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Meeting Highlights
The Weekly Westerner Edition 55.32
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
April 4, 2022  Edition: 55.32 Reporter: Chris Davis Editor: Marlene Doherty
 
RCCW Hybrid Meeting
President Marlene Doherty welcomed all and initiated our meeting with a land acknowledgement for Treaty 7 territory (including the many First Nations and Metis Nation Region 3).  We are grateful!  The National anthem (in recorded format for all to sing along) followed.
[David Impey's meme is visible on the recorded meeting, keeping a watchful eye on all concerned.)
 
Pat Fitzsimmons was our Zoom greeter today. After unmuting, she recognized guest speaker Christina Hassan, here today to speak about "FullSoul" Birthing in Uganda.  Gail Williams introduced the non-virtual guests, being Cory Tretiak (Airdrie Rotary Club / past RCCW member), Dr. Zul Premji (guest of Saadat Keshavjee), and (soon to arrive) Jim Zackowski (executive director Rotary Challenger Park Society).
 
And now, today's speaker, introduced by Tazim Asaria (chair of the Vocational Services Committee):
Guest Speakers: Christina Hassan ("FullSoul" Birthing in Uganda)
Tazim virtually introduced Christina Hassan. 
 

Guest Speaker: Christina Hassan

Member of Rotary family since 2005, beginning as a youth exchange student to Germany in 2006-07. She is a past Rotaract member and the current President of the Rotary Club of Fish Creek and District 5360 district governor nominee-elect (Reporter: I think that means her term as DG will be in 2024-2025).  While completing her B.Sc. she completed a co-op term in Uganda with a university and hospital network in that country and tragically witnessed many women and babies die unnecessarily during childbirth.
 
Together with her husband, Hyder Hassan, she co-founded FullSoul Canada, a social profit enterprise that equips hospitals in Uganda with medical kits to deliver babies more safely.  She completed a master’s degree in public health at Waterloo and subsequently a law degree at the U of C.  She is now an associate lawyer with Walsh LLP in Calgary (past RCCW president Ben Kormos' law firm).
 
 
Her work experiences are diverse, including but not limited to, applied cancer research at St. Michael's hospital, public health planning and evaluation at the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit (Peel Region), and an Internship with Save the Mothers in Uganda. She has presented her research internationally throughout Canada, the United States and Europe and it has been published in various scientific medical journals.
 
Some of her recent recognitions include:
  • Avenue Magazine's Top 40 under 40 (2018)
  • Paul Harris fellow
  • Faculty of Health Young Alumni Award (2015)
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Award (2010)
  • AHS Co-op Student of the Year (2011)
  • YMCA International Peace Medallion (2013)
  • the AHS Young Alumni Award (2015)
  • among 6 global recipients for United Nations People of Action Young Innovator Award from Rotary International (2018)
Christina and Hyder have two young children.
 
Christina presented virtually.  She was pleased to have her first interaction with our Club.  She started by speaking about her 4-year-old son Harris and his love of dinosaurs.  While dinosaur toys are everywhere, when they visited Drumheller to see the Tyrell Museum, he was fearful of the dinosaurs.  She told him he had only to wear his sunglasses to keep the dinosaurs at bay.
 
Small things like this little "white lie" help in the things she is doing in her life.
 
She started as an R.I. exchange student at the age of 16.  There was lots of paperwork and money to raise to complete the exchange.  There were 110 students in the same cohort that year.  They each had to make a 'pitch' about themselves.  Her "fun fact" was that she loves to play hockey.  Her maiden name was "Marchand" and she was from rural Ontario.
 
She went to Germany for her exchange.  She did her 'spiel'.  She wasn't feeling great, so she told her club in Germany that she wasn't feeling well that day and she put her skates away because of that.  She asked them for their ideas that might help.  Members approached her and started by inviting her to a hockey game.  It turned out to be a farm team for the German women's national hockey team.  Her host played on the men's national team at one point.  They then invited her to put on her skates and join them on the ice.  They liked what they saw and then invited her to join this same team!
 
These are, for her, Rotary moments. The power of Rotary. By sharing, you gain something beautiful.
 
When she returned to Canada, she helped setup a Rotaract club.  It helped give her balance to her university life.  One of the moments was discovering she had stage 4 thyroid cancer, which she received surgery, treatment and recovery during her last year of high school and beginning of university.
 
This treatment made her feel week and vulnerable.  When she shared this feeling with one of her Rotary friends, she said that the world would be making a lot of marks on you and that it is your job to determine where Christina would leave her mark on the world!
This led to an opportunity, via the Rotary Club of Kitchener-Waterloo, sponsoring her to go to Uganda.  She would be teaching in a master’s in public health program.  She was naïve but excited to go and teach about maternal health and 'make her mark'.  She would make a difference!
 
She presented the stats that she knew about maternal health in Uganda:
  • 16 mothers died daily during childbirth
  • Life expectancy of 54.1 years
  • 11th highest maternal mortality in the world
  • Only 42% of births occur at a hospital with a skilled midwife present
Her Ugandan students winced with each statistic.  Each of them had a real experience with childbirth health issues.
 
She went to the Nkomo Hospital, and she was ready to volunteer, but they wanted her to not "try but do". Take vitals and other clinical matters. She ended up counting out anti-malarial medication (pills). On her third day, she was ushered into a delivery room. There was an issue. She was given rubber boots and gloves and entered the delivery room. There was lots of blood. She held it together and was able to help the expectant mother. There were no monitoring machines. A group of health care workers trying to help "Alice" live. But she did not. Christina lost some of herself that day as well.
 
It caused her to assess what she was doing. She thought hard about what she might do next. She could leave or stick it out and make a difference. She knew she had to work harder to understand the problems. She ended up delivering over 200 babies but witnessed far too many mortalities along the way.
 
When she got back to Canada, she did the usual presentations. Someone at her sponsoring Rotary Club asked what she was going to do about what she had witnessed. She made a plan.
 
First thing she did was to identify the issues (delays – in making the decision to seek care; in getting to care; in getting to care in a health setting). Next, she created a plan with her Club (what was needed or "fit" for the hospital that was identified). Then, getting supporters. After that, implementation of the pilot project Finally, evaluating the pilot – did it work?
 
Tools kidney dishes, forceps, razor blades. Needles and thread. Simple and safe solutions Very real, very visceral. 43,800 births annually will benefit from this health intervention!
Christina reminded us that this was all as a result of the effect of the R.I. youth exchange program on just one student!
 
Christina and her husband, Hyder, met through the Rotary Youth Exchange program.  Their date-night is at Monday night Fish Creek meetings.
 
#Sindica – this is the Ugandan word for "push", something said routinely in the delivery rooms in that country. She encouraged us to think of this word as we do our work in Rotary (and to put on her son Harris' magic sunglasses if we need extra power to get things done!).
 
Contact:  website: www.fullsoul.ca
Email:  Christina@FullSoul.ca
 
Dr. Dilpriya Mangat gave the thanks of the club to Christina for what she described as an incredibly touching presentation Dilpriya said that she was so impressed by how Christina made such a huge difference.  A donation to ShelterBox Canada was made by our Club on her behalf.
 
President Marlene asked longtime member Clarence Buckley to share his “Rotary Story with the Club.  He was born and raised in Springbank (just west of Calgary) and has been involved in the cattle industry all his life. His roots are Irish and he, in his Irish manner, suggested that his heritage is simply a fact, and he can't control if some of us have an opinion one way or another about it!  He's proud of his roots.  His father was born in County Wicklow; his mother's family is from County Cork.  He visited the family farm in Ireland a few years back.  In 1906 his father came to Gleichen to establish "Shamrock Farm"; Clarence marveled at what a horrible change in circumstances they had fallen into  It was truly "bald ass prairie"!  The recent trip organized by David Wartman to Blackfoot Crossing gave him pause for thought about his father's and family's early circumstances in Canada. Very tough times indeed!
 
The horses were turned loose for the winter. His father had to go all the way to Rosebud to find them in the spring! He painted a somewhat grisly picture of how some cows didn't make it through the tough winters.
 
His father eventually married a farmer's daughter (who looked better every year after he first met her) and settled in Springbank. Clarence was a twin, to another brother. He attended school to grade 9. He truly did walk his way to school and back!
 
