Club Information
Welcome to the Rotary Club of Belleville Ontario! Due to Covid-19 our regular meetings are via Zoom.  Watch for further announcements on a return to Capers..

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 12:01 PM
Capers Restaurant
272 Front St
Belleville, ON K8N 2Z2
Due to Covid-19 our regular meetings are via Zoom. Watch for further announcements on a return to Capers, downtown Belleville on Thursdays at noon.
Mark Phillips
Apr 15, 2021
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion- Mark's Story
Home Page Stories
Vice-President Cory MacKay introduced Terrence Thomas to the Club.  Terry was born and raised in Moncton, N.B. and proud of it.  He is an economist by training and worked with the Federal Government on projects to help small businesses prosper.  His wife, Wendy, is a retired school teacher.  They moved to Woodstock, N.B. and built their retirement home.  Terry joined the Rotary Club in 2005 after doing some research to learn about the work they do. The Rotary Foundation is rated by charity evaluators in the top five humanitarian organizations in the world with 1.2 million volunteers in clubs around the world.  A worldwide reach that can increase efficiency and effectiveness, providing much leverage.  That is why Terry chose Rotary.  He is a Rotary Foundation Major Donor and a member of the Paul Harris Society.  Terry knows every crook and cranny of NB and would be more than willing to help any Rotarians driving to N.S., PEI or Nfld to enhance their vacation by getting off the Trans Canada Highway and discovering sandy beaches, great hiking and biking trails and the best spot to buy juicy lobsters and succulent clams and mussels.  One of Terry's great loves is sailing.  While most start small, Terry has gone the other way starting with a 25 foot cabin cruiser and happily working his way down to an 8 foot windsurfer which he currently sails on Wollaston Lake at Coe Hill.  His favourite pastime is gardening.  Terry and his wife ran a market garden operation in Woodstock for many years, his signature product being pesto, earning him the nickname "the pesto guy".
One of his passions has been literacy and in the early 1980's he took on the role of adult tutor and found it very rewarding.  He joined the Rotary Literacy Committee and came up with a strategy to tackle literacy at all levels from pre-school, K-8, high school through to adulthood.  They partnered with the Public Health, Healthy Babies Program, supporting young mothers, visiting parents and providing books from the Rotary Club.  They made reading an important part of child development in their area and each child received a book at 3 months of age and every 3 months following.  They coached the mothers on how important it was to read to a child.  Terry describes his Rotary Moment as being on a visit to one of the homes where he met an 11 month old little guy who insisted Terry read everyone one of his books.  Terry saw firsthand what a difference it was making in this young life.
Terry's next project was to get involved in End Polio Now and help to fund raise.  Provided the teachers resource materials promoting Purple Pinkies, held near the end of October.  Rotary would go in and in exchange for a loonie, a student could have their pinky finger painted purple to show their support of End Polio Now and what it meant on a global scale.  The loonie donated by the student was matched by the Club and then matched again by the Gates Foundation, becoming a $6 value.  This project taught the kids about compassion and helping those less fortunate.  In relation to End Polio Now, they also did a Purple Pancake Breakfast, did polio walks and sold t-shirts.  The latest fundraiser is called Tulips for Polio.  A Dutch grower in PEI grew special tulips for polio.  The Club would purchase and plant in community gardens, a box of tulips would cost $25 with 60% of monies raised going to EPN.  Terry also chaired the Foundation Committee in his Rotary District and organized an annual Foundation Dinner, combined with a Community Paul Harris presentation as well as an initiative called the 100 Paul Harris Point Challenge.  Any Rotarian who donated $100 in a year would be matched by the Club and monies donated to the Rotary Foundation.
Terry and his wife moved to Belleville in January 2020 to be near their daughter and grandchildren as well as being closer to their cottage in Coe Hill.  They both love Belleville and as a maritimer, being near the water is a huge draw. 
Thanked by Bill MacKay who recognized Terry's involvement in many Rotary projects, locally, in the District as well as being familiar with what is going on around the Rotary world.  Terry is on the Rotary Club of Belleville Board for the 2021/2022 Rotary Year.
The Service Above Self Award is considered Rotary International’s highest honor to bestow on a Rotarian.
The purpose of this award is to recognize those individual Rotarians who have demonstrated exemplary humanitarian service, in any form and at any level, with emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others through Rotary.
Barb Proctor introduced the Club to the District's Environmental Action Committee, established this Rotary Year as part of Rotary International's newest area of focus Supporting the Environment with an April kickoff tied in with the Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup.  There are ten Rotarians throughout the District on this newly established committee who will promote tangible actions related to the environment and sustainability.  Barb encouraged the Club to get involved with the Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup event when over 20,000  Rotarians on both sides of the Canadian and U.S. border will roll up their sleeves to collect refuse along the shoreline, and innumerable waterway tributaries to the Great Lakes basin.  This is great example of ‘ROTARY IN ACTION’ and brings considerable community attention to the importance of ‘ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY’

