Club News
Rotarian and Past President John Cairns introduced William March, a graduate of the Royal Military College and the University of Victoria.  William (Bill) spent almost 42 years in the Canadian Forces and RCAF as both a line-navigator on maritime patrol aircraft and a staff officer in Canada, Europe and Afghanistan.  He was most fortunate during his time in uniform to spend a total of 10 years as the Air Force Historian.  Bill has written or edited numerous articles and publications on aerospace power history.  He volunteers with the National Air Force Museum of Canada in different capacities, most recently as a member of the Museum Foundation.  Bill is on the editorial board for the Canadian Aviation Historical Society Journal and is a contributing editor for Airforce magazine.
William thanked everyone for their warm welcome and advised he would be speaking about the sacrifices of aviation in WWI.  Open cockpits.  No heat.  No oxygen.  The majority of aviators with the Commonwealth and Canada did not return from the war or if they did, they needed care.  There was, even against these odds, no shortage of people applying with 25,000 Canadian who served in the Air Force from 1914 to 1918.  We have heard and recognize the names of heroes such as Billy Bishop who served in both wars and William Barker.  But today, William wanted to talk about 2nd Lt. Alan McLeod (pictured here), born April 1899 in the village of Stonewall, Selkirk, Manitoba.  Alan Arnett McLeod VC was a Canadian soldier, aviator and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. McLeod served as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps and later the Royal Air Force during the First World War.
 
After previously being turned away due to his age, Alan McLeod joined the Royal Flying Corps Canada (R.F.C.C.) 20 April 1917—his 18th birthday. He was sent to the University of Toronto for military training, then to Long Branch and Camp Borden for flight training. He was commissioned a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation), 19 August 1917.
On 20 August 1917, 2nd Lieutenant McLeod boarded the Canadian Pacific passenger liner S.S. Metagama and sailed to Bantry Bay, Ireland. For the next four months McLeod continued to train as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. He then joined No. 2 Squadron on the Western Front.
 
On 27 March 1918, McLeod, with his observer Lieutenant Arthur Hammond, in an Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 destroyed an enemy triplane and were immediately attacked by eight more, three of which they brought down. During the fight, both McLeod and Hammond were wounded by machine gun bullets, the petrol tank was punctured and the aircraft set on fire. McLeod instantly pushed her over into a very steep side slip, but the flames were scorching him, and so he jumped out of his cockpit on to the left wing and crouched low, with the joystick pulled hard over in his right hand. Then he smashed a hole through the fabric in the fuselage so that he could reach the rudder-wire with his left hand, and so he guided her towards the lines.  In this way he kept the flames away from his wounded observer and prevented the aircraft from burning up. When the machine finally crashed in No Man's Land, the young pilot, not minding his own injuries, dragged his comrade from the burning wreckage and under heavy fire carried him to comparative safety, before collapsing from exhaustion and loss of blood. 
 
Lt. Kirschstein of Jasta 6 an experienced ace was credited with the victory. McLeod was wounded three times in the side and Hammond was wounded six times.
McLeod was recommended for a Distinguished Service Order but received the Victoria Cross. He returned to Canada (Stonewall, Manitoba) to recuperate but died from the Spanish Influenza epidemic shortly thereafter. He was only 5 months away from celebrating his 20th birthday.  Lt. A. McLeod encapsulates the impact of lessor known heroes and their astounding contribution to the war efforts.
 
 
The Rotary Club of Belleville will be welcoming the Mayors of the Week to their meeting on Thursday, November 25th.
 
Community | Students from local high schools are currently participating in the Rotary Club of Belleville's Mayors of the Week program. The week-long experience with the Mayor's office is a great opportunity to learn about and observe municipal government in action. They will tour City Hall, Police Services, Fire and Emergency Services, the Engineering Department, the Water Treatment Plant, the Sewage Treatment Plant, the City Administrator's Office, the Economic Development Office and the City Works Yard. Participating this year are: Aurora Zech from Nicholson Catholic College, Karthi Goms from Centennial Secondary School, Dante Duffus from Albert College and Leo Kim from Eastside Secondary School.
 
