Governor's Message
Rotary Steps Up
I hope you and your families are safe and healthy. I know some of our members or a family member have had the coronavirus and are now better. We are very thankful for that.
I know it has been very disappointing for all of us as we cancel graduations, weddings, and reunions; and in Rotary, the Club Training Event, District Conference, and RI International Convention.
To say these are unusual times is certainly an understatement as we talk about the new ‘normal,’ whatever that will look like. But District 5050 Rotarians and Rotaractors have not waited for a new normal as they have jumped in to do what Rotarians and Rotaractors do best – help people in need. You are amazing!
One way Rotarians have done this is through a District matching grant opportunity. As you may know, the District used funds from savings in this year’s budget due to cancellations, tapped into its mandatory reserve fund and obtained a Rotary Disaster Response Grant to provide a matching grant of $5,000 US to each of the twelve Areas in our District. Our hard working Assistant Governors brought Club Presidents together very quickly to determine how they would address the effect of COVID-19 on their communities. Through this program, over $120,000 was used to provide medical supplies to health care workers, food for families who suddenly need the food bank and food for students through backpack food programs.
But District 5050 Rotarians haven’t stopped there. You continue to provide funds for those in need, you continue to volunteer to deliver groceries and prescriptions to vulnerable people, you continue to provide much needed medical supplies, and some of you continue to be on the front lines risking your own lives to save others. Yes, you are amazing!
I know it is difficult for some Clubs to connect, fundraise, or do projects. Rotary greetings of shaking hands and giving hugs that define Rotary fellowship in our District cannot be done. Not even bumping elbows or a closed palmed Namaste is allowed as we must keep physical distance. But these are only our outward ways that we use to say we care about each other. We have adapted to using other methods such as holding virtual meetings using Zoom or other programs, sending out frequent newsletters and emails, and using the phone to connect to show that we care about each other.
This year’s theme of Rotary Connects The World is very apropos as we adapt to a new reality and connect with each in many different and sometimes, more frequent ways. We should analyze what works well in these virtual connections and follow next year’s theme of Rotary Opens Opportunities to continue to use what we have found works best for our Clubs, our District and for Rotary International. Let’s not waste this opportunity to explore new methods of connecting with each other – let’s embrace those methods that work well for us.
It is Youth Services month and it has been a difficult time for our youth. Most of the inbound students in the Youth Exchange Program have returned home and most of our outbound students have come back to BC and Washington State. But, we have heard that in spite of early returns, these students still had a life changing experience, and a lot of credit is due to the District Youth Exchange Committee members who have worked yeoman hours to ensure the safety of each student. Thank you! Other District Youth Programs have been postponed until next year and they will be even stronger next year – because Rotarians and Rotaractors are amazing.
Thank you to all of you for Serving Above Self.

RIPE Holger Knaack Coffee Break
Coffee Corner: Meet and Chat with RI President-Elect Holger Knaack!
District Governor Brad Whitaker has organized a Coffee Corner on Go To Meeting for every Rotarian in our District to talk to leaders of Rotary International. The first one will be at 10 am (PDT) on Tuesday, 12 May. You will be able to chat with RIPE Holger Knaack who will be in Germany.  Governor Brad will be sending out an invitation to join the meeting during the week of 4 – 8 May. Be sure to join us to learn about more about what will be happening in the next Rotary year.
Club Training Goes Online
District 5050 is embracing technology to Connect the World..well at least the District!

Starting 13 May and continuing into June, courses for the cancelled Club Training event will be provided online.

13 May features online classes for Membership, Presidents Elect and Presidents Nominee.

Watch for emails from the District with registration and login details.

