Assistant District Governor, Howard Shears, inducted the 2024-25 RCLS Executive Brenda Rouse (Sec), Kathleen Murphy (Pres), Barrie Neal (Intl), David Ramsdale (Treas), Howard, Hector Silva Rodrigues (P Pres)
Our entertaining Sergeant at Arms and resident lawyer, David Kirwin, conducted a 'Twenty Minutes on the Bench' exit interview with outgoing president Hector Silva Rodrigues where we learned about Hector's life story and immigrating his family from Columbia to London ON.  The Club thanked  Hector for his service and stepping forward during Covid as President for a two-year term!
Below London South President Hector Silva Rodrigues pins Jim Collins from Harvest Hands with a Paul Harris Award for all their contributions to The Community Fridge.  Jennifer Raymer, leader of the Humanitarian Trip to Cuba in February, was also recognized with a Paul Harris Award for all she does with MissionGo.Org.  She is shown here with President Hector, PH Event Coordinator, Al Hardy and Photographer, Jug Manocha.
Congratulations to Jim Belton, the first recipient of the prestigious John Eberhard Rotarian of Distinction Award (JERODA) for his tremendous accomplishments and a long-time commitment to Rotary.  Presented at the Area 4 Paul Harris event hosted by the Rotary Club of London Hyde Park, Rotary Club of London South, Rotary Club of London, Rotary Club London East and Rotary Club of London Lambeth.
Members gathered Thursday night for a Potluck Social.  We said farewell to Dr. Amy Sophia Odega as she is moving to Sault Ste. Marie to complete her Psychiatric residency.  She graciously shared her 'Rotary' cake to help us celebrate the birthdays of Barbra Fraser and Jim Thomas.  David Knoppert showed pictures of the recent Humanitarian trip to Cuba led by Jennifer Raymer.  Jennifer was honoured by our Club with a Paul Harris award for her leadership in this project.  Carolyn Murray, Joanne Vergeer and former RCLS member Peggy Vandenberg were also in attendance.   
Catherine Dorias-Piesko, the Fund Development Manager of The London Cross-Cultural Learner Centre enlightened our Club on why it is the leading newcomer agency in London, Ontario. 

Their primary objective is to enhance the community by providing a range of services and advocating for the success and sense of belonging of individuals from diverse backgrounds, particularly refugees and other vulnerable newcomers. Their vast experience is dedicated to helping these newcomers settle, integrate, and thrive in the London community.  For more information, contact Marianne Fischtner, the Newcomer's Speakers' Bureau Coordinator. 

