Almost Two Speakers WVRC on 9 November
HARLAN LEWIS started us off with the Pledge. Next, that well-known duo, LENNY FRIEDMAN and PP JIM DOWNIE, led us in America. One of our newer members, SHERRY DEWANE, provided the Invocation the Seven Generation Rule, by Indian Tribes of the Northeast:
Every decision made of each of us has an incumbent obligation to consider the prayers and intentions of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. Every decision made by each of us has an incumbent/sacred obligation to consider our own hopes, prayers and dreams, and that every decision has a sacred obligation to the hopes, dreams and life’s potentials of our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Thank you, SHERRY an excellent perspective.
Were there any guests? Yes, SEEMA PATEL of Rotaract brought along their Fund-Raising Chair, Wendy Medina, and it’s always good to have these students with us.
SEEMA announced that they had a Fund Raiser this past weekend, and raised $420 dollars well done, Rotoractors! An anonymous voice from that famous back table then interrupted the proceedings which had been relatively within the prescribed limits before that to ask where Rotaract banked their funds. Prexy MIKE, who seemed to be on the ‘In’ of this question, said it was the leading bank in Westwood but the name couldn’t be mentioned due to the possibility of a fine! This led to some razzing noises, of course.
Kevin Brophy, who runs the parking lot at the Hotel so efficiently, came forward with a couple of stories. The first concerned a man driving his new Mercedes slowly down the street, keeping a close eye out for any kids who might run out between the parked cars. Suddenly, a brick crashed into his right front door. Furious, he stopped, and backed up to where the brick had been thrown. Jumping out of the car, he found a small young man standing there alone, and started to berate him for his actions. The little guy finally had a chance to reply, saying, “I couldn’t get anyone else to stop can you help me?” His younger brother had fallen out of his wheelchair, and was lying around the corner he was too heavy for his brother to pick him up. Our driver, who by now was trying not to sob, pickup up the smaller child, took out his handkerchief and wiped his face, and determined that the little guy was going to be OK. Afterward, he never had the dent repaired, saving it as an example of the need to be available to listen.
The second story concerned Bertha, a young woman in the Marines. On helicopter patrol, she took along a quart of Jack Daniels and her rifle and their Hilo was hit, and had to crash land. On the way down, she consumed all the Jack Daniels, and struggled out after they grounded. She then shot eighty of the enemy. The moral of this story is, of course, don’t trifle with Bertha when she’s been drinking…and of course, both these tales are tough competition for a somewhat failed Presidential attempt, earlier.
I repeated my two announcements of last week. We had seventeen signups for letters on the Veterans’ Park Conservancy, and I passed out more forms today and we now have ten more, all of which have been sent in. ELLIOTT TURNER took some forms with him last week, and is sending in ten more today. And I just had a call from RO SHAW, who is sending in another 15 that’s a total of 52 not bad! A caution here, please if you still have letters, please return them to ME, not to Nicholson at the VA in Washington. I will forward them to the local Conservancy, since they want them all to go in together. Do it soon, please.
An update on DAN PRICE. You will recall that he was hit by a car about ten days ago, and X-Rays have shown that the fibula of his left knee is shattered. Thus, he has to have surgery, and yesterday I took him for his pre-op exam and chest X-Ray. The operation will be next week, at Cedars/Sinai, and he will be laid up for awhile. Please give him a ring it will help. After the meeting LEO TSENG asked me about taking him a meal DAN lives in West Hollywood, at 5473 Santa Monica Blvd (at Western) and his number is (310) 456-8184. Your support would mean a lot and as we all know, none of us does as many nice things each day - or week as we should. Here’s a chance to catch up, OK?
Four coming events:
1. November 30th is Spouses Day speaker will be Tom Hudnut of Harvard-Westlake School, and Mark, the Manager of the new Westwood Village Farmers Market will also give a short talk. Make a special effort, and bring your guest, please.
2. December 7th Holiday Shopping Spree that’s Thursday evening, where we escort about 30 kids to help them buy presents for their families. This is a wonderful kickoff to the Holiday Season MIKE YOUSEM will take your reservation.
3. Friday, Dec. 8th, Joint meeting with Santa Monica at Riviera, and spouses are also welcome.
4. Also Friday, at noon Braille Institute Holiday luncheon, where we help the many visually handicapped members who enjoy a lovely turkey meal. HOWIE HENKES usually runs this give him a call, please.
We had a short report from Corbell Daniel Parker, who was an Ambassadorial Scholar in the Netherlands last year. At present he is finishing his law degree at Pepperdine. Corbell was sponsored by Rotary District 5890 in Dallas, where his family still resides.