For additional information email District Trainer Rod Thomson
Thanks to Deb Wiggs for these tips on
How to participate effectively in a virtual meeting
As Rotarians one of the most valuable parts of our membership is fellowship and seeing one another on a regular basis.
I have been working in a virtual environment for several years. We have learned a few things that help us to be more effective when we are connected virtually through any online media. There are many nuances, however I would like to suggest the following FOUR guidelines for online meetings.  If any of you use online meetings regularly and would like to add some suggestions, please send me an email. 
  1. Preparation- do an audio and video check:  Zoom ( is the platform we will be using. Links for specific meetings with multiple options for connecting, are sent out in emails prior to the meetings. There is a Zoom app for both iPhones and Android phones that you can download, and it is very easy to use-especially if you do not have a camera on your computer. If you use your computer or a tablet, there is either the website or tablet app available as well. 
Practice or test the application before the meeting if you have not used the app or tool before. Figure out where the buttons are to mute your microphone, turn on and off the video, close your self-image if you find it distracting, etc. Note there are phone numbers for both the US and Canada.  If one number does not work, try another one for your country. (Zoom and all online meeting resources are being used heavily around the world right now, so it is possible that we will run into some slow or busy signals – keep trying)
  1. Use the video function during the meeting. It is very hard to participate if you cannot see peoples faces, visual cues and some sense of body language. Using just the audio is very difficult for both the user and those participating, it tends to make it easy for people to talk over one another and that causes frustration and takes up time. If you do not have video capacity, please be mindful that you do not talk on top of others. We can have meetings with dozens of participants! Fill in your name when asked by the application so that others know who is speaking. Don't leave the name as "****iphone."
  1. Use headphones for audio; if you use your computer to dial in, use your headphones to listen and speak. On your phone or tablet, same thing.  Frequently the microphone on the computer will pick up background noise and cause a feedback loop that is disruptive. (This is a tough one for me – I am always misplacing my headphones.)
  1. Practice Courtesy. Unless you are the facilitator or a presenter, BE BRIEF: keep comments/responses/questions to 2-3 sentences and pause between sentences to give folks a chance to interject a question, if needed. Then let someone else have a turn. As a facilitator, it is important to allow everyone to have a chance to speak before allowing someone to have a second turn.  It seems elementary, but it can be a challenge when we are all in different electronic and physical environments.
Youth Exchange in a COVID-19 World
As the 24 students involved in the District 5050 Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) Program prepared for their time in a new country this year, they likely spent time investigating their assigned country. They probably learned some basic survival language, read some blogs about the country’s food, and Googled photos of the town in which they would be staying. The RYE leadership prepped them on protocol once arriving, including who to talk to if problems arise, how to plug into the community of students who have already completed an exchange, and that homesickness is a normal aspect early in an exchange. They all knew long hours would be spent in airports and on airplanes. But who could prepare for the impact that COVID-19 has had on cultures globally, much less experiencing this when family is in another part of the world where the pandemic is affecting the population in a different way? Perception of healthcare domestically and internationally is a product of the culture in which you were raised and the thought of seeking treatment in a different healthcare system can be frightening. This is how our inbound and outbound students and their families have been impacted by the global pandemic that is changing life as we know it in ways we have yet to fully realize.
The serious nature of COVID-19 determined that an inbound student, Mashiro Yoshino hosted by the Rotary Club of Chilliwack, would be swiftly returned to her home country of Japan. She sadly left without the usual fanfare seen by students hosted by this Club. She instead celebrated her exchange in the home of her councillor and last host family. Not only was she unable to be honored and talk about her exchange, meetings were cancelled prior to her home Rotary Club’s request for her to return. No one could have guessed our last in-person Rotary meeting would be our last, and therefore no one could wish her well or thank her for her participation in the Club.
