Upcoming Events
January 2017
Rotary Re-enactment
In the year 1905, Rotary founder Paul Harris asked the question "Why not have a fellowship composed of businessmen from different occupations, without restrictions on politics or religion?”  The following re-enactment by members of the Willoughby Theatre was staged at the Rotary District 9685 Conference on February 23, 2014, 109 years after Rotary became a reality.  Click here to view a 7 minute video of the beginnings of Rotary
Nicholls Park Revitalization Project
Click here to view the Nicholls Park Revitalization page on Facebook.

The purpose of the page is to create a forum for students and community members who are interested in volunteering, and to help promote the project through the community. 

Custom Pages


Canada's First Peace City - December 19, 1997

Parksville AM

Engage Rotary Change Lives

We meet Wednesdays at 7:00 AM
The Beach Club Resort
181 Beachside Drive
Parksville, BC  V9P 2H5
District Site
Venue Map


Rotary Club of Parksville A.M. is a service club of community leaders who work within the local and world community to make a difference.



Rotary Club of Parksville A.M. provides service to our community and advances world understanding by building on the strengths of our members.


What's Happening
BLT WOW Bus: Elaine informed us that BLT are still searching for the last bit of funds to outfit the new WOW Bus. The School District donated a retired bus, but it needed to be refitted completely. The Ballenas Shop students are doing some of the work, but they are still a bit short. Elaine would like to suggest that we make a contribution of $500. As far as she is aware they need about $1,500 to complete the project out of the $25,000 originally budgeted so they are getting close. The request will be put on the Agenda for discussion with the Community Service Committee for the January 24 Executive Board meeting. Elaine will try to follow up for with more details before the meeting.
Live Different Appreciation Photograph: Per the special presentation at our January 24 meeting this is a photograph of the canvas received from Live Different, Photograph by the late Benjamin Cole:
Bill Rawlins read a letter from Live Different thanking us for our support of the school in Calvaire, Haiti. Bill presented Jo with a photograph on canvas of the children using the taps at the cistern for the first time in their lives. The photograph was taken by Benjamin Cole, a close friend and colleague of Bill’s who died in a plane crash while travelling for a Live Different project. An interpretive plaque will be created for display of the image at the Beach Club.
Two Minutes of Rotary:
Meeting Programming & Guest Speakers – John O’Brien
John explained that Gord is running out of ideas for programs and speakers for our regular meetings. In order to help him out John would like to suggest that when we have a gap in our schedule that members step up and talk for a bit about anything and everything that interests them. We might have (4) 5-minute talks in a meeting to make up the 20 minutes.
John provided sheets of paper and asked members to list their interests or topics for a brief presentation on one side and to list our names and at least one idea for a guest speaker on the other. John has already come up with 10 ideas of his own.
The first meeting of the month will be a ‘Fireside’ where the President will decide the program based on Club-related hot topics and will engage members as needed to address these items.
The second meeting will be a speaker or program organized by Gord.
The 3rd and 4th meeting will be a member-produced and organized speaker or program for that meeting.
If there is a 5th Wednesday maybe it might be a field trip or evening social.
This is not set in stone, but the idea is an outline for what could be and to give Gord much needed support in programming our weekly meetings.
Discussion: Major Norm had to encourage Gord to stay on as Administrator and would like to see the Club help him out in his efforts. Helen really enjoys classification talks and encourages any and all members to approach Gord for a full 20-minute presentation. Lynne followed up noting that many of the ‘older’ members did their classification talks a long time a go and could do them again.
Guest Speaker:
Helen Dyck – Travel Agencies and On-Line Booking
Gord asked Helen to speak about how the Travel industry has changed since she started out. When Helen started everything was done manually. They had one computer that basically only booked flights with Air Canada.
The airlines and cruise lines have downloaded a lot of the printing costs etc. to travel agents. Marlin Travel provides full service and will print out all of your documents for you. When Helen started agents made 10-15% in commission on flight bookings. Now they only make about 2-3%. Flights back then cost more than flights now. Taking a flight used to be a fashionable event. Now airlines cram you in like sardines, provide low quality food if they provide any at all and limit your luggage capacity. They add fees for any extra services that used to be complimentary. The business model has changed in a big way. The airlines would like you to book your flights on your own at home and not use a travel agent. This is because they only want you to look at their airline and because travel agents know too much!
When your plans start to get more complicated, like booking flights that connect with a cruise, or booking a hotel for an extra stay on your way to or from a cruse Helen really recommends using a travel agent. Helen and her staff normally ask for any bookings you have done on your own to make sure everything connects. Some agencies charge fees for everything. Helen’s office only charges fees if it’s a flight only booking.
Marlin Travel will also book Avion, Airmiles and Aeroplan point trips. They rely on the fee when booking flights so it doesn’t matter to them who they are booking through. The agents still have more insight into your options especially if you are booking one flight on points and one without.
Each agent has his or her own personal booking terminal so it’s no big deal if you lose your ticket, it can be resent electronically with one phone call.
Helen really feels honoured when anyone in the Club entrust her with their travel plans. She feels like that because she knows us personally she can personalize bookings and travel plans accordingly.
Passports and visas are serious business and can be very complicated today. In the past the requirements were far less onerous. Travel agents have access to information and data that we don’t. If you book on line, often a website will give you the lowest price to start with, but with the old bait and switch once you start putting in scheduling parameters the price will jump up by a large margin.
If you aren’t’ a frequent flyer, Air Canada will charge for all changes to your flights (frequent flyers get treated much better than the average passenger).
Helen asked how many of us use our credit cards for travel Insurance? You need to know that the insurance is only valid if your account is in good standing. If it is in arrears even for one day your insurance is null and void. Most people are probably not aware of that. You need to read the cardholder agreement.
Helen uses a lot of paper and is an advocate of having paper copies of your travel documents with you at all times. Yesterday is a good example, Air Canada’s computer system crashed. If you didn’t bring a piece of paper with you there would have been no record of your booking. She believes you should bring paper documentation and confirmation for all bookings including airline, hotel, cruise, trains etc..
Bashir recently went to Europe for a month and got an eye infection. Within a week of his return he had been reimbursed for all of this hospital and prescription fees.
Bob noted that obtaining insurance can be stressful especially as a senior. He noted that most insurers recommend cancellation insurance. Bob wants to know how you can be sure that insurers will have your back. Helen says to make sure you are using an insurer that is licensed in British Columbia. All travel agents and insurers have to be licensed and participate continuing education to maintain it. The insurance places here in town are licensed. When you are looking at insurance provided by cruise lines it is most likely very minimal, with probably a $10,000 limit. We all know this doesn’t go very far in a serous situation, especially in a country like the United States.
Bruce asked if there is an air traveler bill of rights in Canada. Helen explained that there are a number of regulating bodies and policies but she feels like airlines are taking advantage of the rules and their passengers. The policies need to be rewritten. It’s almost always the elderly and young that get taken advantage of or treated poorly because they are not assertive. If you have engaged a travel agent like Helen you can call them when you’re standing in line with any problems and they will advocate on your behalf directly with the establishment in question. She’s got your back and knows your rights and how to deal with it. Helen even leaves her home number on her business line for emergencies.
Most of Elaine’s travel is in BC. She asked if it’s worth engaging Helen for in-province travel. You don’t really need her for that. She does suggest that if you’re going out of province it s worth giving her a call. We have a great Canadian insurance option. Keep in mind it’s $500 for an ambulance in Alberta compared to the $80 charged in BC.
Arthur knows that you might be able to book a hotel for cheap on line, but if there’s a change or cancellation you will have to pay for this service. This is because once a booking is made the hotel is committed paying to the 3rd party agents, so there is nothing the hotel can do for you.
Lynen thanked Helen for her help over the years with travel plans for individual members of the Club as well as booking our group trips to Mexico.
Joke of the Week: Elaine Young…she’ll be up on February 1 since we are running over time.
Sergeant-at Arms: Ken Armstrong had to be quick and fined everyone who was happy…and wearing a sweater…
Birthdays: Gord Elliott – January 19
Anniversaries: Patti & Ian Dewar – January 23
Next Week’s Meeting: Due to a cold and lack of interest the Potluck Social is cancelled on Saturday, January 21. Our regular meeting will be relocated to McDonald's for coffee at 7:00AM, let Helen know if you will be there.
In February 2016, Rotary Team Mexico spent 10 days in Vicente Guerrero, Mexico where they built a kindergarten in partnership Live Different, a charitable organization that identifies itself as: 'a movement focused on changing ourselves and the world around us by embracing a lifestyle that cares for people, not stuff.'

