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Greetings Rotarians,
I am honoured to be writing this as your Chair of the District 7820 Leadership Team for this Rotary year.
For those of you that have not met me, I am Alex Twells of the Rotary Club of St. John’s East. English by birth (and accent) I have lived in St. John’s for the last twenty-one years and have been a Rotarian since 2005. My wife Laurie (also a Rotarian) is from St John’s and was the original reason that I moved to Newfoundland. I fell in love with the province quickly became a passionate ambassador for Newfoundland and Labrador and will happily tell anyone that I am the luckiest man alive. We have three children in their twenties and an excitable German Short Haired Pointer and live in the heart of downtown St. John’s.
The essence of my role this year is to facilitate the team of directors at the District board to be as effective as possible.
Your board has two simple objectives for this Rotary year:
  1. Our primary goal is to enable Rotary in District 7820 to be as healthy and vibrant as it can be under the current circumstances, and
  2. Our second goal is to lay the foundation for the successful creation of District 7815.
In support of our primary goal, your district board has been busy planning and implementing conferences, running on-line training modules for leaders of clubs, facilitating action on membership development, and working hard to increase the diversity of district leadership.  These are all elements of “business as usual” for the District board; made a little trickier this year by the inability to travel. My role is significantly different from previous leaders. Covid means that my ability to travel and visit clubs in person has been severely curtailed. Despite this, I have had the pleasure of visiting a couple of clubs in Newfoundland in the last month and been delighted to be part of the celebrations of the Rotary Club of St. John’s as they mark the centenary of Rotary in Newfoundland and Labrador and also The Rotary Club of Stephenville as they celebrate fifty years of Rotary in the town.
In addition to the covid travel restrictions in place, my working life as CEO of a cannabis business means that I have limited ability to spend long periods on the road. For these reasons I am delighted to be supported by an amazing team of Area Governors who will be able to deputize for me in meetings with club leaders and Rotarians. I am, of course, very happy to join meetings by Zoom and would love to hear from you if there is an event or a specific topic upon which you would like my input.
In support of our second goal, we have been investing significant effort collaborating with our peers in District 7810 to lay solid foundations for a world class new District 7815. Like everything over the last two years, this has been done exclusively on Zoom and so I am sure you can imagine that we are very keen to be able to get back to in person meetings and build even more meaningful relationships through the fellowship of face-to-face events. Until just last week we were planning an in-person integration summit in Halifax in November to help create the policies and processes for D7815 which are still outstanding. However, this too fell victim to the fourth covid wave and will be converted to on-line conversations.
One of the first and most important tasks in every Rotary year is to select the Rotarian to drop into the succession line to be Chair of the District Leadership – for us, we are talking about the Rotary year 2024/5. It seems like a long time off but the experience on the board in the years running up to the leadership year are a fabulous way to get prepared for the leadership task ahead. And so I would encourage all Rotarians to consider nomination if they or someone they know would be a great fit for that role. IPDG Ian Doyle is co-chairing that committee with IPDG John Slipp from D7810 and would love to hear from you.
I am always energized by Rotarians I meet and I am constantly amazed by the positive impact that Rotary has on our communities. If I have one request of you this year it is to spread the gift of Rotary to your family, friends and network and expand our reach to make our communities even better places to live.
DG Notes June 2021
Greetings Rotarians.
     This was indeed a unique year. On July 1st,  I will pass over the Chairmanship of the Leadership Team in District 7820 to Alex Twells. You are in good hands as Alex has put together a very competent team which will guide us towards our new collaborative District as we unite with New Brunswick Rotary Clubs and become District 7815 on July 1,2022.  I look forward to being part of Alex’s team and I hope to get to visit many Clubs this year as I feel I have made many virtual friends during my tenure.  It will be nice to meet up face to face.
     Despite many restrictions this year Rotarians have stepped up and adjusted as we tried to  deal with the pandemic and serve our community. Congratulations to each and every one of you.    
