P.O. Box 48358, Bentall Centre
Vancouver, BC V7X 1A1
Vol 104 No. 19
Wayne Fraser, President
Nadja Gehriger, Secretary

Michael Vonn, CEO, PHS Community Services Society
Radical Pragmatism: Bringing a Harm Reduction Approach to the Crises of Homelessness and Overdose Deaths

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.
PHS Community Services Society is famed for Insite, the first legal supervised drug injection site in North America.  Since that historic innovation in harm reduction, PHS has continued to evolve to meet the needs of the most marginalized.  Issues in relation to the Downtown Eastside, opioid poisoning, homeless camps and housing/sheltering options and caring for the mentally ill are constantly in the news.  This presentation will be an on-the-ground view of some of the things that are making a difference and being tried to address the intersecting public health crises that fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable, including developments in addiction medicine, low barrier recovery and community managed alcohol programs, sheltering as a gateway to housing and financial services for people without ID. A very open forum for questions and ideas about difficult and sometimes controversial topics.

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.


June Goldsmith, Founder, Music in the Morning
My Life in Music

For decades, June Goldsmith has charmed audiences with her knowledgeable and enthusiastic approach to classical music. Her lifelong commitment has led to a rich and varied career as a concert presenter, entrepreneur, music educator and pianist, and now as a radio broadcaster and lecturer. Her warm style and personality has brought classical music to life for audiences in Vancouver, and indeed, across the country.
In 1986, June founded the groundbreaking Music in the Morning series where was artistic and executive director for over twenty years. She is currently a regular guest with host Sheryl MacKay on the CBC Radio One program North by Northwest, participates in various festivals and organizations in Canada and the US, and also organizes outreach performances and free concerts. June received the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia for her contribution to the arts in Canada. She is a member of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame.
Tuesday November 16, 2021
1:30 p.m. (imm. after regular meeting)
Tuesday December 14, 2021
AGM & winter holiday social


WHAT: RCoV business networking event
WHEN: Wednesday November 17, 2021, 6:00 p.m. start
RSVP: by email, Nov. 15th
COST: $20 per person payable at the door
Russell Brewing Company will be providing beer tasting
Open Outcry will offer a charcuterie plate and other finger foods.
This is a great event to provide business support for one another.
Everyone is encouraged to bring along potential members to one of our club's great strengths -- the breadth of our business connections.
Vancouver Rotary Club Foundation (VRCF)
The Vancouver Rotary Club Foundation was formed July 2, 1998 as a result of the amalgamation of two predecessor foundations, including the Oscar A. Olson Rotary Foundation, the origins of which reach back to December 23, 1950. It was visionary gifts from individuals that changed the course of the Vancouver Rotary Club.
Gifts from individuals like you continue to build the future of the Vancouver Rotary Club Foundation and in turn, the Rotary Club’s endeavours. Donations to the Vancouver Rotary Club Foundation allow it to assist the charities that we, as Rotarians believe in, and by which Rotary serves the local and international community to build a better tomorrow.
CLICK HERE to make a donation to VRCF
Tax receipts will be issued directly from CHIMP (Charitable Impact Foundation (Canada)) on behalf of the Rotary Club of Vancouver
Rotary International The Rotary Foundation (TRF)
When you give US$1,000 or more to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus, or an approved Foundation grant it will be recognized with a Paul Harris Fellow. To recognize someone else as a Paul Harris Fellow, you can give that amount in their name. The goal of Rotary International's TRF is Every Rotarian Every Year. This means every Rotarian contributes an average of US$100 every year to TRF. When paying identify, AF Share.
CLICK HERE for more information about TRF donation options
Tax receipts will be issued directly from Rotary International.
Upcoming Events
please click on the titles for more info for specific events
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
Business Networking event
M Moser Associates
Dec 16, 2021 6:00 PM
International Service Committee meeting (contact
virtual ZOOM meeting
Dec 16, 2021 7:15 PM
Food on the Corner
Dec 18, 2021 11:00 AM
Rotarians' Investment Club meeting
Dec 30, 2021
Community Service Committee meeting (contact
Jan 11, 2022 1:30 PM
View entire list


none this week
at our Club
Ryan Crean 5 years
Kaz Kadono 10 years
Wayne Fraser 10 years
Richard Higgins & Diana Robinson
34 years Nov14