He began by thanking all of us for sponsoring the Ambassadorial Scholar program. Some personal background he is the oldest of three children, his Mother, Mollie is in Human Resources, and his dad, Paul, is an accountant they are a close-knit family. He spent a year at the University of Amsterdam, receiving his Masters in European Private Law.
While in Holland, he wrote a weekly Newsletter, and was active in organizing the other Ambassadorial Scholars in their appearances before the various Rotary Clubs at which they spoke. His Website is CorbellParker.com, and it still exists.
Most everyone in Holland rides bikes they have 20 million bikes in a country with 16 million people, for example. He feels he provided lots of entertainment for the local population as he began to master riding his bike the Dutch way. He was almost ‘adopted’ by one of the Rotarians, and felt like part of their family. At Christmas, he got the family some cowboy hats. He delivered his Thank You notes to the various Rotary families that he encountered by bike which was appreciated since it said to his hosts that he was adapting to their means of transportation. He was able to have lunch at his adoptive Club almost every week, and all the scholars had a monthly get-together, which everyone enjoyed.
The major feature of Holland is all that water they have reclaimed 40% of their entire country from the sea. Every five years they have what I guess you could call a Festival of Ships, and this took place during his visit. These ships are all under sail, and some are over 500 feet long. Visiting aboard is a really unique experience. When he began traveling abroad in 2001, he began to realize that everyone appreciates your learning their language, so he began to study Dutch. This was unusual, and much appreciated. It isn’t a common effort, which sometimes gave him unique status.
The Dutch have a very open society. Their Red Light District is quite well known, as is their policy of drug tolerance. It works for them, and Corbell emphasized that you shouldn’t shy away from visiting there if you are concerned about how all this might affect you. it won’t detract from your visit. They do have some customs that are different from ours but if you ‘go with the flow’ it all works out very nicely.
Corbell Daniel Parker, Thank You for an interesting report on your time as an Ambassadorial Scholar in Holland.
Our Speaker was Ferris Wehbe, of the Hollywood Rotary Club. He is the District 5280 International Service Projects Chair, and he outlined some of what is going on in our District. He began by asking who was our International Chair, and ED GAULD is our man. Ferris asked ED where we have international projects this year, and ED’s reply was Mexico and the Bahamas. In the clubs Ferris has spoken to this year, at least ten have Mexico projects. His intent is for all of us to “go public” with these projects this is exactly what PP BOB WESSLING keeps reminding us, that Rotary somehow is still the best kept secret in the world, so we need to spread the word.
Our Ambassadorial Scholars Program is a big help in this endeavor, both at spreading the word in the countries they visit, and then reporting back after they return. Ferris then gave us a bit of personal history he was born in Lebanon, and came to the United States 32 years ago. When he first discussed his assignment with incoming District Governor Scot Clifford, it was suggested that we make a special effort to highlight the projects we are doing in Lebanon. Ferris called on his contacts there, and the process began. Next, it was decided to focus on the Philippine and Thai communities.
In the Philippines, a couple of new projects were proposed, and matching grants were obtained. This in turn led to the creation of a new Rotary club there another benefit of getting the word out about what Rotary is doing. Part of this effort is to encourage Rotarians to travel to these countries, to see firsthand what our projects are achieving.
We have present projects in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, in addition to the Philippines, and a trip is now planned to visit all five of them. You can choose just one the cost is about $2600 or all five, for a total of $5600. (Sounds to me like I got out of the travel business too soon!)
He then began showing slides of the various countries, starting with the Philippines. When there, the traveling members will deliver two matching grants a specific way of publicizing what Rotary is doing. As a result of our efforts so far, the East Hollywood Rotary Club is forming, composed mainly of Thai expatriates this is mainly due to our sponsoring a water project, plus a literacy project in Thailand. The traveling group will be delivering wheelchairs in Vietnam. Switching to the Middle East, he showed slides of Baalbek, one of the really great Roman ruins in the entire area. Ferris pointed out that the topography is so varied that you can go from skiing to surfing in just 45 minutes! As a result of the Rotary presence there, the Druze community, for instance, is now working with a nearby Christian community, which wouldn’t have happened without Rotary as a ‘facilitator’.
Ferris pointed out that by keeping the District advised about what WVRC is doing, the District can help us to meet the local Council representatives. The real name of what is going on here is networking and it does make a difference. On his recent visit to Lebanon, they started a sister club relationship and in our experience at WVRC, we know how valuable that can be. Of course, the war there erupted about this time, and it was a real adventure getting out of the area. They flew in a C-17, the huge supply aircraft used by the military, for instance but it all worked out well.
Ferris Wehbe, we thank you for your message. WVRC has some travelers, so I’m sure we will join in your forthcoming visitation trip.