Students involved in this year’s exchange traveled to or from Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Peru, Spain, and Taiwan. You will note that some of the hardest hit areas are listed here or close to the epicenter as well as areas with minimal impact. News of the pandemic and its impact came swiftly to some of our students. “Suddenly, with only two days of warning, one of my friends had to go home. It was so sudden, and we were all shocked. He only had one day to pack and get ready to go home,” commented Miwa Clare, an outbound student from the Rotary Club of Chilliwack. She successfully petitioned to remain in Japan despite most others returning home. She said “One by one, I watched them all go. Now its just me.” She remains determined to complete her exchange. However, not all of our students have seen the drastic impact of the pandemic. Anne Biela, an outbound student from the Rotary Club of Chilliwack/Fraser wrote “There has not been even a single case of COVID-19 in our city, and everyone is very respectful about keeping distance and washing hands. The curve has already started going back down in Norway, and though we must be cautious, life still feels like before.”
Regardless of how COVID-19 has impacted us, these brave students have been dealing with this on their own. Many of the students are spending time away from family for the first time. I can imagine this has been quite an ordeal, even if the effect seen is small. This pandemic has caused the term social distancing to be a common phrase- it has even affected our common global language! With so many forms of digital communication available, I am sure that the students involved in this year’s exchange could use some words of kindness or encouragement. These students are already courageous to embark on an exchange, and then have been quickly sent home or are continuing to live away from family. This is probably harder on the student’s parents than it is for the students, but I think support of a student will be felt at home as well. I encourage you to reach out to your club’s RYE chair person for contact information for any students on exchange with your Club. With the support of each other, we can overcome the affects of physical distance and change how we view “coming together.”
Rotarians Band Together to Support Local Food Banks
In the face of significant increases in demand for community support coupled with unprecedented interruptions in local food supply chains, six local Rotary Clubs have come together to provide over CDN $32,000 in support of three local food banks in Abbotsford and Mission. British Columbia.
The six local Rotary Clubs (Abbotsford, Abbotsford-Matsqui, Abbotsford-Sumas, Fraser Valley Rotaract, Mission and Mission Midday) are all part of the larger Rotary International District 5050, a geographical zone of local Rotary clubs stretching from Hope, BC to Everett, WA. 
Like virtually all international service clubs and organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of major annual events. District leadership made the decision to deploy monies that would have been spent on these events back into the local communities in the form of community grants, provided local Rotary clubs matched these amounts.
The local Clubs, many who have been working with local community service groups for years on projects such as Starfish Packs, immediately identified an urgent need to put dollars in the hands of local food banks.
Starting with the matching grants from the Rotary District, the six Clubs were able to provide three local food banks with $14,000. The three food banks are Abbotsford’s Archway Food BankSt. Joseph’s Food Bank and Mission Community Services Food Bank.
The local Rotary Clubs then went to individual members with the challenge to add to the District funds. To date, over CDN $32,000 dollars have been contributed by the six local service clubs for the local food banks.
Mission Rotary Club President Lloyd Rash says the food needs are growing every day. “Hopefully, the support of local food banks by local Rotarians will inspire other individuals and groups in Mission to step up and help meet the ever growing number of neighbors and friends who need a little help over the coming weeks and months.” 
Rotaract President Tyson Boucher said supporting the project went beyond simply helping the food banks with much needed cash. “Rotaractors are Rotarians between the ages of 18-30. Our members include university students and working professionals. Some have been laid off from their jobs. We’ve been told by some of the older, more established local Rotarians that our group putting the needs of others ahead of ourselves at a time like this was an inspiration for those older Rotarians to give more.”
Abbotsford Rotary President Bruce Beck was one person inspired by the immediate response by Rotarians in both communities. “It’s been said that you can tell a great deal about the character of a community by watching how it treats its weakest members: the old, the young, the poor. And that test becomes even more important in times of crisis, which certainly is what our communities and country is facing right now.”
“It’s something special to see young Rotaractors, who are worried about their jobs and their rent, stand side by side with older Rotarians who themselves are worried about the health of themselves and their families. It gives me hope that, for all our faults, our communities are going to come out of this crisis stronger and more grateful for all the things that we’ve always taken for granted.”
The six Rotary Clubs contribute to collect financial support for local food banks and are challenging other local service clubs, faith groups and individuals to join the campaign by supporting a local food bank.
RI Virtual Convention Announcement
More information will be announced this month. Look for this at our District website and through various social media networks.

