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Rotary Club of Thunder Bay - Port Arthur

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Navigator Nov 23, 2010

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Meeting of  NOV 23, 2010


President David Sillman presiding,  Photos by Kevin Holloway.

Welcoming at the door from the left were Laurie Tulloch and Fred Baker   


New Member Induction
District Governor Roly Turner and President David Silliman inducted new member Johnny DeBakker to our club.


From the left District Governor R Turner shares a moment with Johnny DeBakker while Past President David Legge outlines Johnny DeBakkers long history with our club as one of the founding members of the Thunder Bay Rotaract chapter.  Welcome to the club Johnny!
President Dave Silliman pins New Rotarian Johnny De BakkerFrom the left: President Dave Silliman, newly inducted Rotarian Johnny De Baker, District President Roly Turner and Past President David Legge

 Here is the text of the biography of new member Johnny DeBakker as presented by David Legge:

Johnny was born in Thunder Bay, and except for a three-year absence to attend university in Wales, he has resided on Winnipeg Avenue. John graduated from the French Immersion programs at Ecole Gron Morgan and Hammarskjold High School and represented his classmates as valedictorian at both of levels. He attended Lakehead University from 2003 – 2007 where he earned his Bachelor of Arts and served as Vice-President – Finance of the student government. This past spring, Johnny completed his law degree, graduating with honours from Cardiff University in the UK. Johnny was a founding member of the Rotaract Club of Thunder Bay, where he filled the positions of Sergeant at Arms and President. He was a catalyst who not only helped establish the club, but made it into a vibrant organization, and never missed an opportunity to be involved in such projects as selling sand bags, hosting spaghetti suppers, organizing the St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl, packing and delivering Boxes of Hope, and planning the Joe Vanderwees Christmas party. Along with Katie Ischkin, Johnny played a significant role organizing and leading the Rotaract Leadership Camp. He travelled to Guatemala twice with members of the Fargo Moorhead Rotary Club to help in the construction of two schools. Johnny attended the District Conference for Rotary District 5580 in Detroit Lakes, MN in 2005. John has become particularly well known and respected for the annual fundraising event that he and Katie organized in 2002. Since that time, the Ischkinakker Shaker has raised in excess of $50 000.00 for local charities, including a gift of $5 000.00 to the building of the Rotary (shelter) House. In 2009, Johnny received the Citizen of Exceptional Achievement Award, a distinct honour for this young man. With his extra time, Johnny became an entrepreneur in 2008 with the creation of Mariday Enterprises. The apparel and giftware line bearing the I ‘heart’ TBay slogan originated to promote pride in our city. The t-shirts are being worn world wide. Johnny is currently continuing his studies in law, while working at the Richard Courtis Law Firm. His enthusiasm for his community and a sincere desire to help people will continue as he commits his energy to being an active member of the Port Arthur Rotary Club.

Special Recognitions

Commendations were awarded to Past President David Legge for his successful year 2009-2010 by District Governor Turner


Paul Harris Fellowships were awarded to two of our Rotarians by District Governor Roly Turner:
Don Smith is awarded a Paul Harris PinAlex Matiece is awarded a Paul Harris Pin

 Guest of Honour and Guest Speaker — District President Roly Turner 


Roly giving his speechPresident Dave Silliman thanking the GovernorRotarian Judi Turner enjoying one of the many funny moments of Roly's (her husband) speech



Here is Roly's prepared text for his address to our club on Nov 23:


It is good to be here in Thunder Bay and it is good to be in District 5580. Trust me we have a great district but you already know that. When Judi and I visit with fellow Governors most are overwhelmed by the geographic size and perceive it as a real challenge to govern and travel to each club visit. I see the Club Visits as does every Governor before me, they have all told me that the best part of this job is driving throughout our district and meeting the Rotarians that make it great --- You Guys. Thank you for the warm welcome.   

And what those fellow Governors see as a challenge I see as one of our real strengths’.  From the Great Plains of North Dakota across the rolling hills of Minnesota to the rugged coast of Lake Superior it shares with Wisconsin and Northwestern Ontario our culture changes like the landscape, subtle but effective. Most of our Clubs are somewhat, or maybe definitely isolated from others, like the pioneers here, so that each grows independent and strong allowing us to share skills and ideas. In many districts that have a high concentration of clubs in a relatively small area it is the District that initiates many of their service projects be they community or international. In 5580 we have a history of Individual Clubs Initiating Projects that identify the needs of their own community and in the developing world; many form partnerships with Rotary Clubs there to identify and complete projects that meet the needs of the international community thereby mirroring 2010-11 RI President Ray Klinginsmith’s theme Building Communities Bridging Continents. Over the years a number of district club partnerships have developed to expand those projects into programs that now ensure the expansion and longevity of their initiatives. Yes we have a great District. 






