Meeting Highlights
The Weekly Westerner Edition 55.28
Box 4572, Station C, Calgary, Alberta T2T 5N3
Grey Eagle Hotel, 3777 Grey Eagle Drive (Corner of 37 St SW and Glenmore Drive)
Mondays 12.00 pm - 1.00 pm
President: Marlene Doherty President-Elect: Linda Anderson 
Past President: Bill Fitzsimmons
Secretary: Gail Williams Treasurer: Don Edie
Directors: Judy Cochran, Gord Cox, Terry Felton, Barb Hames,
Les Morgan, Drew Turnbull
Together We Are People of Action - Building Community
March 7, 2022  Edition: 55.28 Reporter: Les Morgan  Editor: Marlene Doherty
RCCW Hybrid Meeting
Attendance: Zoom – 30; In house – 12
  • President Marlene opened the meeting at 12 noon with a warm welcome to all. We acknowledge Treaty 7 territory—the traditional and ancestral territory of the Blackfoot Confederacy: Kainai, Piikani and Siksika as well as the Tsuut’ina Nation and Stoney Nakoda First Nation. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis Homeland. We acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit who have lived in and cared for these lands for generations. We are grateful for the traditional Knowledge Keepers and Elders who are still with us today and those who have gone before us. We make this acknowledgement as an act of reconciliation and gratitude to those whose territory we reside on or are visiting.
The acknowledgement was followed by our National Anthem.
Marlene also shared RI’s statement on the Ukrainian conflict. Ways in which members can support can be found on the My Rotary website here:
Introduction of our visitors and guests:
Online visitors and guests, introduced and welcomed by Gerry Meek, were Courtney Wilson (Rotary Employment), Bill Skinner (Rotary Club of Heritage Park), and our guest speaker Sarah Meilleur, CEO of Calgary Public Library.
At the Grey Eagle, Laurie Proehl, recently of Lethbridge, was introduced by Debbie McMillan.

