Club Information

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Belleville Ontario!

Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 12:00 PM
The Travelodge
11 Bay Bridge Road
Belleville, ON  K8P 3P6
District Site
Venue Map
David Lockett
Aug 20, 2018
Update on the PACT program
Mayor Taso A. Christopher and Mayoral Candidates
Aug 27, 2018
Getting to know our local candidates for mayor.
No meeting today
Sep 03, 2018
Happy Labour Day!
Inspector Sheri Meeks
Sep 10, 2018
Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Protocols
Home Page Stories
Past President Tracy Bray introduced today's guest speaker, Mr. Michael Crow, an experienced digital specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry.  A friend and client, Michael came to Canada and met his wife on-line.  They have two daughters and are moving soon to Settlers' Ridge.  Michael was a professional chef, but now focuses on the latest and greatest in digital advertising.
Michael is from England, his accent gives him away.  He has worked in the on-line marketing field for nine years, but with a Province as large as Ontario, there are parts waiting for a lesson in the field of on-line marketing.  Currently Michael is Postmedia's Digital Specialist for Central Ontario.  He prospects new digital clients, develops presentations  and proposals that communicate ideas and opportunities to existing and prospective clients.  His primary purpose is to educate.  Michael has a natural interest in business and can identify soft spots where he can assist organizations, get them on-line.  He acknowledges there is a degree of technological fear, but it's important to get on-line, sink or swim and embrace the technology.  60% of Smartphone users discover new companies and/or products on-line.  79% of Canadians use the internet daily and this is still an upward trend and greater than the stats in Great Britain and the U.S.A.  36% of people access 3 screens daily -- their desktop, tablet and smartphone, an increase from 6%.  Everyone is looking for the "best" business.  And Michael is planning ahead for an 85% growth factor that is happening literally as we speak.  For instance, a person looking for a used car a few years ago would visit 5 to 7 dealers.  Now the average buyer doesn't make it to 2 dealers.  Customers now search product and make decisions about their needs online first instead of consulting a salesperson.  What are businesses doing to take advantage of this opportunity?  Years ago the path to purchase was print, billboards, radio, T.V advertising, word of mouth.  Today the path to purchase is Facebook, Google, Twitter, social media.  And that is where Michael comes in.  To help businesses strategize on how they are spending their marketing dollars, how they are getting their name out there and increasing the buyer's awareness level.  Winning a buyer's trust is a large part of the strategy, how to show the personality of the business.
Michael explained about target advertising.  To identify certain people who are interested in certain products.  Google keeps track of what people search for in products.  That is why you are being shown an ad for similar product......because you have indicated an interest.  Social media is a good tool to use for target advertising.  When people are looking on their smartphone or tablet, they are declaring that is their "me" time and it is a good place to win their hearts and minds with something of interest.  Michael spoke about search engine marketing when a company pays when someone clicks on their ads.  A company has to prove they are legitimate and the digital marketing landscape will continue to rest on transparency.  Michael encouraged all business owners and organizations to get on-line.  That is where the market is today.  It's very important.  Michael was thanked by Jeanette Minaker.
  • August 20th -- Interclub BBQ hosted by the Brighton Rotary Club also known as Karaoke Night at Proctor Park.  5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • August 23th -- Satellite meeting at 5:30 p.m. at Birdy's Restaurant, 449 Dundas Street West.  Patio has been reserved, order off the menu.  Please RSVP to Nicole Haire.
  • September 9th -- Cobourg Rotary Club Community Appreciation Event at the Rotary Harbourfront Park on Albert Street, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Food and entertainment for the entire family.  Free admission and complimentary food.  Please come with your families, friends, children, grandchildren for a great day.
  • September 12th -- Bob Michaud Golf Tournament at Trillium Wood.  Let Ken Wheeler know if you are interested in golfing and/or dinner.
  • September 29th -- Porchfest in the East Hill from 1 - 4 p.m.
  • September 30th -- Foundation Walk in Kleinberg
  • October 27th -- Rotary District Reunion in Wellington.  A one day Rotary get-together in beautiful Prince Edward County
Our Satellite group got together on Thursday, August 9 at Earl and Angelo’s in downtown Belleville.
  • Collin Myers announced the Rotary Loves Kids silent auction item raised $8,000! Thank you to those who participated in the Rotary Loves Kids by sponsoring, contributing items, golfing, and volunteering.  Final numbers regarding fundraised monies will be announced soon.
  • Announcements for save the date for these upcoming events with further details to follow by email:
-Karaoke Night on August 20 at Proctor Park.
-Bob Michaud Golf Tournament for fellowship on September 12 at Trillium Wood.
-Paul Harris Awards evening coming soon.
  • The main club is recruiting members from the Satellite club to join the Aids Walk committee.  April Meeks and Anya Deane Best volunteered.
  • We will have the opportunity to participate in a joint project with the main club on a Habitat for Humanity project this autumn.  Everyone is encouraged to join.
  • Youth exchange program – A young man aged 17 named, Gaspard is coming from France. Thanks to Tim McKinney and Cassandra Bonn and their families for taking a turn to host our student.  We are looking for host families for this coming school year for approximately 2-time 3 month periods. Please contact Paige Summers or Len Kennedy if you or someone you know would like to be a host family.
Upcoming Satellite Meeting Dates:
  • Next meeting is August 23 at Birdy's.  
  • Other upcoming dates are September 7 and 21.
In order to plan appropriately with the host venues all members are reminded to please respond to the event invitation and register your participation in advance. Thank you.

