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Review by Rtn Manon Lennon

ICUFR member and PRID Dan Mooers offered to host and planned the 2014 ICUFR conference in Portland, Maine.

My husband Patrick Poupart, Founding president of the RC of Laval Rive-Nord, Quebec Canada and I, Manon Lennon, D7040 PolioPlus Committee Chair attended this ICUFR event (our first) and were both very impressed by the quality of this conference and other ICUFR members we met from England, Nova Scotia, Iowa, Georgia USA, Maine, and New York, all great folks..  Everything was well over and above our expectations.

Dan MooersThe conference was held at the Fireside Inn and Suites, 81 Riverside Street, Portland, Maine and it began on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM with a Welcoming BBQ/Cook-out at the home of Shirley and Dan Mooers, who also provided return transportation between the hotel and their home in South Portland.

Every morning, after breakfast, our group retreated to the meeting room to catch up with ‘Friends and Fun’ before listening to the great speakers that Dan had arranged for us.

Friday:  The conference began with PDG Ann Lee Hussey, Chair of the Rotarian Action Group for Polio Survivors and Associates speaking on “Finishing Polio Eradication – the How’s and Why’s”. She spoke from personal knowledge having led numerous national immunization days and as a polio survivor herself. It was very informative about where we are now in the quest to eradicate the disease, and very moving when she spoke of how her mother had helped her survive after contracting polio when only 17 months old.

After the coffee break this was followed by Scott Irving, a mobile apps developer. His talk was entitled “Smart phones apps – development and use”. Although he touched on how to develop apps, the main part of a very interesting PowerPoint presentation covered the amazing range of sensors such as gyroscopes, accelerometers, barometers which we take for granted in our phones.

Lunch was taken at the hotel with our special guest: Kathy Cotter, current President of the Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth. As we were blessed with a warm Indian summer, in the afternoon we were able to enjoy the scenery and sights of Portland Harbour and Casco Bay. Shirley and Dan took us on a comprehensive "Lighthouse and waterfront tour", with some history of Portland Harbour, South Portland and the Cape Elizabeth waterfront.

The day concluded with a “Lobster Bake” at the Fireside Inn where we had a lesson on how to prepare a lobster with our bare hands (messy but delicious).

Saturday: began with a session entitled “Improving Communications in Rotary - Facilitating meaningful discussions around the Rotary world” which was led by DGE Sheila Rollins. This developed into a discussion focussed more on communications within the ICUFR fellowship.

Roger SiddleAfter the coffee break we had the ICUFR Business Meeting where Secretary Roger Siddle reported on:

  • the current membership of the fellowship and Board
  • the annual accounts
  • the changes in the bylaws and RI approval of the changes
  • the online roster of members
  • newsletters sent out (comments that they were too long duly noted)
  • the board’s recommendation under the new bylaws that current chairman James Kalassery should serve as chairman for 2015-17
  • the procedure for any other member who wished to stand as the chairman for 2015-17.

There was robust debate throughout and the Board will take account of the views expressed.

After lunch, some of us went to the Portland's Old Port Exchange visiting the shops, taverns and art galleries there while another group visited the famous L.L. Bean outdoor store in Freeport, Maine.

In the evening we gathered back at the Fireside Inn for the Conference Banquet of Surf and Turf (filet mignon and haddock). Our Keynote Speaker was Michael K. McGovern, Vice Chair, The Rotary Foundation Trustees. Not to forget, champagne and cake to celebrate Mel's 90th birthday!

Sunday: breakfast was followed with good byes and promises to keep in touch via the ICUFR’s forums and Rotary events starting with the Annual Rotary Day at the United Nations in New York on November 1st!

Many thanks to ICUFR member and PRID Dan Mooers and his wife Shirley for hosting this amazing 2014 ICUFR conference in Portland, Maine.  We enjoyed every minute of it very much.

The conference photo shows left to right: Roger Siddle,Karen Collins, Mike McGovern, Mary Flinn, Bob Collins,
Dale Hankin, Dave Flinn, Gord Hankin, Sally Platt, Dan Mooers, Manon Lennon, Patrick Poupart, Drew Ashley, Shirley Mooers, Tina, Mel Fabrikant

Adapted with permission from ICUFR member Manon Lennon’s blog


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