2017-2018 District Governor Rick Istead


Published first Friday of the Month.              Submissions due Wednesday prior.             Email Editor: Charlene Bearden






District Governor Message
And the Journey...


I’m not sure who first coined the phrase, “time flies when you’re having fun”, but here I find myself already 5 months into my term as your District Governor and it seems like it was only a week ago when I began my journey. As of the time of writing, this my 6th DG article, I have completed 44 out of 47 Rotary Club visits plus met up with the U of Calgary Rotaract Club. What an amazing experience it has been to have a conversation with so many great Rotarians and to learn about all of the things our clubs are doing to “make a difference” in their local communities and around the world. I want to personally thank all of the clubs for their kind hospitality and making me feel so welcome.

November was Foundation Month, a time each year when all Rotarians are asked to really think about all of the great things this organization has accomplished in its mission of “doing good in the world” over the past 100 years and to renew our financial commitment. As I mentioned last month, the Foundation has invested more than $3.0 billion US on life-changing sustainable projects. And to think it all started with a donation of $26.50 back in 1917! I again want to thank our Rotarians and their families and friends who have contributed to and will continue to support the Foundation whether it be through the Annual Fund, End Polio Campaign, the Endowment Fund or the 6 Areas of Focus.

Based on the survey results we have received, our Membership: Priority #1 workshop held back on November 18th was a success. We had close to 100 participants attend in one of our four centres, Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer representing 70% of the Clubs in our District. A big thanks go out to our Membership Attraction & Engagement Committee co-chaired by DGN Christine Rendell and IPDG Neil Berg, for organizing and delivering a first-class program. I know they are busy putting together the Membership Tool Kit which I feel confident will help all of our clubs with attracting new members, engaging those members and most importantly retaining them. Membership is our #1 internal priority!

December is Disease Prevention & Treatment month. Rotary and its partners have been working for over 30 years now to eradicate polio, a debilitating and deadly disease that once affected over 350,000 people every year. This year to date we’re looking at only 15 cases in three endemic countries, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. That’s a 40% reduction in the number of cases since last year! So, we really are very close, but since our end game is zero cases, we need to continue to support our countdown to history - the elimination of polio! Disease results in misery, pain and poverty for millions of people worldwide. Rotary believes that good health care is everyone’s right, yet we have 400 million people in the world who can’t afford or don’t have access to basic health care. Supported by the Rotary Foundation’s investment of $65 Mio. Rotarians have hundreds of health projects underway around the world at any given time. Besides polio, Rotarians are working diligently to combat diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and diabetes!

December also means Christmas and the holiday season is upon us. For many, it’s a happy time when families and friends come together to celebrate, renew acquaintances, make new friends, to give gifts and to be thankful for what we have. For others, it’s a sad and lonely time, so let’s think about the less fortunate and do our part to help others where and when we can. December is also a transition month, where on one hand we reflect on the year that just flew by and on the other hand we look ahead to what next year will bring.

From my Rotary family to your Rotary family I wish you a safe and happy holiday season, a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and peaceful year ahead as we continue our journey of Rotary: Making a Difference.


See you in the New Year!

Rick Istead

Rotary District Governor 2017-2018

Service Reports
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Letter from Geneva

Sarah Pousette, Global Grant Scholarship recipient from District 5360, doing her MA in International Economics with a concentration in Development Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland, writes about her semester. She is supported by the Rotary Club of Calgary-Heritage Park and Genève-Internationale).

For more information on District 5360’s Global Grant Scholarship, visit http://www.rotary5360.ca/page/global-scholarship-funding.