Dr. Ruth Mathieson was very pleased to introduce Dr. Paul Thistle (pictured second from left with Ken Dickson, Dr. Ruth Mathieson and President Andrew Bandler) to the Rotary Club of Belleville.  Dr. Thistle received his medical degree and fellowship in obstetrics and gynaecology from the University of Toronto.  He is an honourary lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto.  In 2005 Dr. Thistle received an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Windsor, a Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International and an inaugural Teasedale Humanitarian Award from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  For the past 24 years, Paul has worked as a medical missionary in Zimbabwe, first as Chief Medical Officer at the Salvation Army Howard Hospital from 1995 - 2012 and most recently at Karanda Hospital from 2012.  Paul is married to Pedrinah, a Zimbabwean born nurse educator and midwife.  They have three sons.  Dr. Thistle has done an amazing work on a shoestring budget, especially in the field of HIV/AIDS and continues to do so.  Over the years, our Club has tried to help him by sending medications, hospital equipment and medical supplies as well as money to help with day to day living expenses. 

Dr. Paul Thistle was very pleased to be here to share some of the work currently being done at Karanda Mission Hospital.  It's a very rough road to get to the hospital and people have to cross a swollen river to get there.  Crocodiles live in the river and people come from hundreds of miles away, taking days to get there.

Karanda Mission Hospital was established in 1961 to meet the needs of mission stations in the Zambezi River valley which were established as churches and then, as the abundant health care challenges were seen, small dispensaries/clinics were developed along with churches and finally schools. To help the clinics, the hospital was built. Karanda is in a remote area of Northern Zimbabwe nearest to Mount Darwin. Its location is approximately 124 miles from Harare, the Capital of Zimbabwe.

The mission complex has a 3 year nurse training school for around 55 students, a 1 year midwifery program, and a primary school offering grades 1-7 for children of the hospital staff. The hospital also offers a Home Based care program that ministers to the needs of widows, orphans and those with HIV. It works with the Evangelical church, a non-denominational church, very similar in doctrine to the Evangelical Free church in the United States.  Karanda has 5 chaplains who help to meet the spiritual needs of the patients through daily ward devotions, evangelization, and counseling for grief when a patient dies or for end of life issues for those with terminal diseases. Karanda takes the evangelistic mission very seriously.

The hospital is licensed for 150 beds and on an average work day performs between 15-30 surgeries and sees 200-300 outpatients. The facility is known for the large number of surgical cases it handles as well as treating HIV/AIDS, TB, obstetrics, and hydrocephalus.  Karanda performs over 4,000 surgical cases annually and has two full time surgeons (a General surgeon and an OBGYN), and a little help from some visitors. In addition to the two surgeons, Karanda also has a Physician’s assistant and a General practitioner . During parts of the year Karanda also has 2 interns from the University of Zimbabwe and medical volunteers from overseas. The patient population is drawn from the entire country as people seek affordable, reliable, compassionate healthcare.  Some facts about the hospital:

  • 130 Bed Hospital
  • 55 Nursing Students
  • 3,500-4,000 surgeries annually (major and minor)
  • 2,000 deliveries annually
  • 200-300 outpatients daily
The hospital receives funding from the Ministry of Health -- $20,000 for 75,000 patients for the entire year so as Dr. Ruth has already said, the hospital is operated on a shoestring budget as well as through the generosity of the Rotary Clubs and other donors who have supported the hospital and his family for many years.  Their mission statement is to demonstrate compassionate medical work, but there is a definite gap in funding and what is really required.  The ministry to the people is imperfect.  Vehicles get mired in the mud.  The hospital runs out of essentials.  The pharmacy shelves are bare.  There is no regular ambulance service.  There are 1.5 million orphans.  Health and hunger are heavy.  There is persistent poverty.  The medical staff suffer from real fatigue.  But the war is ongoing or as Dr. Paul says they return to the bunker to rumble in the jungle.  He does not have all the answers after 23 years except to simply be present in the lives of the people.  Being is as important as doing.  They try to embrace what they can to express the love of God and do the best they can, one patient/person at a time.  Perseverance does pay.......they are winning the war on HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Thistle still sees some of the more traditional diseases, such as famine.  If the rains are late, the harvest is poor, water is scarce.  Water is the life of any community and without it, life is very fragile and difficult.  Schools don't have running water.  People carry wood and do their washing in rivers.  It is difficult to keep teenagers in school although there are projects to keep them in school.  Rotary has provided seed money to construct a classroom that would house 500 children.  There is no furniture or chalk board, but it does provide children with a future.  Clean water.  Education.  But Dr. Thistle thinks we can do better and he shared his story about the Siamese twins that he delivered at Howard Hospital in 2005.  The twins are now 13 years old, herding cattle and going to school.  One success story!.
Dr. Thistle thanked everyone for listening.  It was a privilege to share.  Rotarian and Past President Ken Dickson thanked Dr. Thistle for sharing inside information on the work he does and the lives he saves with incredible fortitude and faith.
August 2018
Upcoming Events
Rotary Stories
A reason to smile

Since 1993, Rotarians in Chile and the United States have teamed up to provide life-altering reconstructive

Reef revisited

A giant artificial reef in the shape of a Rotary wheel restores marine life and protects the livelihood of several fishing villages in the

Laura Bush addresses Rotarians

Former first lady of the United States speaks at

International Inspiration

A princess, 3 prime ministers, and a former first lady join 25,000 in Toronto to celebrate Rotary’s good work and plan more of

Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Past President
Vice President
Director-Community Service
Director-Vocational Service
Director-Youth Services
Director-Community Service
Director-International Service
Home Page News
Ruth Mathieson and Al Koudsi, members of our International Service Committee forward this news release from Lebanon on a project at the School of the Blind and Deaf.  Funds from the Rotary Club of Belleville helped with this project and our name is mentioned in the news release.
Baabda, Lebanon: Within the scope of humanitarian mission, the Rotary Club of Beirut Cosmopolitan (Primary Host Sponsor) and the Rotary Club of South Bunberry, West Australia D9465 (Primary International Partner) with contributions from RC Beirut Center; RC Reno, Nevada; RC Belleville, Ontario ; RC Waikiki, Hawaii; RC San Mateo, California; Mounzer Foundation, helped provide the following equipment: Perkins Brailler, Braille Paper, Genset Cummins 135 KVA Generator, Musical Instruments and Sign Language Training. The Lebanese School of the Blind and the Deaf (LSBD) was represented by its Chairperson Ms. Laure Doumit and the School Principal Mrs. Marie Rose Gemayel. RCBC and RC Beirut Center were represented by their respective Presidents and fellow members. Dr. Zaki Dorkham, Past District Governor of District 9465, (2008-2009), represented RC South Bunberry.  This event was marked by a musical performance by the blind students choir followed by a technical demonstration of the equipment donated. The school administration, in a heart warming message, emphasized the importance of the partnership established between Rotary and LSBD, a partnership that helped cover the needs of the school and helped light up the students’ world.  Speeches by RCBC President Rabab Safieddine, and Dr. Zaki Dorkham highlighted the Rotary spirit of service that spans the globe and the importance of international and local partnerships to help dreams become reality.
Bob Clute took the opportunity to thank the Rotary Club of Belleville for their generous financial support of $10,000 towards Habitat for Humanity, a significant contribution because it is directed towards indigenous people, specifically the Mohawks Bay of Quinte.  Bob was pleased to be able to provide to the Club information on two families who have been selected as recipients of homes through Habitat for Humanity, both single moms with three children.  Bob shared a video of "Anita" one of the moms and her children and her gratefulness for the program that has allowed a substantial change in her life and the lives of her children.  The two homes have been built on Donald Street in Belleville and there will be a Rotary Club of Belleville stone recognition put in place soon.  This program provides a hand up, not a hand out.  Families invest their own sweat equity to help build their homes.  They work hard to get there.
Bob made an offer to the Rotary Club of Belleville to have a Rotary "build" Day, on the site that would provide an opportunity to meet the family, contribute to this very worthwhile cause and make a lasting impression in the community.