We had a packed program at this week’s meeting, but each and every speaker had incredible stories to tell. We heard from new members Alexandra Sellick, Nurlan Turdaliev and Susan Falodun. Walter conducted the memorial tribute for Louis Mayrand, and Youth Exchange rebounder Sydney Helbich presented a recap of her experiences in Brazil. She was also awarded the first Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) Centennial Scholarship!
District Governor Noel Jackson was in attendance and briefly shared that there were over 250 people at the Grand Opening of the Tanzania Learning Centre. More details about that to come. Walter Willms gave a heartwarming tribute in honour of Louis Mayrand, sharing memories of his Rotary involvements since his induction to the Club in 1957. To view the tribute in its entirety, click here.
Three new members shared their stories as the featured program, “This Is Your Life”. Alexandra Sellick told the Club about her family history ties to Rotary – her grandfather had been a member of the Rotary Club of Harrow. She shared her diverse educational, volunteer and work backgrounds, and is currently an administrative assistant and account coordinator at Douglas Marketing Group. About Rotary, she is “excited to be part of a group of people who want to make Windsor, and the world, a better place”.
Nurlan Turdaliev, head of the Department of Economics at the University of Windsor, with a long list of other extremely notable accomplishments, began his address by explaining that he was born “in a country that no longer exists”. In a fascinating talk, he explained how, growing up in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (which broke up into 15 new countries, one being Turdaliev’s home of Uzbekistan), shattered his belief system. He lived his life serving himself and his family, and upon attending his first Rotary Club meeting, knew he belonged when he learned the Four-Way Test and the motto of “Service Above Self”.
Susan Falodun shared her amazing story to a captivated audience. Born in Nigeria to a Christian family, she got her engineering degree after studying in Nigeria and England. She held the position of Assistant Director (Technical) ASCL in the Nigerian Government for 21 years until she decided to leave the country because of so much social unrest and religious intolerance - she had to think about her children’s safety. It took 7 years to be able to move to Canada as a “skilled immigrant”. She went on to study Social Work at the University of Windsor, graduating with a BSW in Social Work. She has mentored over 100 children both locally and internationally. She currently works at the Salvation Army Centre of Hope Windsor Ontario as the Community and Family Services Manager in charge of the Food Bank, Community Meal, Christmas Toys, Christmas Assistance for Families, Annual Christmas Dinner, and Life Skill Empowerment. Susan appreciates Major Paul, with whom she works with at the Salvation Army, for introducing her to Rotary.
To end off the meeting, Sydney Helbich, former Youth Exchange student who just got back from Brazil (and was previously an exchange student in Mexico), took the Club through some of her amazing experiences. She attended Rotary meetings there almost every week (district 4550). Some highlights were watching (and learning!) Capoeira – a 16th century Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music and of course, Carnival in Rio! Sydney was presented with the first Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) Centennial Scholarship Fund, in partnership with the WindsorEssex Community Foundation. This scholarship is awarded to one of our Club’s Youth Exchange rebounders attending a post-secondary institution. Congratulations, Sydney!

Click here to view all photos from this meeting