New International Project Alliance Leaders Identified
Our searches were successful. Thank you! In February, the International Project Alliance (IPA) sought applications for leadership positions that would facilitate the growth and sustainability of our work in Copán, Honduras. But Rotarians are so busy! Could we find willing and able volunteers? Would they share our passion for service work in Central America? Would they want to engage with a group committed to focused, sustained efforts in just one small region of one country?
Many Rotarians know of the challenges Honduras has faced over the years, but may not know about the Copán region, IPA’s focus. Travelers to Honduras most likely have visited the Mayan ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage and active archeological site. Copán has both fertile valleys and beautiful hills, with the steep shady areas of the higher elevations dense with coffee plants, the primary agricultural product of Honduras. Over 40,000 people live in the Copán region. Seventy-five percent live in areas considered rural, where poverty rates exceed 60% according to the World Bank. Twenty percent are considered indigenous peoples.
How Did IPA Get Connected with This Area in Western Honduras? 
The six Washington State Clubs who created the IPA used a formal process to search Mexico, Central America and Columbia for the best place to work. A dozen selection criteria led to three finalists: small towns in Mexico, Honduras and Panama. Copán Ruinas emerged as the final winner.  
IPA projects cover most areas of international aid, including education, health, food and agriculture, water and sanitation, construction, and economic development. Our annual budget varies between about $200,000 and $250,000 per year, depending on the number of matching grants received. A dollar goes about five times further in Honduras, so our budget has the impact of about $1 million in the U.S.
In 2020, IPA supporters are sponsoring almost 2,000 students from kindergarten to university. There is an active economic development program in five villages, and about 30 other projects are funded.
June 2014.In center is Peter Martin, IPA chairman, to his right Flavia Cueva,
the Copán Rotary Club President, and other remembers of the Copán Rotary Club. The signing ceremony was in the Agua Caliente Hot Springs.
What Kind of Rotary Club is This?
Today, the IPA is a coalition of 11 Rotary Clubs in District 5050, formed to address needs of the Copán region. IPA was formally established in 2014, and a 501(c)(3) foundation came later to manage its finances. Monthly meetings are convened by IPA Chairman Peter Martin, with project leaders making progress reports on their activities­. IPA members visit Copán at least four times a year to meet with community members and to strategize about future projects that might be accomplished in partnerships among local groups and the IPA. Today’s projects support 32 Mayan villages in most aspects of international aid.
Over the past five years, the growing local needs and successes of the Copán projects have increased the demand for projects within the region. Administration of those efforts had become virtually a full-time job, as the projects and resources grew, the partners in Honduras and U.S. diversified, and the needs for communication and formal administration of projects became more complex.
Like good Rotarians, IPA knew strategic planning for this growing organization would be critical and so on a Saturday in early January 2020, the IPA held a strategic planning session. The most consistent findings of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis done were the near uniform pleasure over the positive impacts on the residents of Copán, and the realization that growth and complexity had made the administration of the organization too much for one person. Since its inception, Peter Martin of the Fidalgo Island Club had been that one person. IPA needed to expand its leadership capacity.
IPA decided to recruit two additional senior leaders but debated whether there would be sufficient interest in these substantive volunteer director positions. It was estimated the new directors might work an average of 10 hours a week, with workloads being uneven but somewhat predictable throughout the year. There was also the hope that the directors might lead one of the four annual trips to Honduras to meet with partners and oversee project sites. By recruiting within District 5050  we truly took a leap of faith that we would find such people; we learned shortly our faith in the Rotary spirit was appropriately placed.
Calling Some Special Rotarians: Their Profiles
The search. Applications from District 5050 were solicited via the Peace Arch Journal, contacts with Club Presidents in the District and working the networks of IPA members. Two candidates came highly recommended by the IPA search committee and were selected for the director positions. 
Walt Guterbock agreed to serve as the newly established Director for Operations and will direct the work of project teams in all six of the IPA’s areas of focus. Walt is a member of the Fidalgo Island Club, a veterinarian, and former Peace Corps volunteer and staff member. As a vet, he specializes in dairy cattle and has visited dairy farms in many countries. Walt has been an active promoter of IPA’s water and economic development projects and leads the IPA teams for food and agriculture projects and foundation relations. His international focus is long-standing, including having managed Global and District Grants and served as the chair of Fidalgo Island Rotary's International Committee. 
