P.O. Box 48358, Bentall Centre
Vancouver, BC V7X 1A1
Vol 104 No. 17
Wayne Fraser, President
Nadja Gehriger, Secretary

Club Day - How are we doing?

The club committees will be providing updates on their activities, specifically their progress in meeting our strategic plan goals.


Lest we forget
Remembrance Day speaker


Michael Vonn
CEO, PHS Community Services Society

Micheal Vonn moved from her position as the policy director for the B.C. Civil Liberties Association to take over as the CEO of PHS Community Services Society (formerly The Portland Hotel Society) in July 2019. PHSCSS is a charitable non-profit that provides housing, healthcare, harm reduction and health promotion for some of the most vulnerable and under-served people in Vancouver and Victoria.

PHSCSS is responsible for 19 supportive-housing projects in Vancouver and another two in Victoria listed on its website, PHSCSS is one of the largest nonprofit government partners in the sector. 

Michael is passionate about her advocacy work that started in the midst of the AIDS crisis. She is a lawyer, has been an Adjunct Professor at the UBC in the Faculty of Law and in the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, where she has taught civil liberties and information ethics. She has been honoured for her work in HIV/AIDS with both an AccolAIDS Award and a Red Ribbon Award.

As of November 1, 2021 we will be returning to charging quarterly meal fees. The rate for November-December will be our standard $350 + GST (pro-rated = $233 + GST).
It is possible to opt out of the meal fees for Nov & Dec by contacting Carolyn, prior to November 1st.
Starting next week, November 2nd, the lunches at the Terminal City Club will move to plated, away from our traditional buffet.
The hope is that this will encourage more members to attend in-person by providing an extra level of comfort.
We need to provide Terminal City Club with accurate numbers by mid-day the Friday prior. Please RSVP your intent to attend along with any dietary restrictions.

"We believe in diversity, because Rotary at its best unites the world, and therefore must reflect every part of humanity. You cannot properly serve the world unless you can see and hear that world accurately. Diversity ensures that Rotary represents all voices and speaks in every language."

— Barry Rassin, 2018-19 Rotary International president

Upcoming Events
please click on the titles for more info for specific events
Community Service Committee meeting (contact
Nov 09, 2021 1:15 PM
Youth Service Committee meeting
Terminal City Club
Nov 16, 2021 11:00 AM
International Service Committee meeting (contact
virtual ZOOM meeting
Nov 17, 2021 7:15 PM
Food on the Corner
Nov 20, 2021 11:00 AM
Rotarians' Investment Club meeting
Nov 25, 2021
Membership Committee Meeting (contact
virtual ZOOM meeting
Nov 30, 2021 8:30 AM
Community Service Committee meeting (contact
Dec 14, 2021 1:15 PM
International Service Committee meeting (contact
virtual ZOOM meeting
Dec 15, 2021 7:15 PM
View entire list


Darren Radbourne Oct27
Phil Webber Nov01
at our Club
Sam Shorter 2 years
Bill Davidson 28 years
Stu Bird 44 years
none this week

Last Meeting Oct 26, 2021

Wayne Fraser, President, chaired the meeting
Nadja Gehriger, Secretary, hosted the ZOOM meeting
Jill Pennefather, Sergeant At Arms, introduced the guests
Miya Otake played O Canada on the harp
President’s Announcements:
  • Welcome to our guests, new and returning, as well as our own members who have taken the time out of their busy lives to be with us today. Thank you for joining us.
  • Members notice - important:
    Bringing your attention to an email sent to all members regarding meal fees. All members (except honourary or those living abroad) will be charged the quarterly fee of $350 starting November 1st.
    There will be an option for November and December to request in writing if you’d like to opt out of meal fee billing. We will be continuing our hybrid meetings for those unable to attend in-person. Send a note to Carolyn with your request to opt out of the lunch fees. Your request must be received by end of the day October 31st, prior to the billings going out.
    We will be moving to plated meals starting next week, November 2nd in order to provide an even greater level of comfort for more members to attend in-person.
    The Terminal City Club requires that we provide numbers for our lunch by the Friday prior so please let Carolyn know if you will be attending by the end of the day the Thursday prior. Any dietary restrictions will also need to be known by then.
  • The district hosted an important event for all of us: a 45 minute focus group on DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) Tues. Oct 26th at 7:oo p.m. hosted by Jimmy Yan. Everyone is encouraged to learn more about this to the benefit of all personally and to the club generally.

    Missed it? Check out the RI Learning Centre course, Committing to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion where you learn more about Rotary’s DEI statement, what DEI means, and how you can put it into practice to create positive experiences. Access it through your MyRotary account.
  • District 5040 has selected Drew Antrobus from the RC of Richmond Sunset for the 2024-25 District Governor. If anyone would like to challenge the nomination of Drew, you have until Oct. 31st to do so. The info is in your email, or else contact Carolyn.
    We've received a note of thanks for our contributions to the Menkao Water and Sanitation Project. The total project cost more than $400,000. Our contribution was $25,000 and it took six years to complete. Some of the messages:
    • From project leader Christian Boucher in France: “…The Vancouver Club’s support and financial participation in this humanitarian action to the benefit of the Menkao Village is a cause of celebration and confirms your acknowledgement of its impact. Together we have been able to bring water to the villagers.
    • From Rose Muderwa, leader of the Menkwo project, president of the RC Kinshasa Kinabwa (our sister club):  “All the members of the Rotary Club of Kinshasa Kingabwa thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your wonderful message, so friendly and comforting and for your support all through the evolution of this project. It was a true TEST, long and difficult but we have always been determined to see it through –  to celebrate the provision of clean water to the Menkao people who have suffered so much and so long the total lack of water.

