Peace on Earth
That holiday reminder of what we as a species should always strive to achieve has, once again, been rendered nothing more than a dark punchline to a cruel joke. The scenes of devastation in the middle east have now been replaced by streams of horrifying videos of the crisis in Ukraine. Our hearts bleed, once again. Peace will remain elusive if we don’t actively seek it and there are plenty of organizations, including Rotary, whose underlying mission is peace. Without peace the other vital work to lift populations out of poverty, disease and hunger is almost impossible. The pandemic has been another kind of disruptor to this effort. Omicron brought another shut down and our club had to go back to Zoom meetings, but by last week we were finally back to our weekly breakfast meeting.
It was an emotional gathering in many ways. Our past President Daymon Doss was conducting the meeting for President Lydia Harris. It was a nice touch since during his whole tenure there were no live meetings. Following that he moved through our normal program schedule beginning with the Thought for Today. Coincidentally, it was Daymon’s turn. His message as a former health care-worker was to share some epidemiological definitions. An Epidemic is when a disease affects many people at the same time, spreading from person to person in a region or community where it is not permanently prevalent. A Pandemic is an Epidemic that has moved across a large area resulting in a world-wide spread. Endemic is when the Pandemic wanes and is prevalent among increasingly smaller groups of people (we aren’t there yet)!.
The president’s announcements followed and he informed us that the club president for July to 2023 to June 2024 will be David Beach. It was then that things became very personal. Art Fichtenberg, who is our president-elect (2022-23) and has diligently kept us informed as to his wife’s ongoing struggles with cancer. He then told us of Sandy’s passing on 2/2/2022. It was a lovely moment to share and the outpouring of support that followed reminded us of how closely we are connected. We also said goodbye to Rotarians Fred Polkinghorn and Claudette Brero-Gow who will be relocating to Fairfield, where they will find a new club. With a fond farewell came sincere thanks for their dedication and service to the causes we champion.
Last but not least, our speaker took the podium. Jill Ravich who has been our DA for three terms is retiring. She has stood for justice and accountability every step of the way and done an admirable job as the dramatic failure of those pushing for her recall confirms. The cases she has prosecuted range from the seemingly small to taking on big utility companies. She has been a champion. But when asked what was one of the most satisfying moments of her career, she simply said it was being able to tell a young girl who had suffered terrible sexual abuse that the man who did it was going to spend the rest of his life in prison. We will miss her.
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