Director of Emergency Services and Fire Chief for Belleville Fire and Emergency Services, Monique Belair is a skilled and articulate Fire Service Leader with 30+ years of knowledge and experience planning, developing and implementing programs and processes in the fire service and field of emergency management.
 
When Monique Belair decided to apply to be a fire fighter, she didn't know that her height would be the most important attribute she could bring to the table.  In 1985 she met the height requirement of 5'8" being 5'9" and was offered a position with the Canadian Armed Forces.  She took basic training at CFB Borden at their Fire Academy and graduated in 1986 in a non-traditional career for women.  When she left the military she was one of five females who served in the CAF.  From there she became the first female Deputy Fire Chief in Oakville, followed with being the first female Deputy Fire Chief in St. Catharines.  Monique has had the privilege to represent the Office of the Fire Marshall and to serve a number of communities in Ontario.  She has taken two oaths in her career, one with the Canadian Armed Forces, a pledge to serve at 18 years of age and one when she was sworn in as Fire Chief in Belleville, a pledge to this community and she has taken both seriously.
One of Fire Chief Belair's most important projects came to life while working in Oakville.  As the Deputy Fire Chief through her initiative Camp Molly Halton.  Camp Molly provides an educational and empowering experience for young females between the ages of 15 - 18 the opportunity of a practical learning experience about a career in fire services.  Fire Chief Belair is focused on bringing the Camp Molly program to this area.
 
Fire Prevention Officer Brad Reynolds spoke to everyone about the importance of learning the sounds of fire safety, the difference between the sound of a smoke alarm (3 continuous beeps) and a carbon monoxide alarm (4 continuous beeps), low battery beeps.  Because Belleville has a large hearing impaired population, Brad prepared a video using sign language, vetted by the deaf community and shared on social media.  Brad recommended everyone has a carbon monoxide alarm installed in their home, tested monthly and inspected annually.  Check outside vents and chimneys to ensure they are clear and unencumbered.  Brad also spoke about emergency preparedness in the event of an abnormal situation that could threaten public safety and health and property such as snow/ice storms, fire, earthquakes, floods, power outages.  It is his job to make people aware and educate them on what they can do in the event of such a situation.  People should be prepared to sustain themselves and their families for up to 72 hours, having food and water, medication, clothing supplies, identification, etc.  The City has emergency guides available to the public to understand and be prepared.  Fire Chief Belair will be designating new staff to review emergency preparedness for the City to ensure we address and reach out to the community.  The Fire Department will continue with fire prevention in schools and address risk management and to establish an increased visible presence in 2022.
 
Rotarian and Past President Kristin Crowe thanked Fire Chief Belair and Fire Prevention Officer Reynolds for their presentation to the Rotary Club of Belleville.  Our community is fortunate to have Fire Chief Belair's determination and commitment.  Thank you for sparking our attention.
 
On Saturday, October 30th, some members of the Rotary Club of Belleville helped deliver Kids Against Hunger meals to Belleville for distribution.  Gleaners Food Bank, the Salvation Army and United Way Hastings & Prince Edward were the recipients of over 14,000 meals because of the efforts of the members of the Rotary Club of Belleville and the Kids Against Hunger committee.  The Rotary Club of Belleville, McDougall Insurance, Kelly and Deborah McKinney and Nicholas and Evelyn Savini provided the funds that will help make a small difference in the lives of those living with food insecurity.  “In addition to helping locally, the Rotary Club of Belleville was able to partner with Kids Against Hunger Canada and will be providing meals to school aged children in Haiti”, said Committee Chair Jennifer Savini. “Over 6,500 meals will be shipped to Haiti to help deal with the ongoing food crisis in that country.”
Belleville Rotarians also learned what it takes to get the food to some of the most remote areas in Haiti.  Tony Jones, who is with Kids Against Hunger Canada, said that that the trip to deliver the food is a 10-hour trip using donkeys that are used to navigate the mountain paths that must be travelled.  The photo shows the method of transportation in the rugged country of Haiti.  Once there, meals are prepared three times a week to school aged children, which is often the only meal that would be consumed during the week.  As a global network that strives to build a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, Rotary values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, color, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
 
Sharon McConnell, Chair of the Literacy Committee for the Rotary Club of Belleville and it seems the "go to" person in the District in the area of literacy has provided an update on a program in Bangladesh.
 
