The Rotary Peace Forum held on February 23, 2013 by District 5050 and our friends in District 5050 was a great success.

On Rotary's 108th Anniversary, Governors Sean Hogan and Rebecca MacPherson welcomed Rotarians in their Districts to come together to build on the Rotary theme “Peace Through Service”

The day began with a major announcement by Julian Fantino, Canada's Minister of International Cooperation - extending the $3 for $1 PolioPlus match for all funds raised until March 1, 2013. 

Originally capped at the earlier of $1 million or March 1, Canadians reached the donation goal before the end of December 2012.  And kept giving.  Minister Fantino revealed that Canadian donations have now reached $1.6 million. 

PolioPlus Chair Bob Scott challenged Canadians to continue to donate over the final week of the campaign to reach $2 million - therefore raising $6 million for PolioPlus.

For more information on the Canadian $3 for $1 as well as the American $2 for $1 polio match, CLICK HERE.

Our own Governor Elect, Denis Boyd, took part in a panel discussing bullying, with a school board Chair and an Interact student.

Abbotsford Chief Constable Bob Rich (and Abbotsford Rotary member) gave one of the best presentation of the day, speaking on gang violence and urban crime.  He discussed the many varied and unique approaches that the Abbotsford City Police took to  reclaim the city from the gangs that made it the crime capital of Canada in 2009.  For more on Chief Bob's work on gang violence, click here to read this article.


Cloverdale Rotaract member, Jennifer Petrichenko (also our District's Rotaract Representative) dressed up in a bright Hawaiian shirt and lei to report on the Honolulu Global Peace Forum that she attended last month. 


Youth comprised a large segment of the audience with both Rotaract and Interact members.  Two of the top 3 winners of the Interact video contest celebrating Interact's 50th Anniversary were from Districts 5040 and 5050.   Click to see the winning video from Hugh Boyd Secondary and our own Chilliwack Interact Club.

Attendees witnessed the historic online Chartering of the first Rotary eClub of Canada, with three of our own District 5050 Rotarians physically present with us - Doug Dyer, Beverlee Rasmussen and Winston Conyers - along with incoming President Bruce Kleeburger being sworn in from Arizona.  Governor Sean noted that an eClub is a wonderful way to continue to engage local Rotarians who, for whatever reasons, are no longer members of a regular club.  All four will continue to take part in District 5050 activities.

Other presenters included Rotary Director Bryn Styles, Past Director Paul Netzel, Peace Forum organizer and D5040 PDG Chris Offer and documentary maker Alison MacLean who showed clips from a film made while she was embedded with Canadian and US troops in Afghanistan.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation by PolioPlus Chair Bob Scott.  Bob has been active in the polio campaign since 1985 and has given an incredible amount of his time to Rotary and PolioPlus.  He will be celebrating his 80th birthday in May, but only after he returns from a trip to Pakistan to assist with the campaign in that country.

Bob spoke of Pax Polio: the Paradox of Peace Through Polio - how Rotary has had to work with warring factions to enable immunizations.  He showed a picture of a member of the Taliban delivering polio drops.  He spoke of Rotary's Hero Fund which assists the families of the female vaccinators killed in Pakistan and Nigeria within the past few months.   It was an inspiring speech from a very inspirational Rotarian.



Rotary International Convention - Lisbon, Portugal

There is no better way than to understand peace than to see 20,000+ Rotarians from around the world gathering together in one place to celebrate Rotary and renew our goals of Service Above Self and of Peace Through Service.

For more information about the Convention, CLICK HERE.