The Banquet last Thursday was a fun evening in which we congratulated Anne Weller on her Avenues of Service award and thanked Randy and Raymond for their service to the treasury and Foundation respectively. It was Rusty Monhollon who led the applause when at the end of my quick review of the year’s highlights, I announced it was likely time for me to shut up.
Those who missed our banquet missed a complete treat of a guest speaker. Greywolf, aka Dr Jay Craig is an Oklahoma based Rotarian and future District Governor. He is also a Commanche warrior and comedian, and gave us a tour de force program in full regalia which included the observation that his people wished they had had strong borders a few hundred years back. This segues nicely into the issue faced by your President who had his flight to Toronto canceled on Saturday evening. Upon rebooking for Sunday morning he found that the Canadian government wouldn’t allow him entry without an ETA. Despite protestations that the Canadians have the same Queen and that I had a perfectly good ETA of 11am, the airline was unmoved……yours truly was packed off to a KC airport hotel to complete an ‘Electronic Travel Authorization’.
Fast forward 24 hours and I found myself sitting with Bob Smith in the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs attending the opening ceremony for the Rotary International Convention. The first part of which was dominated by an homage to native Americans or the “first nation”. And then who should address us but none other than Princess Anne, Lizzie Windsor’s daughter. Given that I joined the Royal Navy with her husband you can be assured that I had a quick word to ask her talk to her mom and get something done about Canadian immigration policy.
25000 Rotarians from all over the world including countries we had never heard of are flooding an already cosmopolitan city. We will be helping out with the exhibit which honors the work Trish Blair led our club and district to fund and undertake in Georgia. And then, unless one of you conspires with ICE, I will get back to host the final program of the Rotary year on Friday.
You can look forward to a packed Friday morning with swearing in the Board, perhaps the Conventions greatest hits, maybe a classification talk, the pot luck mystery that is whatever the Program Committee has in store for us, Rotarian of the Year and the installation of Jan as your new President.
Have a great week!