The District 7070 Environmental Action Committee is leading the Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup Initiative, as it gets rolled out right across our District. This is an initiative hatched by our District 7070 Governor Mark Chipman, with his fellow District Governors surrounding the Great Lakes. Mark is very excited about the potential for this event and here's why..... It’s actually huge – with 15 districts involved – 500 Clubs & 20,000 Rotarians. The District has just announced that this initiative has been extended through to June 1st for clubs to participate, due to the recent provincial "emergency brake".   

The Rotary Club of Belleville under the leadership of Sam Reid will be participating in this initiative and more details will be communicated by Samantha once known what it will look like.  We will be focusing on the waterfront trail and Moira River cleanup.  Wear waterproof footwear, wear a mask, bring gloves, take photos.  The District wants to know how much garbage has been collected locally. 

  • Tuesday Talks - April 13th at 7 p.m. on Toastmasters.  Peter Hernandez, award winning inspirational speaker, Rotarian and Toastmaster and Mark Blackmore, Toastmaster Area Director will answer some questions.  What is Toastmasters?  What will it do for me?  How will it improve the Rotary experience?  See how it will develop personal leadership and public speaking skills for you.
  • RI President Holger Knaack will be the keynote speaker at the Rotary Club of Oshawa's noon Zoom Meeting on April 19th.  Check out District 7070 website for more information and to register.
  • Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup will be taking place over the next 4 to 6 weeks in some manner.  The District has extended this initiative through to June 1st due to recent provincial restrictions announced this week.
  • Camp Merrywood -- April 29th to May 1st.  Please let Tracy Bray know whether you can help.  She is trying to determine interest and see what will work as far as a work weekend amid COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Rotary Loves Trees event planned for May 2nd is under review.  Please refer to an email from Melanie Cressman sent April 9th to all Rotarians.
  • District 7070 Conference - June 25 - 26, 2021 Heroes and Champions.  A virtual conference.  Please visit the District 7070 website to register for a nominal fee of $10 donated to the Rotary Foundation.  
  • RLK tentatively set for July 23rd.  Mark this date in your calendar now.  More information to follow.
  • Rotary Music Festival has been re-scheduled to the week of April 4th, 2022 with Concert of Stars being held on April 27th, 2022.
Rotarian Marg Wagner introduced Dr. Ruth Mathieson, a fellow Rotarian and friend Marg has known and worked with for many years on a number of Rotary Committees, one being International Service.  Dr. Mathieson supposedly retired from her medical practice where she cared for patients from birth to death and everything in between, but every winter Dr. Ruth would volunteer for months at a time at an AIDS clinic in Kenya as well as volunteering at a mission hospital in Nigeria in the surgical department.  If anyone knows the real story of medical conditions in developing countries, it is Dr. Ruth Mathieson.  She is introducing the Club to Safe Anaesthesia Worldwide, also known as SAWW, an organization that provides equipment, training and research to support poorly resourced hospitals to provide improved and safe delivery of anaesthesia.  SAWW was founded in 2011 at the village pub in Marden, Kent, England and became a registered U.K. charity in 2012. 
