Rotary Club of Amherstburg

Hazen Price recognized for his 95th birthday, seven decades in Rotary

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg paid tribute to its longest-serving member last week though he was a little taken aback at being the centre of attention.

“I don’t think I’m going to live long enough to live up to the expectations,” quipped Hazen Price, as he addressed fellow Rotarians and guests last Wednesday night at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg presented a special celebration in Price’s honour as Price has now been a Rotarian for 70 years. He also was honoured for his 95th birthday, which actually arrived last Saturday.

Despite honours from dignitaries and fellow Rotarians, Price remained humble and said after the celebration that he was “very embarrassed to say the least.” He said he has always enjoyed the fellowship within the club.

“I’ve always enjoyed the Rotary Club and I probably wouldn’t be here as long if I didn’t,” he said.

Councillor Leo Meloche (right) presents Hazen Price with recognition on behalf of the Town of Amherstburg. Price has been in the Rotary Club 70 years and just turned 95-years-old.

Price pointed out the saving of the Park House Museum as one of his major accomplishments, though his name has also been attached to the Gibson Gallery, Gibb House, John R. Park Homestead and a second pensioner’s cottage. The progress made to eradicate polio is another accomplishment Price has seen in his years in Rotary.

There have been changes to the club itself in his seven decades, Price noted. When he started, women were not allowed to be members. Attendance was also important early on, as regular meeting attendance was required but that has since been relaxed.

Price said he was the young member of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg when he first joined.

“Ol’ Doc Hutchinson Sr. came to the farm and asked if I would consider joining,” he recalled. “I was 20 years younger than everyone else.”

Despite being in an uncomfortable position as the guest of honour, Price said he was grateful for the kind thoughts and gifts.

“I appreciate their thoughts about the work I’ve done,” he said. “It’s really nice to be appreciated.”

Patti Hayes, outreach and community assistant with Essex MPP Taras Natyshak’s office, represented both Natyshak and Essex MP Tracey Ramsey.

“Your volunteerism is an inspiration to everyone,” said Hayes.

Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Dan Hunt (right) bestows praise on Hazen Price April 25. Price just turned 95-years-old and has been a Rotarian for 70 years.

Councillor Leo Meloche, representing the Town of Amherstburg, said he researched what it means to be a Rotarian, with his research concluding that “being a Rotarian is a way of life and can be a satisfying lifelong adventure for those who are willing to give of themselves to enjoy and benefit from all that Rotary has to offer.”

Meloche added that “Hazen Price truly exemplifies what a Rotarian is.”

Police chief Tim Berthiaume thanked Price “for all that you do” and said many don’t realize how much the Rotary Club accomplishes in the community. Price was presented a “Chief’s Award of Excellence” with Berthiaume stating that Price would have earned such recognition 50 years ago.

Assistant Rotary District Governor Peggy Little also thanked Price for his accomplishments and for his dedication with past District Governor Neil McBeth pointing out Price was one of the first people he met in Rotary.

“It is because of dedicated members like you that we are Rotarians making a difference,” said McBeth.

Laura George, a past president of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg, pointed out that a $100 donation was made to the Park House in Price’s honour. She called Price her biggest supporter and that when she was deciding whether or not Rotary was for her, Price gave her helpful advice.

“You have a very special place in my heart,” George told Price.

Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Dan Hunt also had kind words for Price.

“He is a very special man,” said Hunt.

Hazen Price celebrating 95th birthday and 70 years as a Rotarian

 

By Terry Hall, Special to the RTT

 

Described by some as a “living pioneer” and our “bona fide historian”, Hazen Price is being feted by the Rotary Club of Amherstburg tonight for his 95th birthday and 70 years as a Rotarian.

A former resident of Detroit and a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Master of Science degree, he moved to Amherstburg in 1946 where he met and married Beryl Kemp, whose ancestor designed Fort Malden and served in the War of 1812.

Hazen Price will be
celebrating a pair of milestones at tonight’s Rotary Club meeting. (Special to the RTT)

Saving historic buildings has been his forté: the Park House Museum,  Gibson Gallery, Gibb House (British Army Pensioner’s Cottage), the John R. Park Homestead, and a second Pensioner’s Cottage.

He lives the Rotary motto “Service Above Self” by founding or serving with various volunteer organizations, the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, Fort Malden Guild of Arts & Crafts, Harrow Farmers Co-op, Meals-on-Wheels, Care-A-Van, AAM Social Planning Council, and especially on the board of directors of the Park House Museum.

Awards have followed with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Governor General’s Medal from Heritage Canada, Ontario Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award, Amherstburg Citizen of the Year (with Beryl), John R. Park Homestead Award, and a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

Rotary Club raises $2,000 for Easter Seals at Martin Breshamer Memorial pasta dinner

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The annual Martin Breshamer Pasta Dinner was held again last week and, like in previous years, it proved to be a good fundraiser for Easter Seals Ontario.

The event was presented by the Rotary Club of Amherstburg April 18 at the Columbus Community Hall. It was co-chaired by Rotarians Susanne Bergeron and Joan Donaldson with Donaldson stating that approximately 115 people attended and $2,000 was raised.

Bergeron called it a “phenomenal” turnout and also pointed out there were a number of door prizes from local businesses.

“It’s nice to see the support of the community,” said Bergeron.

Rebecca Rivard, fundraising specialist with Easter Seals Ontario, commented that the proceeds from such fundraising endeavors help in many ways. There are two accessible camps that Easter Seals operates with one near London and another near Peterborough. The cost to send a child to the camp is $2,500 per week, but proceeds as the ones from the Rotary Club’s pasta dinner help offset costs.

Money is also put towards specialized equipment to increase accessibility. There are also post-secondary scholarships offered, she added.