Marty Pease has assumed duties as Director of Marketing, leading the efforts of the IPA teams for IPA Club Relations, Major (private) Donors, Friends of the IPA, Foundations, and Publicity. Marty worked as a physical therapist for over thirty years. She is a member of the La Conner Rotary Club and was introduced to Rotary only four years ago. Her enthusiasm for Rotary is palpable. About that passion, she said, “I treasure the Four-Way Test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” She wants to bring the spirit of the four-way test to IPA’s service in Honduras. “I love the country and the people and am quite proud of the positive changes we have created along with the Hondurans in the area surrounding Copán Ruinas.”
Given their extensive engagement with IPA previously, including many trips to Honduras, these directors have hit the ground running. Their leadership is expected only to enhance the impact, capacity, and sustainability of IPA’s work in the future.
Interested in Learning More about the IPA?
Rotary Clubs in northwest Washington and southern British Columbia are welc­­ome to join the IPA. IPA’s website gives a good overview of the various projects and ways to get involved ( Marty Pease ( is the contact for exploring membership or to arrange a Club presentation.  Over the past two years, she has given multiple presentations to Rotary Clubs in the region, promoting new membership, and also for IPA member Clubs, giving them annual updates on the progress and impacts achieved in Copán. Do consider contacting Marty if you’re interested in learning more about the IPA and this innovative approach to achieving sustainable impact through alliances among Rotary Clubs.
Feb 2020  Volunteers from Rotary Club of Copan, the IPA, and area leaving to deliver supplies to village schools and uniforms to students.
District 5050 Clubs
Port Moody/Semiahmoo (White Rock)/Arlington/South Whidbey/Everett/Burlington/Lake Stevens/Mount Vernon/San Juan Islands/Marysville/Sedro Woolley/Oak Harbor/Whidbey Westside/Monroe/PNW Passport
James Monroe, Editor
In the month of April I took advantage of online technology and joined Rotarians from around the District at all of these Club Meetings. Universally, I heard the same message: Rotarians were going above and beyond in living up to our motto Service Above Self. Whether it was arranging for personal protective equipment (PPE) to be delivered to local hospitals, care facilities and first responders or food to be delivered to local food banks and front line workers, Rotarians stepped up by making calls, making masks, transporting materials, buying food, working at food banks and donating money.
But, that didn't stop us from having fun in light of the current physical distancing guidelines so many of us are following. The Port Moody Club held a Guess Who's Calling For Dinner event. Participants had to make their own meals, but, they had no idea who would be joining in on the video fellowship! Semiahmoo presented Paul Harris Fellowship Awards at one of their meetings. Everett and Passport inducted new members. Welcome Sheldon Johnson and Rhian Piprell! And, of course, guest speakers presented on a wide array of topics. Several had programs about how their local governments were responding to the pandemic; Ashley Bystrom spoke to South Whidbey Rotarians about her organization-Atlantis STEAM, a community-based robotics team, that found ways to make masks and parts thereof. And, coordinate with others in the Puget Sound Region to utilize 3D printers for the same reason. Very inspiring to hear. She's a great presenter. Club Program Chairs- I encourage you to invite her to speak to your Club.
Semiahmoo (White Rock)
Area Governors talked about the District Matching Grant opportunity for COVID-19 Relief efforts. Each of the twelve areas was given USD $5,000 and Clubs within each Area were asked to collectively match or exceed that grant. As of this publication, the total matched was USD $67,171. Thank you District 5050!
3D Printed Masks done by Alantis STEAM
Bill Schwartz, KOMO Radio Sports Director spoke at the Everett meeting. He answered that question of "Why do we miss sports so much?" He said that sports is "sheer, unadulterated fun." Adding "there's identity with thousands of folks wearing the same colors, distraction from hardships, living vicariously through youth, there's a sense of community, and nostalgia." Bill got to call the Little League World Series games for the team from Kirkland in 1982. He also shared that sports can offer us life lessons. He encouraged players of all ages to continue physical activity, check on teammates and reminded us that while we can't change the wind, we can change course to find calmer waters. Another great speaker!
Bill Schwartz, KOMO Radio Sports Director
Another great speaker was Brian Smelser of the Washington State Patrol's Crime Lab. His current work is on Firearms and Tools Marks Forensics. He talked to the Mount Vernon Club about the various aspects of his work. He also shared how he was able to, with very little evidence, piece together the clues that led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of the man that shot and killed Molly Conley in the Lake Stevens area almost seven years ago. Programs Chairs! Add to your list.
And, remembering our Service Above Self motto, Rotarians at the Whidbey Westside meeting had a discussion about how to reach out to people in their community who might not ordinarily ask for help, but need it. Seems that we can all work on this, eh?
What's my point in sharing all of this? Well, I encourage you to visit Clubs not only in our District but across the globe and "visit" even if virtually. District 5050 has a list of Clubs that are currently meeting on line at the website. You may need to contact the Club ahead of time to ensure that you get the proper login credentials. Visiting is always a lot of fun. And, besides, you may actually get to meet these folks in person at a future Conference or Convention.