Five billion people are without anaesthesia and surgical care worldwide, estimated as two-thirds of the world's population.  This contributes to seventeen million deaths per year.  Anaesthesia is needed for emergency C-Sections, the most common major operation in Africa as well as surgical repair of birth defects such as cleft lip and palate and surgical repair of NOMA, a facial gangrene that affects poor children in Africa.  Serious burns, common due to open cooking fires in Africa also require surgical repair and treatment as well as traumas and injuries from road traffic accidents.  Many patients have to travel long distances to receive medical care when they are seriously ill and they often arrive in critical condition.  Lack of infrastructure, poor roads and inadequate transport make it difficult for patients and medical supplies to reach hospitals.  Dr. Ruth saw this first hand when she worked at Matangwe Mission Hospital.  They didn't have the luxury of electricity until 2014 and a lot of medical work was done in next to dark conditions with just a paraffin lamp for light.  Nigeria power was nicknamed NEPA which the nuns said meant "no electrical power any time".  Medical oxygen is expensive and difficult to transport, electrical supplies are unreliable, hospital equipment is old and not fully functional, medical supplies are extremely limited and hospital wards and clinics are overcrowded.  On top of these challenges, there are too few doctors and trained healthcare staff and a lack of technicians and engineers so it is very difficult to service and repair equipment.  SAWW works closely with local hospitals to ensure what is supplied is precisely what is needed.
Backtrack to when Dr. Ruth was at medical school years ago in a small class at St. Andrews in England.  The medical students became close after six years of school together.  Dr. Ruth graduated in 1964.  One of her classmates, a fellow by the name of Roger Eltringham, was responsible for coordination of anaesthesia courses and upon his travels after graduation, was shocked to find rusty old equipment being used and donated equipment remaining useless for lack of electricity and biomedical engineers.  It took years, but Roger worked to invent and develop a portable anaesthesia machine, spending hundreds of unpaid hours developing machines.  The GLOSTAVENT anaethesia machine was the end product and Dr. Ruth first heard about the machine at a 50th class reunion in 2014 when Roger brought a unit with him to a lecture.  Dr. Ruth was smitten with this machine and started work almost immediately to raise money for three machines needed in Kagera, a region of Tanzania, an area with 2.7 million people, 90% who are agricultural workers with limited access to health services.  This region has a high rate of maternal deaths due to haemorrhages, infections, obstructive labour and hypertension disorders.  Three (3) rural hospitals did not have a fully functional anaesthesia machine and had no funds available to purchase.
The cost of one portable kit is £4550 or $8,000 Canadian and includes a portable anaesthesia machine, an oxygen concentrator, and a pulse oximeter (as pictured above).  The kit will work anywhere, needs no electricity, will function without oxygen, is inexpensive to run, is simple to use and easy to maintain.  This kit is comparable to a state of art machine at BGH that would cost $130,000.  Dr. Ruth got to work and submitted a district grant and approached other Rotary Clubs for donations, including the Rotary Club of Belleville.  Dr. Ruth was pleased to announce that three of these kits, made by Diamedica a small company in England, are on their way to Kagera.  Upon arrival they will be taken to three hospitals in order to train staff in their use and maintenance.  It is hard to put a figure on the number of lives that have been saved by Roger's invention.  Dr. Ruth estimates there must be millions of patients who otherwise would not receive anaesthesic for surgery in remote areas.  Roger himself single handedly raised £280,000.  Dr. Mathieson thanked the Rotary Club of Belleville for their generous contribution of $4,200 towards this project.
Birgit Wartenberg thanked Dr. Ruth for her presentation and congratulated her on the successful grant monies received for this project.  Dr. Ruth has inspired many people and has worked on many successful projects.  Often we forget what conditions are like in other parts of the world and Dr. Ruth focuses on this and reminds us how much work there is to do.
April 2021
Upcoming Events
Rotary Stories
Rotary’s first virtual convention inspires members to innovate and stay connected

Rotary’s first-ever virtual convention attracted more than 60,000 registrants and 175,000 viewers during its weeklong program.