Faith Turner is this year’s Easter Seals Ambassador. She was one of the roughly 115 people that attended the Rotary Club of Amherstburg’s Martin Breshamer Memorial Pasta Dinner.

The dinner was named in honour of Martin Breshamer, a long-time Rotarian who oversaw the pasta dinner and other Easter Seals fundraisers.

“(Martin) was a force to be reckoned with, for sure,” said Bergeron.

Rivard said that while she never met Breshamer, she searched his name on her computer and quickly discovered who he was and what he was all about.

“It’s amazing what this man accomplished,” said Rivard.

“We are carrying on his legacy,” added Donaldson. “Martin was an important part of our Rotary Club. We miss him dearly.”

Members of the Breshamer family were also on hand for the dinner, as was Faith Turner. Turner is this year’s Easter Seals ambassador.

“I am very honoured to represent people like me and be their voice,” said Turner.

Turner believed people with disabilities should have the same opportunities as other people.

“They are sort of tucked away,” said Turner, who has spina bifida. “They are just as important as anyone else.”

For more information about the Rotary Club of Amherstburg and their events, visit www.amherstburgrotary.com, “Like” them on Facebook or “Follow” them on their new Twitter site found by going on www.twitter.com and searching @RAmherstburg.

Rotary Club of Amherstburg’s annual Easter Seals dinner April 18

Special to the RTT

 

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg will hold its annual Easter Seals Dinner at the Columbus Community Hall April 18 from 5-7 p.m.

The dinner funds opportunities for children and adults with physical disabilities. The Rotary Club has named the pasta dinner in honour of the late Martin Breshamer, who created it locally. The Columbus Community Hall is located at 190 Richmond St. in Amherstburg.

Martin was a quiet pillar of the community through his many activities, all the while being the busy former plant manager for the local Seagram (now Diageo) plant.

The Martin Breshamer Memorial Easter Seals pasta dinner is next Wednesday night. Breshamer (pictured) organized the dinner annually as well as a walkathon. (Submitted photo)

For those with disabilities, he was a board member of Easter Seals, organized the Easter Seals walkathon and pasta dinner, ensured playgrounds were handicap-accessible, and was a board member and former chairman of the Rotary Children’s Rehabilitation Centre (now John McGivney Centre).

For Amherstburg, he arranged the Seagram Concert Series for the Windsor Symphony Christmas Concert, installed the Rotary Clock at the foot of Richmond St., was a board member of the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association and the Park House Museum, a fund raiser for the St. John the Baptist Church Restoration Fund, manager of the annual haunted house, and of course, president and board member of the local Rotary Club.

For the area, he was a United Way chairman where he exceeded the goal by 20 per cent and assisted small business through the Essex Community Future Development Corporation.

Having been born in The Netherlands where he survived WWII as a boy, Martin used to say, “Canada has been good to me and in my retirement, I can give my time to help others.”

In view of his many accomplishments, it is understandable why Canada awarded him the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and Rotary presented him the Paul Harris Award.

Current district governor encourages fellow Rotarians to “go bold”

By Jolene Perron

 

During their regular meeting, which is now at Shooter’s Roadhouse, the Amherstburg Rotary Club had a chance to meet their new district governor for the current year.

“I have found that Rick is a person of action,” explained assistant governor Peggy Little. “You’ll find, as I have found, Rick’s commitment to Rotary, but I think what really shows through is Rick’s passion. His passion for Rotary, his passion for his work, his passion for helping people and his passion for the district and coming around and talking with everybody.”

Members of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg gather with their district governor Rick Caron for a group photo after last Wednesday night’s meeting at Shooter’s Roadhouse in Amherstburg.

Rick Caron explained his commitment to Rotary, and how everyone who knows him knows that he is a part of Rotary. He proudly wears his pins, displays his mugs with the Rotary logo, and much more. But for many years it wasn’t that way.

“I would hesitate wearing a Rotary shirt if it was not a Rotary function, I wouldn’t always have my membership pin on,” explained Caron. “But then I started to become committed to the ideals of Rotary and I thought, if I don’t tell people about Rotary, they don’t get to join. Why would I want to rob them of that opportunity of being a Rotarian?”

Caron posed the question “What is Rotary?” He explained, that’s a hard question to answer, and as the district governor, he should know, but because Rotary is so much in so many ways, it becomes difficult to pinpoint what Rotary is exactly.

“Is Rotary building the Miracle League Park? Is Rotary doing Ribfest? Is Rotary committing to your community, dedication and hours and service and money and fundraising, is that what Rotary is? Well yes, it is. Rotary builds communities, that’s part of what we do,” explained Caron. “But that’s not all of what we do, we do more than that.”

Rotary solves problems, Caron continued.

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg gave district governor Rick Caron a tin lantern from the Park House Museum during their meeting at Shooter’s Roadhouse Oct. 18. Making the presentation is Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Laura George.

“It is everyone in our local club, all of the clubs in the district, all of the districts in the zone and all the zones in the world working together, networking, and making the world a better place,” he said.

He added there are 1.2 million Rotarians and 35,000 clubs around the world.

“I say “Go Bold” and that means I want everyone here to do something a little bit more,” said Caron. “I learned this from my grandfather. You don’t have to be retired to die in place. Anyone at any age can stop living by not having any ambition. If you don’t want to be more than what you are you stagnate. That’s why you need to go beyond what you normally do. You need to give back and do something meaningful. You need to be a part of Rotary and you need to share that Rotary story with other people.”
For more information on the Rotary Club of Amherstburg call 519-982-2684 or e-mail rotary.amherstburg@gmail.com. People can also visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/amherstburgrotary.