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“Mi casa es su casa”. We had this warm and heartfelt invitation of “my house is your house” extended to us during our recent visit to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. In our particular case, our new friends Ricardo and Laura shared their pride in their home and family. Despite our differences in culture, age and ethnicity, we found much in common. Most importantly, we are all striving for peace, in our own lives, our homes, our country and the world.  Our experience in Mexico reminds me of our Rotary theme of Peace and conflict resolution. Peace starts in our homes and spreads. If one has had the privilege of sharing another’s culture, customs and perspectives, it is the first and most important step towards peace.
 
Visiting and talking with our Mexican friends enabled us to see them as unique and valuable citizens of the world. It becomes extremely difficult to apply stereotypical conclusions to a culture when you have shared a meal and conversation.
It was challenging to hear some people, who were holidaying in that beautiful country, to generalize the population in less than positive terms. I also heard some disparaging comments about immigrants who may have other religious beliefs or customs. Such attitudes and conclusions are not conducive to peace or conflict resolution.
 
As Rotarians, we are citizens of the world. The diversity and breadth of the many projects we are involved in, help to increase our awareness and understanding of other cultures. Through our Rotary friends around the world, we know that the work we do brings about the building of peace and unity. I would encourage all of you to seek out new Rotary friends at our District Conference in Pictou and/ or our International Conference in Hamburg. The sharing of conversation brings understanding and that understanding leads to peace.
Rob
 
District Conference Registration Now Open!
 
Registration is now open for the 2019 District Conference in beautiful Pictou County! In response to feedback from members, we have shortened the length of the entire conference to two days: Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11! Register Now at https://rotary7820.com/page/district-conference .
 
We will get an early start on Friday morning where we encourage all of you to learn more about your roles and responsibilities as Rotarians, as well as an opportunity to hone your personal leadership skills. We are excited to have the involvement of youth from our various programs which include Interact, Rotaract and Youth Exchange, as an active part of our program. Come and see what the future face of Rotary looks like!
 
It has been years since there has been a District Conference held in Northern Nova Scotia and the various clubs here are working hard to ensure that you have an experience that combines learning with fun! We have a line-up of inspirational speakers as well as an opportunity to hear the best music that Pictou County has to offer.
 
For those of you bringing your partner, we have a program planned for Saturday which will include the discovery of the hidden gems of Pictou, including a firsthand look at the living conditions experienced by the 200 plus folks on the ship Hector upon its arrival in Pictou in 1793.
 
I invite each and every one of you to be INSPIRED as to how you can S.H.A.P.E. your Rotary world to truly make a difference in the lives of people in our communities and across the world. We can do this though Strengthening our clubs…providing Humanitarian Service…being Aware of Indigenous issues….increasing our Public Image and finally providing leadership in Environmental Stewardship.
 
We have blocked out 150 hotel rooms in the immediate vicinity of the Wellness Centre and will be offering free bus transportation to and from the hotels in case you decide not to walk or drive. There is plenty of parking available at the Wellness Centre.
 
We look forward to seeing you in Pictou County this May!
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Rotary Peace Fellowship 2020-21
Each year, Rotary selects up to 100 professionals from around the world to receive fellowships to study at one of our peace centers. Through academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities, the Rotary Peace Fellowship develops leaders who become catalysts for peace and conflict prevention and resolution. These fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses.
 
It’s now time to begin preparing for our next applicants.  Here’s how you and your clubs can become involved:
  • Review the Rotary website pages about the Peace Fellowship program:   https://www.rotary.org/en/our-programs/peace-fellowships
  • Think about potential applicants and help spread the word in your area.
  • Meet with potential applicants and help with the application process.  Each club can support one applicant.  You may need to conduct an interview process to find the best applicant.
  • Invite previous Peace Fellowship participants to your club meetings or to meet with applicants.
  • Connect with District Scholarship Committee Chair (Jillian Gibson) to learn more. (jillian.gibson@outlook.com)
  • DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS:  Club must submit completed applications forms to the District by May 31, 2019.
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Rotary Leadership Institute in Dieppe
 
The spring Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) session is being held in Dieppe NB on Saturday April 6, 2019 at the CCNB Campus,  505 Rue du College  located off Champlain St in Dieppe, NB. The sign in desk opens at 8:15 am and the sessions will run from 9:00 am to about 4:00 pm. 
 
Having Rotarians attend an RLI session has proven to be a major benefit for both the member and their clubs.  The basic RLI program consists of series of three one day Parts. The material in each part is organized to gradually increase the participants' Rotary knowledge and leadership skill and are taken sequentially over a period of time. An overview of the RLI program  and the three parts can be found on the RLI page of the Website.
 
All three Parts of the program will be offered. The cutoff date for Registration is  March 26th.
 
Registration is all done on-line by clicking this link. The fee payable by cheque (or cash) at the door is $125.  Breaks and lunch are included in the fee. When you register, indicate you are paying by cheque.
 
