Penn Yan Rotary is a Sponsor of the "Flights of Fancy" Finger Lakes Wine Classic on May 14, 2016 from 2 pm - 8 pm. Click Here to find out more.
Rotarian's and Trees... a history (cont.)
As president emeritus, Harris traveled extensively during the 1920s and 1930s, often accompanied by his wife Jean. During these trips, the nature-loving Harris planted trees to symbolize goodwill and friendship.
In the fall of 1932, Harris embarked on a five-week tour of European Rotary clubs and planted trees along the way.
“Wednesday forenoon I planted my first tree of friendship in European soil. It seemed to me especially appropriate that it took place in Germany—in its metropolis—Berlin. The planting occurred in a sports platz formerly devoted to war purposes, and a large number including Rotarians, city officials, and others were in attendance.”
Harris also planted trees in Tallinn, Estonia, and Göteborg, Sweden, during this trip. Planting trees soon became a hallmark of his travels, including in Australia, Brazil, Estonia, Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand. In My Road to Rotary Harris recalled: “With the cooperation of Rotarians and local governments, I have planted friendship trees in the parks and playgrounds on five continents of the world and even on some of the major islands of the seas. Our trees stood as symbols of international understanding and good-will.” Other RI presidents also observed the tradition. In 1931-32, then-RI president Sydney W. Pascall planted trees at the sites of Rotary clubs he visited, reportedly at Paul Harris’s suggestion.
Not all of the trees were planted outside the United States. The Harrises often entertained visiting Rotarians and dignitaries in their home, Comely Bank, and planted trees with their guests to mark the occasion. They called the garden their Friendship Garden.
Today, Rotarians continue to plant trees to symbolize enduring friendships and fellowship, to beautify parks and communities, and to contribute to a greener world.
t is notable that most of the European trees survived the horrors of WWII. Those that didn’t were a testament to the fact that wars destroy the fabric of friendship…but only briefly. Following the war, some of those lost trees were replanted as a gesture of goodwill and the renewal of friendship between nations.
The Harris’s tree planting was preceded by the 1912 tree planting gesture of a Japanese city mayor who gave 3000 cherry trees to city of Washington DC. First lady Ms. Taft joined the Japanese ambassador’s wife in planting the first two of those trees. In 1915 the US government reciprocated by sending a like number of Dogwoods to Japan. Both were gestures of goodwill that was strained by the circumstances of WWII.
In Penn Yan, one can spot spruce trees in yards all across the village where an enterprising youth planted his Rotary Arbor Day tree. Some succumbed to the ill effects of a lawn mower, yet many survived as tokens of friendship and care of the environment.
School teacher and Rotarian Bob Scharf ran this important club project for years. The club is looking for someone who will lead this program.
Recovery in Nepal after the Earthquake
Nepal has never been a well-developed, wealthy country. GDP at about $700 per capita is one of the lowest in the world. Nepal, like Tibet, is a high country between two large developing nations. For centuries, the poorest and the lowest caste persons were concentrated on the marginal lands in foothills of the Himalayas where they typically subsist on rocky hill terraces. David Tipping, a Fellow in the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), and club member Rob S presented a short update on the conditions in Nepal since the devastating earthquakes of April and May of 2015.
According to these two, Cornell is developing a model of disaster recovery that could be applied to countries following tsunami, flood, earthquake, wars and epidemics. Generally, the condition is the same…utter devastation of a community’s way of life and individual well-being. David has worked with the United Nations in Sri Lanka, and Rob worked with grad students assisting hurricane victims in New Orleans. The model that is being developed by the graduate students and faculty of CIPA regards recovery planning and investment from the bottom up. Rather than applying band aids popular among donor nations, the strategy is to be directly engaged with the community members to identify their needs and plans. And, it is important that every individual, caste member, clan, or community share equally in the redevelopment processes and benefits. In less developed countries, the needs of the most disadvantaged in any disaster area often suffer under the influence of vested powers.
Pictures showed the lingering impact of the quake from last year. A school building stands there partially rebuilt. The women’s center, the Hindu Stupa, the Buddhist Temple, and all but three of the village homes are just piles of rubble. The harvest sits under a tarp, prey to rain and rodents. The club watched landslides roll down the hillsides and crash to roads and rivers below. $432 Million is sitting in Kathmandu banks waiting to be dispersed. Aid workers are leaving, and the process of rebuilding is starting. Workmen were training in building reinforced homes from the rubble.
Dark fiber – Oh my… Sounds ominous
But, really, Dark Fiber is a glass fiber cable that is the backbone of digital and voice services. Presenter, Ed Menninger of Open Access Fiber says it is called dark because its owner/operator just has a cable with 144 glass strands in it. The light impulses that make it “light up” is provided by users like Verizon to connect to a cellular tower, some local business wanting to connect its many satellite offices “just like they were next door,” or a service provider that connects hospitals and doctors securely and swiftly with Medicare bill paying offices. Click Here to read more.
Can Hunger Contest is up and running. Sandi says there are 8 contestants in the running at this point and there might be a few more this week. We are building at 5-Star Bank. Leon is the artistic director of the team, and has sent out the call for 14.5 oz cans. Drop them off at the bank.
Mark Your Calendars; Rotary Day's Radio Auction Is Just Around the Corner
Rotary Day’s Radio Auction is on Sat March 5th at the Living Well in Penn Yan. We will be on the air from 8:30 to 5:00.
All proceeds benefit all our charities, especially Camp ONSEYAWA.
To Listen live tune into WFLR 96.5 or on CLICK HERE to listen on the web.
Click Here for a list of all the items to be auctioned and times.
Student of the Month
According to Principal Dave Pullen, the Academy Student of the Month, Victor Sutton personifies the motto of Rotary: Service Above Self. Victor is known for his many acts of service at the Academy. An emotional story by the principal has the principal asking the students of the vocational careers and technology class if they could repair this cheesy chess/checker board that he’d acquired at some book store. Victor volunteered to make a replacement one from wood. Since Victor knew that the principal had twin daughters, decided to make two exquisite boards, one for each daughter. Ovations galore! Victor will be attending Alfred Technical College in the fall for heavy equipment ops.
Moriah Hoover earned recognition for her academic performance and her exemplary, quiet leadership throughout the Middle School. She was inspired by a presentation in school and set her personal goal to make a difference. She helped start the school’s student to student mentoring project where she and other upperclassmen (women) started mentoring 6th grade girls. She was recently inducted into the National Junior Honor Society with a 95+ average. She is an athlete on the girl's basketball team, a 4-H’er, and Keuka College volunteer and works in the community gardens.
Mariah Hoover with Joanne Canty, Guidance Counselor
and Meg Trombley, Middle School Social Worker
Longtime friend of Rotary and health teacher for the Academy, Brett Harrison presented one of his all-time best students, Corrine Cincotta. He was all too happy to describe Corrine’s many successes both in life and at school. Corrine’s indomitable will comes from surviving eye, spine and heart surgeries, and she is still putting great energy into everything she does. Talking about serving others…she is president of her class (junior) and the Pep Club. She is also a member of the student council and International Club. She is a member of the Debate Club, the Junior Honor Society, Drama Club, Select Choir, Concert Band and is business manager of the yearbook staff. Few would think that there was a more deserving student to honor. She was somewhat embarrassed by two standing ovations and many contributions to the kitty in her honor.