     Over the last month or so I have had the privilege of presenting the True Rotarian Award to a number of Rotarians throughout the District. To all “True Rotarians” in our District, thank you for your service. You are amazing.
     As the year winds down our Racism Task Force is retooling and they will add to their focus by including Indigenous Relations to their areas of concern. Our District continues  to be a safe place for all and we strive to be welcoming and inclusive. Our Racism Task Force under the guidance of Lori Anne Jones is one of the ways that we will become an organization for everyone.
     My thoughts and prayers go out to our Indigenous community as they deal with the tragic events events  of the past few weeks. Rotary is there for support in what ever way that we can.
On a very positive note the Interact Club of Eskasoni High School, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sydney have received the Lieutenant Governor’s Respectful Citizenship Award which is presented to successful nominees that have demonstrated leadership and commitment to creating and supporting safe and inclusive spaces in schools and or communities in Nova Scotia. Congratulations Eskasoni Interact.  A special thanks also goes out to Bob Munroe for his work with Interact in the District over many years.
Hope everyone has a safe and healthy summer. Live Rotary.
Best regards
Ian Doyle
DG 7820 2020-21
     April showers bring May tulips. It’s great to see photos of our Polio tulips blooming around the District. The bulbs that I planted last fall have all opened up in my back yard and I’m looking forward to getting some more bulbs to support the End Polio Tulip   Campaign which will be starting up again in June.  Get them early. They sold out quickly last year.
   Our Annual General Meeting will be held virtually this Thursday evening at 6:30. Please read the yearly reports to see what our Leadership Team and Committees have been doing this year. You can also find out what has been going on in the District and our plans for the future. The meeting will be open to questions but none of the reports will be given verbally. The year- end business of the District will be dealt with and appropriate votes by club designated voting delegates will be taking place. We will conclude our evening with the presentation of the “Heart of the District Award”. Hope to see as many as possible register and attend.
     We have had a very busy May with the highlight of the Month being our Joint Conference.
Thanks to Lorraine Ennis and her team for their work in guiding the Conference Committee in putting on a successful event.
As the year winds down, I hope to attend some meetings where True Rotarian awards are being presented and hear about what Clubs are hoping to do as we anticipate putting this pandemic behind us.
      We are  getting nearer to the end of this pandemic; more of us are getting vaccinated.  Please stay safe and be patient. We should have a special summer if we persevere.
See you in June,
Be kind and “Live Rotary”
DG Ian
DG Notes April 2021
Greetings Rotarians. As I sit down to put a few notes together, I still have a positive feeling about our District and how we as Rotarians are adjusting and moving forward.
Hopefully the many Earth Day projects that have been planned throughout the District will be realized. Please make sure that you are safe. TheSt. John’s Northwest Rotary Club has initiated a contest that all clubs can participate in. Just do a clean-up over the next week, take a photo of the activity and you might win a prize.
The Rotary year is winding down but there is lots going on. Last Saturday our Training Committee under the guidance of Chair, Alana Hirtle held a session for leaders of clubs or any Rotarian interested in learning more about Rotary and leadership in our District. More than 75 individuals attended. It was a very informative day with lots of discussion. Kudos to Alana and the presenters.
Sessions for our District initiative Rotary Resilience Training, take place each Tuesday evening, under the direction of IPDG Louisa Horne. The presentations are being given by Dr Michael Ungar and Associates. Attendance has been very good for the first three weeks and I am looking forward to the continuation of the sessions.
Our Expert Speaker Series, under the Racism Task Force, will resume on Monday.
Date Time: Apr 26, 2021 06:00 PM  
Topic: Rotary How to be an Ally 
Please register at our 7820 website.
The following is a list of some of the events happening over the next month.
1. Rotaract Conference, Saturday, April 24, 2021. Link to register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/atlantic-rotaract-conference-2021-tickets-148687182365
2. 7810 training session for leaders, Saturday, April 24, 2021, 9AM. All Leaders in clubs are welcome. 
