Happenings in Rotary
The Rotary Club welcomed Honorary Member, Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston to the podium today.  Ted was introduced by Mike Christie, who spoke briefly about Ted's history. Mayor Ted had recently given his annual, formal "State of the City" address and he paid us a visit to give us the "Coles Notes" version.  Ted has been a council member since 2007 and Mayor since 2013.
Ted began by speaking about the "team" at City Hall...both his fellow Council members, the Executive and all the staff.  He is extremely proud of the performance of the organization and as shown in a recent article in the New York Times, as a community we "punch way above our weight class".  He spoke about the difference in municipal politics, and how everything is not as bad as it seems in the media.  He spoke of recent success, of the challenges with the recent Aurora Cannabis announcements (he expects 6 of the 36 production bays to be planted this year, with at least 50 - 100 jobs).  That facility is the largest "Controlled Agricultural Environment" in the country, over 1.6 Million sq ft. 
 
Mayor Ted spoke about the challenges in the home building sector, although commercial building is very healthy.  He spoke about the accomplishments of this Council including the completion of the flood protective berms and the work associated with transforming the "Gas City" with the abandonment of many of the oil and gas assets due to the expected prices. He mentioned expansions at Cancarb and the success of Qinetiq as reasons for optimism in the community.
Ted thanked the Rotary Club for the Rotary Music Festival, he credits it with helping a shy child blossom and finished his presentation with a poem titled "Invictus"...or "the unconquered".  Well done Mayor Ted.
 
Mayor Ted was thanked by President Margie Booyens, who spoke about the need to know the needs of the community, what issues are going unresolved or unaddressed and where can Rotary make a big impact.  Our club is reviewing those things now and hopefully will be coming up with local community service projects with the biggest "needs" in mind.
Jace Anderson (a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club) and the Manager of the Destination Marketing Office spoke about the impact the community has on visitors and some of the "hidden gems" that locals take for granted but are so important to visitors.  He spoke first about promotions, through the magazine "Experience Medicine Hat".  It helps build awareness of the activities and benefits in the community.
 
He spoke about various outdoor activities, like our trails system and some of the mountain biking area's.  He used examples like the Rotary Music Festival, the MH Jazzfest. the Tongue on the Post Folk Festival, and other cultural attractions which are emerging as power ways to get visitors to come and stay.
He spoke about the capital investment in the Tourist Center which is going on, to deal with the 23,000 - 25,000 annual visitors they serve every year.  He spoke about the new Sunshine Trolley as a way to get visitors around town and how both the Historic Downtown and Historic Clay District are big draws for out of town visitors.
 
He spoke about "the passion for the community" which is found in service club and elsewhere and helps provide the opportunity to engage the tourists, currently tourism is the 4th largest industry in Alberta.  He answered a number of questions and was thanked by Karen Blewett.
Wayne Chesley took the podium today and presented a slide show on a trip to Calcutta India in 2008.  Sandy & Jane Mackay, Joe & Vicki Hrankowski and Wayne & Bernice Chesley travelled to Calcutta India to review the scope and impact of the 3H project organized by our club and the Rotary Club of Calcutta Metropolitan.
 
 
Our club raised approximately $6,000 and with the matching of funds through the process were able to give $48,000 to the project.  Rotary International contributed $300,000.  Wayne reviewed the devastating conditions in the villages prior to the start of the project and talked about the impact of the trip on the villagers and on the Medicine Hat Rotarians.  A copy of the presentation is stored in the Club Documents section of our website.
 
Rotary was able to provide;
  • An eye clinic
  • Vaccinations
  • Specialized health clinics
  • A school
  • Microcredit for over 500 people
  • A number of fresh water wells for village health
  • 450 toilet installations.
  • 11,000 fruit bearing trees, for food and sale.
  • And a road to connect the villages in all weather conditions, named "The Paul Harris Road"
The Calcutta newspaper printed a big article about the project once it was complete and the best quote from the write was "Rotarians won the hearts of 50,000 villagers.
 
A wonderful presentation with great pictures and a reminder to us that Rotary IS International and "doing good in the world"....thanks Wayne!
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Medicine Hat

We meet Mondays at 11:45 AM
Medicine Hat Lodge
1051 Ross Glen Drive SE
Medicine Hat, AB T1B 3T8
Canada
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Rotary Club of Medicine Hat
PO Box 1058
Medicine Hat, AB, T1A 7H1
 
mhrotary@gmail.com