Last Meeting Nov 09, 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.
Secretary's announcements:
  • reminders of upcoming events/meetings (see above)
  • birthdays, member club anniversaries, wedding anniversaries (see above)
Special presentations and Members' Moments:
  • Pierre Adjoury – a current RCoV member on LoA, finished his 9th ironman in Florida (4km swim, 180km bike, 42km run) on Nov 6th. Out of 2,263 competitors registered, Pierre finished overall in 977th place, finishing the event in a smidge over 14 hours. Congratulations Pierre!
  • John Bathurst – November is Foundation month. Looking forward to lots of pledges before year end. See above for more information or contact John
  • Phil Webber – CSC meeting is next week, Nov 16th. The committee is looking for suggestions from the membership for projects that the gaming funds received can be used for. Phil has asked for us to put our heads together to come up with suggestions that will advance the cause of reconciliation with indigenous peoples. Let Phil know of any ideas, even if half baked. As with all Rotary projects a small suggestion when put to a larger group has the potential to grow into something huge. Additional note from Gerry Glazier, the Koerner Foundation funds that we have received can be allocated for use on indigenous projects.
  • Sandra Lowe – recently returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic where they delivered $100K worth of medical equipment. It was a reconnaissance trip to determine what’s next. The result was that it is deemed safe to take a crew back in January to do some wonderful work building community. If you’d like more information, contact Sandra.
  • Sharon Ashton joined us as a guest from RC of Addis Ababa West, Ethiopia. Thanks to Mekdes Gete for the invitation. Sharon gave us a very quick rundown on the makeup of her club and the projects they concentrate on. They have 62 members, 62% female, from all walks of life professionally and personally. They have sponsored 3 Rotaract clubs and 5 Interact clubs. The 1st female DG in Ethiopia coming in next year is from their club. They are very involved in peace through the lens of the environment. Current projects: cleaning a small river that runs through the center of town, thereby uniting the river communities to achieve peace between them. They are working to clean the mouth of Blue Nile (80% of Nile water comes from Ethiopia) with a vision to clean all the way down to the Mediterranean. It is an amazing peace project given all the countries and communities that will be touched and involved. Sharon has a lot of information to share, we are looking forward to hosting her in the future as a speaker at one of our meetings. In the meantime, Verona Edelstein invited Sharon to join the next ISC meeting to discuss options to join forces.
John Bathurst introduced speaker, Honourary Col. Al De Genova who spoke as the Founder and President of Honour House and Honour Ranch. His journey was inspired by real life tragedy. Trevor Greene was the reason he developed and pursued his dream of Honour House (CLICK HERE to read a related Maclean's article). 
Honour Ranch sits on 120 secluded acres just outside the village of Ashcroft, BC. The property has been developed by Canadian non-profit, Honour House Society. The facility will provide support for veterans, military personnel & emergency services members struggling with operational stress injuries. 
Honour House, in Queen's Park New Westminster, is a home away from home where clients can stay at no cost while they are receiving a multitude of treatments. Honour Ranch is a place where clients receive treatment in situ for mental health issues. Both Honour House and Ranch are unique in Canada in that they do not restrict who they help. They are open to all Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans, Emergency Services Personnel, and their families. 
Honour Ranch has been built entirely by donations from the general public, businesses & organizations who believe in helping & giving back to those who serve & sacrifice, unconditionally each and every day. Much of the infrastructure has been developed by civilian and uniformed volunteers who have dedicated countless hours to the project. 
A sizable lodge is available for guests as they attend learning & coping programs with registered mental health professionals. Ten private log cabins offer guests comfortable accommodation while the attend programs. A full kitchen, laundry suite, and our on-site volunteers make sure guests that can concentrate solely on getting better. The interiors have been designed to offer comfort and calm as well as every convenience that guests will need when they stay.
The ranch was almost lost in the Tremont Creek wildfire this year and the society needs to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover the installed wildfire protection equipment. The Honour Ranch needs to be fully prepared for future wildfire seasons, to protect the ranch and to be able to help those who serve for years to come. To do this, due to the extremely dry summer conditions and the remote location of the ranch, thousands of gallons of water needs to be readily available.
Honour Ranch also hopes to raise funds to help construct a further ten cabins to maximize the number of guests who are able to stay and receive the lifesaving support that they need so badly.

Meeting adjourned with a toast to all service members who give so much for the rest of us.

November 26, 2021


Wayne Fraser, President   Nadja Gehriger, Secretary