The meeting opened almost on time when President Bob Merring rang the bell with the authorized one strike from the mallet. Bob was on a mission; get the formalities out of the way as quickly as possible so that there is 45 minutes to devote to the evening’s program. There were six guests at tonight’s meeting but no time to introduce them until – well, wait till the end of this report.
The Invocation was delivered by Walter Smith, followed by the Pledge led by Jerry Klemmer and the 4-Way Test coached by Justin Peister. What, no time for a song? What the #$% – and then Dick Dickson and perhaps Ed Rennie broke into God Bless America – up an octave for even a soprano – pianist Pat quickly got on board and others were catching up then the Dickson table wrapped up the song – Grim performance, but we took the time to keep the tradition. Sorry, President Bob. Traditions are hard to drop.
Steve Speer made a reminder announcement about the Club’s traditional Holiday Party Extravaganza and Boat Parade viewing from our beautiful water front venue at BCYC starting at 5:30 PM with cocktails, Dinner at 6:30 PM with an expected arrival of the lead boat for the parade around 7:30 PM. Get your checks in now ($45 Members and $55 Guests). Mail to the Club PO Box or to Steve Speer.
Our Program and Speaker tonight was delivered by Marty A. Brounstein and introduced by President Bob. Since 1991 Marty has the led the consulting firm *The Practical Solutions Group,* serving a wide variety of clients across many industries on issues of leadership and organizational effectiveness. He is also the author and contributing author on 7 books in the field of management and communication. His eighth book is quite different and special and is titled, *Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust*. It has put Marty in the interfaith business, as he has a story of a Christian couple, Frans and Mien Wijnakker of the
Netherlands, who saved the lives of at least two dozen Jews during World War II and the Holocaust. This book takes Marty back to his early career as an educator, when he was teaching history including the Holocaust. With tonight’s presentation, Marty has delivered 217 speeches about these ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
He lead into the story with a lot of history and statistics leading up to the total take over and domination of Europe by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi war machine. Starting with Poland on September 1, 1939 Hitler’s troops marched through Europe with France falling in just 30 days and the Netherlands in one week. Marty’s focus was on the life and heroic contributions of Frans and Mien Wijnakker who risked their lives and convinced others to risk their lives to save many Jews (mostly children) at risk by hiding them in their homes. Frans and Mien are credited with saving two dozen lives. One of the children, was born after her family was saved by Frans and Mien Wijnakker. She is today, Marty’s wife Leah.
The statistics on WWII are mind blowing. Human casualties were 55 Million, two thirds were in Europe. In Holland alone there were 140 thousand Jews at the start of the Holocaust (Hitler’s Final Solution) and 107 thousand of these Dutch Jews were transported and killed in the Death Camps (over 75%). Thirty thousand Jews made it into hiding, thanks to the efforts of people like Frans and Mien Wijnakker. There were 11 Million casualties resulting from implementing the “Final Solution”, six million were Jews and another 5 million were those who spoke out and protected the Jews.
The lessons this story teaches are wide ranging. If you were there tonight, you may have purchased the book. It is available on Amazon.com and also for the Kindle or iPad ($ 8.50). I believe it will be a good read.
With the program over, President Bob wrapped things up by announcing that he will be undergoing major back surgery the first of December. Not to worry, he has put in place a cadre of experienced and well qualified Past Presidents to lead the Club and upcoming meetings during his absence.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 PM with one ring of the Memorial Bell. Oops, Bob forgot to mention the six guests at tonight’s meeting. How embarrassing – he turned red. The guests were introduced as David Widerman(soon to be member whose daughter will be going to Okazaki with the youth exchange), Barbara Smith (wife of Walter Smith), Gigi Tsontos (prospective member, checking out our Club), Andrew McDonough (son of member Mike McDonough), Jose Vergara (soon to be member) and Miranda Anderson
(prospective member, checking out our Club). The meeting was over.
Very respectfully submitted by your Scribe de Jour,