Below is a slideshow of this trip, prepared by trip participant, Louise Wright.
To see Rotarians in action, check out the following video clips:

Raising The Walls


The Rotary Club of Parksville AM is active in the international community. In 2015, the Club supported the construction of a shed to house a corn mill in Sunyani, Ghana. This was necessary to protect the machine in the wet rainy season in order to ensure the harvest of the corn crop. This project was a partnership with the Rotary Club of Nanaimo North and the community of Nanketiwa in the Sunyani Municipal Assembly.

In 2016, the Club is undertaking a second project in Ghana, this time to provide desks and white boards in classrooms at Wawasua School. Stay tuned for photos when this project is completed.






Our brand new Interact Club celebrates Earth Day by planting a dogwood tree in Nicholls Park. Interact Co-Presidents Ginny Lefeaux and Katja Keifer, with Parksville City Councillor, Al Grier. Bravo Interact! 

Getting the tree in the hole...

Installation complete!

In June 2014, the Rotary Club of Parksville AM presented a cheque for $200 to Louise Sosa, founder of the organization Aldea Maya, to use in the Chukumuk Middle School located in the Lake Atitlan area of the Guatemalan highlandsAldea Maya is a non-profit grassroots organization with a mandate to assist the indigenous Mayans to help themselves through education, nutrition, garden projects and micro-loans.  For further information on the great work being done in Guatemala by Aldea Maya, check out their website at http://www.aldeamaya.ca
Hola Parksville AM Rotary: The Home Economics teacher, Sandra, and the students at the Chukumuk Basico want to thank you for your donation that helped us purchase a much needed refrigerator for the school. We really appreciate your donation.