Dear Rotarians in District 5360:
With one month to go until the end of my third semester studying at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, I have finally finished all my midterm exams and papers and am looking towards the end of the semester here. This year I am taking classes on Impact Evaluation for Development Programs, International Trade, Migration and Natural Resource Economics and Sustainable Development. It has been a nice change to be more focused in on the policy related components of my program, rather than the theoretical components.
As Class Representative for the International Economics Program I was busy during September and start of October organizing welcome events for both incoming and returning students to the Institute and now have begun planning a ski trip into the Swiss Alps for all the students in the program, many of whom will be skiing for the first or second time ever. Besides planning events, I have also been working with the department head of our program to change and add some courses for students in our program to make it a better experience, particularly introducing a longer and for academic credit math course for students that will give them a better leg up in being successful in their program.
I was invited to the Rotary Club Geneva International meeting at the beginning of November with the two other Global Grant Scholars studying in Geneva, Christine and Heejin. We had the opportunity to give a short introduction of ourselves and tell the club a bit about what we were studying. Included is a picture of myself with the Christine and Heejin (both from the United States) and the new president of the host club, Matthew Kilgarriff. It was exciting to meet with both of the other scholars because, in fact, Heejin is a second-year student at the Graduate Institute whom I told about the Rotary Global Grant Scholarship last year. She then went to her local Rotary club in the United States and they were able to put together a scholarship for her this year. It has been very cool to see other students being able to do their programs because of the scholarship. On November 30th we are invited back to the club for another visit, I am looking forward to meeting more club members and having another chance to engage with them then.
Sarah Pousette
Photo Caption:
President Matthew Kilgarriff, Rotary Club of Genève Internationale; Sarah Pousette; Christine and Heejin, Global Grant Scholars
Letter from Heidelberg
Jay Wang, Global Grant Scholarship recipient from District 5360, doing his MSc in Neuroscience at the University of Heidelberg, hosted by the Rotary Club of Heidelberg-Schloss, writes to us from Germany. Since sending this letter, Jay travelled to Australia to take up lab rotation at the University of Melbourne, where he will stay for a few months. He has already been in touch with Rotarians in his new temporary home.
For more information on District 5360’s Global Grant Scholarship, visit http://www.rotary5360.ca/page/global-scholarship-funding.
10 October 2017
Dear Rotarians in District 5360
In the past year, through many roadblocks and cultural shocks, I have been incredibly lucky to work in two of the best neuroscience research labs in Heidelberg and the world. On top of which, I have presented at two local conferences, attended many more, and had the opportunities to attend a few Nobel lectures.
In Dr. Hannah Monyer’s lab, I have been working with Dr. Kevin Allen, who turned out to also be Canadian. The research involves learning and memory associated with spatial orientation, one of the earliest functions lost in Alzheimer’s patients. We implant microdrives into mice brain and connect it to a computer that will track both their movements in a maze and their brain cell activities. The two regions of the brain we insert probes into are known to provide location information and internal grids for the animals, whose discoverer won the Nobel Prize in 2014.
Thus far, we have confirmed hypotheses on how the grid cells rotate with changing head directions and even rotating environment to help animals orientate. On the other hand, we are still trying to understand how this information is recorded. In the second lab, I worked with Dr. Thomas Kuner, first on stereotactic neurosurgeries and micro-injections of viral tracers to identify brain structures; then on clear-brain protocols to make an entire brain transparent for whole-brain 3D scanning of structures and their associated functions (see pictures).
In terms of social activities, I have attended several local Rotary meetings and events. Although all proceedings have been carried out in German, it has been a pleasure to learn about German arts, culture, politics and history through the club, and practising German, which turned out to be a very difficult language. I have been involved in organizing Master’s-wide multi-disciplinary scientific retreat and the buddy program for new coming students. Furthermore, I am on the organizing team for the German Neuroscience Olympic competition for high school students, which sends one student to the world championship every year. Lastly, as a continuation of my support for cancer fundraisers, I volunteered for both the Run for Cancer Research and the Row against Cancer events.
As of plans for the next few months, I have accepted a research position in Australia working on a new aspect of the spatial cells and sensory perception. Currently, I’m still waiting for the visa application to be approved. After this rotation, I would like to continue my research in the Alzheimer’s field in Japan.
Jay Wang
Where are the Women ?


Seriously! Where are the women in Rotary?

In our District, we are still at around 28% women and that number has not moved for a while. Diversity provides a rich environment and many of you experience this in business every day. Where there is diversity there is a vibrant culture and wealth of ideas.

So how do we get more women to join Rotary? Of course, you can just ask them. I would not have joined or contemplated joining Rotary had it not been for a colleague of mine who asked me to play Carols on my violin for their Rotary meeting just before Christmas. I always thought it was a man’s club. Well, it isn’t and has not been a man’s club legally since 1988.

And where are we now? Still at 28%. We’re doing something about this in Calgary this year. We believe that some women are interested in taking action in their community. So what better way to get the word out about Rotary than by organizing volunteering events? No, we’re not asking you, Rotarian, to come out to each one of these or even to attend any of these. We’re not asking for your money either.

We’re asking you to talk about it! We need the POWER of the Rotary NETWORK to get the word out that there are opportunities for helping right here in our own community. It’s Women in Rotary who are organizing the events but it’s women in our community that will come out and help and in the process learn about what Rotary is all about.

Will you help? Will you forward these volunteering opportunities to your friends and invite them to help out? We certainly hope so because it’s really easy to just forward an email or share an event on Facebook.

