The Ojai Rotary Reminder Newsletter

Membership Newsletter
June 7, 2024

Randall Roth, Editor
Are you an established professional who wants to make positive changes in your community and the world? Our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for community service and friendship. 
Our 1.4 million-member organization started with the vision of one man—Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.


In the beginning…

On a sparkling early summer day, Co-President Bill Prather invited Rotarians to gather for service and friendship.  Bill had a few announcements:IMG_8773.jpgIMG_8773.jpg

·      Our beloved Cherry Edwards is not doing well.  She is unable to receive visitors but would welcome cards.

·      Co-President Carl is undergoing some cardiac surgery; we all wish him well.

·      Bill thanked Tara Saylor for organizing last Friday’s tour of Matilija dam.

·      Bill recounted his trip with Carl to give Dan Cerminaro his Fred Clapp award.

Wendy Barker led the Flag salute and Renee Halbrook read the marvelous poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter”.  

We were delighted that Dr. Bob Skankey was visiting us.  Judging from his tan and his smile, it seems Dr. Bob is enjoying his stint in Utah.  Also visiting us were Gini Seigfried, Susan Weaver and Jack MaClenahan. 


Great Moments in History by Bret Bradigan


Bret regaled us with a recounting of the most consequential eclipse in history.  In 1919, a solar eclipse was the occasion of the proof of Einstein’s theory that light can be bent by gravity.  Prior to this, Einstein was an obscure patent clerk in the Swiss patent office, who had written several poorly understood articles in scientific journals.

After the eclipse proved, even to Einstein’s skeptics, that his theories were valid, he became a world-renowned celebrity.  His contributions to our understanding of reality were enormous.

The most moving part of Bret’s talk was the finale:  Stephen Jay Gould wrote about Einstein’s brain:

“I am less concerned about the weight and contours of Einstein’s brain that the near certainty that people of equal genius lived and died in the cotton fields and factory floors”



·      Tony T’s grandson graduated from High School; he also adopted a dog

·      Al West’s grandson received three awards

·      Mike and Susan Weaver celebrated 56 years of marriage

·      Dr. Skankey expressed sincere appreciation for being re-united with his friends of many years

Fining by Bret Nighman

Bret presided over a game of “Are you smarter than a 5th grader”?  This diabolic game asks seemingly simple questions with true/false answers.  However, Bret slipped in subtle changes in order to trip up the contestants.  It was all done with the best of intentions:  raising money for service.  Well done Bret.


Program:  Eric Knight, ED of the Humane Society of Ventura County



Eric was a lively and passionate speaker about the mission and future of the Humane Society.  He was appointed ED in May of 2022.  Here is a selection of some of his remarks that most impressed me:

·      There is a crisis in the field:  there are more than 100,000 more dogs that need shelter than there is space for them

·      There is a severe shortage of trained staff

·      He is focused upon reducing the average length of stay for dogs to free up space

·      He is reducing the obstacles to people adopting pets

·      The 4.5 acres of the Humane Society were donated by Sarah Bayless

·      He has ambitious plans to increase the size of the facility


Closing:  Bill gaveled the meeting adjourned at 1:30.


You are invited to visit us at an upcoming meeting.

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