P.O. Box 48358, Bentall Centre
Vancouver, BC V7X 1A1
Vol 104 No. 18
Wayne Fraser, President
Nadja Gehriger, Secretary

Allan de Genova, Director & President
Honour House and Honour Ranch

It all started when Al De Genova, former Vancouver Park Board Commissioner and a long time supporter of Vancouver’s Ronald McDonald House, was sitting at home one evening with his wife watching a Gemini Award winning documentary entitled “Peace Warrior” on television. The documentary told the harrowing story of Captain Trevor Greene of the Seaforth Highlanders. Trevor was attacked and seriously injured while deployed in Afghanistan and Al found the story of his miraculous recovery both incredibly moving and inspiring. From this experience, Al developed his vision of a “home away from home” for our Military, Veterans and Emergency Services Personnel. A vision that is now a reality and is growing.

Honour House is a refuge, a “home away from home” for members of our Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans, Emergency Services Personnel and their families to stay, completely free of charge, while they are receiving medical care and treatment in the Metro Vancouver area.

Located on 120 acres of rolling hills that overlook the South Thompson River, Honour Ranch is a tranquil retreat, a place of education and personal growth. Here, members of our Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans, Emergency Services Personnel, and their families can discover cutting edge strategies in the treatment of operational stress injuries including anxiety, depression, and PTSD. The goal: empower these heroes so they are better equipped to navigate the often debilitating emotional and physical stresses of selfless commitment to service.

These brave individuals, along with their families, sacrifice so much on a daily basis to protect our freedom and our everyday way of life. Honour House allows us the opportunity to show them that we care and how much we appreciate all that they do for us.

Sources:, and


“Our heroes run towards danger each and every day to protect us and the ones we love. Honour House is here for them when they need help, because sometimes, even heroes need a home.” – Allan De Genova


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.


Kristi Blakeway, School Principal & Author
Beyond Hello: Rekindling the Human Spirit One Conversation at a Time

Every one of us has a story worth hearing. In 2009, Kristi Blakeway invited her students to give back to the homeless in Canada's poorest neighborhood-Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Rather than handing out food and clothing, Blakeway and her students invited the homeless to tell their stories. What was meant to be a one-day act of giving spiraled into a decade-long labor of love.

Beyond HELLO is a compilation of stories from the streets blended with wisdom gained from those who have lost it all. Blakeway weaves life stories of the homeless community with her personal and unexpected journey into forgiveness. She encourages us all to go Beyond HELLO, to see those who are often invisible, to connect with compassion, and to rekindle the human spirit one conversation at a time.

Upcoming Events
please click on the titles for more info for specific events
Youth Service Committee meeting
Terminal City Club
Nov 16, 2021 11:00 AM
Community Service Community meeting
Terminal City Club
Nov 16, 2021 1:30 PM
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
Swissreal office
Dec 07, 2021 8:30 AM
RCoV Bike-a-thon planning meeting
Dec 07, 2021 1:45 PM
Community Service Committee meeting (contact
Dec 14, 2021 1:30 PM
International Service Committee meeting (contact
virtual ZOOM meeting
Dec 15, 2021 7:15 PM
Food on the Corner
Dec 18, 2021 11:00 AM
View entire list


Chris Motion Nov05
Aldo Brussoni Nov07
at our Club
Carolyn Dueck 17 years
none this week

Last Meeting Nov 02, 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.
  • Diversity, Equality, Inclusion – from the RI site:
    Engaging people from all cultures, experiences, and identities, and making them feel welcome and a part of the Rotary experience, will allow us to increase our membership, which is vital to the health and longevity of the organization. Inviting diverse perspectives will offer us new and bold ideas to keep Rotary relevant for the next century. 

    Making diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority is everyone's responsibility — from club members to Rotary staff members.