Guest Speaker: Sarah Meilleur, CEO Calgary Public Library

Calgary Public Library
Gerry Meek introduced our speaker, Sarah Meilleur, CEO of Calgary Public Library. Gerry has known Sarah for many years, stating that in an enlightened moment, he actually hired her. He has watched her develop and grow, both personally and in her career, to become the 7th, and first woman, Director of the library. He has always known her as a passionate advocate for all things library.
Sarah thanked Gerry for both the invitation to speak today and for his invaluable help in becoming the CEO she now is.  Her passion for the library goes back to her experience as a young girl, spending Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays there. It has been a world of lifelong learning.
The Calgary Public Library has 723K members, representing 56% of Calgarians as active users. Annual circulations are 14+ million, and their website receives 10.6 million visits per year. 95% of users are satisfied with the services provided and 85% rate the library as important.
Sarah described the library’s vision, mission, values, continuous evolution to keep pace with the changing community, and the many partnerships the library has within the city.
With the shock of Covid, and the painful physical closure of the library, the number of visitors is now returning to pre-Covid levels.
The library learned several lessons from the Covid experience, allowing it to continue service and engagement through strong advancement in digital and its online presence, winning an innovation award in the process. With the implementation of several new initiatives, they experienced a huge increase in digital access. One of their learnings is the benefits that can be realized through implementing more outdoor learning environments and experiences.
The library is assisting in post pandemic economic recovery via the implementation of the “Job Desk”,  providing assistance and advice in skills such as resume and letter writing, job search and interview skills and referrals to free career services. They also provide strong support for early childhood development with play areas, toys and school support. Teen engagement is also a growing focus.
Community resiliency initiatives are another focus for the library, building relationships with, e.g. Woods Homes and the Indigenous communities, and through partnering with United Way for community support.
More libraries, investment in existing facilities, and continual innovation will be required as the city continues to grow.
In response to members’ questions, Sarah confirmed that, absolutely, joint projects between the library and schools are important. Libraries will continue to exist in a physical context. It’s important to have spaces where patrons can meet, gather and share both books and stories.
Funding for the library comes from the city, the province and the library foundation, providing an operating budget of $61M. The routine capital budget is $2M, with foundation support and community levies for significant new facility development.
Bill Fitzsimmons thanked Sarah for her presentation and the depth and breadth of resources the library provides to our community. In appreciation, a donation to Shelter Box has been made in Sarah’s name
My Story: Judy Cochran
Judy is a born and raised Calgarian, one of 5 siblings, spending her early youth roaming the open spaces of Nose Hill. Little was revealed about her teen age years before we learned that a wedding precluded her attending university and, with two sons, she was a farmer’s wife – for a time.  Single again, obtaining an accounting job with Amoco, Judy enrolled in the B. Comm curriculum at U of C. Following graduation, she went to join hubby number 2, returning to Calgary (and Amoco) in 1988 and receiving her CGA in ’89. Her stay at Amoco was relatively short lived as she left to join Ranger Oil. This was a wonderful career experience for Judy and it lasted for 11 years until CN Resources came along to buy Ranger out.
With retirement in 2007 and divorce from hubby 2 in 2009, Judy experienced the joys of travel – globally, the US and Canada.  She also began to volunteer with the Children’s Cottage and the Eau Claire Y.  Judy loves to cook, and her other hobbies include hiking, biking and snowshoeing (ideally with her 2 granddaughters).
In 2014, Judy discovered and joined Rotary, specifically our club, where she was warmly welcomed and, it would appear, immediately conscripted, spending 6 out of 7 years on the Board. With her passion for youth initiatives, and her accounting skills, she was obviously a sought after commodity, joining HEDC 3,4, and 5 teams, Duncan’s Honduras water  committee and being our club’s focal point for all things youth. Her Rotary Moment came in 2015 at a RYLA camp and seeing the programme as such a wonderful confidence builder and life changing experience for the attendees, and she has attended every camp since.
Bill Skinner let us know that, after a hiatus due to Covid, The 2nd Chance Art Sale is back again this year. Art donations may be  made until April 3 and there are several drop off boxes at a number of Co Op stores. Please spread the word and consider attending the sale on April 22 and 23 at the Acadia Recreation Complex. Information is available at
President Marlene stated there will be an extraordinary meeting of the board on Wednesday evening, March 9 to discuss the proposed duck race fundraiser.
Tuesday March 8 is International Women’s Day and a video was played of the Seven Women Centre in Kathmandu,  a resource to Nepali women for skills training, education and employment opportunities.
The trip to Rosebud on March 19 is now fully subscribed.
Barbie is arranging some fun and fellowship at the Rose and Crown for March 20.
Congratulations to Past President Des DeFreitas for his receipt of the Building Community Award.
Thanks to Team 4 for meeting management this week: Greeters Debbie M and Gerry M, speaker intro Gerry M, speaker thank you  Bill F, recorder Les.
Days of Giving - Service and Fellowship
On Monday December 20/21 Calgary West Rotarians” kicked COVID to the curb” as they prepared baskets and boxes of items to THANK and show their appreciation to the Rockyview Seniors Health team and the Acute Geriatric Units healthcare workers.
As we gathered virtually and in person to celebrate the holiday season and last meeting of 2021, members attending in person formed three teams and set to work to assemble baskets and boxes for the Rockyview Seniors Health clinic and Acute Geriatric Units 57 and 58 healthcare workers.
Hundreds of speciality food items, treats, snacks, Christmas cards and a huge group signed poster were packed into a half a dozen baskets and large boxes for delivery that afternoon.
The activity was performed with the accompaniment of the Grace Presbyterian Church – “Tinnitus” handbell choir for those in attendance and virtually. to enjoy the Festive Season.
The club received a very heartfelt Thank you from Calgary West member Dr. Dilpriya Mangat  as well as Dr. Michelle Persaud.
Subject: Sincerest Thank You From the Rockyview General Hospital Seniors' Health & Acute Geriatric Unit Teams
Good Evening Marlene,
I wanted to send my most heartfelt thank you on behalf of the entire Rockyview Seniors' Health Team and the Acute Geriatric Units to the Calgary Rotary Club. Your generous gifts for our teams at Christmas were so thoughtful and greatly appreciated. 
During a time when morale was low for healthcare workers due to protests from some community groups, having recognition from your group that has such strong ties to the Calgary seniors' community really helped boost morale. The smiles I observed on the faces of our staff when they received your gifts truly warmed my heart, knowing our teams felt appreciated and supported by the community. 
Thank you again for thinking of our teams and we look forward to working with your group in the future (should the opportunity arise) to continue to serve Calgary's seniors. 
Sincerest regards,
Dr. Michelle Persaud.
On Behalf of the Rockyview General Hospital Seniors' Health and Acute Geriatric Units Leadership. 
Dr. Michelle Persaud. MD. FRCPC (she/her)
Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine
Medical Director – RGH Acute Geriatric Units
Clinical Assistant Professor - University of Calgary
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The nonprofit Music Mends Minds, launched by Rotary member Carol Rosenstein, provides people with memory loss an opportunity to reconnect through song.


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