2022 -2023 Board of Directors
for District 7815
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Happy Spring Everyone,
The April edition of our Zone newsletter "Beyond Boarders" is now available here:
Please take a few minutes to have a look and see what we are doing as Rotarians beyond our own area. 
Our joint District Conference with D7810 is fast approaching.  It will be on the Friday evening May 13th for a social, and Saturday May 14th.  This year we are trying a very different approach to district conference.  We will have one central broadcasting centre in St. John's. Regional locations will be connected to the broadcast, and each other, through the virtual platform.  We are encouraging clubs to get together in your area to organize a "mini-conference" for your local Rotarians to have an opportunity for fellowship.  If you are unable to get out to a group setting, you will still be able to participate from the comfort of your own home.  A registration link will be available soon.
We are full into training season, and I encourage all incoming club officers to prioritise the training sessions being delivered by our Anthony Waddell and our amazing District Training team.
We are planning the final D7820 AGM for the evening of Thursday May 26th. The formal communication and invitations will be sent by District Secretary Godfred Chongatera shortly.
I am excited to report that incoming RI President Jennifer Jones will be spending her third day as RI President in our new District 7815. Jennifer is visiting St. John’s on Sunday July 3rd as the first stop in a cross Canada tour. A committee has been busy for the last few months planning the event. At Jennifer’s request, the focus will be on participating in community projects but there will be a chance to meet Jennifer on Sunday evening at a meet and great event in St John’s. The details are still being developed but I would encourage anyone who has an interest to plan an evening in St John’s on July 3rd
Finally, I would like to recognize and thank all of you for the incredible support in the relief efforts for Ukraine.  I am aware that many clubs and members have supported Shelter Box, and our district fundraising site for the Disaster Relief Fund.  As of today, we have raised $162,038.00!!!   Thank You!
In the months ahead, there will be efforts globally to assist in the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees who have left their home.  We are already hearing from clubs who have started the process of hosting these families.  Our role as a district is to continue to promote the Rotary Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and to act as a support for clubs who want to get involved.  We are working with our zone directors to see how best we can support clubs in this area.  We will provide more information when it becomes available. 
Yours in Rotary
Alex Twells
Chair of D7820 Leadership Team 2021/2
The DEIA Working Team needs you/Travail d’équipe de la diversité, d’équité, d’inclusion et d’accessibilité a besoin de vous !
Stemming from our Anti-Racism Task Force, we are committed to District 7815’s vision for diversity. 
Rotary is for everyone, and we want to work with our clubs to develop tools and messaging that will guide us in fostering an environment that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in D7815.
We invite you to become part of history in the making as we head to July 1st and beyond in our amazing new District. 
See attached ad below to see how you can share your enthusiasm, creativity, and energy as a member of our dynamic working team.   S'il vous plaît rejoignez-nous !
Interim Chairs:           Cheryl Deveaux-McDaniel (Port Hawkesbury), Trinda Ernst (New Minas Sunrise)
Hello Hello, and WELCOME to the FIRST District 7815 Conference!!! 
Co-Chairs Peter Assaff and Ashley Butt have been hard at work planning an awesome weekend of fun and inspiration, and they can't wait to see you there! 
Details: 13-14 May 2022
Where: Online, but Together! 
Yes, that's right! This year we are trying something different with our virtual conference: watch parties! 
The conference will be hosted virtually, but we want you to plan watch parties for areas (if multiple clubs) or within your own club. These can take place in a conference room or restaurant where you normally hold your meetings, or if a smaller group, in someone's home! 
Even if you are travelling or working away during the conference, you can attend that way as well!
District Conferences are one of the most important way for our membership to learn and get inspired, and we want the opportunity for the most Rotarians to be able to attend. 
Recommended tech for the best possible viewing and interacting experience: 
In a Big Room:  In a Smaller Room:
Projector + Screen TV with streaming capabilities
Speakers Internet
Microphone Webcam
Webcam Microphone
For your watch parties, you will need a tech setup, and are welcome to have a sponsor for food and tech, if in a big group, or can have a potluck at someone's home if that works best for you! 
We have a DYNAMITE program coming for you!
