Posted on Jun 21, 2018
Rotary Dinner Feb 4, 2019
Dinner Meeting at the Trent Port Marina
Head Table
Frank Meilboon – President
Gordon Dowsley – Canada Landmines Foundation (CLMF)
Ron Dick – Past President, Oshawa Rotary
Wilf Wilkinson – Past President, Rotary International
President Frank started the dinner meeting at about 6:05 pm and introduced the head table.
  1. Last meeting’s attendance including make-ups was 45.95%.
  2. Rotary Club of Brighton Valentine’s Dance is February 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm at the Brighton Community Centre.  Tickets are $25.  Contact Rotarian Victoria at 613-921-2996.
  3. Quinte Sunrise Fish ‘n  Chips Dinner is March 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm at The Dugout in Belleville.  Tickets are $25.  Contact
  4. Director Anthony is looking for interested members to sit on the Membership Committee.  Please reach out to him at for more info.
  5. Rotarian Christina needs content for social media:  please send her community and event pics or upload to ClubRunner. 
  6. John and Sally Tripp celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary.
Happy Bucks
  • $5 from past President Brent to recognize the presence of Ron Dick.
  • $10 from Craig.  He is happy to report a better week than last week.
  • $10 from Ron Dick thanking Deb for the lanyards.
  • $5 from Gord.  He said he and Que Que had fun downshill skiing recently. (Que Que echoed Gord’s comment about how much fun they had skiing and that he is now staying with Ginny. He was asked a question “Will Ginny let you cut your hair?”  He laughed and said “No; I’m growing it to donate to cancer research.”
  • $5 from Wilf to commemorate the one-year passing of Phil Panelas.
  • $5 from Kim.  She was happy to see Rotarians at the Trenton Air Force Pond Hockey Tournament in support of PTSD.
  • $5 from Jeremy.  He was happy to see a third of the attendees at tonight’s meeting have only been Rotarians for less than two years.
  • $10 from Frank.  He really enjoyed the Pond Hockey dinner Friday night; he also attended a President-elect training session.
Ron Dick
Ron commented on how much he likes visiting Trenton and with reference to the presence of Gord Dowsley, he noted that in October of 2017 with Senator Art Eggleton present at an Armoury Dinner, $2,000 was raised for work on landmines. He went on to say in October of 2018, David Collenette, past Minister of Defence, was at the Armoury Dinner where $5,000 was raised. He predicts that they are on track to do even better for the October, 2019 dinner. 
Gordon Dowsley
Gord provided an inspiring overview on the global situation involving landmines. Landmines present a terrible problem to society as there are so many of them around the world and their effects are so devastating. One could say they represent the ultimate folly of mankind. Not only do they kill and maim people, they take away agricultural land and kill livestock in countries that can ill afford reduced agricultural output.
Landmines are particularly fatal for children. Children are smaller and their organs are closer to the blast so they die more frequently than adults when mines are triggered. Children also come upon these devices and do not realize what they are.
The removal of landmines around the world and the banning of such instruments under international law has been a remarkable success of Canadian foreign policy and is something supported by clubs across the country.
In the past when changes to international law were sought, the process was to go to the United Nations and get buy-in from the countries and then introduce the “legislation” at the UN. This did not work with landmines since many large nations, USA, Russia, China and some small nations refused to give up their weapons and blocked the process. So Canada’s foreign minister at the time, Lloyd Axworthy, a serious Rotarian, started what became known as the Ottawa Process.
Axworthy started with a draft treaty and then went country to country to get buy-in while ignoring those who would not cooperate. In December 1997 the Ottawa Treaty was signed by 122 countries on parliament hill. Present were Koffi Anan, Secretary General of the UN, the international president of the Red Cross, Jodi Williams who won the Nobel Peace Prize that year for her work in getting NGOs to advocate for banning mines and many others including of course those who signed for their countries. While the signing took place, the church bells in the city rang out in unison. Gord described it as one of Canada’s greatest days on the world stage. Remarkably the whole process from the drafting of the treaty to signing had taken less than one year. Since then more countries have signed on and today 162 countries are signatories.
The Canadian Landmines Foundation was formed soon after; Rotary is an unofficial sponsor as a few board chairs are reserved for Rotarians. Gord is proud to be one of these. Wilf Wilkinson is another Rotarian member. The role is to raise money to remove the mines, and to educate children in dangerous areas as to what mines look like, to report them to adults and to never touch them.
The CLMF money is currently going to Cambodia. Of course it could be used in many countries from the Falkland Islands to Sudan. Cambodia is working well for the CLMF because of the success in reclaiming land and because of the administration by a former American Rotarian who with his wife decided to stay there to save the lives of the children and run the demining operation.
Many clubs contribute directly to the Foundation from funds on hand.  Others raise funds through Night-of-a-Thousand Dinners evenings and send these funds to the foundation.  Gord closed by encouraging Trenton Rotarians to host similar dinners … every dollar counts.
At the end of his presentation, Gord was presented with a $1,000 donation from Trenton Rotary.
Some Landmine Facts
  • Every 22 minutes, 1 person is either killed or maimed around the world
  • There are 100 million uncleared mines world-wide
  • Since 2001, 1.6 million mines have been cleared
  • > 50 per cent of casualties are children
  • Methods of clearing mines include: sniffer dogs and the African Giant Pouched Rat, both of which are too light to trigger the mines (it costs $7,000 to train each rat but, once trained, they can clear in 20 minutes what may take humans 5 days to accomplish)
  • It was noted that the WWI battlefield of Vimy Ridge has between 300,000 to 400,000 unexploded ordinance (mostly landmines) such that 75 per cent of the Vimy Ridge memorial area is too dangerous to walk on.
Questions Asked of Gord
  1. Do you think mining could start again in future wars? Answer: Not likely as the treaty has changed the way people think. Stockpiles are being destroyed.
  2. How is compliance monitored? Answer: This is difficult to determine; remember that the U.S., Russia, China, Israel and India haven’t signed. But, the treaty requires signatories to demine.
  3. How many lives are lost doing the demining? Answer: Not known.
  4. Have the countries who have laid mines in the past shown where they are? Answer: Yes, sort of but maps are not always accurate.
50/50 Draw
Joan Jeffrey conducted  the 50/50 draw and Jeremy won the draw but drew the wrong card and the progressive pot continues.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:35 pm