Participants are responsible for their own hotel booking if needed. A special rate $129/night (+ tax) has been negotiated with the Hotel Wingate Dieppe if you are coming in on Friday evening for the RLI event. It is for a room with either two Queens or one King and includes a hot breakfast.  The hotel website is http://hotelwingatedieppe.com/ . Make your reservations at the Wingate, 69 rue de Marche, Dieppe, NB E1A 9K3, Reservation: 1.844.854.8330. Mention the "Rotary Leadership Institute". The room block and guarantee will be held until March 4, 2019.
 
See you in Dieppe.
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World's Greatest Dinner February 23
Help us eradicate Polio while having a meal with your friends!
 
Join people around the world for the week commencing Saturday, February 23, to cook, eat, and socialize with friends.
Raise money (donations per meal, pass the hat, etc.) to help Rotary end polio. Check out wgmeal.com for ideas, to register, to donate, and report back. Triple your donation by not doing anything - The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will give $2 for every $1 raised.
 
Contact Tom Campbell, your Polio District Chair, at tom@afj.life for more information.
People of Action!
A small club doing great things! Over the past 10 years, the members of the Rotary Club of Stratford have raised over $75,000 through their annual road race to support the Mikinduri Children of Hope. The club has also initiated their Rotary book sale in which 50% of the profits go to support literacy projects in the community. They are currently in the middle of their newest fund raising project which is to offer free maps of Stratford to every household. The sale of advertising not only pays for the maps but will generate profits for club projects.
 
Community partnerships are an important part of the Rotary Club of Wolfville’s activities. Their contributions to the Sunken Lake Scout Camp have ensured that valuable programs for the youth of the area are undertaken. This year, they have taken the initiative to inspire Rotarians, not only in their club but throughout the District, to donate blood. The club annually sponsors the Rupert McNeil book prize to a deserving student. The club also knows the value of thanking their fellow partners and did just that by recognizing the Eastern Valley Hydro staff of Nova Scotia Power with a Certificate of Appreciation.
 
What could be better in a valley known for the production of fruit and vegetables than to work with an organization that shares unused produce with those in need! The Rotary Club of New Minas does just that. As part of their fundraising, they sponsor the Valley Harvest Marathon as well as a rather unique duck race. Their work to develop a small but beautiful local park along the main thoroughfare is a wonderful addition to the community.
 
The Rotary Club of Wolfville – Mud Creek values youth in the community through their sponsorship of the “Cooking Master Classes” for kids. Through their “Numbers for Life” initiative, they see the proceeds stay in the community either through the weekly winners or their contributions to local charities such as the Kingsport Community Association or the Uncommon Common Art program. Again, their recognition of the value of youth is seen through their participation in our District Youth Exchange Program.
 
The community of Kentville has a wonderful library which has become a focal point for residents young and old. This multi-purpose building was made possible through the hard work and financial contributions of the Rotary Club of Kentville. The community also benefits through the club’s participation in the annual Apple Blossom Festival. Club members recently had a “hands on” opportunity to give back to the community through their baking of muffins and granola for the breakfast program at NKEC.
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District Grants Still Available!
We have the opportunity for two or three $1,000 to $3,000 district grant applications for THIS YEAR. It could be a small project that has to be finished by MAY 31, 2019 (this year) and begun no earlier than July 31, 2018. The club must match the money that they apply for.
Any club that is qualified for 2018-2019 may apply, and Doug Hill corgihill.d@eastlink.ca will help with the paper work and application if you need it. Don’t delay!
David Muise Memorial in Sydney
Past District Governor David Muise, who passed away in late 2017, was a Rotarian for over 40 years. A lawyer, former member of the provincial legislature and mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM), his life was a true example of service above self. His fellow Rotarians in the CBRM are working to create a lasting legacy in his memory by partnering with the community to provide an important piece of recreational infrastructure in Dave’s home town.
 
The David N. Muise Rotary Clubhouse is currently under construction at Open Hearth Park in Sydney. The building will provide change areas and washrooms for teams using the adjacent football field. The project is being led by volunteers from Football Cape Breton and managed by Nova Scotia Lands, the provincial Crown corporation that owns the Park. The total cost is $100,000.
 
“This project is truly a collaborative effort,” said Kevin Armstrong of the Rotary Club of Sydney Sunrise, a club co-founded by PDG Dave. “In addition to contributions from Football Cape Breton and Nova Scotia Lands, Rotary has committed $20,000 to the initiative. This has helped leverage a contribution of $33,500 from the Province of Nova Scotia.”
 
As part of the Rotary commitment, District 7820 has approved a District Grant of $2,400 to help specifically with the purchase and installation of the finish materials in the clubhouse including walls, ceilings, trim, lighting and bathroom fixtures. The work will be done in part by Rotary volunteers.
 
“It is fitting that the David N. Muise Rotary Clubhouse is located in Open Hearth Park,” added Kevin. ‘It’s home to the annual Rotary Ribfest, organized by the four Rotary Clubs of the CBRM and recently voted the Best Community Event of 2018. We’re pleased to enhance the Park’s facilities and honour PDG Dave - a true Rotarian.” 
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