Our first event on November 2nd was all about feeding the elderly in the East Village. Thanks to Bruce Williams (RC Calgary) for organizing all the food and Tim Heaton (RC Calgary) for organizing the entertainment. We had an amazing crew – the Dream Team – who prepared, served the food and engaged with the seniors. Five people on our team were NOT Rotarians! We packed Calgary Food Bank hampers at the Village Square Leisure Centre Community HUB on November 17th and once again we had non-Rotarian women helping out and loving it! Our next event will be preparing meals at the Alcove Recovery House.

Watch for our year-end event on May 31st at the Coast Plaza Hotel where you will be completely inspired by Celeste Mergens (watch her TED talk) who started the Days for Girls International organization. Many Rotary projects now include a Days for Girls component as part of their WASH projects.

All new initiatives take time and our biggest dream is that we will inspire more women to have a look at Rotary and perhaps one day make the decision to join this amazing organization.

If you have ideas for volunteering in the community, please pass them along and we’ll do the rest!


Yours in Rotary



Shelterbox Current Deployments
Current Deployments
Bangladesh: Conflict and flooding
In Bangladesh, ShelterBox has been working closely with Rotary Clubs from District 3282 to help support around 3,000 families following widespread flooding in the north of the country. Local Rotarians have been invaluable in providing logistical support and access to areas of Bangladesh that would have been extremely difficult to reach without Rotary’s network of contacts throughout the country.
ShelterBox also has a team in Bangladesh working to understand more about the needs of the Rohingya people, 600,000 of whom have been forced across the border into Bangladesh since August. This is the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world.
Somaliland: Drought
Severe drought in Somaliland has affected an estimated 766,000 here since November 2016. This is a community of nomadic cattle farmers, and the drought has killed livestock and brought families into urban areas in search of water. As the drought continues, ShelterBox is working closely with ActionAid to ensure that families have safe shelter throughout Somaliland. ShelterBox has supported around 500 families with ShelterKits, including tarpaulins and kitchen sets.
Caribbean: Hurricane Maria and Irma
In early September, Category 5 Hurricane Irma caused devastation in the Caribbean. Less than two weeks later Hurricane Maria made landfall, bringing with it a new wave of destruction. ShelterBox is currently coordinating the distribution of aid across six countries in the region. They have a variety of aid in the Caribbean and can tailor the response to best support different communities. ShelterBox is working with Rotary across the region and with partner organizations like Habitat for Humanity and national disaster services.
Additional Responses
ShelterBox is also continuing to work in Iraq due to the ongoing conflict in the region. With the help of partners working in Iraq, in 2017 ShelterBox has provided essential aid and shelter to more than 6,000 families.
ShelterBox teams are also providing emergency shelter to support families affected by the Lake Chad Basin Crisis in Niger, Cameroon and Chad. Since 2009, Boko Haram has been waging an insurgency in Northern Nigeria, affecting around 30 million people.
The conflict in Syria has now entered its seventh year. ShelterBox is working with partner organizations in the region to support affected families. ShelterBox has helped 10,000 families so far in 2017 and has distributed 998 ShelterKits in November alone.
ShelterBox Canada – 159 Jane Street, Office 2, Toronto, ON M6S 3Y8
E: support@shelterboxcanada.org  T: 647.352.1930 www.shelterboxcanada.org
ShelterBox and Rotary are official project partners in international disaster relief. ShelterBox is a registered charity independent of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation
Motivation: Where does your's come from?

The Life Changing Power of Inspirational, Motivational, Uplifting or Entertaining Quotes

Many Rotary club, business, education, association, religious or community group leaders often start or finish meetings with a quote that provides insight into the topic at hand. Speakers and writers include them in articles or keynote addresses.
In 2015 I wrote an original quotes post for BTRB that is one of the most read. This post follows with new material that may inspire, motivate or inspire you. It is divided into categories. They are for you to use personally or for club social media content.
To comply with the four-way test I have to admit my original post for this month was going to be a followup of our District 5360 Membership Priority #1 seminar with Jim Adams. As promised, he delivered some great ideas for club growth.
Instead, I came down with the flu. I mentioned that I was dying to my wife and received little response. Just a cold, steely eyed glare. So I followed the path of least resistance (cut and paste) and compiled todays post. Stay tuned for a future post highlighting Jim’s content.  

Looking for easy-to-organize Christmas service projects? Check out the December 2016 post.