The London Cross-Cultural Learner Centre


505 Dundas Street
London, Ontario | N6B 1W4



Our own Joan Fisher braved the pouring rain on Saturday to celebrate Earth Day by joining the Rotary Club of London,  District 6300 Rotary Youth Exchange Inbound Students and the Westminster SS Robotics Student Team, to plant 150 Trees at Pincombe Pond in London.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a community book-gifting program devoted to inspiring a love of reading in the hearts of children. Their mission is to instill and promote early literacy, increase school readiness, and increase parental engagement and bonding. Registered children, ages 0 to 5 years old, are mailed a high-quality, age-appropriate book monthly - free of charge to the family. These books foster family reading time, and the love of books, as well as helping to boost early literacy.  Hear from Dolly at Canada Dolly Special Thanks (youtube.com) and you can donate through the London Community Foundation Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Fund — London Community Foundation (lcf.on.ca)                                      
 Click to   ORDER TICKETS     NOTE:  The ticket transaction charge may appear as Bambora on your credit card statement.  ie BAM*ROTARY CLUB OF LON  DORCHESTER ON
In addition to Paul Harris Award presentations, the first John Eberhard Rotarian of Distinction Award will be presented to an Area 4 Rotarian honouring exemplary service, leadership, and dedication, who has strengthened camaraderie and inspired excellence in the Area.
On Wednesday, April 10, 2024 nine RCLS members and friends toured and volunteered at Harvest Hands in St. Thomas, a food distribution centre that rescues surplus food from retailers, bakers and growers and  re-distributes to organizations like our Community Fridge and other organizations, agencies and missions throughout SW Ontario. 
Bruno De Sando and Madalyn Brochu  informed our club members today on the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) which is a free, independent and impartial service that helps with property and casualty insurance disputes (such as home, car and business insurance). Many Canadians have questions about their insurance with the growing number of natural disasters across the country, such as wildfires, floods and hurricanes. GIO’s helpful and knowledgeable consumer service officers will answer any insurance questions and provide a guide on what help is available should they come into a dispute with their insurer.  
Former Rotarian, Dr. Clyde Hillier, shown here with SAA David Kirwin, presented a proposal for a donation of $2,000 or more to the Operation Smile Cleft Surgical Programs in Columbia.  Through their outreach, and annual support from Rotary Clubs in Canada, Operation Smile Canada Foundation has earmarked gifts received from Rotary to their  Short-Term Cleft Surgical Programs in Colombia: • Boyacá: June 7 – 8, 2024 • Barranquilla: June 20 – 22, 2024 • Cali: June 28 – 29, 2024
Seventeen members of London South took time out of their busy schedules on Saturday to participate in a 'Vision to Success' exercise led by DG Sonja Glass and Nurdon Tokoz of Rotary Hyde Park,  Our outbound Youth Exchange student, Kate Witford, attended  as a scribe. 
Although our visioning work is not yet complete on what the Club could look like and where we'd like to be in a few years, we now have great ideas, suggestions and the tools to plan next steps to make our club the ONE others want to join!.
Thanks to Elisa and Kathleen for organizing this great event!

Natalie and Crystal from The Thames Valley Communication Access Program (TVCAP) confirmed their  dedication in supporting adults in the Thames Valley Region who have acquired communication impairments (speech and language difficulties post-stroke, brain injury or progressive disease). They ensure consistent access to ongoing support for recovery, ultimately optimizing their communication capabilities and quality of life. Our mission is to empower these adults with communication impairments by delivering accessible and impactful communication services through group speech therapy.

info.tvcap@gmail.com   www.tv-cap.ca


Allyson Watson told us about Roots of Empathy, a school-based program that decreases bullying and aggression in students as well as increases pro social behaviors.   A volunteer parent and infant are the heart of the program visiting a classroom 9 times in one school year along with an instructor who attends 2 additional classes for each family visit.

The baby becomes the centre for learning empathy and emotional attachment allowing children to explore what they think and how they feel.  This interaction increases positive social behaviour and decreases aggression and depression.  They develop empathy for others, both cognitive empathy, understanding the perspective of other people, and affirmative empathy, the emotional perspective.

www.rootsofempathy.org      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSqP9Vef664



In 1998, Rotarian Stephen (Steve) Fine, PhD, and his wife Gail from Peabody, MA lost their 26-year-old son Daniel to late-stage melanoma.

Steve gave up his successful career in the semiconductor industry to create an educational program that is saving the lives of other young people.

He created a website that began as a tribute to his son and evolved into a complete guide to early self-detection and prevention of melanoma, which is curable in its early  stages.

