We had a lovely Assembly at Riviera Country Club, with the table center pieces arranged by Shirley MORE and Pat ANDERSON. There were hors d'oeuvres beforehand, and after we were all seated, Pres. PETER formally announced the appointment of DON NELSON as our new Vice President. DON has belonged to WVRC for the past eleven years, and for twenty years before that was an active member of LA 5. He brings a wealth of experience and background to this most important position, which places him in the Chairs following RUDY ALVAREZ. His appointment was well received, and warmly applauded.

Pres. PETER briefly outlined the history of WVRC. A group of Rotarians from the Santa Monica Club got us organized in 1928, and we were chartered as the Rotary Club of West Los Angeles in June of 1929. Our Founding President was Angus Cavanaugh, Principal of University High School. In 1936 our Westwood Village Auxiliary was formed - and it remains today as a mainstay of support for WVRC. In 1963 we changed our name to Westwood Village Rotary, passing along our original WLA title to the new club we formed in WLA/Brentwood. Thus we have given birth to five clubs - Pacific Palisades in 1952, WLA/Brentwood in 1964, Century City in 1965, Sunrise International in 1989, and the UCLA Rotaract Club in 1999! Starting with MARVEL BEAM in 1942, we have produced FIVE District Governors - CHARLIE TITUS in 1953, SAM WANOUS in 1981, BILL GOODWYN in 1985, and ANDY ANDERSON in 1994.

PP RON LYSTER has agreed to Chair our upcoming 75th Anniversary Year Celebrations. Starting with our meeting on March 25th, 2004, we will follow with a major Host-Hostess dinner series on Friday the 26th, and the gala Anniversary Celebration on Saturday evening March 27th - SAVE THOSE DATES, please. We will be inviting all the past members we can reach to join us at one or more of these special events - and your suggestions and help in locating some of them will be appreciated. Senior PP JIM COLLINS is the contact here. Since our history is what we will be featuring, PP RON asked RALPH BEASOM (a member for a mere forty six years, and our Club Historian) what it was like before we moved to the Bel Air Hotel in the mid-60's. RALPH pointed out that we met for many years at Truman's Restaurant, then located at the corner of Wilshire and Westwood, and he showed a wonderful group photo, taken in 1960. He singled out four 'old-timers' who are still with us (and the year they joined) - PP HOWIE HENKES ('52), PP JIM DOWNIE ('54), RALPH ('57) and SANDY SANDERSON ('60). BOB CAMPBELL, our original long-term Windmill Editor, was shown along with John Wooden, one of our speakers.

JIM BECHTEL, Chair of International Service, spoke of our Emergency Preparedness Program in cooperation with the Rotary Club of Makati, Philippines - this started by PP TED IHNEN - and then noted that LENORE MULRYAN continues to head our outgoing Ambassadorial Scholar program, while SUSAN ALLEN is in charge of helping the incoming scholars. Our Polio Corrective Surgery is funded by a major gift from our late member, HOWARD PHILLIPS, and Sally coordinates this wonderful activity. Vice-Chair SEAN McMILLAN introduced a new program this year, based on a dinner honoring the UCLA/USC basketball series, which will be in conjunction with both Century City and the Santa Monica clubs. JIM's personal favorite is the Global Neuro Rescue program, headed by Dr.Jorge Lazareff, the lead surgeon in separating the con-joined twins from Guatemala. Dr. Lazareff has already visited Guatemala, Romania, and China this year, conducting surgery clinics for local physicians. We will be supporting this with a Wine Tasting benefit in May of 2004.

RALPH SMITH, Chair of Community Service, spoke of our new program in support of the John Tracy Clinic. The Clinic helps families of pre-school deaf children, teaching them to speak, and we can help in many ways with their myriad activities. The Braille Institute Holiday Luncheon is an annual event, with PP HOWIE HENKES as our liaison. KACY ROZELLE has started us this year on the Corazon House project, building a home in Mexico for a family - in just ONE day! KEVIN KOMATSU will be overseeing our help with Angel Flight, where we provide transportation to and from Santa Monica airport for patients they fly in to local hospitals. Salvation Army Transitional Housing is chaired once again by SLOSS VIAU, and collections of clothing, bedding, etc, will be taken these next two Thursdays, August 28th and Sept 4th.

