuses (both on lakes—see the emblem) in Thunder Bay and Orillia and top ranked research faculty and students (Professor Dean is particularly keen on encouraging undergrad research students), the future looks bright. In the Lakehead there are now 10 faculties and 86 programs. Dr, Dean was accompanied today by Sarah Jane Walker. He was introduced by Bill Ulakovic and thanked by Brenda Winter. Both were eloquent in their welcome and thanks.

Today Warren Philp explained clearly why he became a Rotarian.


At Our Club: March 10, 2015 


Edward Meijer, Manitoba and NW Ontario Regional Director of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, and Lieutenant-Colonel Barb McManus (CFLC Liaison Officer) announced the bi-annual reward recipients from local organizations (government, business, and educational). The awards recognize civilian employers and academic institutions that have shown support toward employees or students who are also Reservists in the Canadian Armed Forces. The strong relationship between Reservists and their employers was again highlighted.

  1. Best Practices in Employer Support-Public Sector: OPP (Superintendent Ron van Straalen)
  2. Best Practices in Employer Support-Educational: Department of History, LU (Dr. Michel Beaulieu)
  3. Best Practises in Employer Support-Large Organization: Iron Range Bus Line (Eric Lehto)
  4. Best practices in Employer Support-Small Organization-Gerber Construction (Micha Gerba)
  5. Best Practices in Employer Support-Provision of Military Support: Kal Tire Thunder Bay (Blair Scott)


President Irene Kozlowski is pictured with Karl and Kerry Everett (centre) and Fort William Rotarian Jill Zachary following Karl’s presentation on an upcoming District 5580 trip to several sites in Bolivia, June 12-21, 2015. The Everetts hail from the Harbortown Duluth club. Rotarians are invited to join the visit to several project sites side tours to environs such as Machu Picchu. Contact :


A fine and meaningful thank you was delivered by Fred Baker.

At Our Club: March 3, 2015 


Matthew Miedema (on left ) and Jim Kibiuk (on right) flank president Irene Kozlowski after today’s presentation on the (remarkable) topic of capturing (the otherwise obnoxious) methane gas that forms at landfill sites (John St), and recycling this for electricity generation. Matthew is a project engineer with the City of Thunder Bay, and described the process of methane capture (there are 75 vertical extraction wells). Thunder Bay Hydro Project manager Jim then showed how the gas can be then used to generate electricity. The local facility employs local contractors and businesses. 3.2 MW of electricity is generated by harnessing 263 million cubic feet of (harmful green-house gas) methane. This presentation was a welcome eye-opener. The audience was impressed. Mr. Miedema and Mr. Kibiuk were introduced by Krysta Logozzo and thanked by Vonnie Cheng. It is hoped this technology proliferates into the future.

Today, Bill Ulakovic explained why he became a Rotarian... eloquently!!


At Our Club: February 17, 2015 

imageHis Honour Mayor Keith Hobbs (an honourable Rotarian as well), joined us today for his annual and highly anticipated City Address. Mayor Hobbs is pictured here with PA Rotary President Irene Kozlowski.

Mayor Hobbs’ theme was” SIDE BY SIDE”. This motif characterizes his quest to create a caring, inclusive, and welcoming community. His comprehensive overview clearly demonstrated his passion for the city and achieving these goals. Virtually all the bases were covered. The many highlights were balanced with frank discussion on the social ills we are all familiar with. A very lively Q & A period followed. Mr. Hobbs was introduced by an excited President and thanked by his enthusiastic relative-in-law Bob Tomlinson.


At Our Club: February 10, 2015 


Past Presidents of the Club Colin Bruce and Maria Hudolin, told the club members today why they became Rotarians. The passion and continued dedication remains unabated.



At Our Club: February 3, 2015 


Our guest today was Matt Pearson, pictured with President Irene Kozlowski. Matt is GM of Sleeping Giant Brewery Thunder Bay, very much a success story in the independent craft brewery business, and expanding daily. Matt outlined the inside story of the craft brewing business. Sleeping Giant has a big profile in Thunder Bay , and is now tied as highest rated brewery in its class in Ontario. 1500 HL (hectalitres) per year are enjoyed through various outlets, with new brews coming. Sleeping Giant has been a strong partner with Port Arthur Rotary in making Oktoberfest a premier fundraising event.
Matt was introduced by Darren Fisk and thanked by Dave Legge.