In September 2014, a group of Rotarians travelled to Vicente Guererro in the Baja Region of Mexico to build a house for a family, in partnership with the Live Different Builds program. While there, they learned of additional needs in the local school. A Rotary Christmas Project was initiated to collect money for uniforms, playground equipment and school supplies. Our friends of Rotary Jane Walker and Louise Wright took the lead on the project.

We were thrilled with both the interest in our recent Rotary Christmas project to a school in Mexico and the money that was donated. We raised almost $3500 and have deposited the money to the Live Differant account.  We heard just before Christmas that families with children who needed a uniform were  issued with a voucher to purchase a uniform and that they have all done so.  How wonderful!  The remaining money will go toward much needed school supplies and playground equipment.
We were so lucky that Tim and Donna Andres have traveled to the Baja and stopped in Vicente Guerrero this week to meet some of the Live Different staff and deliver school  materials  and clothing.  They also went to Zapata where we built a house and had a visit with the family.  Augustina, Policarpio, Jennifer, and Puol must have been so excited to see them!

Tim and Donna are hoping to get some pictures of the school children in their new uniforms when they return in February. We also look forward to hearing how the remainder of the money is spent.

Thank you to all of you who took part in our fund raiser. It is lovely that we can see that our donations are being used so quickly! Together, we have made a  big difference in a small community! 


Tim showing Jennifer the photo album from the September 2014 trip.

Tim presenting gifts that he and Donna purchased to Puol.

Parksville AM Rotarians and Friends join Live Different Builds in Vicente Guerrero, Mexico in September 2014.
The latest project was spending a Saturday assembling a turkey house for the very inquisitive turkeys that reside in Turkey Town. The turkeys are a favorite with NIWRA visitors. The young and old seem to always spend a lot of time in the area with the turkeys because they are so curious and interactive with guests. The improvements, which were badly needed will be well received.
Thank you to our friendly, cheerful team that gave thier time in designing the building, collecting supplies and then coming out and spending a day building our new addition.
Teachers and students at Parksville Elementary School have a new classroom library set of books thanks to a recent $2800.00 donation by the Rotary Club of Parksville AM. These books are for independent reading and will be available for reading in class and at home in order to help increase reading skills.
Many families don’t have the resources to ensure their children have access to interesting and skill appropriate books.  Although students may use the school library, this does not always provide the correct level of reading material to help them advance their reading skills. This donation helps to bridge that gap.
The books are now in use and will be redistributed to the students’ new schools upon the closure of Parksville Elementary School.
Rotary clubs throughout the world have adopted Literacy as one of their main areas of focus and the Rotary Club of Parksville AM is pleased to be able to participate in this venture.
Parksville AM Working at Home and Abroad

Rotary consists of neighbors, community leaders, and global citizens uniting for the common good. Below are some of the current projects supported by the Rotary Club of Parksville AM:

In the Community ...
• Rotary supports children through "Coats for Kids", SOS programs for children, and through "Building Learning Together" initiatives such as Munchkinland and the WOW Bus.

• Rotary supports youth through partnerships and scholarships Secondary School, through drug awareness education, through local 4-H groups, and through a bi-annual trades fair for high school students.

• And Rotary supports those going through sickness and hard times through the ALS Walk, the Parksville Mental Health Group, diabetes and cystic fibrosis foundations, and the Salvation Army.

Around the World ...
• International projects supported by the Rotary Club of Parksville AM include the provision of mosquito nets and the building of fencing and latrines for a school in Ghana.

• The Club also supports Project Amigo, an initiative in Colima, Mexico that supports literacy programs and provides access to vision care.

• Through Disaster Aid Canada, the Club helps fund emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide.

• Rotary launched its Polio Plus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication, in 1985. Since then, Rotary and its partners have helped reduce the number of annual cases from 350,000 to 250, and remain committed until every child is safe from the disease

We're This Close!

To encourage public support for the effort to eradicate polio, Rotary has welcomed a select group of celebrities and other notable figures to join a new public awareness campaign: "This Close." Participants including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, violinist Itzhak Perlman, actor Jackie Chan, Queen Noor of Jordan, golfer Jack Nicklaus, Grammy Award-winning musicians Angélique Kidjo and Ziggy Marley, and conservationist Jane Goodall explain that "we're this close to ending polio."

Rotary in the News
Click the link and check out page A3 for our contribution: http://www.pqbnews.com/eeditions/?iid=i20160617090833354
Flip to page A7 of the March 1, 2016 eEdition:
Check out page A22 for a recap of this 'very emotional experience': http://www.pqbnews.com/eeditions/?iid=i20141014102438818
Check out page A15 for the latest article on the Live Different Humanitarian Trip in Mexico:
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Club Administration
Community Service
International Service
Vocational Service
Youth Services
Rotary Club of Parksville AM, P.O. Box 132, Station Main, Parksville, British Columbia V9P 2G3, Email us