Kingston Drum Circle
 

Greta introduced our two speakers, Yessica Rivera Belsham and Théo Paradis aka Red Sky, from the Kingston Drum Circle. Yessica originates in Mexico, and Théo comes from the Ottawa area. Both are indigenous people.

Yessica started Brazilian drumming in 2009, and has gradually added drums from all over the world. The Kingston Drum Circle is using drumming to bring people back to their indigenous roots. Drums can be found in every part of the world, and in this context, represent the heart beat of Mother Earth. Yessica brought a drum from West Africa, and because of Thanksgiving, the two shared a song of gratitude for Mother Earth. She explained that as you feel the vibration, you can think about things that make you feel love in your heart.

She was located at the Tett Centre for a while but can now be found at the Canadian Mental Health Association headquarters. For them, so much of what the drums can do is related to mental health. All cultures have something to share, and every voice is beautiful. She has also done programs at H’Art and at Ongwanada.

Yessica now has a total of 40 drums, and is receiving requests from schools, and from Providence Care.

From questions that followed, she talked about the drum tradition in Mexico. Drums have been used in ceremony, in war, and more frequently in celebration.

It had been suggested that she submit a grant proposal to our community grants process, to obtain drum kits for schools, but decided against this idea. For her the drums must be authentic. The drums connect many natural elements. She pointed out that just on the one drum at the meeting, it involved goat skin, wood and water. She sees it as creating a connection on a deep level to Mother Earth. It’s much more than just playing with drums. Today, many indigenous people are struggling to return to the culture that was taken away, and drumming is a meaningful way to reconnect.

Heather Kembel offered thanks to Yessica and Théo, especially for the song of gratitude at this time.

 

 
Kingston Drum Circle October 89 2018 Elizabeth Cohoe 2018-10-15 04:00:00Z 0

Jacob Gardner, our guest speaker, October 2, 2018, is a Radiologist at KGH and is involved in the Ranked Ballot initiative and is here to tell us about it.

I went to Ottawa when I was 17 as part of Adventures in Citizenship.

We are currently use a first-past-the-post system for civic elections in Kingston. This splits the vote across those running on the popular issue.

A ranked-ballot system is being proposed in which voters rank all the candidates, first to last, and the race is run over and over, each time eliminating the last person, until one candidate has more than 50% of the vote.

This sets up for a more civil election.

You shouldn’t have to vote "the least of the evils." There is no strategic voting with ranked ballot– you don’t have to vote for someone you don’t want.

The ranked ballot system allows newer candidates to thrive.

The referendum question will be on the ballot of the upcoming mayoral and district rep election.

For more information, see: Ranked Ballots--City of Kingston.

Why Ranked Ballots?--Jacob Gardner, October 2, 2018 Terri Hodges 2018-10-09 04:00:00Z 0
 

Honorary Rotarian Joan Egnatoff

Joan is from Saskatchewan and taught music education there. After marrying Bill she took time off work to raise their kids, but was always involved in playing the church organ (she got her start at age 3 on Granny Margaret’s living room organ.)

She’s mostly interested in music – singing in choirs since grade 9, studying piano and organ, and working with the children in the Cantabile choir. Loves gardening, telling scary stories, knitting, sewing and a bit of quilting.

Joan’s involvement with Rotary started when Bill joined in 2005 – and they’ve visited many clubs in: London, Paris, Wisconsin, Saskatoon, Nice, Makeni in Sierra Leone. They’ve hosted five exchange students.

Rotary is a place to meet new friends who are also interested in service. She’s been to two International conventions and they’ve been an amazing experience in learning about the service projects and programs that are underway around the world – education, water, sanitation, etc.

She encourages us all to attend the upcoming District Conference here in Kingston – it will help us to make a difference!

 
Joan Egnatoff becomes Honorary Rotarian 2018-10-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted on Oct 02, 2018

Kayleigh Hunter reports on Adventures in Understanding

Kayleigh was introduced by Greg Mumford, Director, Youth Services. Our club sponsored Kayleigh to attend Adventures in Understanding .

Thank you for inviting my Dad and me here today and for sponsoring me to attend Adventures in Understanding. I was initially on the waiting list but got in! Lots of gear was required and the visit to Tim Horton’s on our way there was a must! Started with a blanket toss! Canoeing through locks. Saw a fox! Toured Trent University and canoed through five locks to Lakefield college – amazing storm and flyaway tent! At Camp Kawartha went rock climbing and ate in a teepee. Archery, knife and axe throwing. Had a teaching with an Elder. Got a soapstone to carve. Paddled 22km on Day 5! Did some drumming and learned about wild rice. Saw shooting stars on our last night ☺ Sweetgrass gift (mind, body, health significance) Thanks! Future candidates should have an open mind and love to learn. No phones allowed and now I’m using mine less. I am now reading and writing on indigenous texts in English at school.

Heather Kembel thanked Kayleigh and presented her with muffins!