Pres. PETER reminded us of the founding of the Parkinson's Exercise Program by HENRY TSENG and WALLY FISCHMAN. This new concept has proven very helpful to those with Parkinson's, and we have promoted it at the last five Rotary International Conventions, in Singapore, Buenos Aires, San Antonio, Barcelona and Brisbane. He then asked MICHAEL GINTZ, Chair of Community Service, to outline their plans. MICHAEL made an excellent presentation, starting by thanking the Club for allowing him to Chair Youth Service, which he is enjoying very much. He next thanked all the Club members who contribute their time and money to our various volunteer projects,
and this recognition was warmly applauded. He next read the Youth Service Mission Statement, and then noted the Holiday Shopping Spree, in which we accompany a number of kids as they buy Christmas presents for their family and friends. We supply each of them with a sum of money, which their sponsors usually end up enlarging, of course. MIKE YOUSEM is the long-time honcho of this program, and he also continues to provide dinner afterward for the kids. Our source of eligible kids is the Westside WMCA, with ANN SAMSON coordinating.

MIKE plans to involve us in the District-wide Poster Contest, for 10 to 13 year olds. We will also participate in the Music Contest, and many of you will remember the excellent piano accompaniment provided by one of last year's winners when we hosted RI President Bhichai Rattakul. He also will be organizing a major book drive next spring, to replenish the local public elementary school libraries. Current statistics are that if every child in a given school were to check out just one book, there would be no books left in the library - and so this is certainly a priority project which we can all support. Lastly, he noted the excellent leadership being provided for our Rotaract Club by it's new President, Christina Sota. MIKE accompanied Christine to Freshman Orientation at UCLA, where she personally brought in at least twenty five new members for Rotaract. MIKE really illustrates hands-on leadership, and we thank him for his enthusiastic coordination of their many projects.

Last but not least of our four Service Chairs was CHARLES MAGNUSON, who is running Vocational Service. Our annual awards to the Police Officer and Fire Fighter of the Year come under his umbrella, as do the three service awards, to the UCLA ROTC programs for the Army, Navy and Air Force. We will be sponsoring a four-Way Test Speech Contest, in honor of MYRON TAYLOR. Our forthcoming Softball Tournament with those pesky youngsters from Redondo Beach is being planned, and we will reinstitute Avocation Day, when we can demonstrate what it is we do for hobbies, etc.

President-Elect RUDY ALVAREZ is in charge of Club Service, which encompasses the actual running of the Club. As a result, there are a myriad of activities which he supervises, including the recent Luau at the TSENG'S, the upcoming SISKEL Picnic, and of course the Golf Tournament. Since he has already done most of these things already, he should have lots of time left over next spring to check on the Sweetheart Brunch, our 75th Anniversary Celebration, and the eventual Demotion of Pres. PETER!

I should confess that he hasn't offered many suggestions about the Windmill (which is just fine with me…) but he also oversees the Geffen Playhouse, our Dinners for Eight, and a repeat of our popular Computer Class. Speaking editorially, (which as you all recognize I almost never do) I know of no one with the breath of past experience which Rudy brings to his new position. Glad to have you with us, RUDY!

District Governor John Colville was introduced by Pres. PETER. John is a relative newcomer to Rotary, having joined the Paramount Club in 1990. He served as President of Paramount, and it was after that that he felt he really found his Rotary niche. I loved his opening remark, "I'm short-winded", and I have since been told by several WVRC members that his talk was the best they had heard. John began by naming some special people, first among them RALPH BEASOM, who he recognized for his 15 years of service as our Registrar of Visitors, etc. BRUCE ROLF was saluted, for his many, many years as Chief Greeter, noting that he was an excellent example of this year's Rotary Slogan, "Lend A Hand". PP STEVE DAY was noted for his continuing work with the Rotary Foundation, while RUDY ALVAREZ continues to bring us "back to basics".

John outlined an ethics problem. Two brothers were business partners, and a customer came in to pay a five dollar charge, but gave the brother who was on the cash register a fifty dollar bill instead, by mistake. The brother on the cash register figured he had two options - split the overpayment with his brother, or just keep the whole sum for himself!
This certainly illustrates one set of ethics - and we, in Rotary, need to always be aware of our need to follow the Four Way Test.

John has been active in reading to five-year-olds. He noted that sometimes they don't know the difference if you read the wrong word - but that is no excuse, whatsoever, for not correcting yourself in front of them as you read. We cannot afford to leave anyone behind in our public school system. At this point, he mentioned PP RON LYSTER, and suggested he should be fined more - apparently for being such an active Rotarian!

The dictator, Idi Amin, came to power in Uganda in1971. There were four hundred active Rotarians in the country at that time, and they wisely decided they had to go underground if Rotary was to survive. Amin executed hundreds of thousands of people who objected to his actions during his eight year rule, but was finally driven out in 1979. The fifteen surviving Rotarians then restarted Rotary, and we are still operating in Uganda today. They are examples to all of us of the need to support our Clubs.

John, you certainly showed us that you don't need to speak at length to get an effective message across. We thank you for your sharing your thoughts with us at WVRC.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe