“I am a part of all that I have met”. Alfred Lord Tennyson
I joined Rotary in 2006 with great excitement in my heart because, having been a volunteer all my life for our church and community I had not claimed one specific volunteer flag under which I could fly. Now I work under the Rotary flag and I am grateful every day for the opportunity to change a life. This is how I will change the world, one person at a time.
I was born and raised in Liverpool, England – the third daughter of a big and boisterous family, born of parents who always looked for more. MORE! Their immigrant adventure brought us to Canada from a city where music was so big and so were crime and economic struggle. The natural beauty of Ontario took my breath away and I am proud to now call it my home. I raised two amazing kids in rural Ontario and loved the grass roots contrast to living the urban life in England.
My Rotary introduction was first made by a superlative Rotarian, PDG Doug Vincent; and I knew I had discovered something special in this organisation. I joined Waterloo RC whose members provided a positive and rich environment for my own launch. I subsequently came to know other parts of this whole canvas called Rotary as I moved from Bruce-Grey to Waterloo.
Quickly I became involved in International Service; that had been my dream for many years as my adult children left the nest. Back then I had only a small comprehension of the amazing work that has preceded me, and the needs which are so huge. Hence Rotary presented me with impressive history, goals, and the opportunity to achieve them as I explored northern Mexico via project work. The people I have met on my travels are too many to count, and yet they have each enriched my life. The Rotarians with whom I have worked in northern Mexico continue to amaze me as they work tirelessly in their impoverished community. They are grateful, hardworking, dedicated to their community and to each other and they welcome visiting Rotarians with immeasurable warmth! In Agua Prieta, as they celebrate 70 years of Rotary in their city, they continue to impress me with their spirit of community and family.
My work for a tour company takes me all over North America and it is as fascinating as it is challenging, and always satisfying. As a writer waiting to carve out my name, I document my experiences as I travel and enjoy the endless variety of people, scenery and events that unfold before my eyes.
I continue to strive to deserve the honour of being a go-between from the richness of Ontario to the poverty of the Sonora desert. It is a privilege to receive donations from the hands of generous Rotarians in Canada and then hear the ‘Gracias’ of the resilient people of Agua Prieta. I bring back with me so many difficult, uplifting stories every time I visit, and leave behind a part of my heart.
I am without doubt a part of all whom I have met.