Meeting ID: 873 5990 298 Passcode: 394402 
3. Atlantic Interact Conference May 1,2021, 10-12 AM.
Please let your Interactors know about this event. Contact: Paula Hiltz for information; nason@nbnet.nb.ca
4. Atlantic Rotary Conference, May 14-15, 2021.
 Check our District Website for Information on the Conference. Register in advance for "A Round with Rotary” – May 14th 6:30 PM – 8 PMAtlantic
 Register in advance for Rotary Atlantic – Rotary Reimagined Conference – May 15th:  
5. 7820 Annual General Meeting May 27, 2021, 6:30-8:00 PM 
  If you have yet to select your Clubs “True Rotarian” please send in the name with a brief write up to Kevin Armstrong. Time is running out.  
Please be kind. Stay safe. “Live Rotary” 
DG Ian
District Governor Notes March 2021
Greetings fellow Rotarians. Welcome to Spring. More and more Rotarians are getting vaccinated, and our “Atlantic Bubble” will be with us on April 19 or earlier if our Covid numbers stay low. Meeting guidelines are still varied throughout our Provinces and St. Pierre et Miquelon so please check with your appropriate Health Authority as updates seem to occur almost daily. Hopefully this summer will see more face to face activities as we get closer to the 70% vaccinated number which will give us a good start on herd immunity.
     Membership attraction and retention remains a major concern and meetings with AGs and Area Councils are taking place with emphasis on how to create value in our Rotary clubs while being aware of what direction our individual clubs are moving in as far as membership goes. PDG Doug Logan has been passing on up to date information on membership trends and analysis which will be very helpful now and as we move towards a new Atlantic District in 2022. On a positive note, many clubs are seeing an increase in membership through Corporate membership, RI referrals and regular membership recruitment. Keep working at this and continue to create value for our new members. It has also been suggested that creating new clubs is the best way to grow Rotary.
     Club engagement in the Community has been very difficult this year but there is light at the end of the tunnel. A volunteer training and resilience initiative under the guidance of PDG Louisa Horne will be up and running beginning on April 6. We will be partnering with such groups as the United Way, Community Foundation and many non Rotarians as we look towards helping improve our communities. A very interesting series of seminars on volunteering and resilience will be starting in April and PDG Louisa will be happy to give you more information on this project.rotarylouisa@gmail.com. A renowned professor from Dalhousie University, Dr. Michael Ungar and his team at the Resilience Research Centre will be facilitating these sessions All Rotarians are welcome to take part.
     RI President Holger Knaack has informed the Rotary world that because of safety concerns, the RI Board has decided that there will be no student exchange in 2021-2022.  This is very disappointing  for everyone but it will enable our new District 7815 to plan a successful exchange program for 2022-2023.
     The 2021-22 District Grants process is underway, and already there are 14 Clubs Qualified for 2021-22 and 5 applications. Potential projects would address food insecurity, a Kenyan water project, trails and an outdoor classroom. Thanks to RI Foundation donations from D7820 Clubs and individuals three years ago, there will be about $30,000 in matching funding available for project beginning July 1.  Many Clubs had members attend the virtual Grants Training event in November. We are also looking for a few new members to assist the District Grants Committee, if you want to learn more about the creative energy of our D7820 Clubs. Grants Guidelines, MOU's and other information is available on the District Grants Website (under Member Resources, Rotary Foundation), or by contacting Brian Smith: smithrsx@yahoo.ca. The application deadline for 2021-22 is May 15th.
      Register in advance for the April 17 TLC:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom containing information about joining the meeting (check your junk folder if you don’t receive it in your Inbox right away). Please register at your earliest convenience so we may adequately “staff” the session to answer your questions. We look forward to seeing you online on April 17!
Dates to high light in your calendar.