This Year Rotary International is under the leadership of a very laid back and approachable country lawyer from Kirksville Missouri. I call him a country lawyer since he calls himself a cowboy who lives by the code of cowboy logic, [use example, falling off horse, drink upstream from the herd]. Ray Klinginsmith has chosen to continue the progress of the last two RI Presidents and embrace the core of The Rotary Foundations Future Vision Strategic Plan’s Six Areas of Focus: Peace and conflict prevention/resolution, Disease prevention and treatment, Water and sanitation, Maternal and child health care, Basic education and literacy, and Economic and community development. This at first seems as if we are spreading our service too thin but all these areas are deeply intertwined and have been the primary focus of Rotary for some time now. District 5580 can be very proud of the inroads our Clubs and volunteers have made here. Ray also challenges clubs to becomeBigger Better and Bolder and has provided someincentives to help us. These I have brought to your Board of Directors.

In my meeting with your President and Directors we discussed my goals for the district so I will only touch on them here. No matter what I say about the Goals of President Ray and the Foundation or even my own goals I must stress that notwithstanding all this, individual Rotary Clubs are autonomous and free to set their own path and goals. Rotary International, The Rotary Foundation, and District 5580 are here to serve our Clubs and Rotarians by helping   you access the programs of Rotary  like RYLA, Interact, Rotaract, and Youth Exchange to mention a few. Yes we are constantly asking for your financial support for the Foundation but keep in mind the Foundation gives back 50% of your contributions to the Annual Program Fund in the form of District Share dollars that support programs like Group Study Exchange, Ambassadorial Scholarship and Matching Grants for Humanitarian Projects and some community service projects by way of a District Simplified Grant all of which you have an opportunity to benefit from. The remaining 50% goes to the World Fund that you can access for additional funds your humanitarian projects. So by giving with one hand we have an opportunity to take back with the other. The Annual program Fund is on a tough playing field competing with other TRF programs like Polio Eradication, and Rotary approved programs like Shelter Box. My goal for our district is I believe modest $100.00 every Rotarian every year. If each of us gave just $100.00, that’s Twenty Eight Cents each day District 5580 would be giving TRF $325,000.00 (May 2010 membership 3253) and three years from now we would take back $162,000.00 for District sponsored programs.  Back to Shelter Box. I am just so proud of our Clubs and individual Rotarians in for their incredible response to the recent earth quake in Haiti who responded with donations nearing $80,000.00   Thank you 5580 for that, we have some very strong ties to Haiti. It No-Be-Cheap to be a Rotarian but we are in a Very Generous District.  I’m almost afraid now to even mention the End Polio Now Campaign.  But we are Sooo Close, The final Inch and I am sorry to say that we can’t stop now or we will loose all we have gained in what is likely the most ambitious disease eradication program ever. My Goal for Polio Dollars? (Bill and Melinda Gates Challenge 355M to match our 200M) The same as TRF $2,000.00 District wide, but at least $1,000.00 from each club so I have asked the larger clubs for more, just to even the playing field. And we are asking you to; Rather than dig further into your own pockets, Engage the public via a club fundraiser. With Polio virtually unheard of here this would be a good way to tell North Americans that it is still destroying lives elsewhere. My goal for TRF and Polio are just a bit loftier than the total of the club pledges but we are not far off the mark so thank you so much for that. Enough already on money!  Membership:  We unfortunately lost one club last year but notwithstanding this have been making a slow but steady gain in membership district wide, up about 22 members from this time last year for a district total of  3253 (May 2010). If every Club could increase membership by one (net) new member the district would see a healthy gain with high quality members and improved retention and we still have opportunities, I believe to form at least one new club. So let’s not deny any worthy citizens the opportunity to serve, introduce them to the most effective service organization in the world. And please if you know of any possible opportunity to form a new club let me or membership Larry Riley know and we will pursue it.

Interact and Rotaract: Something I failed to mention earlier is that Rotary is about to identify a  Fifth Avenue of Service as “New Generations” to focus on long standing programs like Interact and Rotaract, Youth and Group study Exchanges, Ambassadorial Scholarships, RYLA and of course the New Generation Rotary Clubs. Our focus on all these youth and young adult programs keeps Rotary alive and relevant and I believe is the future of our membership growth. We need to nurture all these programs.

District History ; I need everyone’s help with this one. The older I get the more I appreciate History and the most current History available that I know about is “Rotary As We Saw It” Written by PDG Max Moore first published in 1962 then updated and published in 1975. I would really like to initiate a project to bring the history of District 5580 up to date. To do so I need a whole lot of help. First I am issuing a Challenge to each and every club to prepare or update a concise   history.  Then I need to identify a district wide resource group, to organize the whole thing, some qualified editors and authors to make  it all come together, then an editor, publisher, and printer that can provide a finished product at a reasonable cost. I see it as a five year plan from implementation to finished product. So what do you think? How many would like to see a nice printed Book complete with pictures of our history. (I know that’s pretty old fashioned) I think it is do-able but I need some Long Term Commitments. If anyone is interested in being involved in any capacity please let me know.

Rotary magazine: Now, available electronically. Or receive only one copy to a household with more than one Rotarian. Do You  Recycle the magazine? Waiting rooms in clinics, garages,etc.

District Conference: Grand Forks April 27 to 30 2011 Let The Forks Be with You

Rotary International Conference:  May 21 to 25 2011

So lets all continue   Building Communities Bridging Continents

Thank You

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