Posted by Barry Smith
Toast to The Queen, Canada and Rotary. President Gordon
Attendance: 18 (including 2 guests, Trudy Tumusime, who may be joining shortly, and Dorothy Evans, guest of Basil and past president of the Markham Sunrise Rotary Club)
- Treasurer Dhanni Ramdeen announced that the “Donate” button had been added to the club’s website and is fully functioning, and encouraged its use by members for smaller donations, such as to replace missing fine monies, but Dhanni requested that dues and larger amounts be eTransferred to her email address, since there is an administration charge associated with the “Donate” button.
- Arthur asked for members’ input with respect to the suggestion that masks be included with the “Warm Hands” donations to the schools; however, the majority in attendance felt that this would be taken care of by the government long before our mitten distribution would take place.
- Al Meredith followed up on his recent email requesting an estimate as to how many auction items are expected by the membership. To date, only 40 items appear to be out there, which is not sufficient for an auction. Barry added that a few organizations, including The Storefront, are interested in partnering with us on the auction, and Nadia expects to be able to get an estimate of the number of gifts that they expect to contribute to Barry by the end of the week. Alan wants an estimate from all members as to expected items for reporting to the Auction Committee that is meeting this coming Tuesday night.
- Alan also suggested that if we did not get enough items to hold an auction this year, he would be agreeable to donating $1,000 to the cause, and Barry also made a similar pledge.
- President Gordon announced that there will be a Board of Directors Meeting this coming Monday at 8:00 pm.
- President Gordon also announced that we will be joining a District Bottle Drive fundraiser to take place on Sept. 26th, 2020, so put your wine and beer bottle aside and encourage your friends and relatives to do the same. We will be collecting them and delivering them to the nearest L.C.B.O. warehouse on Sept. 26th.
- Anthony Lippa agreed to donate $3,000 to the Rotary Auction to assist with making our main fundraiser a success.
 Paul Harris Fellowship Presentations
In the absence of a Charter Party this year, the Paul Harris Fellowship awards that would normally be presented at the Charter Party were presented at this special meeting.
President Gordon called on the first presenter, Past President Barry Smith, to present the first award. Barry gave a rundown of importance of this award, stating that this honour is awarded to Rotarians or Non-Rotarians who have made exceptional contributions to the ideals of Rotary, whether it be by financially supporting the Rotary foundation or by furthering Rotary’s ideals in their personal and/or business lives. Barry went on to tease us with the identity of this first recipient, dropping several clues before revealing that the award being presented to this individual represents the highest level of Paul Harris Fellowship Awards... the Triple Ruby, which is the equivalent of 9 Paul Harris Fellowship Awards. The final clue was that this individual encouraged his employer to make a donation to our club $100,000! The Triple Ruby Paul Harris Fellowship Award was then presented in virtual form to our very own Gerd Wengler!
Dhanni Ramdeen, a member of the Paul Harris Fellowship selection committee, made the next presentation, again dropping clues along the way, including that this past president of our club has been very generous to Rotary and has hosted many social functions over the year. The recipient also faced great challenges during his presidency, including the cancellation of our major fundraising event, the TV Auction, but overcame these challenges and provided invaluable advice to Dhanni during her first year as club treasurer, suggesting that we spend 70% of income and retain 30% for security in the event of another fundraising failure. The Paul Harris Fellowship Award was then presented virtually to Mike Mushet, who is also a holder of multiple Paul Harris Fellowship Awards.
Anthony LippaOur Triple Ruby PHF recipient was then asked to make the next presentation, which was a presentation to a younger member of our club, both in age and number of years with the club, but a member whose contributions to the club have been unbelievable. It was once again emphasized that the Paul Harris Fellowship Award was the highest distinction in Rotary and this recipient was very much deserving of this award. Anthony Lippa was then announced as the recipient and Gerd, having known the Lippa family for some time, assured Anthony that his father would be very proud of the way that Anthony has furthered his father’s great legacy as a generous and cheerful contributor to Rotary and the ideals represented by Rotary. An emotional Anthony gratefully accepted the very well deserved award.
Basil Dias was called upon to make the final presentation, dropping clues as to the identity of the next PHF recipient; however, it was the connection to Scarborough, Muskoka and Bermuda that made it clear that Past President Barry Smith was the next mystery recipient. Basil then went on to detail Barry’s longstanding career as a lawyer and Rotarian, and virtually presented the award to a very surprised Past President Barry, who thanked Basil for the kind introduction and explained the Muskoka reference as being connected to his first published novel, “Twilight Dynasty: Courting Evil”. He also thanked Basil for the shameless plug for Neal and Smith.
Presented Gordon congratulated the four recipients of the prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship Award.
Sgt-at-Arms and PHF recipient, Mike Mushet, requested Happy Thoughts from everyone and most contributed, including:
- Peter Masson was happy to celebrate this 85th birthday, and the club added to the celebration with a stirring rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song.
- Gerd was happy that his football (soccer) club is the best in the world... thanks in large part to a Canadian!
- Dhanni thanked David Seemungal for tech support in getting the Donate button up and running, and thanked Saifoo for serving with Dhanni on the PHF Selection Committee.
- Danny Cassidy was happy with the success of the upcoming Ride To Conquer Cancer fundraiser.
- Dave Hardy was happy that John Ramdeen has joined S.C.R.O.
And there were many more happy thoughts shared by the membership as well as our Rotarian guest.
President Gordon then terminated the Meeting
- Not even in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself entering a Bank, wearing a mask and asking for money.