Oak Harbor/South Whidbey/Whidbey Westside/North Whidbey Island Sunrise

Brandon Taylor, Special to the Peace Arch Journal; reprinted with permission from the Whidbey News-Times

The Rotary clubs on Whidbey Island have united to bring supplies to various agencies combatting the coronavirus.

The four clubs established a task force at the end of March after a member of the South Whidbey Rotary club offered to procure needed supplies for WhidbeyHealth.

“All four Rotaries quickly pitched in,” said Steve Schwalbe, Oak Harbor Rotary Club president.

Schwalbe said the umbrella organizations Rotary International and Rotary District 5050, which extends from British Columbia to Everett, had to cancel their annual conferences because of the pandemic.

“It freed up lots of money,” he said, so they were able to get $5,000 from the district. Paired with the money donated by club members, task force was able to raise over $13,000.

Earlier in the month, the task force was able to donate over 10,000 masks and 8,500 gloves to WhidbeyHealth.

Schwalbe said the task force’s original goal was to help the hospital, but it branched out to help the fire departments as well.

More recently, the task force partnered with Island Drug to deliver disinfectant spray bottles to the Island County Department of Emergency Management.

The task force had 84 bottles of alcohol that were donated so they purchased spray bottles.

Island Drug added additional chemicals to make the disinfectant.

“Rotary did a nice job of working with Island Drug, and Island Drug did a super job of working to get the material to us,” said Oak Harbor Fire Department Chief Ray Merrill.

Merrill said the fire department will use the disinfectant sprays to clean hands, surfaces and equipment.

Schwalbe said the task force is currently looking at getting disinfectant wipes for Careage of Whidbey.

“We’re going to zero out our account with buying wipes for Careage,” he said, but added that the task force is still open for donations.

This banner was placed outside the main entrance of Whidbey General Hospital.

