There were no guests at our April 30 meeting. Tom Nash gave the “thought” for the day. Announcements were: the Club is very thankful for the Winnetka Community House re-doing our meeting sign; John Thomas reminded everyone of the upcoming Club benefit on May 16th and reported that the number of attendees and auction items is continuing at a good pace, but that everyone is encouraged to put up posters of the event to attract non-Club members; Roger Morris fell in his home and is now recuperating there (a get-well card was circulated for members to sign); and that due to the WCH Rummage Sale, our May 14th meeting will be at the Takiff Center in Glencoe.
 
Happy Bucks (HB) were given as follows: Dave Gotaas thanked Chuck Young for getting us last week’s speaker—Steve Beres; Ned Meisner thanked Dave Gotaas for giving a HB in honor of Ned’s pre-meeting piano playing; Liz Taylor expressed her gratitude for our Rotary Club adhering to its scheduled meeting times, as contrasted to an organization meeting that she recently attended where the speaker showed up 5 minutes before the the speech was scheduled to conclude; Fred Schwimmer gave many HB’s for returning safely from his winter stay in Florida and for being able to be a resident of Winnetka for 78 years; David Birkenstein came forth with a HB in appreciation of Fred (and his humor) being back in town; Eric Birkenstein gave a tribute to his children’s grandfather (and we know who that is) who recently gave a “haunted house” presentation to his grandchild’s schoolmates;  and  Robert Mardirossian was absolutely ecstatic over being able to see live a Cubs victory after only 5 tries.
 
Joe Nash did the Dig-n-Grin.
 
Our guest speaker was Basil Lewis who is a Rotarian from the RC of Humberside, D1270. He lives in Hull, England, a town of about 250,000 in the North part of the country. He gave a very entertaining presentation on the history of the Rotary Club and especially how the RIBI developed in the United Kingdom. (His presentation was peppered with typical English accent and humor.) He explained that RIBI stood for Rotary International Britain and Ireland and is a separate legal organization from Rotary International (RI) for tax and charitable giving purposes. However, it provides support for many of the same causes as the RI such as the Shelter Boxes, the polio project and the Paul Harris Fellowships. All Rotary organizations have had the same rules and regulations since 1910.
 
Basil mentioned that when WWI broke out, that there was very little communication between the UK and the American Rotary Clubs. The one interesting exception was the vaudeville performers who were still crossing the Ocean to perform on both sides—the most noted entertainer being Sir Harry Lauder who was a Rotarian and attended its meetings in both places.
 
The U.S. Rotary and the British Association of Rotary Clubs (BRAC)  finally came together (for the most part) in 1921, although they still have separate sets of officers and separate publications.
 
When asked about the British view of women membership, Basil said that every BARC has women members except his, only because no woman has ever wanted to be a member of a Club with approximately 40  widowers over age 60! Besides, over there the Rotary has established something similar to a “women’s auxiliary”,  the “Interwheel Club”, which is run primarily by women who engage in the same fund raising activities as the Rotary.
 
 
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