Rotary Luncheon Notes of November 5, 2015
Posted by David Organ
on Nov 11, 2015
The next meeting of the Halifax Rotary Club will be Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 7:15 am in the Tradewinds Room, Westin Hotel.
The guest speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Robert Fennell, who will speak to us about faith, belief and Christian denominations.
Rotary Club of Halifax, Nova Scotia
Luncheon Notes of November 5, 2015
Luncheon Notes of November 5, 2015
Venue: Swiss Chalet Rotisserie & Grill, 358 Lacewood Dr., Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Time, Theme and Format: 12:00 pm noon, a modified lunch meeting format designed to facilitate remembrance of veterans, who have stood between us and harm, defending our democratic institutions and way of life. Terry Pond lead the service.
Meeting Chair and Service Leader: Terry Pond, PP, PHF.
Sergeant-At-Arms: Roy Hayward, PP.
Desk: Roger Stein.
Welcome: Herman Ssebazza. Herman welcomed Club member spouses, and guests David and Kay Richardson.
Attendance: 16 members, 7 spouses of members, and 2 guests.
Grace: Terry Pond – a Royal Canadian Legion prayer:
“Let us think reverently of those who by land, by sea and by air, laid down their lives for sovereign and country.
Their sacrifice will ever inspire us to labour on, to the end that those who survive and need our aid may be assured of assistance, and that the country in which we live and for which they died may ever be worthy of the sacrifice they made.
Minute of Silence: all stood for a minute of silent contemplation and prayer.
Health of the Club: Muriel Axell was able to attend the luncheon, signaling encouraging signs of recovery from a hard-hitting virus earlier in the year.
- Planning for the Club’s Christmas dinner to be coordinated, along with the Eggnog Party. Roy Hayward and Roy Martin will follow up.
- Members were reminded of the importance of the Vacation Draw for Club programs, and that the deadline was fast approaching. Work hard my friends. Work hard.
- The Ugandan project grant has been approved, funds allocated, and the project will be proceeding as hoped.
Happy Moments: The following were happy Rotarians at this morning’s meeting: Robert Reid.
Weekly Draw: Suspended for this event. The Queen of Hearts will be worth $190 when the draw resumes at next meeting.
Our guest speaker was Club member, PP Terry Pond.
Terry is currently 68 years old, born in Woodstock, New Brunswick, and son of Reg and Dolly Pond, both of whom were veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces. Reg served in the Royal Canadian Navy on the HMCS Uganda, renamed HMCS Quebec during the Korean War and finally decommissioned in 1956. The HMCS Uganda was positioned off the shores of Japan during the wartime nuclear bomb explosions, radiation from which impacted navy personnel, including Reg. Dolly served in the Royal Canadian Army for 26 years, receiving the Order of Military Merit.
Founded on July 1, 1972, the Order of Military Merit recognizes distinctive merit and exceptional service displayed by the men and women of the Canadian Forces, both Regular and Reserve. Many have demonstrated dedication and devotion beyond the call of duty, and the Order honours them for their commitment to Canada. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the Order’s Sovereign, the governor general is its Chancellor and a Commander, and the chief of the Defence Staff is its Principal Commander.
With Terry’s family history, it was natural for him to join the military. He joined the Army Reserves at the age of 16, working first as a driver and then as a driving instructor. He worked his way up to Sergeant in 4 years within the Reserves. Terry was committed to a military career, and transferred to the regular force, where he became an army officer. After about 18 months as a Private, he was selected for Officer Training as an artillery officer. Looking back, Terry reflected that he saved himself about 6 months going this route.
Terry shared a story of his recruiting experience. The recruiter told him that if he joined as a soldier, he would be promoted ahead of all civilians wanting to join the army. So he joined the regular force as a Private in the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME), and was trained as an ELM Tech (Electro-Mechanical Technician), working on military equipment and vehicle electrical systems. The RCEME motto was: "Arte et Marte" ("By Skill and by Fighting"), conveying the concept of a soldier-maintainer applying engineering skills in combat.
Terry’s story continues with where he went, what jobs he had, and who he met along the way. Such details would fill volumes, reflecting a rich and full military life. Terry retired in September 2003 after 39 years in service to Canada, including 12 years of service outside of the country.
We all have an understanding of what a veteran is, and Terry noted that the official definition has changed subtly over the years to encompass new veterans coming home from new conflicts, ever since 1899. Terry served during a time relative peace for Canadian military personnel, often referred to as “The Person Years.” Even so, there have been conflicts engaging Canada’s military every decade over the past 100 years and longer. The latest conflict has been Afghanistan, and current missions in the Middle East. From the Boar War, through World Wars I and II, Korea, Middle East, Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina operations, East Timor, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Libya, Iraq and the Levant, Canada’s military presence has been a consistent support for our allies, NATO, and the United Nations.
After leaving the military, Terry’s life has revolved around Rotary and the Royal Canadian Legion, Centennial Branch 160, wanting to help make a difference as a volunteer.
Canadian Legions are entrusted with the task of remembering fallen soldiers, and offering aid to those veterans (and their families) who survived the conflict(s) into which they were sent over the past 116 years. The program used to remind Canadians of these profound sacrifices is Remembrance Day, and day set aside each year to pay homage to the serving and retired military personnel we call veterans. He Legion engages in a “Call to Remembrance” for our individual communities by distributing red poppies and various information materials. Donations through the Poppy Trust Fund help each Legion Branch serve veterans. The red poppy resonates for Canadians with Major John McCrae’s famous poem, In Flanders Fields.
Remembrance Day: with services marking the date and time when armies stopped fighting World War I on November 11th at 11 am in 1918 (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month).
At this time of year we remember why we have a free country. Please remember to buy a poppy, and remember that there are veterans who need our support!
Closing Prayer – A Legion Prayer of Remembrance:
Lord God of Hosts,
Be with us Yet,
Lest we Forget,
Lest we Forget.
Adjournment: “O Canada” was sung, led by Jim Axell.
Next Week: The next meeting of the Halifax Rotary Club will be Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 7:15 am in the Tradewinds Room, Westin Hotel. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Robert Fennell, professor of systematic and historical theology at the Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax.
In Flanders Fields, by Major John McCrae, 1872 – 1918, a brigade physician and poet from Guelph, Ontario (written in 1915), serving overseas during World War 1.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Additional News and Information:
- Rotary Polio Immunization Trip to India Announced - February 2016 (see attached PDF file).
- Philanthropy, Community, and WINE!
- Bishop’s Cellar has put together a 2015 CASE SALE for the Rotary Clubs of HRM to support our fundraising efforts for the Hospice Society of Greater Halifax, plans for which are taking shape!
- $25 from each case goes directly to the Rotary’s fundraising effort for hospice.
- Limited time only … the sale starts today (Nov 9) and ends on Nov 23 with one day only pick up on Nov 26 (8 am to 8 pm) at Bishop’s Cellar Warehouse, 3607 Strawberry Hill, Halifax.
- Don't delay! Order your Christmas wine and support the Hospice Society!