Intro. of RCN-B/N.B.S.C.A. Exchange Students Going to Okazaki, Japan and Ambassadorial Scholar @ UCI – Shuji Tanaka (RCN-B is Hosting)
Greeting a large group of guest was Immediate Past President Bill Hossfeld with Past President Ed Rennie checking everyone in at the Front Desk. We had 35 guests this evening and approximately and 24 N-B Rotarians.
President AJ Thielen signaled the *Meeting to Order* by the ring of the Rotary Bell at 6:15 P.M. Steve Speer gave the Invocation, President AJ lead us in the Salute to the Flag, followed by Grace Austin guiding the Rotarians in *The Four Way Test,* and AJ almost forgot President-elect Bob Merring that lead us in a patriotic version of *God Bless America.*
We adjourned for a large buffet dinner with a multitude of entry selections.
After dinner, AJ presented Rayna Richardson (Ensign), John Leisure (CdM), Slater Plant (St. Joachim), Nichole Meindl (CdM), Nikola Knaeps (CdM), and Sam Wertheimer (Ensign) along with the two chaperons who are Science Teachers at CdM: Kim Rap and Jennifer Walters.
Pres. AJ talked about recent fund raiser with N.B.S.C.A. and took a “photo op” with Connie and Liddy with Connie introducing her Board of Directors. Following that AJ plugged that he took us out of the “Dark Ages” with
FaceBook and what our Club did in the Community.
Pres. AJ introduced his old grade and high school friend Major Mark Simpson from the Pasadena area, who is a 12 year USMC jet pilot flying the F-18 and currently training pilots in the T-45C jet. Roger McGonegal passed the hat for the disaster victims of the tornadoes in Oklahoma.
It is always nice to induct a new member and PDG Roger McGonegal handled the induction of Justin Peister, with the classification of “General Contractor,” who stated that his was looking forward in giving back to the Community.
Pres. AJ did announce that Dick Dickson would be honored by the Daily Pilot for the Community & Clubs Hall of Fame in recognition of his service to the communities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Rotarian Dickson will be honored at Noon on Friday, June 14th at American Legion Post #291 and if you would like to attend please call President AJ to fill at least one or more tables.
Past Pres. Marc Aarons and Director of International Service introduced UCI Student and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Shuji Tanka, not to be confused with “Sushi!” Shuji was introduced to our Club at our October 10, 2012 Meeting and since that time he has shared his story with some fifteen (15) Rotary groups with his English improving from 62% efficiency when he was appointed as an Ambassadorial Scholar to now where he is in the mid 90% English efficiency. The 300 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars this Rotary Year are to promote international peace and understanding and Shuji is a great example of the goals and objectives of this Rotary program. I have driven Shuji on a regular basis in our visits to the different Rotary groups where he has or will be speaking over fifteen (15) times and he has been extremely well received by all that have come in contact with him. He will be staying another year in the USA and will be doing internships before returning to Japan to complete his master’s degree in electrical engineering.
Shuji fits the mold of a Rotarian providing *Service Above Self* with his work in Cambodia teaching young people who grew up as orphans Japanese so they can work in the tourist industry catering to the Japanese tourist. Two other summers he worked in India at Mother Teresa’s Orphanage and at Kalighat Hospice where he witnessed people dying in front of his eyes but still giving these people some hope with his friendly warm smile. With a little R & R in Thailand he was involved in a motorcycle accident where his leg was seriously broken with the treat of possibly not able to walk but with Shuji’s positive attitude he overcame that injury and you would never know he was involved in that accident..
He went through the Japanese 9.0 earth quack on March 11, 2011 at his university library near Tokyo, Japan where all the books were thrown from the racks and studies were restricted and transportation was none existent where the students including Shuji were living in his university’s gym. He showed and gave a great overview of the damage done in northern Japan immediately after the quake and recent photos some two years later. It is hard to believe that over 15,000 people were killed and approximately 2,500 people are missing with some 398,0009 buildings damaged or destroyed with 54 nuclear energy facilities damaged and not operating and restricting electrical power in that part of Japan. Helping Japan recover were 142 out of 195 countries from around the world.
Some questions were asked and Shuji addressed how Americans complement everyone compared to Japan and that Americans will ask a questions to make sure they understand what is being discussed which is not true in Japan.
Pres. AJ ended the tonight’s meeting with a quote from one of the four original founding Rotarians; Paul Harris. AJ pulled off a very full scheduled meeting and closed the meeting with the ring of the Rotary Bell at 7:47 P.M. so my older brother Dick Dickson could have Eleanor tuck him into bed by 8:30 PM!
Scribe Bill Hossfeld for Rotary Meeting on May 30, 2013