MINUTES OF  MEETING:  Tuesday, December 6, 2022

                                          Editor:  Dave Andrews


Meeting Called to Order at 6:32 PM: by President Robbie Larocque

Land Acknowledgement - delivered by Peter Hernandez

We respectfully acknowledge that we are hosting this Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood meeting from land within the jurisdiction of Williams Treaties and on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nations, the Anishnaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. This acknowledgement reminds us of our responsibilities to our relationships and the ancestral lands on which we learn, share and live.

ROTARY GRACE: Led by Ted Morrison


Visiting Rotarians and Guests:  Welcome to our guest speaker, Gem Monro


Happy Anniversary to YOU !!! , Bob and Rhonda Stewart on December 13

Happy Birthday to YOU !!! Sharron Morrison on December 20

Happy Birthday to YOU !!! Chidinma Igboanugo on December 23



Sue MacKinnon:

- we have 2 hams and three cakes for sale. Please give Bill Creamer a call and you can get them. First come , first served. Hams $30 and Cakes $25..

Lennis Trotter:

 - Thank you to everyone who came out to the Kids Safety Village over the last 2 weekends for their Christmas At The Village. Lennis was pleased to see Rotarian Laura Carey come out and help out at the Village.  

Shortbread sales. $12 per package. 4 different kinds.

Robbie Larocque:

-- Dec. 10th is the new date for the Feed the Need Concert. Venue change to the Biltmore at 39 King St E in Oshawa. Cost $30/ticket.

- Dec 13th is the club Christmas party at Bella Notte in Whitby. 6pm    $52/person.



 - Jan 3 – Our first meeting back at the Oshawa Golf Club

 - Jan 4 – Rotary Club Board of Directors Meeting at Robbie’s office (and on Zoom)         


Ted Morrison:

 - Please get your money in to Bill Creamer for your hams and cakes sales as soon as you can. We have already paid our suppliers.

Larry Hurren:  

On Friday December 9th from 10am -12pm. the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood will be receiving the 2022 Marten VanHarmelen Volunteer Award from Participation House. Every year in December, PH hosts an Annual Celebration, wherein they celebrate the successes of the past year and recognize the contribution of both their employees, and our very important community partners. The Oshawa Parkwood Rotary club has been a huge supporter of PH, it’s efforts and those it supports for a number of years.  Many of the PH  service recipients have been deeply impacted by our generosity.  Pre-covid the Christmas dinner that we included PH clients and staff was a highlight of many people’s year.  Getting to see old friends and truly celebrate the spirit of the season surrounded by genuinely caring people is something that cannot be replicated.  Michelle and Tracy from PH were very grateful for the opportunity to meet with our club this past summer and share more information about PH and how they’ve overcome the challenges of the last couple of years.  They cannot thank us enough for the unexpected generosity we received as a result of your invite.   

So once again, they thanked us so very much for our generosity.  It’s because of service groups like the Oshawa Parkwood Rotary, that PH are able to fulfill their commitment ensuring that everyone involved with PH has the opportunity to experience full citizenship. The award will be presented on Zoom on Friday morning.


SGT AT ARMS:   Tim Dwyre

ACE OF SPADES: Winner was President Robbie who drew the 5 of Diamonds. Thank you to Dr Larry Hurren for providing the toothpaste and dental floss.


Dave Andrews – completed his 29th delivery of hams and cakes today to our past District Governor Jim Louttit in Pickering (half way between downtown Toronto and Oshawa) .

Sue MacKinnon – got her Christmas parcel out to Vancouver to her son. Her Daughter , however wants a big present when she moves into her new home in February.

John Kellam – had lunch today with 14 of his high school friends  (from 1968) . Lots of memories.

Larry Hurren – Very happy to have been at the Kids Safety Village with Kay this past weekend to see the happy kids with santa and the music. Thank you to everyone for our continuing support for the Kids Safety Village .

Ted Morrison – Was very happy . He had 2 happy bucks . Just happy tonight.

 Tim Dwyre – A happy 5 bucks –  He is very happy to have 3 Ukranians  move in  - a grandmother 61, a mother 41 and a boy 8. They are helping Tim and Tim is helping them. Well done Tim.      


Introduced by Dave Andrews, Gem Munro has devoted his life and career to improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged people across Canada and abroad.

Pursuit of this objective carried him into residence in unfortunate communities across most of Canada, before carrying him overseas.

He is presently a Director of Amarok Society, a registered Canadian charity that provides education programs to the very poor in Bangladesh.  Gem travels and talks to Rotary clubs and other service organization world-wide , raising funds, when he is not on siite in the schools in the slums of Bangladesh.

As well, Gem is a bestselling author and artist whose new book, And Where the Wind Spun Them, follows the epic adventures of a resourceful girl and her courageous little brother who struggle, by wit and grit, to overcome the perils and extreme disadvantages of their lives. (Sale of his books is a major fundraiser for Amarok Society.)

For their work, Gem and his wife, Dr Tanyss Munro, were recipients of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals.