At Our Club: January 27, 2015 


Valarie Midgley returned to the club to update us on her burgeoning businesses emanating from “The Whole Nine Yards.” She is pictured with President Irene Kozlowski and Mom Barb, and as well with Irene and Rotarian Bob Tomlinson (displaying unique bibs). Valarie is now specializing in custom clothing for disabled clients with mobility concerns through “Carefree Clothing.” All manner of consultation is available. Her business diversity also includes catering (example-The Pampered Chef), classes and workshops). The smorgasbord can be viewed at Joe McEachern introduced Valarie and Barb, and they were appropriately thanked by Jim Mucklow.


At Our Club: January 13, 2015


The Staal Foundation Pro-Am Golf Tournament was featured today. Pictured are organizer/speakers Scott Smith (a Dorion lad), Mike Tallari, alongside chair, club President-Elect Darren Fisk. The Staal Foundation Open was a huge success in 2014: not just a high level development PGA Tour event (156 players), but a fine impact event for Thunder bay tourism and the economy.

See for full details including the 2015 event summary, at Whitewater GC, July 16-19, 2015. The presentation was comprehensive; statistics were impressive (examples: 1.8 million dollar boost to the TB economy; $133,000 raised for charities (cancer prominent); 12,000 guests; 500 volunteers).

Scott and Mike can be reached at staalopen%23ca|scott and staalopen%23ca|mike respectively. Kevin Holloway handled the introductions and Mike Douglas the thank- yous. Plenty of energy, fun and good promotion.


At Our Club: January 6, 2015


Today’s speaker Scott Garner, Municipal Accessibility Specialist with the City of Thunder Bay, is pictured with Club President Irene Kozlowski.

Click here to see the Accessibility Plan on the City's website. Scott accurately described the magnitude and importance of disabilities in Ontario and Thunder Bay (1.85 million in Ontario) and legal requirements for provision of accessible aid for these residents. The Ontario Disability Act (2001) and later the updated Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act (2005) provide the legal requirements, now really for every business. The topics covered were comprehensive, including : Thunder Bay Advisory Committee activities; Compliance requirements; Information and Communications for the Disabled; Employment; Design of Public Spaces, and Transportation options.

Scott was a most informative speaker; he was introduced by Bob Backstrom and thanked by Leslie Savitsky.


Club Info


Irene Kozlowski, 2014- 2015

Message from the President Click Here 
Past President Reflections Click Here 

Complete this form to join us for a Tuesday lunch meeting.

  • June 9

Visiting Rotarian
Ron Strickland 

Guest Speaker 
Maria Hudolin

Jim Crooks 

  • June 2

Visiting Rotarian
Stephen Margant 

Exchange Student
Jitte Wigbold  

Charlie Bishop 
Joanne Tomlinson 
Genevieve Veltri 
Brienne Olibris 
Diana Sustawenko 
Pat Carli 
Joanne Tulloch 
Barb Philp

  • MAY 26

Guest Speaker
Dr. Michael Campbell 

Upcoming Speakers

  • May 26: Dr. Campbell, Cyclotron
  • Jun 02: Jitte Wigbold, exchange student
  • Jun 09: Maria Hudolin, Guatamala School
  • Jun 16: Directors Reports
  • Jun 23: Irene Kozlowski, final meeting
  • Jun 30: TBD
  • Jul 28:  Ryan Correy, A Purpose Ridden

Reception Desk Roster

Arrange for a substitute if you can't attend.
  • Jun 23: Dave Silliman, Jim Mucklow
  • Jun 30: Brendan Hardick,  Chris Bailey
  • Jul 07: Peter Marchl, Vlad Popescu
  • Jul 14: Art Warwick, Mary-Anne Comuzzi
  • Jul 21: James Madder, Karen Marconi
  • Jul 28: Heather Minthorn, Johnnie DeBakker

Prospective Members

Members are asked to sign into the secure website to check out the new Prospective Members page. 

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