Meeting Minutes – July 25, 2923

The meeting was opened by President Doug Williams, with Renee Hyde leading us in the Pledge and President Doug inspiring us with words from Omar Bradley “Set your course by the starts, not my the lights of every ship!”  JB led us in singing. “this land is your Land” which was preceded with a little history of its popularity and rating in the top 500 songs.  It landed at #229, just ahead of “My Generation!!” A visiting Rotarian from San Felipe, Mexico (did not catch his name). He expressed some in interest in working on a collaborative grant with our club, at some point! Our guests included all of Kate Smith’s immediate family, including her father, Donnie, and Emma, her sister. Beth Smith, her mother and Rotarian introduced everyone!! Our outgoing Exchange Student, Natalie Huey was there selling CHOCOLATE cookies !! Lots of July Birthdays, including Jason Black, Brian Ling, Tom Hassur, Catherine Hanron and Scott Bonin. Anniversaries included Boyd, Mike and Maureen, Sandie and Wally and Steve and Mapi…All in the double digits!! Sandie and Wally win with 54 years under their belts!! The Club calendar highlights are:

  • August 1 – Club Engagement meeting along with our exchange Student Rebecca Mortensen.
  • August 12 – Past President Brian’s Debunking
  • August 21 – Board meeting
  • August 29 – FIFTH TUESDAY

Doug listed the names of the Club Leaders – with whom we will get to meet next week!!

  • Announcements included:
  • (Pam and Monica) information on the debunking
  • (Carol)Information on the withdrawal policies for invested funds in the Community Foundation
  • (Sue N.) Information on Rotary members/team that are looking at other investment opportunities to manage and maximize our funds
  • JB will be retiring as Program Chair and we are looking for some one/many to assume his position, including having a Program Chair of the month (Sandie)
  • (Bill) looking for volunteers to help prepare his barn and property for the upcoming debunking – Date – AUGUST 5th at 9:00am at Bill’s Barn
  • Speaker: – Kate Smith

Beth Smith introduced her daughter, Kate, who has returned from her year in Kanazawa, Japan and is preparing to go to Grand Canyon University where she will be studying to become a teacher with focus on teaching English as a second language. Kate reviewed the process that she experienced in preparing for her year abroad which include waiting for an extra year! During that year she took advantage of the time to learn German (her intended first destination before Covid) and then Japanese. When in Japan, she mentioned that she lived with four families each of whom have an obligation to Rotary to take two exchange students if their child is able to do an exchange through Rotary. While abroad, Kate mentioned that she spent many hours walking on a daily basis such that she could photograph and familiarize herself with Kanazawa. Visiting 63 cafes and 25 restaurants, it appears that she was able to get to know much of her “adopted” city!! She was able to photograph and experience Kanazawa through the many physical changes of the seasons,, including the booming and unblooming cherry trees. She acknowledged that some of the seasonal changes, including snow, presented some challenges in her daily walks. Kate gave a little history of Kanazawa noting that it is an older city that was not impacted by the war. As a result few accommodations have been instituted for individuals who are wheelchair users. She made noted that the roads were built to be used by horses. Kate spoke of her interest in learning how to speak Japanese (which sounded pretty good to all of us!) and to learn the “Chinese” symbols. She was also able to hare many of the American holiday traditions with her families, including dying and hiding Easter eggs. Thanksgiving, Halloween, and a Christmas meal. She made note that her family sent her the ingredients to be able to make Halloween cookies, gingerbread houses and her grandmother’s special cookie recipe!! Kate took on the challenge of learning how to use the trains, get together with other Rotarians, choose her kimono, cook and establish friends with whom she is maintaining a “pen pal” relationship. She spoke of taking on a leadership role with the other members of her cohort. She did quite a bit of travel including trips to Osaka, Hiroshima and Kyoto. She expressed gratitude to both her families in Japan and to the Rotary club for being able to have such an amazing experience. At the end of her presentation, Kate was asked a few questions which included “What stands out” for her experience in Japan. Her responses included the friends that she made and the Japanese Culture! She also stated that some of her preconceived ideas regarding the Japanese were “serious and studious” were “blown out of the water.” She noted that oftentimes she would see people sleeping in class, at Rotary meetings, on the street and the library. She mentioned that this behavior is acceptable and that the teachers are lenient. She just acknowledged an awareness that “everyone is different” no matter where they live! She completed her presentation by giving a Rotary flag from her Japanese club to President Doug and expressed gratitude to the Windsor Club for allowing her to have such a wonderful experience. She reiterated the message that Rotary encourages “Teaching Peace One student at at time.” President Doug closed the meeting by mentioning that he had been in Japan in 1971 with Bill Conklin for a (Boy Scout) World Jamboree. A round of thanks to all who assisted in setting up and organizing the meeting!