Original Rotarians from left to right

Original Rotarians from left to right

Rotarians celebrate 25 years in Sooke

Past and present members meet for luncheon on anniversary

It was 1987 and 23 gentlemen got together to form the Sooke Rotary Club. Meetings, at that time, were held in a variety of places including the Sooke Harbour House, the Castle, Sooke Region Museum, Broom Hill Golf and Country Club and lastly the Village Food Markets boardroom. Early director’s meetings were held around first president Stu Youngson’s dining room table.

One of the long time members, John Arnett, wrote in a 10-year history of the club that this was the only Rotary Club conceived at a pipe band practice. And, it was also one of the first clubs in Canada to have women members.

At a meeting on Oct. 24, present members gathered to celebrate 25 years at their  luncheon, still held at Village Food Markets boardroom.

John Arnett, in remembering, said that when they used to hold their meetings at the Castle, people would wonder why there were so many cars parked at the beer parlour in the middle of the afternoon.

“They thought we pulled in for a quick one,” said Arnett.

A special guest in attendance at the meeting was Maness Samuel, a student at Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific in Metchosin. She is one of the success stories born from the girls’ school sponsored by Rotary International in Malawi, Africa.

Samuel spoke with pride and humbleness at the opportunity she was given after being accepted at Atsikana Pa Ulendo, (Girls on the Move) APU. After she graduated she was accepted and is  in her second year at Pearson and plans to go back to Africa when her education is complete to encourage and inspire other young women to further their education.

She said, “Your help is really making a difference in the life of young girls.”

She outlined how education gave hope to young women who, without it, were forced into a life of servitude to their husbands and his family. Many young girls were sold by their family to pay off debt and became essentially slaves.

“APU gives girls a voice and a choice, without education we have no choice,” said Samuel. “Going to APU is not just about me but other people in my community.”

She outlined the need for a teacher’s school where women could be employed because even after being educated it didn’t mean they would find employment.

“I see a new born generation out of APU. I see a generation that is educated and employed, a generation able to send its children to school,” she said.

Rotarians are focused on service, with a belief that actions speak louder than words. They have given scholarships to more than 100 students, and hundreds of individuals helped with donations on an as-needed basis. They have completed dozens of community projects such as the Rotary Pier, the SEAPARC youth bus, gazebo at Ayre Manor Lodge, the stage curtain at EMCS, stairs at the ball park, etc. Locally they host the Rotary Auction and Spring Fair and support youth, literacy, Safe Halloween, Canada Day Raft Races and Adopt-A-Highway.

Just Posted

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

Colin Davidson won $100K on a Set for Life scratch ticket in Sooke. (BCLC photo)
Sooke man does ‘happy dance’ after scratching a $100,000 Set for Life win

Colin Davidson plans to renovate his home and invest in his daughter’s education

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read