Spokane North Notes

A weekly bulletin of the Spokane-North Rotary Club

July 21, 2014

Editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink

Photos: Jim Minkler


          Sad news: President Jon Heideman announced that Donald Lynch, husband of former club member Christine Lynch, has been taken off of life-support medicines.  Don has battled brain cancer for the past few years.

District Governor’s job: ‘Support the clubs’

          ImageWhile the new District 5080 Gov. Norman McCarvell supports all Rotary programs, he says the “international” in Rotary International is his “passion.”

          “I joined Rotary for international service.  It’s just something I wanted to do,” McCarvell told the club during his official visit July 21.

          One memorable experience was a trip made with members of his club, funded in part by district and RI matching grants, to Honduras to start micro-loan programs in rural areas outside Tegulciculpa.

          McCarvell said the first two applicants read the paperwork and signed for the small loan amounts.  The third applicant, however, just inked her thumb and signed the loan agreement with her thumbprint, admitting she could not read or write.  But she could still participate in the Rotary small business loan program.

          “And with this program,” he said, “the local residents don’t have to go to loan sharks for money to fund their businesses.”

          The McCarvells have made a friendship exchange trip to New Zealand and a Rotoplast mission to Nepal.  He said past District Gov. Michelle Lee of Colville is coordinating a Rotary trip to Pakistan or Afghanistan early next year “to see what the polio eradication plan is all about.”

          McCarvell, past president of the Nelson Rotary Club, is an emergency room nurse in Nelson, British Columbia.  His wife and frequent traveling companion, Jeanette, is an accountant for the city in Nelson.  She said the visit to Spokane-North was the 11th of 59 club visits they will make.

          The McCarvells met with Spokane-North board members prior to the luncheon.  Joining them was Assistant Gov. Jim Schindler, an Aurora Northwest Rotarian and Area 8 district representative.

          “My only job (as governor) is to support Rotary clubs,” McCarvell said.

           Membership has remained pretty much at recent levels, McCarvell said, adding that the district has only three large (100-200+ members) clubs (Spokane Club 21, Walla Walla and Coeur d’Alene) “and there are quite a lot of pretty small clubs, with fewer than 15 or 20 members.  He worries that some of those clubs spread thin, including some where presidents have had to serve two or three consecutive terms.

          But, he adds, “we’re not pushing membership programs.  They haven’t really worked.  If you have a strong club, members will come.”  During the board meeting, strategies were discussed to hold combined meetings of smaller clubs for special events and programs.

          McCarvell said while some of the longer exchange programs have been put on hold, he suggests that clubs look for Rotary partners for weekend exchanges.  A few members of his Nelson, B.C., club, for example, will exchange visits with Sandpoint Rotarians.

          At the luncheon, McCarvell outlined the year of Rotary programs, including the District Assembly, May 8-10 in Nelson.  All are detailed on the District 5080 website.

          He noted that the RI theme for this Rotary year is “Light Up Rotary.”  The theme was suggested by RI President Gary Huang of Taiwan.  It has Chinese roots, he said, from the Confucian saying that “it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. McCarvell said some clubs plan to have lighted candles during their weekly meetings.  President Jon gave each member a special pin denoting this year's theme.