NEXT MEETING: April 11, 2014
The Richmond Community Foundation
The mission of The Richmond Community Foundation (RCF) is to help build the capacity of the Richmond community by serving as a Community Leader, Collaborator, and Broker, and by leveraging assets of all kinds in order to create and sustain a strong, healthy city. Josh Genser, RCF Board Chair, will talk about how the organization seeks to make philanthropy and philanthropists more effective in delivering good deeds in Richmond. In fact, how can we all become better philanthropists?
• The UC Berkeley International House has announces its Springfest. The country of Focus this year is Korea. The event takes place on Saturday April 12th, between 10-30 am and 4pm. For more information, send an email email@example.com or call 510.642.9461
• The club received a thank you letter from “Kids Power”, expressing gratitude for our support of their work.
• Henry Moe informed us that Nikki Basa (winner at Richmond Rotary) won again and moves on to the next round in Vallejo on May 3rd.2014. Rock on Nikki!
Our lady President Liliane Koziol welcomed everyone while standing alone at the head table. The pledge was lead by Jonathan Lawlis, the invocation by who else but Stoney?
Sid’s thought for the day: “If you don’t start, it’s certain you will not finish!”
Jeff Mulivihill again! Will he ever join?
Rotarians with Guests.
Liliane had 6 guests from across the world. 5 students of International House, Berkeley.
They were: Hatti Sudell, of the U.K. (I got to use my first language: English), Patricie Mavubi (Ruwanda), Sider Dlamini (Swaziland), Michel Brun (France), Saddig Nuru (Botswana), and their bus driver Willie Bennett.
Recognitions and Happy/Sad Dollars
• International House has its Springfest. The Edith Coliver Festival of Cultures. The Country of Focus: Korea. Saturday April 12th. 2014 10-30 am to 4pm. More info. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510.642.9461; Download flyer,
• The club received a Thank You letter from “Kids Power” Thanking us for our support.
• Henry Moe informed us that Nikki Basa (winner at Richmond Rotary) won again and moves on to the next round in Vallejo on May 3rd.2014. Rock on Nikki!.
This week’s were mostly happy dollars.
• David Brown had happy/sad dollars for the one of his past Temple students. who is now a medical Aid. And therefore qualified to stick needles into David in his upcoming blood tests. Revenge is sweet.
• Jim Young had happy dollars were for the birth of a new grandson. Congrats Jim!
• Ethan was happy to be here (his boss let him out) after being transferred to work in San Francisco.
• Josh Genser happy to be off to New York to visit his now working daughter.
• Jonathan Lawlis was equally happy to visit his now working daughter on her 25th birthday.
• Hank Covell had dollars for a phone call scam involving someone impersonating his grandson. Very worrying but happy ending.
• Don Lau happy about his 31 years with the YMCA
• Joe Bagley happy about his wife’s art group showing.
• Markku Pelanne spoke. I believe he told a joke.
“Madame Fortune Teller, tell me: “Are there golf courses in heaven?”
“I have good news and I have bad news.”
“What’s the good news?”
“The good news is that the golf courses in heaven are beautiful beyond anything you could imagine!”
“That’s wonderful. What’s the bad news?”
“You’ll be teeing off at 8:30 tomorrow morning.”
Botswana the Desert Country that Blossomed with Independence
Our speaker was Consul General of Botswana, Honorable Charles Frankel. Mr. Frankel opened his talk by saying he will have to tell the truth because a Botswana student was present. His talk took the form of “Botswana Then, 1960, and Botswana Now, 2014”. It was captivating as well as very informative. With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation Chuck showed us how large Africa is and exactly where Botswana was ( I wasn’t sure). Some 70% of the country was desert, namely the Kalahari.
Seretes Khama, the paramount Chief of the largest tribe the Bamangwato, was educated in Oxford, England, in the 1959s, after being banished to Britain for marrying Ruth Williams (1948), a white English woman. Winston Churchill decreed that the exile should be “permanent”. In 1956 he returned to Africa, after Khamas fellow chiefs traveled to London to appeal his banishment. He returned to become Chief in 1963.
In 1966 Botswans became independent. Population stood at 600.000. Of those, 20,000 lived in the new Capital Mafeking. Per capita income was in the 10% poorest nations: $80 annually. There were only 8 miles of paved roads. No government schools or hospitals. Three private secondary schools. And fewer than 10 college graduates. The economy was dependent on beef exports. Main income source was remittances from Botswana miners, all men, in apartheid South Africa. Chief Seretse Khama became President, and Gaborone the new capital.
Fast Forward to 2014: 48 years.
President Khama encouraged mineral exploration in the early 70’s: diamonds, copper, nickel, coal, soda ash and cobalt. Botswana is the largest producer of diamonds in the world by value. The country now produce 30 million carats per year. The diamond dealer Debawana is moving its London-based international sorting and marketing operations entirely to Gaborone. Ten percent of the diamonds produced will be sold there. This adds 5 billion to Botswana’s GDP. The per capita revenue has risen from $80 to over $17,000.
Tourism has becomes second only to minerals as an income producer with over 300 lodges and permanent tented camps in game parks. Twenty percent of the country is set aside as game preserves. The 8 miles of roads have been transformed into over 4,000 miles of paved roads—the most miles per capita of any nation.
There has been a steady reduction in poverty from 59% in 1986 to 23% in 2008. Botswana has consistently been ranked as the least corrupt country in Africa: 32nd in the world, and less corrupt than 9 EU countries. There are 9 free years of education and 300 secondary schools. And lastly, The University of Botswana created in the 1970’s today has a student population of over 10,000.
At the conclusion of Mr. Frankel’s presentation, the Botswana student Saddig Nuru agreed it was all true.
Alan Blavins, our back-from-holiday Scribe