In 2005, Dr. Tanyss and Gem Munro packed up their 4 children and moved from Vancouver, Canada to Dhaka, Bangladesh. They’d been invited by an international organization to make improvements to the country’s education system. But as they worked within the existing school system, they noticed thousands of children who weren’t in school at all. It turns out the biggest threat to education in the developing world isn’t a deficient school system; it’s that even those deficient schools are out of reach for millions of children.  One in three children get no education in Bangladesh. A chronic global challenge needed an innovative approach: teach mothers to teach others. The first school for mothers opened in January of 2006, in the slums.

Each of our schools teaches 25 mothers. Each of those mothers teaches at least 5 children. After her lesson in our school, a mother goes home. Later in the day, at a time that accommodates her students' needs, she starts her micro-school. 5 children will sit around her: on the bed, on the footpath, wherever there's room. These girls and boys may be her own children, but will also include others who live nearby. She teaches the same children at the same time every day.

Using teaching methods she learned in her class, such as songs, games, and stories, she teaches her students what she's learning at school. We're providing the quality elementary education children are being denied. We teach:

  • Literacy in their own language;
  • English, and English literacy (English is the language of opportunity in South Asia);

  • Numeracy and math;

  • Introductory sciences.

After participating in a mother-teacher's micro-school, children are able to enter into high school. From there, Amarok Society children have found their way into the government-funded universities. Aramok Society monitors the progress of the mothers and also of the students.

In addition to the subjects they'll teach their children, mothers also learn to teach. This includes developing their own educational resources (such as stories and games). We also provide workshops for mothers to learn topics that are priorities for them. These have included:

  • Health and nutrition;

  • Childcare;

  • Tailoring and sewing;

  • Women's rights;

  • Financial literacy and small business management;

  • Conflict resolution;

  • COVID-19 safety.

Once education feels truly accessible, it spreads. The children are so excited by what they're learning that they informally teach it to their friends, and almost double the total number of children we reach. If you stood outside an Amarok Society school, you'd think you were looking at just another corrugated tin shack in a sprawling city slum. But, inside, 25 mothers are transforming their lives.

Child Labour is a real problem. As child labour drops in Bangladesh, child prostitution rises. The mothers work around the child’s work schedule and teach in their homes, when the children are not working. Gem showed three examples of children and what a huge difference they are making in their lives. At nay one time, there are 20,000 children being taught by the mothers in the slums of Bangladesh. They are also working in Pakistan and Nigeria.

An Amarok Society school is where women find their true strength, and destitute mothers become community leaders.

As a thank you to our Rotary club, Gem will be sending an e-copy of his book “And Where the Wind Spun Them” . He hope sthat we will subscribe to others in the series ( a fundraiser for Amarok Society).

For more info, please go to their website: https://www.amaroksociety.org

Our Director of International Service , Bob Koski thanked Gem for his eloquent presentation.

President Robbie closed the meeting at 8:00 pm



DEC 10 – Concert to Feed The Need – Biltmore Theatre, 39 King St East, Oshawa : 2 pm to 4:30 pm. Hosted by 11 Rotary Clubs in Durham Region. Proceeds to Feed The Need Durham. For tickets, please see https://tickets.biltmoretheatre.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=76

DEC  13 – Regular Weekly Meeting 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM .   NO MEETING AT THE OSHAWA GOLF CLUB

                                                             SOCIAL NIGHT – HOLIDAY PARTY - SPOUSES INVITED

                                                              At Bella Note, 3570 Brock St N, Whitby, ON L1N 3J4

DEC 30 –  BINGO – RED BARN – Matinee  -11 AM – FRIDAY – Linda Porritt, Ted Morrison, Sharron Morrison,

                                                                                                         Lennis Trotter

JAN  3 – Regular Weekly Meeting 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM . Oshawa Golf Club   

                                                            - Speaker: Debbie Morgan (Rotary Club of Whitby-Sunrise) and

                                                              Coordinator of Partners In Service


JAN 10 – Regular Weekly Meeting 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM . Oshawa Golf Club   

                                                            - Speaker: Jean Claude Mbazumutima – Markham-Sunrise Rotarian Jean-Claude Mbazumutima discusses his project to build a fresh clean water supply system for a primary school of 1600 in his native Burundi. The school currently has no fresh water system. See: https://portal.clubrunner.ca/1136/Stories/2022-burundi-school-fundraiser

JAN 17 – Regular Weekly Meeting 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM . NO MEETING AT THE OSHAWA GOLF CLUB

                                                             SOCIAL NIGHT – SPOUSES INVITED

JAN 24 – Regular Weekly Meeting 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM . Oshawa Golf Club   

                                                            - Speaker: Peter Taylor, President - Friends of the Second Marsh­­­ 

                                                                See: https://www.secondmarsh.ca/

JAN 31 – Regular Weekly Meeting 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM . Oshawa Golf Club   

                                                            - Speaker: John Henry, Chair , Region of Durham – His Annual Address

                                                               to our Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood



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