The Flywheel

Next Meeting: Friday, February 18

Circumnavigating the Earth

Magellan's ship
Before Ralph Hill there was Ferdinand Magellan. But Ferdinand evidently had a plan.

Rotary’s own bon vivant, Ralph Hill, who has regaled the club with his epic journeys to far-off and exotic places (for example, his two day anniversary trip to Lake Merritt via Emeryville) will beguile us with stories of his one-year adventure circling the globe on the Liberty Ship Arthur P. Davis during World War II.

Two glasses of wine provided by the Program Chair. Not to be missed!


Meeting of Friday, February 11

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Stoney led us in the invocation today. “Peace and Freedom on Earth” he said. John Wilson led us in the pledge.

Rotarians with Guests

Doreen Covell was visiting the club today but it is hard to think of her as a guest – I think

Sunshine Report

John Niccol was not feeling well and did not make it to the club today. I think we need to visit our good friend.

EJ Shalaby’s wife, Jeannine, who is carrying twins, was involved in an car accident. She was banged up some but the kids are fine thankfully. (Since the meeting we learned that Jeannine has given birth to a health boy and girl. Jeannine will need time to recuperate, but all seems headed in the right direction. Congratulation to the Shalabys!)


  • Thanks go to Heather Culp of Chevron for arranging the refinery tour. There was some disappointment that we weren’t able to fill up our tanks – but we understand how they could feel they are being taken for granted by the community and treated poorly at the same time.
  • The Crab Feed made $3,000 - $4,000. Good job Erle, and all his helpers including Joe “Bag Man” Bagley.
  • Erle Brown gave Judy Kafka her Paul Harris plus +3.
  • Erle Brown also gave our president Alan Baer his Paul Harris +4.

Happy and Sad Dollars & Recognitions:

  • Don Lau recognized Liliane Koziol’s 35th. She donated to the Werner Memorial fund.
  • Josh donated some sad dollars because his recent trip to the Talum area of Mexico was a disappointment. “The drinks were weak and the golf course too tough “ he said. Maybe he isn’t a good golfer, but this is not true; I have gotten beaten soundly by Josh.
  • Jan Brown was pleased with the Crab Feed turnout and had a long story about working for Don that I didn’t fully understand. Anyway she donated some $$ to the club and that is what counts.
  • Don Hardsion was glad to be at the club and made a contribution.
  • Mark Howe told a fish story about an abundance of herring in the Richmond Yacht Club marina. He suspected the devious females of laying eggs on the bottom of his race boat the day before an important race, which he blamed on his last place finish.

Norm’s Nonsense

A guy in a hurry rushes into a bar and tells the bartender: "Fix me a Scotch and Soda before the trouble starts."

The bartender fixed his drink which the drinker downed in a hurry and said: "Give me another one before the trouble starts." The bartender complied, and after downing it the drinker repeated: "Give me another one before the trouble starts."

Bartender: "Wait a minute, what trouble?"

Drinker: "The trouble that's going to start when you find out I have only 50 cents on me."

PROGRAM of January 28

Richmond and Anatanarivo Rotarys Join Hands to help a Regional Hospital in Madagascar

Madagascar hospital

Our very own Liliane Koziol spoke today about her very challenging Madagascar project that she led during Pam Jones reign as Richmond Rotary president. Werner was also a key player in helping move this project along and was the driving force that established a Group Study Exchange (GSE) tour of the country that Liliane was the leader of.

In addition to the GSE trip she also coordinated the collection of funds from several local clubs and a Rotary International matching grant that was used to purchase badly needed hospital equipment in the country.

Liliane was raised in Madagascar and is in fact a Madagascarian diplomat in real life. She even visited the United Nations to solicit help with this project. Liliane speaks, French, Malagassi, and English. I can barely speak English and my Spanish is weak. Smart !

The project was coordinated in Madagascar, by the Anatanarivo Rotary Club. Liliane’s sister is one of the managers of the hospital and was familiar with what items the hospital needed. Incubators, birthing tables and some common hospital items were provided to the hospital by this Rotary project.

She faced many challenges completing the project, some of which included: time zone problems (they were asleep when she was awake), three languages are spoken in Madagascar and often Liliane had to translate documents and phone calls, the donated equipment was impounded until $3,000 in import duty taxes were paid, and to top it off the country experienced a coup in the middle of the project. It is amazing it got done at all.

All told the project had a value of $25,000. $9,000 came from Richmond and another $9,000 came from West County clubs while the final amount was provided by a matching grant from Rotary International.

- Rotating Editor, Mark Howe