Vol. 102 No. 44
Bill Davidson, President
Parisa Adrangi, Secretary

MEETING MAY 19, 2020 (virtual)
Gregg Howald, Island Conservation's Director of Global and External Affairs
Rescuing West Coast Island Bird life through Rodent Eradication

Gregg Howald is one of the world’s foremost experts in island restoration – over the past 15 years he has directed, consulted, advised, participated in and/or managed rodent eradication projects on more than 20 islands in 5 countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, and Micronesia.

Gregg has been directly involved with the development, planning, managing and/or directing island rodent eradication projects in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska (Rat Island; Bay of Islands – Adak); Haida Gwaii (Langara, Lucy, Cox); Channel Islands, California (Anacapa Island; Farallon Islands; San Miguel Island; Alcatraz Island); Gulf of California, Mexico (San Pedro Martir, San Jorge, Farrallon de San Ignacio, Isabel); Caribbean (Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico; Banco Chinchorros, Mexico); Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (Rabida Island); Hawaiian Islands (Lehua Island; Wake Island); Line Islands (Palmyra Atoll); Caroline Islands, Micronesia (Ant Atoll, Pohnpei State Islands; Fanna Island, Palau; Yap). He has also been involved with and participated in the design of a strategic approach to rodent eradications in the Aleutian Archipelago, Alaska, USA; Galapagos Islands, Ecuador; and Micronesia (including Palau).


NEXT MEETING MAY 26, 2020 (virtual)
Henk Snoeken, Dutch Consul- General
Canada-Netherlands Relationship

The Consulate-General in Vancouver, with Henk Snoeken at the helm, represents the interests of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and its citizens in the area they serve. The consulate’s work focuses on economic cooperation and supporting the Dutch business community in projects in West Canada. Given the many Dutch nationals in West Canada, consular services are an important part of our work. Emigration from the Netherlands to Canada in the 20th century was a key factor in our bilateral relations. More than 150,000 Dutch people emigrated to Canada between 1947 and 1970 and migration still contributes to the close ties between Canada and the Netherlands. There are currently more than a million people of Dutch origin living in Canada. The consular teams at our missions are always ready to provide ample services for the Dutch who made Canada their home.

Rotary District 5040 “Roskars” Awards 2020

Our club has a number of nominees in the running
Be sure to join in on the event to celebrate them!

Fancy Hats and Glasses Cocktail Hour
Awards Zoom Extravaganza

(Affectionately known as Plan B)

Sunday May 24th 4:00-5:00 PM via ZOOM

The District Awards will be presented by your Host
DG Bala Naidoo and his sidekick Tom Smith.

The awards being presented are:

  • Rotary Club of the Year -- Nominated by Assistant Governors
  • Rotarian of the Year -- Nominated by member and approved by Club Presidents
  • Don Evans People of Action Awards -- Nominated by you through your Assistant Governor
  • Membership Awards -- Determined by statistics in Rotary Club Central (make sure you are updated in Rotary Club Central
Wear your fancy hat and bring your favourite cocktail to this Zoom meeting. ZOOM invitations with log-in details will be provided soon. In the meantime, the event is posted on the District's Facebook page.
Check out a plethora of free courses being offered because of COVID-19. There's something for everyone; some examples below. CLICK HERE.


  • [Added: April 8 – Expires: May 31] 10 Free Photography Short Online Courses: Includes courses on photography fundamentals from domain experts. These normally costs about $40 each. Requires simple sign-up.

Rosetta Stone

  • [Added: April 10] 3 Months of Free Language Learning: Includes languages such as English, Spanish, and French. A subscription normally costs $12 per month. Requires simple sign-up.

Young Screenwriters

  • [Added: April 27] Free Screenwriting Course: Covers the fundamentals of screenwriting. The course normally costs $120. Requires simple sign-up.

Local Vancouver classes

  • Lots of free on-line courses right here in Vancouver. Check out EventBrite, CLICK HERE.
Upcoming Events
please click on the titles for more info for specific events
Youth Service Committee meeting (contact Chair, John Bathurst, for meeting invite)
virtual ZOOM meeting
Jun 02, 2020
International Service Committee meeting (contact Chair, Ian Storrs, for meeting invite)
virtual ZOOM meeting
Jun 18, 2020 7:30 PM
Membership Committee Meeting (contact Chair, Franz Gehriger, if you'd like to join in)
virtual ZOOM meeting
Jun 30, 2020 8:30 AM
Youth Service Committee meeting (contact Chair, John Bathurst, for meeting invite)
virtual ZOOM meeting
Jul 07, 2020
View entire list


Anne Lippert May 15th
at our Club
Justin Emilio 2 years
Mindy Tulsi-Ingram 16 years
Rene Fluri 56 years
Mindy & Steve Ingram
24 years, May 17th
Jack & Donna Lee Zaleski
32 years, May 14th
Gerry & Marlene Glazier
52 years, May 18th

Last Meeting, May 12th, 2020

Bill Davidson, President, chaired the meeting and gave the invocation.
Thomas Reppchen hosted the meeting via ZOOM.
President’s Announcements:
  • Thanks to Thomas for hosting the meeting via ZOOM.
  • Welcome to our guests, most of whom introduced themselves to the group.
  • We may not be meeting in-person but our club is still growing. I’m happy to say that Brian Gusko’s application to be a member has been approved and is presently going through the required notice phase. We look forward to inducting Brian virtually, barring any objections received, in the beginning of June.
  • The District has been busy getting themselves on-line for the benefit of us all. Kudos to them for the on-line Our Year Ahead trainings, and now we can listen to some of the outstanding speakers who were going to be at the 2020 Vision Conference.