Visiting Rotary Clubs Across the Continent
In addition to the Clubs I visited in our own District, I went "travelling" across the Continent and visited these four Clubs last month. "How did this happen?" you may be wondering. Well, for the Cloquet, Cross Timbers and Kelowna Sunrise meetings, it was because members of those Clubs had visited meetings in our District that I happened to be "attending" at the time.
Cloquet, MN
Cloquet is located a few miles west of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI which are at the western end of Lake Superior. Cloquet is part of District 5580 which is also an international District. 5580 covers ALL of North Dakota, the northern part of Minnesota, Ashland and Superior, WI and a huge portion of the southwestern corner of Ontario. That spans three time zones! This area is facing similar challenges to our District. Health care workers and first responders are on the front lines serving their communities. Essential businesses are open. Families are challenged with providing school for their students, facing uncertain economic futures and yet struggling with trying to keep themselves and everyone around them healthy.
Cross Timbers, TX
Cross Timbers is located approximately 30 miles north of Arlington, TX. District 5790 includes the Fort Worth and Abilene, Texas areas as well as reaching north to the Wichita Falls area. Ernesto Alvarez, the President of the Rotary Club of Cozumel, Mexico was attending that day as well. Cross Timbers does quite a lot for that area of Mexico and, in fact, several members had visited Cozumel in February with medical supplies and backpacks for school children. I should add that Cross Timbers is a morning Club.
Kelowna Sunrise, BC
This is also a morning Club and is one of six in Kelowna which is on the shore of Okanagan Lake along the Okanagon River well north of Penticton and Osoyoos, BC and Oroville, WA. During my visit a member gave his Classification Talk, they were making plans to hold their annual RibFest this summer and there was mention that all of the Clubs in the Okanagan Valley  had collectively donated CDN $81,300 to the Food Bank in town. Kelowna is part of District 5060, another international District. 5060 has a weekly Happy Hour, Friday's at 5 pm. Visit the District's website for more information.
Rotary Club of New York, NY
Since I had visited two Clubs in the middle part of the United States, I wanted to find out what was happening out east. I have a strong connection to the Big Apple and found that the Rotary Club of New York is a mid-day Club. This was an exciting visit! Among the 50 or so participants there was a gentleman checking in from the Republic of Georgia--11 hours ahead. Ozun Yasavur from the Rotary Club of Ankara Bahcelievler also checked in (10 hours ahead). Tony Blackstone of the Rotary Club of Torton Vale, United Kingdom and Juan Jose' Seali from Buenos Aires participated as well. President Elect Eric Compel of the Rotary Club of Chicago #1 said hi as did Sylvia Whitlock of Claremont, CA. Giulio Bassi and Roberto Cosentini of the Papa Giovanni XXIII Rotary Hospital in Bergamo, Italy gave updates on the pandemic response in that part of the world. As you recall Italy was hit very hard with the COVID-19 virus.
Roberto Cosentini, MD
Next, the Ambassador of Malta to the United Nations, Vanessa Frazier, a member of the Club, talked about the impact of the virus on her home country. Tourism is down substantially. PRIP Wilfred Wilkinson (2007-2008) was also at the meeting and encouraged everyone to continue doing what Rotarians do best--serving their communities in any way we can. The meeting wrapped up with a duet from Mimmo Melandro, an Italian sax player and Katrin Bulke, a soprano (also a member of the Club) doing Ave Maria. That was beautiful! This was truly an international meeting.
Mimmo Melandra                                    Katrin Bulke
I encourage everyone to reach out and visit Rotary Clubs everywhere. We are truly a organization that Connects the World.

Lead District 5050 in 2023-2024 - Are You that Person?
Why are we starting so early? We want to ensure we have a District Governor so they are able to attend training in January 2021 and have ample time to schedule other necessary events in 2021.
The District Governor is the Chief Executive Officer of the Rotary District and an Officer of Rotary International. The Governor is responsible for the Executive Management of the District and to oversee the activities of the District Leadership Team. He or she is responsible to work with the Clubs and Club Presidents to assist them in the achievement of their goals and the Goals of Rotary International. The District Governor (and spouse/partner if available) is expected to attend District Events and major club events.
District 5050 Rotary Clubs should submit nominations to the Chair of the District Nominating Committee, PDG Lindagene Coyle by May 31, 2020.

