President’s Letter – February 14, 2018

President’s Letter – February 14, 2018

Here we have another week flying by.

Our meeting last week was pretty solid.  Our Sargent-at-Arms, Michael Baker, handled the microphone and some re-introductions of current members.  He will continue this effort through his month with the sash.  Michael Lazarovitz handled the invocation.  Kathleen Blake led our heart-rendering version of “The 59th Street Bridge Song,” better known as “Feelin’ Groovy,” and now y’all have a new nickname for me.

We were a little light on visiting Rotarians and visitors, with Teresa not in attendance to make record.  As was shared before invocation, Tim Minor, also known as The Boatbuilder and Teresa’s father, was experiencing health problems that put Teresa at his bedside.  Let’s keep his health and healing in our thoughts.

The microphone went around for some announcements touching on International Service, the RI Foundation and our own Vocational Service program, which Dean Axelrod is breathing new life into.  We had a couple of fines woven into the slide presentation, but the victims fine-ees were not present.  There were a few more that I hope Kathleen managed to record as she was locum for Teresa.  There was a sprinkling of other shares and we were on to our program.

February is Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month for Rotary, so our speakers will generally have this focus.  Steve Baker introduced our speaker, Paul Chappel.  After attending West Point, serving in Iraq and achieving the rank of Captain, Paul has focused on the concept of World Peace.  Personally, I found his concepts to be absolutely compelling.  If we aren’t taught the language of peace, how can it be spoken?  Paul used history, modern examples and his own insight to present his life work. Anybody else get the feeling we were in the presence of an old soul?  I hope we’ll hear more from Paul in the future.


This week we continue with our theme of Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution with our presenter, Janet Reineck with her presentation, Rwanda:  Rising from the Ashes.  Some years have passed, but the stories of atrocities emerging during the early 1990s were truly stomach-churning.  This update will, hopefully, include stories of improvement and prosperity from a country that experienced the darkest side of inhumanity.  This presentation should be another compelling one, don’t miss out!

Michael Gardner
Rotary Club of Santa Barbara


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