NEXT MEETING: October 25, 2019
Richmond Police Officer's Association
Ben Therrault will give us a presentation about the labor organization that represents all Richmond Police Officers. He will speak on public safety in Richmond and about the past, present, and future of the organization.
MEETING OF October 18, 2019
President Jan welcomed a full house at the Richmond Country Club on Friday. The pledge and invocation were led by Pam Jones and Herb Cole respectively.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Due to the special presentation surrounding our speaker and topic, we had many visitors:
Rafael Cartagena and Tracy Giles were both visiting from the El Cerrito Club.
Other special guests included visiting photographers from the 2010 Blossoms and Thorns Richmond Art Center exhibit: Fletcher Oakes with his wife, Barbara Speed; Ellen Gailing with her friend, Tom Schleis; and Ken Osborn. Also attending was Michele Seville, Arts and Culture Manager of the City of Richmond.
Happy and Sad Dollars
"Blossoms and Thorns" and Japanese Roots in Richmond
Flora Ninomiya presented the movie, “Blossoms and Thorns,” about Richmond’s pre-and post-war community of flower growers and nursery owners whose lives were changed by the forced internment of Japanese citizens during World War II. At the conclusion of the movie Flora told the story of the Aebi’s (also documented in the film) who took on the care of their nursery. Francis Aebi also kept the taxes current. Many years later, as an adult, Flora would learn that the president of the small local Mechanics Bank, Edward M. Downer Jr., would quietly set aside the mortgages due for the nursery properties without telling a sole, not even his family or employees. Those acts of conscience and kindness allowed the Ninomiyas and other Japanese American families to return to Richmond at the end of the war and begin the process of recovery.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Flora and Janet were presented with long stem red roses – David Ninomiya’s favorite flower. Don Lau thanked the Ninomiya’s for their generous pledge to Richmond Rotary’s Centennial Project (see the Miraflores link).
- Jan Brown, Pinch-hitter Scribe