Oak Bay club wins prestigious Rotary award

The Rotary Club of Oak Bay added to its award-winning status with the Floyd Olson International Club of the Year award.

The Rotary Club of Oak Bay added to its award-winning status with the Floyd Olson International Club of the Year award.

The prestigious award is given to a single outstanding Rotary club to encourage, recognize and reward commitment to international service.

District 5020 is one of the largest in the world including Vancouver Island and Western Washington State from Pierce County South to the Olympic Peninsula with 88 Rotary clubs.

During a district conference at the Victoria Conference Centre on June 29 and 30,  past district Governor Robert J. Martin announced that this year’s award went to the Rotary Club of Oak Bay for five successful international service projects in Guatemala, Rwanda, Mexico, India and Malawi.

The projects were all financially supported by the Rotary Club of Oak Bay and matching grants from District 5020. Financial support was also received from the Project Unity Committee (Guatemala & India projects), Rotary Clubs of Cochin (India project), Royal Oak Centennial (Mexico project), La Pinata (Mexico project), West Shore (Malawi project), Sooke (Malawi and Rwanda projects) Nelson, B.C. (Guatemala project). All travel and other incidental expenses were paid by individual members.

The award, a crystal trophy and $500 in cash was accepted by club president Joan Peggs and rotarian Perry Bamji, director of international services on behalf of the club.

Here is a summary of the projects. Guatemala: Dr. John Sniveley, Jacqueline Mealing and Tricia Timmermans went to Guatemala with portable dental equipment for carrying out dental procedures and for offering nutritional advice to residents of remote villages.

Rwanda: John Jordan went to Rwanda to train orphan students to construct, market and sell fuel-efficient eco stoves made from locally-sourced clay.

Mexico: John Edgell and his wife Linda went to Jaltemba Bay to supervise and offer assistance during construction of a toilet, septic tank and washing facilities at a kindergarten school.

India: Rev. Mark Bedford and his wife Josephine went to remote villages near Cochin, South India to supervise and offer assistance during construction of 10 toilets and associated septic tanks.

Malawi: The Rotary Club of Oak Bay contributed towards a water supply project for APU – a girl’s school in Malawi.