  1. April 6, Resilience Training
  2. April17, TLC
  3. April 22, Earth Day- a good day for an environmental project
  4. May15, 7820-7810 District Conference
  5. May27, 7820 AGM
 Please try to stay safe and “Live” Rotary.
DG Ian
DG Notes February 2021
      Greetings Rotarians. Rotary is moving forward in many positive ways and we anticipate a time in the near future when more of us will feel safer as we become protected from Covid 19.  We still have to be aware, though that there could be a few bumps in the road before we are completely safe, so during this time, please be kind and respectful to each other. From information that I have gathered throughout the District about Covid restrictions, meeting guidelines are different in every province.  At present, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saint Pierre et Miquelon are dealing with many restrictions while NS meetings are now restricted to 25 members. PEI was the only province that was slowly easing meeting guidelines, but as of today new restrictions are being introduced.   Please check with your own Provincial Public Health Authority frequently as regulations for meeting keep changing.
DG Notes January 2021
Greetings everyone. I hope that your year is moving along in a positive and safe way.
Our Rotary year is becoming busy in the District as we move into a world where we are slowly addressing solutions in dealing with COVID in 2021. I am proud of how our District Rotarians are dealing with Covid restrictions. Our Covid numbers have been very low over the past few months and we can look forward to a more positive spring and summer. Because of my Dental OR work in Sydney I have been fortunate to be included in a health care group who will receive the Covid - 19 Vaccine this week. I consider this opportunity to continue my work in the hospital in a safer way to be a gift, but unfortunately it doesn’t give me permission to travel or visit at least for a while. If you get the chance to receive the Vaccine, please take advantage of the offer.
I will bring you up to date on some of the news and initiatives that the District is doing to help our clubs to thrive.
  • I have fewer than 10 clubs left to visit. Kevin Armstrong or I will contact Clubs separately to work on getting together. The visits this year have been very positive and there has been a good exchange of information and ideas. If you wish, please contact Kevin or me and we will help you to set up virtual visits with anyone of the Leadership Team members.
  • To recognize the contributions to the “End Polio Campaign” by Rotarian Pam Harrison, who recently passed away, the Foundation Committees of Districts 7810 and 7820, under the guidance of Zone Polio Coordinator PDG Stella Roy, established the D7815 Polio Plus Society in memory of Pam Harrison. Those who commit to contributing $100 US per year until Polio is eradicated will become charter members of the newly formed “District 7815 Polio Plus Society”. You may contribute by going to our 7820 Website. https://rotary7820.com/    Click on the Polio Plus Society button.                                   
  • In 2021 we would like to see our membership grow and become more inclusive. Our Membership Committee under the guidance of Kevin Connors is encouraging Clubs to look seriously at other types of membership along with our traditional membership model. For example, if you induct any Corporate members over the next 3 months or have inducted any this year, the District will reimburse the club for the cost of a Corporate Membership plaque up to $50. Please contact Kevin or me and we will help you out with this new model.
  • A little reminder to those Club Treasurers that District dues have been waved for the second half of the Rotary year. That will be a saving of $30 per Rotarian. This initiative has meant that more than $75,000 has been left with the clubs this year.
  • We can help clubs with Public Image projects this year with some matching funds. Check out our 7820 Facebook site for particulars.
  • Our Systemic Racism Tool Kit is now up on our District Website. A huge thank you goes out to Lori Anne Jones and her hard-working Task Force. The Task force’s next endeavour will be a speaker’s series coming up in February.
Please consider donating blood in 2021 if you can and remember to be safe and “Live Rotary”.
Best regards, DG Ian


District 7820
District Governor 

Alex Twells 


District Mailing Address
Godfred Chongatera
District Secretary
Suite 608
1888 Brunswick Street
Halifax, NS
B3J 3J8
Cell: 902-225-9626 
Office: 902-431-4405
District Social Media
January 2022

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