Happenings in Rotary
Alain Guerard was introduced as our speaker today, to give his classification talk by his club sponsor, Dave Panabaker.  Alain described himself as being a very lucky person all his life.  He thanked Joe Hrankowski, whose reclassification talk he heard and that prompted him to make some notes so he wouldn't forget something important that he wanted to say.
Alain was born and raised in Montreal, and they had a good life, good schools and good friends.  He said that other than some summer trips to the farm, he never left the "Island", and was very happy.  When he was 16 he decided that he wanted to join the Canadian Armed Forces, and became a cadet destined for the infantry.  However, 5 years at the Royal Military College and poor eyesight resulted in him graduation as a logistics officer.
He got married to Joanne after graduation, and they have been together for 52 years.  They have two children, their daughter has been a police officer but is now studying for a degree in education.  Their son is a geologist in Calgary.  Most importantly, they have 4 grandkids.  His career took him to many locations around this country and he retired from the military in 1995 as the DCO of the School of Logistics.
Upon retirement, he found a job at KPMG in supply chain management and has continued to work in that field over the past 20 years.  He has been involved in larger projects with firms such as Pfizer, with the Canadian Blood Service, and overseas with fuel logistics in Sudan and container loads of relief supplies for the Ukraine.  His work is gradually tapering off, but he still gets calls and puts in about one day a week. He has volunteered at AJ Loan Cupboard over the past year, and both the Esplanade and Co-op Place. He descibed himself as a "WYSIWYG" guy, "what you see is what you get.
He was thanked by Past District Governor Sandy Mackay, and presented with a Paul Harris Fellowship, our tradition for new members and we look forward to Alain's ideas and energy in the club for years to come.
The Club does not normally publish a story about our regular business meetings, however the Rotary Club adopted unanimously a new Strategic Plan, which has been in the development stage for the past year.
President-elect Bruce Shepard spoke to the group, about the work that went on and how he followed a model he learned early in his career.  Bruce mentioned the need for more publicity and advertising, as well as a membership brochure which would extoll the values of Rotary to newcomers.  He also spoke about engaging local industries, both large and small to further our reach.
Club Vision
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat will be a high profile, dynamic service club recognized both locally and abroad for its leadership and community service.
Club Mission
The purpose of the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat, in keeping with the Rotary Code of Conduct, the Four Way Test and the Objects of Rotary, is to ethically serve our local and global communities by providing opportunities for service, fellowship and personal growth for our members.
Club Actions to support the Mission
The following actions will be undertaken by our Club to reach our Objectives and fulfill our Mission:
  1. The current Club Committee structure will be revised and animated by a renewed commitment to fun and fellowship;
  2. A new Promotions and Marketing Committee will be created and tasked with raising the profile of our Club in the community;
  3.  Plan, develop and hold a single major Club event, with spouses, aimed at recruiting new members, or encouraging former members to return.
There is lots of work to do, and all members will need to be engaged to make it happen.
Thanks to Bruce, Melanie and the whole Rotary Board for getting us to this point.
Medicine Hat News (MHN) City Editor, Ryan McCracken, has a degree in journalism from a university in Ontario. During the two years he worked as a (mainly) sports reporter for the St Paul journal in Saskatchewan, he covered several significant, traumatic events. One was a bus crash and another the murder of a priest.
Ryan moved to Alberta in 2014. He covered sports in the area for the Medicine Hat News for six seasons, before taking on the role of sports editor in 2020, then city editor in 2021, the position that he still holds today.
The COVID era had a hugely negative impact on the MHN. For example: No sporting events to report on; staff had to do as much work from home as they could, which was very challenging, and they had to relay times at the office to get the layout etc. of the paper done. Most devastating was that the number of journalists on the staff was reduced from 12 to 6 – a City Editor, a Publishing Editor and just four journalists. This had to be done due to the reduction in advertising during the COVID years. The Monday edition had in turn to be axed because of the reduced size of reporting staff and the rising cost of newsprint. Over the years, the total staff contingent has been reduced from about 100 to the current 30-40.
Ryan described the office as a positive environment, with the journalists working hard and often overtime (“For the love of the game”) to get each edition of the MHN shipshape for the 7,000 (mostly) print subscribers.
Ryan shared a few funny typos, and his typical working day. He explained how important it is that the paper balances out space and attention, particularly on the front page, e.g. to political parties, not appearing to favour any one in particular. He described the process followed each day, from content to layout to submission for printing, reception of the printed papers from Lethbridge, insertion of flyers in the mailroom at MHN, and then the distribution of papers in Medicine Hat by the carriers.
Ryan pointed out the important role played by the MHN, having a foothold in the community, which allows the journalists to cover and explain decisions made by e.g. City Council and the Police, as well as covering events of local interest.
Three of the things Ryan and his team are working towards are more ‘proprietary content’, the digital copy of the MHN being different to the hard copy, and more cohesion between the many newspapers in the Alberta Paper Group.
The tour of the MHN building revealed a development that few know about. The MHN is now printed in Lethbridge, alongside sister newspaper, the Lethbridge Herald, and several other local (mostly weekly) newspapers. The printing machines at MHN now stand idle.
Ryan and his team were sincerely thanked for the exceptional coverage given to the Rotary Music Festival each year.
Rotarians and guests were interested to see and hear that the Santa Claus Christmas Fund operates from the MHN offices, reducing rental costs.
In sum, this was a very interesting and informative visit, for which we once again thank Medicine Hat News City Editor, Ryan McCracken.
We wish Ryan and his staff the best for the vitally important role they play, inter alia, in helping to keep our leaders challenged and accountable, and our community informed and vibrant.
Upcoming Events
Medicine Hat

We meet In Person & Online
Mondays at 11:45 AM
Medicine Hat Lodge
1051 Ross Glen Dr SE
Medicine Hat, AB T1B 3T8
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat has returned to meeting in person, face-to-face meetings as of Monday March 21. A ZOOM link will still be available for those who are cautious, ill or are away on vacation.
Club Contact Info
Rotary Club of Medicine Hat
PO Box 1058
Medicine Hat, AB, T1A 7H1