     Everyone is asked to keep this in mind while working together in Rotary.
  • Reminder to all members that the quarterly meal fees will be billed this week.
Secretary's announcements:
  • reminders of upcoming events/meetings (see above)
  • birthdays, member club anniversaries, wedding anniversaries (see above)
Special presentations and Members' Moments:
  • Bill Schulz shared a very personal message about a younger man of whom he was very fond and knew from the time he was born. This young man unfortunately dealt with mental health issues and ended up as an addict. His struggles ended on October 6th when he died from a fentanyl overdose. Bill is taking comfort in his faith knowing that the suffering has ended. We are sorry for your loss Bill, it is difficult.
  • Tom Crean update is that Tom is out of ICU and is stable.
  • The new members reception was held last week. It was a small group but was a good event from all accounts. There will be another one planned for early 2022.
Club Day - updates from our service committees:
  • International Service - Michael Woolnough
    • The committee has been meeting monthly. Michael and Ian Storrs are co-chairing but are actively looking for others to take on the role.
    • They are still basking in the joy of the successful completion of the Menkao WASH project. It only took 6 years to complete and many challenges!
    • The projects the committee takes on are predominently WASH, hygiene, and women's empowerment. 
    • They normally support the cost of shipping at least one Rotary World Help (RWH) container a year. Most recently one that went to Montevideo, Uruguay. The committee had wanted to send one to Lebanon to support children’s hospital that was damaged in the explosion but unfortunately RWH does not have the inventory for the type of supplies needed. Therefore the committee will be looking at a different container later in the Rotary year.
    • The major project they intend to get involved with this year is in Tanzania. Supporting a school outside Dar es Salaam. Nathan Hesketh has a link to the community having lived there for a time. It will be a sanitation project addressing water born illnesses in the school by providing fresh water.
  • Youth Service - Joan Posivy
    • The youth committee would like as many of our members as possible to complete their criminal record check. It doesn't cost anything and is simple to do. This will ensure everyone is able to participate in as many activities as possible, not just with youth but for all vulnerable populations. That means Food on the Corner, providing a ride for an Interactor, volunteering at a seniors home or Aunt Leah's, etc. So, even if you don’t at the moment anticipate needing it, good to be prepared.
    • Strategic goal – 2 Rotaract clubs – CHECK        
      • Rotaract Club of UBC
      • Vancouver Young Professionals Rotaract Club
      • goal: 57 members, currently 30 + 25/30 = 55/60 currently – CHECK
      • The groups are consistently engaged with, and reach out to, our club both on committees and volunteering at Food on the Corner, and RWH container loading.
      • They would be most pleased if some of our members would attend their meetings and/or activities to strengthen that bridge.
    • Interact – "International Action", high school
      • 1 club at Sir Winston Churchill
      • Last fundraiser $425 with haunted house in school
      • goal: 30 members: approx. 90 members now – CHECK
      • Adriana Zylmans is the Interact Liaison
    • Youth Exchange – inbound & outbound
      • Grade 10-11, for one school year
      • In progress due to COVID issues. John Hayto is the point person.
      • Adventure programs – there are a number in existence. We have, in the past, supported the:
        • Adventures in Citizenship (Ottawa for about 4 days since mid-1950s)
        • Adventures in Health, this year via zoom from Prince George. We are currently looking for candidates to participate. Anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in health sciences.
    • RYLA – Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
      • RYLA LAkelse 14-15
      • South  16-18
      • North 19-30
      • Normally run in the spring. Do not know if they will be running in 2021-22, will find out in the new year.
    • Save the date: 23rd April 2022 for the annual hoop-a-thon
    • The impact Rotary has on our youth in Vancouver is quite remarkable. At a meeting Oct 18th with the Vancouver School board some of the achievements were highlighted. For example, since 2007 over $460,000 was given out for scholarships, vocational training etc. Our own club's stay in school scholarship has, to date, provided over $236K for 68 students!
  • Community Service - Rene Abi-Rached
    • The committee meets regularly and are very busy vetting requests for community support.
    • They are currently requesting of the Board to support three projects targeting youth at risk.
    • All of the organizations they choose to support must show that they follow DEI beliefs. This has been the case for over 5 years, nothing new to CSC

Meeting adjourned with a toast to all of the wonderful Rotarians who are doing great work making our world a better one.

November 12, 2021


Wayne Fraser, President   Nadja Gehriger, Secretary