Rotary Log for May 5, 2022
On a warm and picture-perfect Spring Day President Justin called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance. Moe Sullivan led the Four-Way Test.
“Life is short…” began John Rice’s universal meditation, a timely call for love and kindness.
Betsy and Sarah will be taking on the Operation Warm Coats campaign for our club. Help will be needed to collect, sort, and distribute the coats. Look for details on how to volunteer in upcoming weekly bulletins.
Marie did another passionate turn at firing up the membership for the June 10th Golf Tournament at Pease Golf Course. Sponsorship slots have all been filled. And we are looking in fine shape for participating golfers. Still needed are silent auction items and “Friends of Rotary” contributions.
 “If you don’t golf or sponsor and have $100, send it our way,” urged our fiery golf chair.
To borrow another of her passionate calls to participate, “C’mon people, this is our second biggest fundraiser!” 
Remember, all proceeds this year to support Basic Needs in the community. Splendid work, Marie!
Today’s Speaker Andrija Zekovic, Artist
Peter George took the podium to introduce Andrija Zekovic, an 18-year-old, artist, and foreign exchange student from Montenegro. With mike in hand and surrounded by his original work our speaker charmed, educated, and entertained a rapt audience. Many in attendance agreed with the President that it was perhaps the best presentation of the year.
Zekovic, we learned, was born in Montenegro (once part of former Yugoslavia) after the end of the Balkan Wars and subsequent genocide. The presentation began with an overview of his country after the break-up of the federated Yugoslavian nation, and its violent aftermath.
The destruction and ugliness of war, we learned, has had a profound influence on the young man. This was evident in his world views and reflected in his collection of interesting, abstract, and often disturbing art. The paintings are deeply and symbolically personal.
According to the artist’s website, “common themes are drug abuse, war and its consequences, and the hardships of poverty.”  Zekovic charismatically and intelligently interpreted several pieces, all strikingly original, one large canvas grimly depicting corpses and mass graves.
Another reflected the theme of returning to the motherland versus remaining in the US. Yet another hinting about Zekovic’s complicated relationship with his own mother. Despite the serious nature of the pieces’ themes, he managed to interpret and answer questions with a certain guileless wit, well-received by the appreciative audience.
In fact, this summary would be inadequate without speaking to our refreshing speaker’s genuine, open, and amusing manner. As an example, torn between his upbringing in a communist society and newfound experience with capitalism, he sells his art. Yet, he mentioned with a twinkle, for whatever he is offered and with a tinge of regret.
 In short, today’s young visitor has a presence that is palpable. Our club has a history of warm receptions for young people. This meeting was another wonderful example.
A self-titled event, “Andrija Zekovic- A Retrospective” will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 4PM to 7PM at the Aplomb Gallery, 15 Mechanic Street, Suite 117, in Dover, New Hampshire.
Respectfully submitted, Neal Ouellett
Photos by Don Chick