While the Rotary Club of Burnaby is a local organization, its contributions span the globe.
Rotary Canada is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and though the Rotary Club of Burnaby hasn't been around that long - it started in 1947 - the members have years of fond memories of their time with the charitable association.
Jim Grant, a former family doctor, joined the local club in 1962.
"It was a nice friendly group of people, and they made me very welcome at the time, and I just kept going ever since," Grant says.
He was recently awarded a 50-year certificate for never missing a meeting, he adds. Even when travelling around the world, he has found a club wherever he's staying and attended meetings there.
"I found it very helpful for getting to know the people in another area as well as the Burnaby area," he says.
But the international organization shares the world with its members in other ways, too - namely, by giving them opportunities to be of service to people in other countries.
"I think it's important for a couple of reasons. One is, it helps local people understand what's going on in the world and it shows us things that we can do to help other people's lives," Grant said. "And I found it fairly helpful to get to know the members in Burnaby."
For Grant, one of the most memorable projects taken on by the Burnaby club is the club foot project, which started more than a decade ago, he says.
The club raised the funds to send an orthopedic surgeon to India to operate on children with the congenital condition, according to Grant.
"The club foot project was the big one," he says.
The club is a great place to meet people interested in helping others, according to another member, Salim Lalani.
"Interestingly, it seems that people who join such civic clubs, they are considerate, for one," he says. "They are basically nice people, and you meet like-minded people."
Lalani, who was club president from 2003 to 2004, was the youngest member when he joined in 1985.
A customer at his autobody shop told him he would only pay Lalani if he joined Rotary, he says.
"I repaired this guy's car," Lalani says, laughing, "and he would only pay me if I joined the club, and he deducted my fees from what he was going to pay me."
Lalani started out in vocational services - helping to arrange Adventures in Citizenship, sending high school students to Ottawa to attend Parliament.
Current president Roger Silva is a much newer member - he joined two and a half years ago, he says.
Silva was impressed by the depth of experience and the scope of the work being done by the club, he says.
The club currently has 54 members, according to Silva.
"There are a lot of members with a lot of experience in this club," Silva says. "We have a lot of international and national and local projects in this club, so that's what really appealed to me."
Many of the projects focus on helping people get on their feet, such as a pig farm in Indonesia that was established to help families earn an income to cover costs for children with hearing problems, he says.
The club has also helped establish a sheep farm in Mexico, to help low-income families, he adds.
But the club also offers a lot of direct support, such as helping sexually abused children in South Africa and providing cataract surgery for people in India, according to Silva.
While Silva is partial to the Rotary Club of Burnaby, he says he hopes anyone interested in Rotary will get involved with his or her local branch.
"I do encourage any person that is able to join, regardless of the club, to join Rotary and help those less fortunate and get involved, get engaged," he says.
The City of Burnaby honoured the Rotary Club of Burnaby as well as two other local clubs, the Rotary Club of Burnaby-Deer Lake and the Rotary Club of Burnaby-Metrotown, at Monday's council meeting.
Mayor Derek Corrigan declared Feb. 23, the 108th anniversary of Rotary worldwide, as Rotary Day in Burnaby.
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