On Thursday, October 21 at 2pm, the Rotary Club of Belleville planted some 500 Rotary End Polio Now Tulips in support of Rotary's Polio Plus Program to free the world from polio. All net proceeds from the club's purchase of the tulips go directly to Polio Plus. With support and cooperation from the City of Belleville, the tulips were planted around the Rotary "Children of Hope" monument located at the corner of Station and Pinnacle streets. The site of the "Children of Hope" monument is very fitting as the Polio Plus Program is delivering on Rotary's promise to the children of the world to eradicate polio so that no child's life will be sacrificed to this deadly, crippling disease.
 
The Rotary End Polio Now Tulip, "the tulip that's saving lives", began as a project by Dutch Rotarians in 2013. The project  purchased the rights to name and sell a new variety of tulip. The project has developed into a very successful fundraiser. To date, over 1.5 million of  tulips have been sold, raising over $2 million US to help fight polio. The Rotary Club of Belleville is joining many other clubs in Canada, the USA, Germany, Switzerland, France and Holland in this tulip plant.
 
The Rotary Club has attractive gift boxes, containing 25 of these beautiful tulips for sale at $25 a box.. The End polio Now tulip features a yellow base highlighted with a red flame. The packaging explains the Polio eradication program and contains planting instructions. Once Rotary reimburses the supplier, the net proceeds, about $12, go to Polio Plus. When the funds are matched 2 to 1 by Rotary's partner, the Gates Foundation, the proceeds from each box will vaccinate 40 children against polio. By purchasing a gift box, you can deliver a lifesaving gift to the children of the world.
 
This Rotary End polio Now tulip planting is one of hundreds of events undertaken by Rotary clubs around the world to celebrate World Polio Day. The purpose of World Polio Day, held on October 24 this year is to raise funds and awareness for Rotary's battle to End Polio Now. Since the first Rotary led polio vaccination effort in the Philippines in 1979, Rotary has contributed $2.2 billion US and countless volunteer hours to vaccinate over 3 billion children in 122 countries.  The program has had tremendous success. In 1986 when Polio Plus was launched, over 350,000 people worldwide were stricken with polio each year. So far in 2021, only 2 cases have been reported in the 2 countries where polio is still circulating, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Rotary is so close to winning the battle. But everyone's support is still needed to finish the job. Because, as long as the virus is circulating anywhere in the world, every child must be vaccinated. In total , 400 million children must be vaccinated each year.  Here is a photo of Belleville Rotarians hard at work planting tulips for the End Polio Now Tulip campaign.

 
What a great day it was to meet at Trillium with fellow Rotarians and friends.  There were 22 golfers and an additional 9 who joined in for dinner.  A great meal, best steak in town!  Although competition was kept to a minimum there were some prize winners.  Shannon Neely and Nadine Langlois won longest drive in the men/ladies category.  Closest to the pin for the ladies was Linda Baltutis, wife of Rotarian John and closest to the pin for the men was Rotarian Peter Coy.  Thanks to organizers Jo-Anne and Ken Wheeler as well as Steve McCurdy who contributed the prizes to the winners. 
 
One of the many golf foursomes -- Len Kennedy, Steve McCurdy, Bernie Ouellet and Wayne Dewe.  I think they are also known as the Poker Stars so they profess to be card sharks as well.
 
Ken Wheeler was one of the original organizers of the Rotary Fun Day of Golf in partnership with Bob Michaud.  Ken has carried on with this annual event, for fun and fellowship and in memory of a great Rotarian who gave his all to each cause.  So thank you to Jo-Anne Wheeler and Ken for once again organizing a great afternoon.  Also captured in the photo is Rotarian Alan Kelly.
 
Rotarian Dianne Spencer and her husband Murray joined in for dinner.  A great photo showing off the wonderful landscape of Trillium and some fall colours.
 
Lots of other photos taken by Jo-Anne in between her golf shots.  The weather was beautiful.  A great way to start the long Thanksgiving weekend.