Friday night is Social Sociable! Moncton native and former Rotarian Marshall Button will be hosting the evening in character as "Lucien," with trivia about the Atlantic Region, and lots of ways for your watch party to get involved! 
Saturday is the meat of the weekend, a keynote speech from Jameelah (Jam) Gamble on owning your voice and using it to stand up for what you believe in as Rotarians. Then, we bring it back to our new district and learn what WE are passionate about! Let's celebrate our shared successes, and get some awesome new ideas.
This last part is where you come in! We want to know what innovative projects our district is doing around the 7 areas of focus. If you want to submit a project from your club, please fill in the form below and tell us everything! The committee will choose one project for each area from around the district to give a short presentation at the conference, so that we can be inspired right here at home! 
Entries are due on 31 March 2022. 
More program details will be coming in the next few weeks, along with watch party registration. Please discuss with your club or clubs in your area how you are going to organize it (we recommend a watch party chair), because time is coming up faster than it seems. 
We will also note that the conference is still accepting sponsors, so if you have a company or work for a company who you think would be interested in being a part of this historic conference and having their support seen all over the Atlantic Region, please have them reach out to Ashley and Peter at: 
rotary.ashley7820@gmail.com (yes, she is fully aware this email will be irrelevant soon....)
We hope to see a record number of Rotarians at this first conference, so we hope you are as excited as we are! Stay tuned for more details, and send in your project entries! 
Ashley + Peter
Declaration of Appointment
For the position of the District Governor-Nominee Designate for
Rotary International District 7815 to become District Governor for 2024-25.
Following the invitations that the District Governors sent to the Rotary Clubs in Districts 7810 and 7820 to suggest names of candidates for this position, the Nominating Committee carefully considered the suggestions received.  The Nominating Committee then notified the District Governors that they nominated Jillian Gibson, Rotary Club of Halifax Harbour, for this position to become District Governor for 2024-25.
The District Governors duly published notice of her nomination to the Rotary Clubs in Districts 7810 and 7820 on January 28th, 2022 according to the Rotary International Bylaws.  The notice stated that clubs meeting the criteria in those By-laws could challenge this nomination on or before February 11th, 2022.  
No challenging nomination was received on or before that date.  
The District Governors, therefore, declare Jillian Gibson of the Rotary Club of Halifax Harbour to be the District Governor-Nominee Designate for District 7815, pursuant to the Rotary International By-laws.
Published this February 12th, 2022 by District Governors Alex Twells (District 7820) and Darren Hansen (District 7810) 
Jillian has always had an interest in building community, especially through education. Growing up in Newfoundland and Labrador (Grand Falls and Mt. Pearl), Jillian’s educational journey began at the University of Ottawa, graduating with a BA and BEd in French Literature and Education. Inspired by her aunt who lived in the Caribbean at the time, she moved to the Bahamas to work as a French teacher at a private school in 1994. After spending ten years in the classroom, she decided to follow another path to advance education and became the Director of Development at Queen’s College in Nassau. 
After marrying Michael and having two children, the family decided to leave the sunny beaches and return to Canada.  Making a home back in Newfoundland, Jillian worked at Memorial University as a Development Officer, raising charitable gifts in support of scholarships, research and infrastructure.  While there, she obtained a Masters degree in Educational Leadership.  Once the children graduated high school, an opportunity led her to her current role as Director of Philanthropy for Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.  Here, her passion for education is shared by philanthropists who want to make a difference in the lives of the next generation of change-makers.
While living in The Bahamas, Jillian was introduced to Rotary - first as a guest speaker.  At the end of the Friday lunch that day at the Rotary Club of East Nassau (home of Past RI President, Barry Rassin), she asked if she could return the next Friday.  That was the start of a lifelong commitment to Service Above Self.  In St. John’s, she was a member of the Rotary Club of St. John’s Northwest where she served as President in 2013-14.  In Halifax, she and her husband are members of the Rotary Club of Halifax Harbour where she will lead the club as President in 2022-23 while becoming the first Peacebuilder Club in this region.
Throughout her Rotary career, Jillian followed two self-declared rules:  join a committee that provides service to the club (secretary, communications, fellowship…) and another that serves the community (international, food drive, music festival…).  The other constant is her involvement with The Rotary Foundation.  A multiple Paul Harris Fellow and current District Rotary Foundation Chair, Jillian believes strongly in the global impact of The Rotary Foundation.   Her experience working with a Global Grant on a Vocational Training Team to Zimbabwe was a life-changing experience.  
