In the presence of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, the Rotary Club of Ottawa met on June 5 to induct 14 new members into the club and recognize two recipients of the Paul Harris Award:  Ché Weist and John Lark.
Gathering at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club on June 5, the Rotary Club of Ottawa was honoured to host Mayor Jim Watson at its meeting to celebrate the induction of 14 new members and the presentation of the Paul Harris Award.
Mayor Watson congratulated the club on attracting new members and reflected on its many contributions to the Ottawa community, including the Ottawa Rotary Home, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The mayor also recalled the 100th anniversary of the Ottawa Rotary Club and the installation of a Rotary bench near the entrance to City Hall. Mayor Watson thanked all Rotarians for their generosity and commitment to help others.
The meeting also saw the induction of 14 new members into the club.  These new members joined the 15 other new members who joined the club earlier this year, and who were inducted during online meetings.
Following the induction and Mayor Watson’s remarks, two Paul Harris Awards were presented.  Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary, and the Rotary Club of Ottawa presents this award based on meeting at least one criterion of excellence:  leadership of an exceptional initiative; consistently outstanding service to the club for at least five years; a financial contribution of at least $1,500 to the Rotary Children’s Fund, Children’s Foundation or RI Foundation; a non-Rotarian widely recognized for community building; contribution to the Adventure in Citizenship program for over 15 years; and, a non-Rotarian who has performed outstanding community service that is aligned with the objectives of the Rotary Club of Ottawa.
Ché Weist was the first recipient.  As soon as she joined the Rotary Club of Ottawa, she took a very active role in the club, including becoming the Chair of the International Service Committee, where she led the development and adoption of clear and straightforward criteria for the evaluation and approval of all project proposals brought to the committee.  She later became club president, recruiting more new members in one year than had joined the club in the previous 10 years.
John Lark was the second recipient of the Paul Harris Awards.  He and Ché Weist were recognized for their energetic and unwavering support for the donation, transportation and delivery of 32 infant incubators to hospitals in Zimbabwe. They successfully raised $25,000 to cover the costs of shipping and for additional medical supplies that the hospitals desperately needed.  They also encouraged the club to make a $25,000 request of Rotary Ottawa’s Children’s Foundation for funds to ensure the safe transport of the incubators.  With the support of other partners both in Canada and Zimbabwe, the incubators were successfully shipped and delivered.  Even the Canadian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr. Rene Cremonese, was engaged by bringing all the parties together and in ensuring that the Zimbabwe government waived all taxes, duties and fees for the donated medical equipment.
Having celebrated achievements of the past, and welcomed new members to build the future, participants enjoyed a ‘high tea’ and the fellowship of the afternoon.   Many thanks to Rotarian Robin Ritchie for his support in holding this event at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club. 
Below:  Members of the Ottawa Rotary Club gathering on June 5; and, club president Ché Weist and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.