3D printers to the rescue

Rotary members join 3D print enthusiasts to make personal protective equipment in short supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Young at heart

Holger Knaack has a fresh vision for the Rotary of the future. With a little help from his friends, things should go swimmingly.

Supporting the environment becomes a new area of focus

The Rotary Foundation Trustees and RI Board of Directors have added a new area of focus: supporting the environment.

Watch: Italian clubs aim to protect hospital workers responding to COVID-19

Rotary clubs in districts across Italy worked together to procure state-of-the-art equipment needed to combat the deadly coronavirus disease for 26 hospitals around the country.

Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Past President
Director of Community Service
Director Community Service
Vocational Service
Director of Communications
Director of Meetings
International Service
Rotary Foundation
Director of Fundraising
Vice President
Executive Secretary
Youth Services
Home Page News
Rotarian Samantha Reid introduced Olivia Hughes as the guest speaker on the topic of cleaning up urban runoff in the Bay of Quinte.  Olivia is the Stormwater Project Coordinator with the Quinte Conservation Authority, one of 36 Conservation Authorities that serve 95% of Ontario's population.  The Quinte Conservation Authority provides scientific advice and expertise on watershed activity with a focus to preserve people and property and conserve natural resources.  The local watershed is 6600 square km, draining to the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario.
Deforestation began in Belleville in 1929 and the area is now considered urbanized, resulting in a shifted water cycle and impact on water balances.  In a natural environment, there is 40% evapotranspiration and 10% runoff and in an urban setting, the evapotranspiration is 30% with 55% runoff.  Runoff from farms, streets, industry all flow to the Bay of Quinte, trash included.  Phosphorus from urban runoff is a big issue locally.  One kg of phosphorus = 300 kg of algae.
What can we do?  We can plant trees to keep soil where it belongs.  Landscape property.  Participate in community events such as Rotary Loves Trees.  Collect rain water and re-use and redirect your down spouts to your garden.  Pickup garbage that collects on your property.  Build rain gardens, making your lawn useful.  A rain garden will provide habitat for wildlife such as birds, butterflies and bees.  It will help protect streams, rivers and lakes from pollutants carried by stormwater runoff.  By having a rain garden, it increases in the amount of water entering the ground that will recharge aquifers.  Beautifying your yard and neighbourhood comes with all these benefits.  If you live in an urban center around the Bay of Quinte, you could be eligible for a grant of up to $500 for native plants, soil, compost, gravel and mulch to establish a functioning rain garden.
Why help protect the environment?  Locally, the fishing industry is big and attracts thousands of anglers to the area as well as video and media programs.  Having a regard for the environment protects wildlife and plants and provides good drinking water.  It also promotes recreation and tourism, resulting in a positive economy. 
Rotarian Melanie Cressman thanked Olivia for the information she shared and the links she provided to research and learn more.  A great reminder about why we are taking environmental steps to improve and safeguard our community.
President Elect Darrell Smith started off the meeting on January 21st recognizing those Rotarians who have 30 years plus service in Rotary as of January 2021.  They are Hugh Campbell (30), Al Koudsi (38), John Chisholm (39), Bob Ord (57), Garth Stephanson (47), Ken Wheeler (43), Dave Albert (34), Bill Lowther (35), Manfred Sohn (39), Jamie Trudeau (41), Mike Bandler (30), Brian Bentley (40), Bob Burns (48), Randy Kerr (34), Ray McCoy (31), Bernie Ouellet (32) Hal Wilson (39), Bill King (35), Richard Tie (37).  Wow!  That is Service Above Self!  Darrell intends to recognize those Rotarians who reach 30 years every month.