Like many busy Rotarians, Jillian finds little time for many other hobbies, but enjoys trail walking (especially if the trail ends at a coffee shop) and entertaining friends as her husband (“Chef Mike”) delights everyone’s taste buds with flavours from the Caribbean.
Greetings Rotarians,
I am honoured to be writing this as your Chair of the District 7820 Leadership Team for this Rotary year.
For those of you that have not met me, I am Alex Twells of the Rotary Club of St. John’s East. English by birth (and accent) I have lived in St. John’s for the last twenty-one years and have been a Rotarian since 2005. My wife Laurie (also a Rotarian) is from St John’s and was the original reason that I moved to Newfoundland. I fell in love with the province quickly became a passionate ambassador for Newfoundland and Labrador and will happily tell anyone that I am the luckiest man alive. We have three children in their twenties and an excitable German Short Haired Pointer and live in the heart of downtown St. John’s.
The essence of my role this year is to facilitate the team of directors at the District board to be as effective as possible.
Your board has two simple objectives for this Rotary year:
  1. Our primary goal is to enable Rotary in District 7820 to be as healthy and vibrant as it can be under the current circumstances, and
  2. Our second goal is to lay the foundation for the successful creation of District 7815.
In support of our primary goal, your district board has been busy planning and implementing conferences, running on-line training modules for leaders of clubs, facilitating action on membership development, and working hard to increase the diversity of district leadership.  These are all elements of “business as usual” for the District board; made a little trickier this year by the inability to travel. My role is significantly different from previous leaders. Covid means that my ability to travel and visit clubs in person has been severely curtailed. Despite this, I have had the pleasure of visiting a couple of clubs in Newfoundland in the last month and been delighted to be part of the celebrations of the Rotary Club of St. John’s as they mark the centenary of Rotary in Newfoundland and Labrador and also The Rotary Club of Stephenville as they celebrate fifty years of Rotary in the town.
In addition to the covid travel restrictions in place, my working life as CEO of a cannabis business means that I have limited ability to spend long periods on the road. For these reasons I am delighted to be supported by an amazing team of Area Governors who will be able to deputize for me in meetings with club leaders and Rotarians. I am, of course, very happy to join meetings by Zoom and would love to hear from you if there is an event or a specific topic upon which you would like my input.
In support of our second goal, we have been investing significant effort collaborating with our peers in District 7810 to lay solid foundations for a world class new District 7815. Like everything over the last two years, this has been done exclusively on Zoom and so I am sure you can imagine that we are very keen to be able to get back to in person meetings and build even more meaningful relationships through the fellowship of face-to-face events. Until just last week we were planning an in-person integration summit in Halifax in November to help create the policies and processes for D7815 which are still outstanding. However, this too fell victim to the fourth covid wave and will be converted to on-line conversations.
One of the first and most important tasks in every Rotary year is to select the Rotarian to drop into the succession line to be Chair of the District Leadership – for us, we are talking about the Rotary year 2024/5. It seems like a long time off but the experience on the board in the years running up to the leadership year are a fabulous way to get prepared for the leadership task ahead. And so I would encourage all Rotarians to consider nomination if they or someone they know would be a great fit for that role. IPDG Ian Doyle is co-chairing that committee with IPDG John Slipp from D7810 and would love to hear from you.
I am always energized by Rotarians I meet and I am constantly amazed by the positive impact that Rotary has on our communities. If I have one request of you this year it is to spread the gift of Rotary to your family, friends and network and expand our reach to make our communities even better places to live.
DG Notes June 2021
Greetings Rotarians.
     This was indeed a unique year. On July 1st,  I will pass over the Chairmanship of the Leadership Team in District 7820 to Alex Twells. You are in good hands as Alex has put together a very competent team which will guide us towards our new collaborative District as we unite with New Brunswick Rotary Clubs and become District 7815 on July 1,2022.  I look forward to being part of Alex’s team and I hope to get to visit many Clubs this year as I feel I have made many virtual friends during my tenure.  It will be nice to meet up face to face.