Steve didn’t stop there. He founded the nonprofit Melanoma Education Foundation and created its SkinCheck® curriculum, a class with a lesson plan, video and student handouts that informs students how to self-detect and prevent melanoma. He then developed a seminar to train high school and middle school teachers in how to conduct the class.  See attached links for more information...
Following up on the research evaluation by Fanshawe college, and the generosity of the Rotary District 6330 Grant, the Community Fridge shoppers have purchased snacks for children. These will be put in our pantry daily by our volunteers for families with school-age children to pick up.  Our research confirmed that the cost for snacks is very difficult to afford for many families.
On Sunday, 8 RCLS members and 5 Friends of Rotary gathered at St. John Divine Church and assembled 200 packages to help keep London's most vulnerable warm this winter.  The packages included a warm hat, neck gaiter, gloves, socks, hand warmers, thermal sheet, toothbrush, soap, comb, granola bars and wipes.  These packages will be distributed through Ark Aid.
SAA David K and assistant Anette did a great job today raising a total of $600 with the Worst Christmas Gift event.  Members who were not successful bidders of a Christmas gift or were not in attendance, were assigned a 'Christmas sweaters rental fee of  $20' meaning they won a 'one-time rental’ of  the Christmas sweaters for an occasion next holiday season.  See Joan Fisher to book your rental date!
Lorraine Jardine shared her volunteer experience at Hekima Place in Kiserian, Kenya.  Lorraine went there initially in 2007 and she has been involved with them ever since and now serves on their Board of Directors. Hekima Place has been thriving to educate and empower young girls. For more information, please see their website at www.hekimaplace.org. 
Sergeant at Arms, David Kirwin's interview with one of our newest members, revealed that Akhil was born and raised in India and worked as a Design Engineer there before coming to Canada where he is pursuing a career as an Insurance Broker.  He hopes to be able to reunite his family by bringing them to London in the future.  Akhil has enjoyed his exposure to Rotary to date volunteering at Rotary Community Service activities and is looking forward to his role as Youth Exchange Officer to support the development of outbound and inbound exchange students.
Kate Traill, Professor & Program Coordinator at Fanshawe College provided a very informative synopsis from the data collected for the utilization analysis of the London Community Fridge last summer.  Her research team found that the majority of respondents live within a 5km radius of the Community Fridge; nevertheless, a sizable percentage travel significant distances.  Most live in 1 or 2 person households, although 21% report living with 5+ people and 65% of respondents report that they access the Community Fridge at least once a week. See the complete report attached.
Joan Fisher reports that because of  RCLS presentations to other Clubs,  we have been able to further help Deurence's Smart Girls initiative in Kenya.  In August, the Sarnia Bluewaterland Rotary Club donated $3,500 for the installation of an additional water cistern which has already been installed at the school.  
Message from the school's principal: "Kindly accept  our sincere appreciation as teachers and students of St.Albert Chiepe Sec.School. The water tank is already installed next to the girls hostel and will help our students get clean water. Thank you so much. God bless you abundantly."
It is a very proud day for us as Rotarians!
Thanks to London South Rotarians Anette Grue, Akhil Anthony, Kathleen Murphy and President Hector Silva Rodriguez along with Friends of Rotary, Carol and Joy, who prepared a meal  on September 28th for the families staying at Ronald McDonald House.
Nourish founder, Sarah Bergs shared her incredible journey from growing up in a game reserve to becoming a leader in transforming lives through Nourish's bold initiatives. From humble beginnings, Nourish has introduced hundreds of children to the wonders of wildlife and the importance of conservation. Nourish provides thousands of nutritious meals and has established a revolutionary, scalable model known at the "Eco Village".Nourish Eco Village is a non-profit NGO located in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, near the world-renowned Kruger National Park.


Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Nourish.org.za

Cindy Benning, from the Rotary Club of St. Thomas was our speaker this week.  Cindy told us about the upcoming St Thomas Rotary Discovery tour.  This is the third year the club has put on this mystery tour.  The tour starts from Ferguson RV in St Thomas on Oct. 1st and goes on a secret route to visit interesting sites in Southwestern Ontario.  The tour lasts about 3-4 hours.  There are prizes for various activities such as putting and picture taking.
District 6330 Governor for the Rotary year 2023-2024 Sonja Glass visited our club on August 11 and along with President Hector Rodrigues presented Don Fraser with a Paul Harris award
DG Sonja is an extraordinary individual.  She is a retired nurse who worked in critical care, taught nursing at the college level, managed the nursing department in a rural hospital and served as Chief Quality Care officer.
Sonja’s relationship with Rotary started when she and her husband Dave agreed to host a Youth Exchange Student.  They eventually hosted 10 students.  In 2016 they joined the Rotary club of Meaford.  She served the RC of Meaford as Secretary and two terms as President.  In 2021-23 she was the Area 1 Assistant Governor.
Sonja and Dave travel annually to Ukerewe Island in Tanzania to provide volunteer medical services.  So many of the illnesses they saw are caused by water borne diseases that clean water is an important issue for the Island.  With the help of District Grants they have installed 7 wells.  They have also done several initiatives with the local orphanage and hospital to address maternal and child health.
Our Kenyan contact, Deurence, reports that the launch with the sewing machines & additional menstrual hygiene kits went really well. There was a good show of buy-in by the Area Chief, local administration and parents for the work we are doing with your Club's support.  The girls have started the sewing classes.  This week should be their fourth weekend of classes. They do both cohorts on Saturday and Sunday to manage the large number that signed up. The school's account's clerk is supporting me with taking attendance and pictures/videos of the classes. The schools close in two weeks' time for a two-week break.