81 Amazing Acts of Kindness That Will Change Your Life and Someone Else's

Encounters with Canada

What is Encounters with Canada?
Encounters with Canada, which was first established in 1982, is our country’s largest and foremost youth forum.  For each of 26 weeks of the school year, approximately 100 to 130 teens from across Canada, aged 14 to 17 years, come to Ottawa, where they discover their country through each other, learn about Canadian institutions, meet famous and accomplished Canadians, explore exciting career options, and develop their civic leadership skills while living an extraordinary bilingual experience.  Since 1982, well over 100,000 Canadian youth have experienced this program.  Students register on the basis of the career option which they wish to explore.  The following options are available:
Arts & Culture
Canada Remembers
Communications & Social Media
Democracy & Youth
Experience Canada (a program designed for youth of recent immigrant families)
First Responders
Global Affairs
Law & Our Justice System
Medicine & Health
Science & Technology
Science & Ecology
Sports & Fitness
Tech & Food
Vimy: Canada’s Coming of Age
Each week approximately one half of the program is focused on tours, speakers, and activities related to the career theme of the week.  The other half of the program is consistent from week to week and includes activities such as a tour of parliament, attendance at Question Period, tours of the National Capital Region, visits to various museums, a remembrance activity at the national cemetery, and speakers selected to introduce youth to our country's diverse cultures, heritage, beliefs, contemporary issues, institutions and leaders.  This serves to open their eyes to the vast potential of their own lives, as well as that of their communities, their nation and the world. Providing a platform where Canada’s youth voices are valued and heard leads to a strengthening of these voices, of youth leadership in Canada, and of our nation, as a whole. In addition to these activities, every evening, students select from a wide variety of activities which are focused more on social and entertainment lines. 
Encounters with Canada is one of a number of programs of Historica Canada and is recognized and endorsed by the Ministry of Education in every province and territory. The program also receives funding from Canadian HeritageVeterans Affairs and others. Participation in the Encounters with Canada program is also officially recognized by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program.
Family Trees: Not just for Families anymore

The Rotary District 5360 Family Tree confirms our roots are strong and the branches continue to grow.

There are also 21 Interact Groups in the District - Click for the Report - and a new Community Corps has recently been Chartered in High River.
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Warm Christmas Greetings


Heartfelt greeting from the Rotary Club of High River

Rotarians and other volunteers light up High River's George Lane Park in time for the Santa Claus Parade.
There was no snow for the parade on December 1, 2017, but this photo captured the spirit of Christmas.



Ian H.S. Riseley


ROTARY CLUB OF Sandringham
Victoria, Australia


Seventy-two years ago, the United Nations was founded "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war ... [and] to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors." Despite those worthy aspirations, and generations of investment in achieving them, the "scourge of war" is still with us: Last year, more than 102,000 people died in 49 armed conflicts around the world. Some of those conflicts were in their fifth decade or beyond. Terrorism, intolerance, and extremism; the refugee crisis; and environmental degradation are now global challenges.

Collectively, we seem further than ever from achieving the goals that were set with such ambition and optimism in 1945. Yet hope endures, as long as there are people willing to work for a more peaceful future – not only through their governments but also beside them and beside each other. Today, Rotary is better placed than ever to have a real and lasting impact for peace: through our peace-focused programs, such as Rotary Peace Fellows, and through every area of our service. Water, sanitation, health, education, and economic development are all interrelated and part of the complex interactions that can lead to conflict – or avert it. To best leverage our service in all these areas, and to maximize their impact for peace, it is essential to understand these interactions and plan our service accordingly.

For these reasons, we have scheduled a series of six presidential peacebuilding conferences between February and June in Canada, Lebanon, the UK, Australia, Italy, and the United States. These conferences will focus not on peace but on peacebuilding: We will share ways that we can work to build peace through the service of our Rotary clubs and districts. Five of the one-day conferences will illuminate the connections between peace and another area of focus. The first conference, in Vancouver, B.C., will explore the link between peace and another sphere of great concern to us in Rotary: environmental sustainability. You can view the full schedule and register at www.rotary.org/presidential-conferences.

The goals are simple: to help Rotarians find new ways to advance peace through their service, to learn from experts, and to strengthen our abilities to build peace. It is my hope and belief that these conferences will help us move closer to a more peaceful world, through Rotary: Making a Difference.

Newsletters of Interest

Russell Hampton

Email eBulletin Editor: Charlene Bearden


Rotary International District 5360

Monthly DG eBulletin

Published the first Friday of the month.

Submissions due the Wednesday prior.




Upcoming Events
AG Check-in
Jan 09, 2018
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
District Board Mtg.
Jan 12, 2018
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Lethbridge PETs - President Elect Training
Jan 13, 2018
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Calgary PETs - President Elect Training
Jan 27, 2018
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM