President James rang in our meeting. He noted this week’s 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Underscoring this remembrance, John Rice led us in singing our National Anthem. His low-pitched start enabled us to end on a high note. Greeter Bill Powers led our Test. Reverend Allen invoked blessings.
Prez James brought to our attention three Rotarians whose desire to attend has been stymied by illness. Ellen Labrie is dealing with chronic nerve pain. Jeff Marple has lower leg injuries. Betsy Scott has been suffering pain following “routine” tests. Let these valued Rotarians know they are missed!
We were graced by several guests. Unfortunately petit-fours were served for desert. Your scribe’s attention was placed on them rather than accurately recording our guests. Mea culpa!
Prez James highlighted the birthdays this week of Nancy Clayburgh (15 years of Rotary service), Doug MacDonald (11) and Rich Greulich (2).
Ted Alex announced another “Hands On" Project in Durham in the morning of October 8. All skill levels will be of use. Contact Ted for more info.
Bob Sheesley reminded us of the upcoming Bridge Walk to End Polio. The event will take place on October 22 at the Memorial Bridge. Everyone is encouraged to donate $25 or more. Please make checks payable to “Rotary” and mark the memo line “Polio Plus”.
Leonard Seagren informed us of a “Ladies Only” Polio NIF Project. It is scheduled in November in Nigeria. We offer a word of advice to those ladies planning on participating in this vitally needed service. Pay no attention to Leonard’s mistaken description of the procedure. The drops go into these precious children’s mouths, not their eyes!
Prez James delivered a shout out to those making our recent Club photo possible. Thanks go to the Seacoast Media Group, Deb Cram and Nancy Notis.
Some of us were Happy. Inspired by Joanie Dickinson, Stan Cross delivered a huge bag of popped tops. Sara Treacy celebrated Seacoast Pathways receiving its largest recorded donation. Francois Meissner lamented the last place finish of her REALTOR’s Golf Team in the recent Seacoast Board of REALTORs annual tournament. However, they received the award “the team that had the most fun.” Sounds like Francois is adept at making lemonade out of a lemon! Priscilla MacInnis thanked in advance the 25 turkey cookers for this year’s Thanksgiving Day meal.
Peter Grace introduced our newest member. Kevin Shultz is a residential real estate agent with Re/Max in Portsmouth. He has a wife and three children. Kevin expressed thankfulness for the European trip experiences his children have enjoyed through Rotary’s Exchange programs.
It is a special occasion when our club bestows a Paul Harris Fellow Award. Prez James raised the bar a notch this time by promising beforehand an especially noteworthy recipient. Marie Brownell, Mort Schmidt and Ed Mallon did the honors for this presentation. Ed elaborated on the new PHF awardee’s service deeds. He has served on the Portsmouth City Planning Board and on the Portsmouth High School Friends in Action Board. He is a “Big Brother” and serves on the Board of the Salvation Army chapter in Portsmouth. He stepped in to revamp our dwindling 5K Road Race fundraiser. He has served in numerous position in our Club.
When Justin Finn’s name was announced as our PHF award recipient, the ensuing applause was enthusiastic and continuous. In accepting the award, Justin first thanked Ed and several other people who have made a positive difference in his life.
“This Club means everything to me,” he confessed. A pin was heard dropping as he wiped a few tears away. Justin recounted his first exposure to Rotary at Portsmouth High School. He described some subsequent life difficulties, expressing appreciation for opportunities presented and help received along the way.
Your scribe has witnessed a few PHF award ceremonies. This one is in the record books.
Coincidentally, Justin’s co-worker at Secure Planning, Paul Whitcomb, won the $59 raffle. No match ensued.
Dave Holden introduced our guest speaker, fellow Club Rotarian Everett Eaton. Everett is an SVP in Commercial Lending at TD Bank. His wife, Carol, and he have two children, both of whom are engaged in mechanical engineering.
Everett and Carol undertook a decidedly non-sedentary vacation this year. They hiked from village to village across the Swiss Alps. Everett’s visual and oral description of that expedition was fascinating. At elevations of 3,000-4,000 feet their hiking was physically demanding. The trails they followed were often both narrow and steep-edged. The pictorial and video images showed the authentic BergHauses (“Mountain Houses”) in which they stayed. The Matterhorn and Eiger mountains provided majestic backgrounds for the trip pictures. The itinerary for their eight day venture was a tour de force. Thanks, Everett, for sharing it with us!
Respectfully submitted, Rich Greulich