     Despite many restrictions this year Rotarians have stepped up and adjusted as we tried to  deal with the pandemic and serve our community. Congratulations to each and every one of you.    
     Over the last month or so I have had the privilege of presenting the True Rotarian Award to a number of Rotarians throughout the District. To all “True Rotarians” in our District, thank you for your service. You are amazing.
     As the year winds down our Racism Task Force is retooling and they will add to their focus by including Indigenous Relations to their areas of concern. Our District continues  to be a safe place for all and we strive to be welcoming and inclusive. Our Racism Task Force under the guidance of Lori Anne Jones is one of the ways that we will become an organization for everyone.
     My thoughts and prayers go out to our Indigenous community as they deal with the tragic events events  of the past few weeks. Rotary is there for support in what ever way that we can.
On a very positive note the Interact Club of Eskasoni High School, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sydney have received the Lieutenant Governor’s Respectful Citizenship Award which is presented to successful nominees that have demonstrated leadership and commitment to creating and supporting safe and inclusive spaces in schools and or communities in Nova Scotia. Congratulations Eskasoni Interact.  A special thanks also goes out to Bob Munroe for his work with Interact in the District over many years.
Hope everyone has a safe and healthy summer. Live Rotary.
Best regards
Ian Doyle
DG 7820 2020-21
     April showers bring May tulips. It’s great to see photos of our Polio tulips blooming around the District. The bulbs that I planted last fall have all opened up in my back yard and I’m looking forward to getting some more bulbs to support the End Polio Tulip   Campaign which will be starting up again in June.  Get them early. They sold out quickly last year.
   Our Annual General Meeting will be held virtually this Thursday evening at 6:30. Please read the yearly reports to see what our Leadership Team and Committees have been doing this year. You can also find out what has been going on in the District and our plans for the future. The meeting will be open to questions but none of the reports will be given verbally. The year- end business of the District will be dealt with and appropriate votes by club designated voting delegates will be taking place. We will conclude our evening with the presentation of the “Heart of the District Award”. Hope to see as many as possible register and attend.
     We have had a very busy May with the highlight of the Month being our Joint Conference.
Thanks to Lorraine Ennis and her team for their work in guiding the Conference Committee in putting on a successful event.
As the year winds down, I hope to attend some meetings where True Rotarian awards are being presented and hear about what Clubs are hoping to do as we anticipate putting this pandemic behind us.
      We are  getting nearer to the end of this pandemic; more of us are getting vaccinated.  Please stay safe and be patient. We should have a special summer if we persevere.
See you in June,
Be kind and “Live Rotary”
DG Ian
DG Notes April 2021
Greetings Rotarians. As I sit down to put a few notes together, I still have a positive feeling about our District and how we as Rotarians are adjusting and moving forward.
Hopefully the many Earth Day projects that have been planned throughout the District will be realized. Please make sure that you are safe. TheSt. John’s Northwest Rotary Club has initiated a contest that all clubs can participate in. Just do a clean-up over the next week, take a photo of the activity and you might win a prize.
The Rotary year is winding down but there is lots going on. Last Saturday our Training Committee under the guidance of Chair, Alana Hirtle held a session for leaders of clubs or any Rotarian interested in learning more about Rotary and leadership in our District. More than 75 individuals attended. It was a very informative day with lots of discussion. Kudos to Alana and the presenters.
Sessions for our District initiative Rotary Resilience Training, take place each Tuesday evening, under the direction of IPDG Louisa Horne. The presentations are being given by Dr Michael Ungar and Associates. Attendance has been very good for the first three weeks and I am looking forward to the continuation of the sessions.
Our Expert Speaker Series, under the Racism Task Force, will resume on Monday.
Date Time: Apr 26, 2021 06:00 PM  
Topic: Rotary How to be an Ally 
Please register at our 7820 website.
The following is a list of some of the events happening over the next month.
1. Rotaract Conference, Saturday, April 24, 2021. Link to register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/atlantic-rotaract-conference-2021-tickets-148687182365
2. 7810 training session for leaders, Saturday, April 24, 2021, 9AM. All Leaders in clubs are welcome. 