For high school, he went to the residential boarding school affiliated with Mount Royal College.  He and his twin brother would return home on the weekends to help their father with the chores His father was married late in life, at 42 By the time the Buckley boys finished high school, they were needed to work full-time at home. Both boys did attend Olds Agricultural school at various times.  Classmates included past RCCW members Bill Pollock (before this reporter's time) and Don Alexander.
 
Clarence had a pilot's license and his own 182 Cessna for 25 years, starting around 1975. He really enjoyed flying. He was a member of the Western Stockowners. He was involved with many agricultural organizations, including a 3-year stint with the Research Station in Brandon, Manitoba. He was a founding board member of the group that set up the library in Cochrane.  President of the Springbank Community Association for over 20 years and countless other Springbank community organizations!  He gave us a real eye-opener to how he and wife Evelyn (married in 1957) have truly seen that community grow up around them (ask him about the party-line)!
 
Clarence joined Rotary in 1968 (the year after Calgary West was chartered) and President in 1983-84.  He has gifted a Paul Harris fellowship to each of his 4 children. He has tried to get his kids to join Rotary, but acknowledged they are all busy with their own lives.  (Reporter – there are a few gingers in the Buckley family; one red-headed grandchild was past Calgary Stampeder QB Andrew Buckley!). He reminded us about past fundraisers like bingo and social events like the Stampede breakfast (before it became a fundraiser).  Clarence and Evelyn have been involved in Rotary projects in Tanzania and Guatemala as well. So many great stories!  Thank you Clarence!
 
President Marlene thanked Clarence and said that the RCCW loves Irish people!
 
Barb Hames thanked both Christina and Clarence for their presentations.  She noted the incredible common thread in Rotary of commitment to service.  And then she reminded us about Club April birthdays:  Raju Hajela (5th), Duncan Stanners (7th ), Marlene Doherty and Garfield Ganong (11th), Alex McFadden (18th) and David Williams (25th). And notable Rotary April anniversaries:  "Holland Berry " (24 years), Bill Tapuska (42 years), Darren Grierson (23 years), Nketti Johnston-Taylor (2 years), Steve Kuiack (1 year), Dan Pigeon (9 years), Bob Acton (1 year), Mary-Jane Assaly (1 year), and Debbie McMillan (6 years).
 
Terry Felton announced that the Stampede Breakfast is back on.  There is pent-up demand, so he encouraged us to get the word out. It's a fundraiser for the Club and we hope to sell 1000 tickets and net $25K for the Club.  The breakfast location has been changed one half block east of 7th Street SW, in the alley behind the Enmax substation and just west of Western Canadian Place (the 2 golden Bic lighters). We will still have much the same seating location as in the past.
 
Marlene's Announcements:
 Spring Assembly:   Monday April 11/22
Members only, Hybrid meeting at the Calgary Golf &Country Club
Dinner at 6:00 pm, Meeting at 6:30 pm
Purchase your in-person meal on our website by Friday April 8/22
Quorum is required to ratify Bylaw motion,
RCCW Team Evaluation Committee motion and President-Elect Nominee motion
 
Volunteer Week (April 24 – 30)
Check out the many opportunities available on our RCCW website.  Delivering, reading, serving breakfasts, etc.  Thanks to Bill Quinney for coordinating!
 
Beef pot pies
Barbie and Marlene made a bunch of beef pot pies (14 to be precise) the weekend of April 2nd and if you know of anyone who might like a home-cooked meal, give them a call.
 
Farkle Night
Friday April 8/22 at 7 pm            
"Fabulous Farkle Friday"    Please join us for an evening of the fabulous dice game called Farkle!
BYO Beverage
Hosted by Doherty's - 212 Clearwater Way
Please sign up on the event calendar!
 
District Conference
May 14th in Cochrane ($100)
Celebration of Life – David Hamilton and birth of Mona Wasfy's beautiful grandson Hunter
Additional submissions, please contact Secretary Gail Williams.
 
Thanks to Team 1 for meeting  duties today!
The Video of the Four Way Test ended our meeting (Reporter – it was inaudible for the most part, but Marlene did a great job solo!)
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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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