 

Kayleigh Hunter reports on Adventures in Understanding Terri Hodges 2018-10-02 04:00:00Z 0
Helen Tufts Nursery School - Open House Sept 6, 2018 2018-09-08 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Terri Hodges on Aug 14, 2018

Karina Gummert, Marcel Gummert, Sigi Scholten, August 7, 2018

Marcel spoke on August 7th about his experience as a youth exchange student in Italy during the school year 2017-2018. He was introduced by his mother, club member Sigi Scholten, who spoke of how proud she was of her children, how much the year changed them, and how grateful she was to Rotary and our club for the great opportunity.

Summary of Marcel's talk

People usually think Spaghetti, Pizza, Gelato, and hand gestures. And the hand gestures one is so true!

In the North of Italy and very densely populated: Cremona

Not a very unified country, with different dialects even as close as 50km apart.

I played soccer there – had to register and paperwork took 5 months to come back from Rome! Attended all the practices, but in the end I couldn’t play in the games with my team. Everyone crazy about soccer, even if they don’t play.

The pizza there tastes SO different than the pizza here. I liked the thinner one best.

13 exchange students in Cremona and we would meet regularly to chat and have coffee.

Stayed with 3 different host families and it was an amazing experience.

After about 7 mos, I made dinner for 11 of us exchange students.

Visited Pisa, Milan (went 5 or 6 times); went skiing at Ponto di Ligno – through the clouds!; Lake Garda, Rome (my sister Karina visited with me in March); Class trip to Munich!; Venice – best seafood ever!; Sicily – most beautiful beach ever!; Salo (visited our exchange student from last year); Great water bottle fillup stations! Florence (in hospital for 5 days, and that messed up my visit with my family); Cinque Terre – 5 little towns on beautiful cliffs overlooking the water; Prague; Vienna – went to the UN; Budapest – my favourite city of the whole trip – good food and awesome people; Slovenia; visited so many different cities that I can’t remember them all!

I learned so much – new life experiences, new friends, beautiful memories.

Thank you SO much for this opportunity – the best year of my life yet!

Photos

Questions

Q (Bill E. with a grin): Did you go to school?

A: I DID go to school there and studied Italian. High schools are subject specific – language, science, economics – different from here.

Q: (Michelle) Before you went, what did you most want to achieve?

A: I wanted to learn Italian. Achieved a language certificate.

 

Heather thanked Marcel on behalf of the Club.

Marcel Gummert Youth Exchange to Italy 2017-2018 Terri Hodges 2018-08-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Terri Hodges on Jul 31, 2018
John invited Lilly to be our guest speaker July 31, 2018 to talk about her work with Ducks Unlimited on controlling invasive species on Wolfe Island.Greta du Bois, herself very concerned about human influence on the environment, thanked Lily for her work and her excellent presentation.
 
Lily is a student at Guelph in Environmental Science. She is working for Ducks Unlimited Canada on Wolfe Island to battle invasive species.
European Water Chestnut – floating plant that quickly forms a dense floating mat that lowers oxygen levels detrimental to fish and wildlife. Seeds are sharp and dangerous when washed up on shore.
Currently hand-pulling to remove them. Need to be careful if wrapped around lilly stems. Pulls out quite easily. 2 people pulling weeds all day! J
Leave on land to dry out.
Native to western Europe, Africa brought as ornamental plant in 1879.
66% reduction in 3 years.
After pulling the plants in an area, they do surveillance around the area to look for more.
No bio-controls known for European water chestnut (which have risks of their own).
Volunteer, avoid boating in infested areas, never release non-native plants or fish.
Bigger problem on south shore in the States.
Not much further east than here for us.
 
For the slides of Lilly's presentation, see: photoalbums/lily-auty-invasive-species-talk-slides-july-31-2018
Lily Auty Terri Hodges 2018-07-31 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Elizabeth Cohoe on Jul 17, 2018

Dr. Dorothy Cotton--Biography

Dr. Dorothy Cotton is a forensic psychologist with a particular interest in the area of police psychology and who holds diplomate status in police psychology—the only one in Canada. She is an Associate Member of both the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and has been involved in the latter organization’s policy and program development related to police/mental health systems liaison. She consults regularly, both formally and informally, with police services across the country about issues related to development of mental health liaisons programs and committees. Dr. Cotton also provides pre-employment and fitness for duty assessments to a variety of police services.

Dr. Cotton is also an adjunct faculty member at Queen’s University, is Past President of the College of Psychologists of Ontario (the regulatory body for psychology), has served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and is also a Fellow of CPA.  She served on the Mental Health and the Law Committee of the Mental Health Association of Canada.  In 2012, she received a Diamond Jubilee Medal recognizing her work in relation to interactions between police and people with mental illnesses and in 2018 she was invested into the Order of Ontario for her work in this area.

