TERRY De SOUSA and BRIAN WHITNEY, Craft Talks at WVRC on April 7th
YOE provided the Invocation; Dear Lord, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry. When I have work, help me to remember the jobless. When I have a warm home, help me to remember the homeless. When I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer. And remembering, help me to destroy my complacency and bestir my compassion. Make me concerned enough to help, by word and deed, those who cry out for what we take for granted. Amen. MARK ROGO led the Pledge, and then changed the format for repeating the Four Way test. He first asked a question, and we in turn were to respond using the appropriate Test. Well done, MARK. RICK BROUS led an almost overlooked song, which follows: Mine eyes have seen the horror of the Taxman at my door; He will tap into my savings; take what wealth that I have stored. Yes, I fear the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword. The taxman cometh on. Rick, you go to a lot of effort to create these ditties, and we thank you.
We had a couple of guests. PAT BUMPAS was there, and ED JACKSON’S Special Guest, Crista Stilley from the Salvation Army was with us once again. She is in charge of the Transitional Housing at the facility on Sepulveda, which also includes a Preschool. A late arrival was Robert Cunningham, who is in Rotaract, is President of Engineers Without Borders, and will be graduating with a major in physics and a minor in math. He is set to teach in Singapore next year, in a program supervised by Princeton University quite a guy!
We were reminded that JOHN HEIDT needs members to help him supervise the major cleanup of Westwood Village on Sunday April 17th. There is still time to come aboard.
PP DON NELSON listed those who have stepped forward so far in the Japan Relief effort. Leading off was PP YOSH SETOGUCHI, plus MARGIE DOWNIE, HENRIETTA KNAPP LIAN, DORIS OGILVIE, DON PARK, LEO TSENG, DWIGHT HEIKKILA, PP ERNIE WOLFE, PEGGY BLOOMFIELD, PDG ANDY ANDERSON, President GORDON FELL and PP DON NELSON. We have contributed more than $3200 so far, and this will be doubled before sending to R.I. This Double Offer applies until April 15th, so please do get your checks in to DON.
While we are passing out kudos, our usual four will be with Reading To Kids this Saturday MARSHA HUNT, ED JACKSON, JOHN O’KEEFE and YOE. STEVE PETTISE’S Vocational Service Committee is giving RTK $1,500, which CURT SMITH and his brother Doug will then match with a donation from the Jack Smith Foundation. Our thanks to all.
PP MIKE NEWMAN came forward to outline an idea he is working on. He wants to reintroduce what we used to call Yearling Breakfasts, which were held at the old Holiday Inn. Some changes are coming it will be an evening event, and probably set for the first week of May or June. Maybe at the Hammer Museum, with dinner (did you know Wolfgang Puck has opened a new restaurant there?), a tour, and time for some instruction to our newer members. Sounds interesting, so stay tuned.
TERRY dE SOUSA was up first and she was sponsored by that same PP MIKE NEWMAN. TERRY began by claiming she was terrified, but it sure didn’t show. She has a real international background, being born in Georgetown, in what was then British Guiana. She was an only child. Her grandfather was in the lumber business, and both her parents worked in the retail field. Her mother died when she was ten, so she moved to Toronto to live with her aunt. Her education was in Catholic Schools and she didn’t think the uniforms were very attractive! After graduating, she went to visit her father in Georgetown, and lo and behold, met her husband there. Their daughter, Marcelle Andrea, was born there. After a few years, they moved to Barbados. During this time, she worked first in the jewelry business, and then selling life insurance. After her divorce, she switched to Real Estate, and found she was quite good at it. She eventually bought a large home, which was near the polo grounds. This led to a lot of time watching polo, which she very much enjoyed.
In 1978, an important seminar was offered in Carmel, and she decided to attend. TERRY first stopped off in San Francisco, staying at the Fairmont Hotel. She found Carmel to be very pleasant, and decided to move there. However, she was invited to stay with a friend in Bel Air, so she came down to look around. She also checked into Orange County, but LA looked better. Moving here involved selling her home in Barbados, which took some time. At this same time, in 1978, she got her Green Card, which enabled her to move permanently. So TERRY relocated to LA, and is busy with her real estate activities.
Q&A Tell us about your daughter. She lives in Barbados and loves it there. What sparked your interest in Rotary? Well, it turns out that MIKE began suggesting membership TEN YEARS ago! This brought some chuckles, as you might imagine, plus the comment that he worked on her for ten years - and HE’S our membership chair? MIKE then interjected, “I never give up”.
BRIAN WHITNEY was sponsored by both PP STEVE SCHERER and PP CHRIS BRADFORD. BRIAN was born at St. John’s in Santa Monica, and grew up in Westwood. His parents were both local his mother came from Beverly Hills, and his dad lived close to the Farmers Market. His grandfather had a jewelry store on a country road called Wilshire. His dad was a fan of the auto races at Gilmore Stadium, and was the Santa Claus at Bel Air Bay Club for at least thirty years. Brian attended St. Paul the Apostle Grammar School same as MIKE then on to Loyola High, a Jesuit school. He graduated in 1985, and then got a degree in Finance at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. While there, he was a member of the Crew, and taught photography to make a little pocket change. During this time, he became an Eagle Scout, and is still involved with scouting. Presently he is on the Executive Board of the L.A. Council of Boy Scouts, and is looking forward to bringing both his sons through Boy Scouts.
He met his wife, Amy, on a blind date in 1985, and they were married in 1987. Amy also graduated from Cal Poly, and currently teaches 2nd grade in Beverly Hills. He says everyone loves Amy, and he just sort of tags along (This is the role that Jack Kennedy claimed, also). They have three children Reid, 11, and born on St. Patrick’s Day, Reagan, who is 8, and Aidan, 5. They are a tall crew, and all are athletic, being involved in several team sports. They also play chess. Three years ago they moved to their present home in Westwood which happens to be next door to his parent’s home!
Speaking of business, he always remembers his grandmother saying, “Watch your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” He has been with UBS since 1993, in Wealth Management, and has a number of certifications now attached to his name. They have a new Executive Program at UCLA, and have asked him to teach a class. He loves the outdoors, and the family does a lot of camping, hiking and fishing, plus Scouting. Recently he has taken up sparring, and they do this in the driveway of a neighbor gets lots of quizzical looks from passerbies.
Q&A How tall is Amy? 5-7 or 5-8. It turns out he is a car nut, and spoke about several models he favors. How is the Scouting Program going? It is doing very well on excellent footing and expanding. Are there programs beyond Eagle Scout? There are Tiger Cubs., plus Explorer Scouts and Sea Scouts. When did you become an Eagle Scout? You do most of the work before, but the final paperwork has to be turned in before you turn 18. Describe your work. I work with several people, we’re a team. I love it this way, and don’t want to get into management.
As usual, these Craft Talks are our best programs. Thanks to both TERRY and BRIAN.