Sunday, July 24, 2016

Rotary Club of Pincher Creek hosts American Rotarians

Dan Crawford, President, Rotary Club of Pincher Creek [far right] exchanges club banners with eleven visiting Rotarians from Rotary Clubs in Louisiana and Mississippi - Scot Korbett photos

Bev Thornton - Rotarians from Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast were hosted by the Rotary Club of Pincher Creek as part of a friendship exchange. The group of 11 was in Alberta for a total of two weeks, arriving in Calgary in time to experience the stampede, then spending time in Drumheller, Canmore and Pincher Creek.

The visit to Waterton Lakes is of particular significance to Rotarians, as Rotary Clubs in Alberta and Montana were the driving force in the formation of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park in 1932.

The visitors were hosted at the homes of local Rotary Club members and, in addition to visiting the national park, toured windfarms, historic sites and museums; went boating, hiking, shopping and dining, experiencing our southern Alberta lifestyle and climate, which is quite different from the southern coast of the United States.

Barclay Tanner, Western Canada Senior Operations Manager, Vestas - Canadian Wind Technology Inc. [kneeling, centre] explains the technology of wind turbines to visiting Rotarians from New Orleans and Mississippi

“The group became nicknamed ‘the sunshine kids’ because everywhere we took them the rain stopped, the sun shone and our prairies and mountains sparkled on cue”, says Bev Thornton, one of the organizers of the itinerary. “I guess they brought their own southern sunshine with them.”

Taking part in an exchange is a wonderful way to make new friends and establish international service partnerships. “We got some great new ideas from learning about the projects these other clubs have completed”, says Dan Crawford, President of the Pincher Creek Rotary Club. “And we think they got a few good ideas from us as well.”

The Rotary Friendship Exchange (RFE) is a program of Rotary international that connects Rotary Clubs, encourages them to visit each other, explore new cultures and discover diverse perspectives. The Friendship Exchange is a self-funded international exchange opportunity for Rotary members and their families.

Rotary international offers a wide range of programs and projects that support local community initiatives, youth exchange programs, peace initiatives and world health.

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