Interactions Between Law Enforcement and the Mentally Ill

Dorothy began by stating that since she has been working with the police for the last 15 years, her opinion about the interaction between police officers and those who suffer from mental illnesses has changed.  Public opinion has been warped by the media because of the over reporting of negative situations. 

She used a quiz approach to show us how our own perceptions affect what happens.  For example, if we were to see a man on the street clutching his chest, or a child hurt on a playground, we would naturally provide assistance and call for professional help if necessary.  This does not happen if we see a person acting erratically.  Generally, it results in a call to the police.

This is the reason why the police get involved in the first place.  Although one in five have such problems, people with mental illnesses are over represented in police calls, and may be encountered multiple times.  For many, their first contact with the mental health system is through the police.  In fact, in Canada, there are several million such calls every year.  They play a huge support role, yet the public will only hear about the occasional death that may occur.  Dorothy is very aware that the police are actually doing an incredible job at things that don’t make the headlines. The police come in contact with these vulnerable people who are most often victims and not perpetrators. They are not more likely than the general population to commit a crime. They are generally not a danger to society.

Most calls that are received by police are citizens just looking for help. The example given was a parent who doesn’t know how to deal with a child, and the police play a big role in getting people connected to the proper services. They are often “the only game in town”. This began when there was a decision to deinstitutionalize people suffering from mental illnesses, and Canadian society became very conscious of human rights. There is now a lack of available resources. There is also an awareness of the stigma associated with mental health issues, and fear of seeking help for this reason. The whole area is underfunded now, and has become a societal failing.

There has been more attention paid in the last five years, especially by the military, but it is mainly talk and there is a lack of proper funding.

What are police services doing? They used to say it wasn’t their job. Now they are getting many hours of training. In some communities there are joint response initiatives with other services, but Kingston is not large enough to be able to do that. Kingston does have some specialized officers, and support for front line officers. They have developed strategies for dealing with these situations, and they are hiring new officers with the right traits and previous experience. The police actually do a lot of social service activities over simple law enforcement. They have become part of our community circles of care.

The greater problem is society at large and the attitudes out there. We really need to examine our own attitudes.

Some questions followed which gave Dorothy an opportunity to provide further examples. The cost to society is greater than the cost of policing if these people do not get properly treated. People who leave work with mental health issues are generally absent longer than those with physical health issues, and many don’t return at all.  Most people won’t talk about it if they do. Only a small number of people with mental health issues actually need police assistance, but that is where the calls go. Like many other issues, we are generally afraid of what we don’t understand.

Robert Reid provided our traditional speaker thanks.

 
Dorothy Cotton: Interactions Between Law Enforcement and the Mentally Ill Elizabeth Cohoe 2018-07-17 04:00:00Z 0
Music has been an important part of leading an ordinary life for students at the Music School for Children With Disabilities in Honor of Paul Harris in Lublin, Poland. Founded by Rotary members, the school serves 20 students with various disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, and visual impairments. The Rotary Club of Lublin-Centrum-Maria Curie-Sklodowska has provided funding with help from Rotary Foundation Matching Grants and the Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society, which houses the school.
 
After their son Mateusz was born with underdeveloped eyes, Mariusz and Joanna Kania looked for ways to help him be active. When he showed an aptitude for music, they looked for a teacher and were thrilled to find the Paul Harris music school.
Helping people with disabilities make their own music 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0
What is it like taking a large team to Africa?  It has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. In mid February, I began leading Rotary members from all over the East Coast of the United States through Ghana. I’ve tried to give the team a warm Ghanaian welcome like I’ve received on my earlier trips. A large trip is a real blessing because each person sees Ghana and our work in a different way.

A highlight for the team was greeting the chief of Sagadugu. The team got excited about buying goats and food for children in the villages where I support eight churches. It was good to see the pastors of most of the eight churches, and I had to explain that we were just passing through on our way to Bolgatanga.
Saving lives in Ghana 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0
For years, Angalia Bianca had slept in abandoned buildings throughout Chicago. She stole. She did drugs. She spent time in and out of jail for forgery, theft, trespassing, and possession of narcotics. But after she landed in prison for the seventh time, something changed -- Bianca knew she wanted a better life. She just didn’t know how to make it happen.
 
After serving her time, Bianca sought help from a local homeless organization, A Safe Haven, and moved to its shelter in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Bianca followed the program closely -- she attended all the required meetings, passed drug tests, and volunteered at every opportunity.
Finding Safe Haven 2015-04-30 04:00:00Z 0
Throughout India and around the world, Rotary clubs are celebrating a major milestone: India has gone three years without a new case of polio. The last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal on 13 January 2011. To mark this historic triumph, Rotary clubs illuminated landmarks and iconic structures throughout the country with four simple but powerful words, "India is polio free."
 
The three-year achievement sets the stage for polio-free certification of the entire Southeast Asia region by the World Health Organization. The Indian government also plans to convene a polio summit in February to commemorate this victory in the global effort to eradicate polio.
 
India celebrates three years without polio 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z 0
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