Suzanne Fratschko Elliot shared with us the important role that this social services organization plays in our community and surrounding areas. Childcan's mandate is to to raise awareness and funds to provide personalized, responsive, and compassionate programs and services to families facing the childhood cancer journey from diagnosis, through treatment, post-treatment care, or bereavement. They make childhood cancer a health priority, fund innovative research, and expand family supports until childhood cancer is eliminated.  Click on the title for links to their website and Suzanne's informative presentation.
On July 6, 2023 London South Rotary said Farewell to our lovely exchange student, Mariela Santiago Deslate from Antique, Philippines shown here with her Dad Anthony, #3 Host Mom Brenda, Mom Carolyn, #1 Host family  Hayley, Mark and Maren Linklater and #2 Host Mom Kathleen.     Mariela's email is tingtingdeslate@gmail.com
Rick Baker, P.Eng, ICD.D  a Waterloo entrepreneur created “Waterloo Intuition & Technology Corporation”.  They bring big-business experiences and innovative ideas to mid-sized businesses, offering consulting services for technology integration and problem-solving.  They assist business leaders in planning and optimizing Information Systems, promoting best practices, and enhancing governance and operations.
Rick is very active in the energy sector. He is leading an initiative where more than 50 senior energy leaders are collaborating in an effort to improve Ontario’s energy future.
Miranda Bothwell, the EMS community relations, and communications officer for Middlesex – London talked about emergency preparedness for EMS events.  Miranda described what happens when someone calls 911 and the actions one can take to increase EMS effectiveness if we must call.
Upcoming Events
President's Welcome
Welcome to the Rotary Club of London South, located in London, Ontario.  If you are looking  to help make a change locally, internationally (or both!) you are in the right place.  I invite you to join our club for three reasons:
  1. Help us shine a light on projects to help people around the world.
  2. To listen to selected monthly guest speakers.
  3. To have fun with our members and projects.
We offer a variety of meetings times and events - check our Events Calendar above.
For more information, please contact me at any time!
Kathleen Murphy
RCLS President 2024-2025
Hybrid Club Meetings
We meet In Person & Online
Fridays at 7:30 a.m.
Fanshawe College South Campus
1060 Wellington Road South
London, ON N6E 3W5
(519) 808-2845
Our in-person meetings are held at Fanshawe College South Campus. Some meetings are scheduled Thursday evening at 7:00 PM but most are Friday morning at 7:30 AM and all can be joined via Zoom. REFER TO THE EVENTS CALENDAR FOR SPECIFICS.
Rotary continues to support Turkey as it rebuilds from earthquake

More than US$4 million funds water, education, agriculture supplies, and equipment for affected communities

An innovator with impact

Rotary’s latest alumni award honoree, Gaetano Scamarcio, pursues scientific and societal progress

DG Katherine Hahn
Aug 16, 2024
Visit from 6330's District Governor
Club Executives & Directors
Immediate Past President
Rotary Foundation
Community Chair with Barbra Fraser
Interact Liaison
International Service
Youth Exchange Officer
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