      We are almost at the end of this project …and when it is done, we will have “slain the Loch Ness Monster” – in the words once used by Christian Boucher.

      … Let us celebrate and salute a wonderful collaboration.”
Secretary's announcements:
  • reminders of upcoming events/meetings (see above)
  • birthdays, member club anniversaries, wedding anniversaries (see above)
Special presentations and Members' Moments:
  • John Bathurst, Michael Woolnough & Nathan Hesketh went down to city hall to be part of the group receiving the proclamation for World Polio Day.
  • Rene Abi-Rached let us know that club member Tom Crean was admitted to the ICU suffering from symptoms of Covid. Update Oct29th: Tom has been moved out of ICU. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
  • Kendall Jessiman shared some good news regarding the Sir Winston Churchill Interactors. They now have 95 new members. Incredible! The group is so big they are looking at splitting the club into two. They have two teachers working with them. Great energy there. Congrats to all.
Jack Zaleski introduced our speaker, Dr. John Gill who is a Professor of Medicine with tenure at UBC, Division of Nephrology, St. Paul’s Hospital.
Dr. Gill  is an active researcher whose interests include clinical outcomes in kidney transplantation, access to care, clinical trials and health services research. He has served as the supervisor for Masters and PhD candidates at the UBC School of Population and Public Health. He holds a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Foundation Grant and received the Established Clinical Investigator Award from the American Society of Transplantation in 2017. He is a Past President of the Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Organ Replacement Register Board of Directors. He previously served as a co-chair of the White House Research and Innovation in Transplantation Working Group under President Obama.
Dr Gill currently serves on the Expert Advisory Panel of the United States Renal Data System and the External Expert Panel of the NIH Apollo Study.  John is Consulting Editor for the American Journal of Transplantation and Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. John is the current President of the American Society of Transplantation (the first Canadian to hold the position), and is also a member of several national working groups to advance care for transplant recipients in Canada.
Dr. Gill spoke primarily about the Living Donor Circle of Excellence. He acknowledged that approximately 60% of transplants are deceased donors, the rest are living donations. It is the latter that the Living Donor Circle of Excellence is working to support.
The mission of the Canadian Society of Transplantation is to “advance the practice and science of transplantation for the benefit of Canadians and society”.
The mission of the American Society of Transplantation (with about 4,000 multi-disciplinary members) is “an organization dedicated to advancing the field of transplantation and improving patient care by promoting research, education, advocacy, organ donation, and service to the community”.
People who donate are heroes, whether deceased or living. The program is working to address societal perceptions of transplantations and the donors who give so much to help another.
Living donors face a significant financial burden. E.g., loss of wages, increased expenses (child care, senior care, accommodation, etc.). There is a 4-6 week recovery time after surgery. Though there are some reimbursements through limited initiatives and programs, the net losses are still a major disincentive for donors.  The vision is to eliminate the costs of being a living organ donor.
There is no standard to address loss of salary. People will use unpaid sick days or banked vacation days. This is incredibly generous. In addition to the out of pocket expenses for an individual, when it’s not a company’s HR practice, it is looked at as a liability for employees. They are working, through the Living Donor Circle of Excellence to change this – to ensure that there are no negative impacts, financially or professionally.
The program objectives are:
  • To recognize employers who implement company policies to provide salary support for:
    • An employee who chooses to be a living organ donor, and/or
    • An employee in need of an organ transplant whose living donor lacks salary support during the recovery period.
The program criteria for inclusion in “the circle” are:
  • Typical leaves of absence for approximately 4 weeks (range is 2-8 weeks for recovery)
  • Cover a minimum proportion of wage support of 80%
  • Provide an annual confirmation of support and reporting of activity to AST
  • Be recognized based on the company’s policy implementation
There is no upfront cost to companies. Noting that only 6 per 100,000 employees are affected.
Since the programs launch, mid COVID, there have been 50 companies with over 1.5 million employess collectively who have signed up.
Why would a company want to join? Not only does it demonstrate the financial commitment to employees considering the altruistic act of living organ donation, it is noted that these companies become, as a result, more desirable to potential hires and clients.
Are really out to change the perception and provide the opportunity for companies to get involved at no upfront cost. AST is much bigger organization – contact them if interested in more information for The Circle of Life.
  • American Society of Transplantation, Living Donor Circle of Excellence web, CLICK HERE
  • Canadian Society of Transplantation, Living Donor Circle of Excellence web, CLICK HERE

Meeting adjourned with a toast to the health of donors and donees.

November 5, 2021


Wayne Fraser, President   Nadja Gehriger, Secretary