Meeting ID: 873 5990 298 Passcode: 394402 
3. Atlantic Interact Conference May 1,2021, 10-12 AM.
Please let your Interactors know about this event. Contact: Paula Hiltz for information; nason@nbnet.nb.ca
4. Atlantic Rotary Conference, May 14-15, 2021.
 Check our District Website for Information on the Conference. Register in advance for "A Round with Rotary” – May 14th 6:30 PM – 8 PMAtlantic
 Register in advance for Rotary Atlantic – Rotary Reimagined Conference – May 15th:  
5. 7820 Annual General Meeting May 27, 2021, 6:30-8:00 PM 
  If you have yet to select your Clubs “True Rotarian” please send in the name with a brief write up to Kevin Armstrong. Time is running out.  
Please be kind. Stay safe. “Live Rotary” 
DG Ian
District Governor Notes March 2021
Greetings fellow Rotarians. Welcome to Spring. More and more Rotarians are getting vaccinated, and our “Atlantic Bubble” will be with us on April 19 or earlier if our Covid numbers stay low. Meeting guidelines are still varied throughout our Provinces and St. Pierre et Miquelon so please check with your appropriate Health Authority as updates seem to occur almost daily. Hopefully this summer will see more face to face activities as we get closer to the 70% vaccinated number which will give us a good start on herd immunity.
     Membership attraction and retention remains a major concern and meetings with AGs and Area Councils are taking place with emphasis on how to create value in our Rotary clubs while being aware of what direction our individual clubs are moving in as far as membership goes. PDG Doug Logan has been passing on up to date information on membership trends and analysis which will be very helpful now and as we move towards a new Atlantic District in 2022. On a positive note, many clubs are seeing an increase in membership through Corporate membership, RI referrals and regular membership recruitment. Keep working at this and continue to create value for our new members. It has also been suggested that creating new clubs is the best way to grow Rotary.
     Club engagement in the Community has been very difficult this year but there is light at the end of the tunnel. A volunteer training and resilience initiative under the guidance of PDG Louisa Horne will be up and running beginning on April 6. We will be partnering with such groups as the United Way, Community Foundation and many non Rotarians as we look towards helping improve our communities. A very interesting series of seminars on volunteering and resilience will be starting in April and PDG Louisa will be happy to give you more information on this project.rotarylouisa@gmail.com. A renowned professor from Dalhousie University, Dr. Michael Ungar and his team at the Resilience Research Centre will be facilitating these sessions All Rotarians are welcome to take part.
     RI President Holger Knaack has informed the Rotary world that because of safety concerns, the RI Board has decided that there will be no student exchange in 2021-2022.  This is very disappointing  for everyone but it will enable our new District 7815 to plan a successful exchange program for 2022-2023.
     The 2021-22 District Grants process is underway, and already there are 14 Clubs Qualified for 2021-22 and 5 applications. Potential projects would address food insecurity, a Kenyan water project, trails and an outdoor classroom. Thanks to RI Foundation donations from D7820 Clubs and individuals three years ago, there will be about $30,000 in matching funding available for project beginning July 1.  Many Clubs had members attend the virtual Grants Training event in November. We are also looking for a few new members to assist the District Grants Committee, if you want to learn more about the creative energy of our D7820 Clubs. Grants Guidelines, MOU's and other information is available on the District Grants Website (under Member Resources, Rotary Foundation), or by contacting Brian Smith: smithrsx@yahoo.ca. The application deadline for 2021-22 is May 15th.
      Register in advance for the April 17 TLC:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom containing information about joining the meeting (check your junk folder if you don’t receive it in your Inbox right away). Please register at your earliest convenience so we may adequately “staff” the session to answer your questions. We look forward to seeing you online on April 17!
Dates to high light in your calendar.
  1. April 6, Resilience Training
  2. April17, TLC
  3. April 22, Earth Day- a good day for an environmental project
  4. May15, 7820-7810 District Conference
  5. May27, 7820 AGM
 Please try to stay safe and “Live” Rotary.
DG Ian


District 7820
District Governor 

Alex Twells 


District Mailing Address
Godfred Chongatera
District Secretary
Suite 608
1888 Brunswick Street
Halifax, NS
B3J 3J8
Cell: 902-225-9626 
Office: 902-431-4405

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