District 5050 Seeking Assistant Governors
Want to have one of the best positions in Rotary?  Become an Assistant Governor for Clubs in your area. 
We are seeking applications from Rotarians in the following geographical areas to officially begin in July 2021. We need AGs in place by the fall of 2020 so they can schedule important dates including training in September 2020, Pre-PETS (President-Elect Training Seminar - 7 November) and PETS 17 – 21 February 2021.
  • Area A – Chilliwack and Hope
  • Area B – Abbotsford and Mission
  • Area C -  Aldergrove and Langley
  • Area E – Cloverdale, North Delta, and Surrey
  • Area K -  Everett, Monroe, and Snohomish
Assistant Governor positions are for one year periods with the option to extend the appointment two additional times. Click for more information.
From the Desk of the Editor
This is the May 2020 issue of the Peace Arch Journal. It is full of information and stories about how we have adapted to the new normal of our meetings and gatherings. Read through the articles about the Clubs throughout the District and find out how they have moved from the meeting halls, restaurants and living rooms to the world wide web.We would love to hear how your Club is meeting. Send your articles and photos to
Last month I mentioned that Stephanie Cadieux, the MLA of South Surrey had asked "How do we as a society resolve the 'hoarding' aspect with the volunteers who are obtaining supplies for those that can't or shouldn't be in potentially hazardous environments?" James Johnson, member of the Rotary Club of Bellingham Bay, replied. See his Letter to the Editor below.
In the meantime continue to live by and exemplify the Rotary Four Way Test-
Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to All Concerned?
Will it Build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it Be Beneficial to all Concerned?
Also, please note that we have changed the deadline for submissions to the 23rd of each month before publication.
The Peace Arch Journal needs your help. If you are interested in writing occasional stories about your Club and neighboring Clubs, your communities and Club activities and events, please let me know.

Letters to the Editor
In last month's Peace Arch Journal "During the Semiahmoo White Rock meeting, Stephanie Cadieux, MLA of South Surrey, BC, asked a question that we should all consider. 'How do we as a society resolve the 'hoarding' aspect with the volunteers who are obtaining supplies for those that can't or shouldn't be in potentially hazardous environments?'"
This could be an interesting and serious question. That the supplies are being purchased for others at risk is just virtue signaling and obscures the real issue. The real question is may a person living in a free society decide another person living in a free society is hoarding and what rights does that person have to intervene?
I saw a video of a confrontation in front of a Costco store where Party A thought that Party B had purchases too much toilet paper. Lots of cursing. For all we know the lady that bought two giant bales of toilet paper runs a halfway house for teenage girls and only bought a weeks supply. Or maybe she lives alone with her canary and her astrologer told her the pandemic will last until 2022.  
A typical definition for hoarding is:
Hoarding, a Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.
The traditional definition of hoarding does not apply here.  Should we call this Pandemic hoarding?
And how do we define this behavior? 
Is it buying so much of something that others cannot conveniently purchase the item?
Is it buying 3 of something when there are only 4 on the shelf?  Or 30 when there are 40?
Does hoarding apply to everything? Can you hoard green beans or does it just apply to basic necessities? Beer?
Can you overbuy simply because you cannot know how long a crisis will last?  
What remedies can we apply?
Can retailers be forced to limit per person quantities so as to insure the availibily of a product?
Should we make it governments responsibility to make certain that there are no shortages or outages? 
Do we as a free society need or want to set standards or rules for purchase quantities?  
Should we criminalize hoarding?
Are any of these good ideas when we already have people calling 911 when McDonald's runs out of Chicken Nuggets?
I'm coming up short, aren't I?  
Maybe we could agree that hoarding during a pandemic might in some circumstances be rude or inconsiderate? Or not. Depending. 
James Johnson
Executive Board of Directors
Rotary Action Group Against Slavery
and member,
Bellingham Bay Rotary Club
District 5050
Bellingham, Washington USA
Thank you James. Keep the letters coming.
Peace Arch Journal
Brad Whittaker
District Governor
This monthly publication is a service to District Club Officers and members. It is intended as a source of news and opinion from throughout the district.
The mission of the Peace Arch Journal is to promote communication, understanding, fellowship and fun beyond club meetings, in a manner complementary to shared efforts at placing Service Above Self.
Please send articles and news with or without pictures attached to emails. Photographs are always a plus! Note that the editor appreciates conservation of space in order to meet the sender’s needs and the editor’s time.
The deadline is the 23rd of the month.
Address any and all information to the Peace Arch Journal Editor.
James Monroe
Rotary Club of Lake Stevens, WA
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