    Everyone can join in to listen via ZOOM at no cost. The events will be twice a week, Wednesday & Sunday at 4:00 p.m., starting tomorrow May 13th. The first speaker will be Rotarian, from our club, Rumana Monzur.

    Rumana has a powerful, heartfelt story to tell about her personal journey from the depths of despair to learning how to prosper as a blind person after her ex-husband blinded her while trying to kill her in June 2011.
  • Reminder to all that we have a number of nominees for District awards this year. Be sure to participate in the hour or so ZOOM event on May 24th. The event is included in the speaker series list, nonetheless, it is currently posted on the District Facebook page and I understand that there will be a ZOOM invitation sent to all members soon.
Parisa Adrangi, provided the Secretary's announcements:
  • reminders of upcoming events/meetings (see above)
  • birthdays: Anne Lippert May 15th
  • member club anniversariesJustin Emilio 2 years, Mindy Tulsi-Ingram 16 years, Rene Fluri 56 years
  • wedding anniversaries:  Mindy & Steve Ingram 24 years May 17th, Jack & Donna Lee Zaleski 32 years May 14th, Gerry & Marlene Glazier 52 year May 18th
Special announcements and members' moments:
  • Gary Chomyn, as Chair of the Strathcona Rotary Youth Leadership Hoop-a-thon, provided another update. The campaign is up and running. Global TV has been promoting it. They are close to meeting the $5,000 that will be matched by Vancouver Basketball Federation. Just a little way to go; if you can help please do.

    They are well on track to be able to again contribute $30,000, hopefully a little more, for scholarships, as well as helping with the Strathcona Community Centre and youth leadership programs.

    CLICK HERE for more information about the Hoop-a-Thon, and how they are working around the limitations imposed by COVID-19. Perhaps make a donation, however small. It all adds up.
  • Jack Zaleski provided an update for the bike-a-thon. There has been some response to the appeal so far. A number of people have contributed directly to the Hearing Foundation in lieu of participating in the bike-a-thon. They are still plugging away hoping for more participation. 

    Bill Schulz plans to do an equivalent bike ride on July 12th with his granddaughter. 

    Barbara Welsh is currently in training, biking most days. She has registered. She was please to have been contacted by one of her past donors who wants to donate again this year.
  • Gerry Glazier let everyone know that the Board has approved to have the RCoV Foundation match donations for COVID-19 up to a maximum of $30,000. So far, approximately $4-5K has been donated. Please spread the word.

    Gerry also let us know that the incoming DG, Dave Hamilton, will be attending our July 7th meeting to induct the new Board.
  • John Hayto has been in touch with Mar in Spain. She continues to do well and is looking forward to graduating in June.
Thomas Reppchen introduced this week’s speaker, Elena Schoenlau. Elena is an active long-time Rotaractor, a member of Vancouver Young Professionals Rotaract Club, as well as a cancer researchist working in a lab in Vancouver. Her specialty is precision oncology, which is defined as molecular profiling of tumors using the next-generation sequencing technology to identify targetable alterations.
Elena reviewed the make up of DNA. It is made up of four chemical bases: Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, Thymine. Humans have about 3 billion bases, over 99% are identical in each person. If we know the sequence, we know what the protein should look like. If there’s a mistake in the sequence then we know the blueprint of the gene is faulty.
What happens when the faulty gene is a cell growth gene? How does this contribute to the growth of cancer cells?
Cancer is a genetic disease that is caused by changes to genes that control the way human cells grow and divide. Genetic changes can be inherited or arise over one’s life. It can start almost everywhere in the human body. There are two types of cancer: the bad, malignant, and the better, benign. Malignant cancers can spread into nearby tissue or to distant places in the body (metastatic). Benign cancers do not spread and do not grow back after removal. It is possible for different cells of a tumor to have different genetic changes. Each person’s cancer has a unique combination of genetic changes, even if labeled the same, e.g., breast cancer.
Cancer is responsible for every 6 deaths in the world and is the leading cause of death in Canada. It is much more prevalent now than long past history which, at least in part, can be attributed to how much longer people are living, especially in developed countries.
In the past, cancer treatment has been a one-size fits all medicine. This moved to stratified medicine where environment factors and medical history are considered. Now precision oncology is being looked at as part of the future treatment. Next-generation sequencing can detect correct base matching. It allows sequencing of many DNA molecules in parallel. The object is to identify exactly where the genetic changes occur and applying drugs that target and fix that exact spot.
Precision oncology is currently in clinical trials. There are still a lot of challenges ahead, including:
  1. It is expensive.
  2. The appropriate drug to target specific gene changes may not be available.
  3. The correct drug may be so toxic that it may need to be “watered down” so much that it won’t work.
  4. It isn’t yet known if a particular shown gene change is consistent or not throughout the cancer.
  5. It isn’t known if the genetic change is the cancer’s driving force.
  6. It is thought that fewer than 10% of cancer patients have genetic changes.
In closing, the use of precision oncology as part of cancer treatment regimes is quite a few years down the road. The emphasis will be to have a multi-pronged approach – including immunotherapies and drugs. That all said prevention is key! Live a healthy lifestyle, exercise, eat healthy, take care of both physical and mental health.
Meeting adjourned with a toast to ongoing cancer research and living better lives.

May 29, 2020


Bill Davidson, President   Parisa Adrangi, Secretary