Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Aug 04, 2017

We’ve had a busy schedule of activities this year with the planning of our ‘Ladies Movie Night’ fundraiser in March and the recent Canada 150 celebration at Swalwell Park.

 To celebrate our success, and give our members to a chance to relax and have some fun, your Executive have decided to replace one of our breakfast meetings in the next few months with a social event in the community.

The first group social activity will be a concert on Saturday, August 26, at 6:30 p.m., at Swalwell Park, featuring Jenn Boal and the J. S. Garcia Band.  Please invite a friend, bring an appetizer to share with the group, and enjoy some great music in a relaxing setting.

Speaking of fun, we were happy this morning to have Elaine Gibbons join us to celebrate her birthday.   The ‘birthday girl’ extinguished all the candles on her second try and afterwards, everyone enjoyed a delicious chocolate birthday cake.  Is it just me, or can you also see Elaine’s birthday aura in the above photo?

Our speaker this morning was Alan Gatzke, owner of Gatzke Orchards, and President of Tourism Lake Country.   Alan spoke to us about three subjects that he is passionate about – sustainable agricultural practices, Okanagan Rail Trail governance, and his personal business philosophy (which is remarkably like the Rotary four-way test).

Alan’s discussion about sustainable agriculture focussed on his experience in producing ‘bio-char’, which is a natural compost comprised of ash from burnt tree pruning’s, leaves and chicken manure.  When mixed into the soil, this natural nutrient can sustain plant growth for many years.  The charcoal based compound also helps to absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which is contributing to global warming.

Alan also talked about the challenge of managing the operation and maintenance of the future Okanagan Rail Trail corridor.  These responsibilities are beyond the scope of the interjurisdictional committees which are currently responsible for fundraising and construction activities and will require a sustainable governance model that represents the various government interests along the corridor.

Alan’s work has focussed on securing trade-marks and naming rights to future websites and merchandise for fundraising purposes and reviewing the experience of Rail Trail developments in New Zealand regarding governance matters. 

A copy of Alan’s presentation will be emailed to Club members for their review.