Posted by Hardy on May 18, 2019

17 members and three guests:  Sonja, Sandra Fisher, Tony Baker

O Canada: Avrum Liederman

Grace: Basil Dias

 

Speaker:  Courtney Fisher

Courtney shared with fellow Rotarians the pivotal moment that changed his life and that lead him along the path of caring for the poor and hungry.  When he was 18 and travelling to a beach with friends, he observed from his window seat teen boys scrambling for construction supplies on garbage trucks before the trucks entered the Kingston Jamaica dump.  More importantly, he observed the mothers and children in the dump competing for food and other materials being disposed of by Jamaica’s middle class.  The wild pigs were competing for food against young children.   His successful mother allowed his family to be middle class and live comfortably while others went without food and the bare necessities of life.  The event triggered has involvement in local and world politics for the rest of his life.

 

He left Jamaica in 1979 to work in record distribution in Pittsburgh and to also attend Wesleyan College in West Virginia with a soccer scholarship.  He then went on to work in the Bronx New York City.  He moved to Canada in 1982 and worked in various jobs including being a driver with Parkers Cleaner.

After reading “Child in the Dark” by Carolina Maria de Jesus, Courtney was re-inspired to do something to address the plight of the poor. Maria de Jesus was an artist, a writer and single mother of three children, all while living in a hovel in Brazil, and supporting her family by digging through the garbage for paper and scraps to sell.  

For the next 22 years Courtney became a classroom teacher with the TDSB.  

 

In 2011 he became President of the Rosewood Taxpayer Association.  In this role he sought our avenues for delivering on their mandate of being a ‘clean, safe and caring’ community.  However, the notion of being a caring community wasn’t jelling.  It wasn’t until Halloween in 2012 that he was approached by someone collecting food and realized that was the way that the community could be caring.  The first Rosewood Food Drive was organized and has now branched out to become the ‘Scarborough Rosewood Food Drive’.  Courtney sits as the Executive Director.  They are currently in the process of getting a CRA Charitable designation.   Courtney and Sandra also manage U-Bora Education Services which provides excellent tutors for children in need.  He also helps out with fundraising for Woolmer’s High School in Jamaica.  

His recent travels to South America had two themes:  natural wonders and wonders of culture.  

Members felt that Courtney’s talk was one of the most inspiring they had ever heard.

 

Announcements:

Donna, Basil and Arthur attended Precious Blood Catholic School to receive a certificate honouring the Park Property Management staff contribution and the Club’s $10,000 contribution for playground equipment through the Jack Holman Memorial fund.  Basil said he was quite intimidated at having to talk to 500 fully attentive students.  Gerd received the plaque and received thanks from members.

Peter Masson suggested that members of the Club donate funds to the Foundation in honour of the passing of Bill Patchet, famous Rotary fundraiser from Cobourg. $330 was raised.

Peter Masson also reminded members that the Paul Harris Awards Scholarship is next week at Centennial College.  Please RSVP.  The dinner will replace our normal lunch meeting.

Gordon reminded members to RSVP for the Pot Luck dinner and pointed out that ‘pot-luck’ means you have to bring some food.

 

Peter Masson won the Marvelous Marble draw.

 

 

 

 

Happy bucks only.  David Seemungal was happy his mother made it back to Trinidad safely and more importantly, made him many meals to eat over the next few weeks.