Turnover Day - President Peter Nadeau's SWAN SONG

When I began to prepare this speech I found it very difficult to figure out a way to start.  Perhaps it was because I had so much to say – or perhaps because I knew that it meant then end of my year as your President.  Or perhaps it was because I was lost for words….

But what I finally figured out was that I just wanted to say thank you.  Thank you to each of you – and the others that couldn’t be with us today – for trusting me with this Club.  For I have truly enjoyed this year from start to finish.

I enjoyed attending committee meetings to participate in the fun and the fellowship that occurs while the work of the Club is planned and undertaken.

I enjoyed handing out Legion of Honour Certificates, New Member induction Certificates and 100% attendance pins and seeing the pride of the members receiving these awards.  This year’s Legion of Honour ceremony was a particular highlight for me.

I even enjoyed standing out in the rain as we inaugurated our Shred-it day fundraiser for our Christmas Basket programme.

I enjoyed chairing the Club’s Family Christmas party and sharing the joy with our members in their roles as parents and grandparents.  And I was pleased that Santa Clause’s head was not injured – nor was there any damage done to the floor!

I enjoyed attending the annual inspections of the GGFG and the 211 Air Cadets Squadrons. We were very excited to have the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Walt Natynczyk as the reviewing officer for the 211’s inspection.

One of the privileges of the President is sitting beside guest speakers at each luncheon.  I got to have lunch this year with the likes of Ottawa Senators CEO Cyril Leader - Senators Mike Duffy and Jim Munson – Max Keeping – Russell Mills – Alex Munter - Brigadier-General Dennis Thompson – and many others.

So I’m here to say thank you for these privileges and for this wonderful year.

I want to make specific thank yous.  By now you are all familiar with my Penguin Leadership award.  The Penguin is the one who jumps first to lead the way to make things happen for those who follow.

I have a few Penguins left to hand out today, so please bear with me for a minute.

First to Firma French our outgoing LG to thank her for her leadership this year.  You should have seen the hat she wore in St John to advertise the raffle tickets she sold to raise money for the HIV/AIDS District project.

Next to Bill Gosewitz our incoming LG.  Thank you for stepping up to lead our Division this year – a real Penguin!

Next to Geoff Godding one of our back room boys.  Working hard on the Board of Directors, the golf tournament and now the TV Bingo.

Dave Donaldson incoming VP of Fundraising – thank you for stepping up to this leadership role and for leading our very successful Bon Appétit fundraiser this year

Alison Hunter incoming VP for our Community Service Programmes.  While on the Board for many years Alison has worked tirelessly on our Bed Race and is always looking out for opportunities for the Club

Peter Charboneau if anyone is a Penguin for this Club it is Peter.  As our Secretary Treasurer this year – and next year – Peter took on the task willingly and without question.

Martin Diegel our incoming President-elect.  Martin has looked after the Community Service Committees for the Board as a Club Vice-President now for 2 years.  Also, as you may know the Executive Committee meets at Martins house at 7:00 AM, every second Thursday, more or less, for breakfast, which breakfast Martin dutifully cooks for us.  So I have a special presentation for you Marty to thank you for all those breakfasts.          

Rita Harper what can I say about Rita that all of the President’s before me have not said.  Without her I’d have been lost.  She has worked tirelessly –nights and weekends - to keep our Club and me organized and moving forward.  I also have a special present to say thank you.

And I would like to present my final penguin of the year to my beautiful wife Helen Cooper.  You have put up with a lot this year without any complaints or hesitation.  You have been to more Kiwanis conventions than most of the members of this Club.  Thanks you for all your love and support this year and always.

I want to say thank you to my sponsor, Tom Spence (because he insists that the President’s sponsor is supposed to get special mention at every opportunity) Thank you to him and his son Jeff, for the tickets they sold for our the Partners in Caring hockey game – and to the Ottawa Senator for winning that game.  And for the advice and support he gave me this year – and to all the past Presidents that allowed me to ask my stupid questions and run ideas by them.

And thank you to Allan Castledine and Ross Christianson and the Membership Committee for the ENGAGEMENT, RETENTION  & RECRUITMENT Campaign.  Our Club will benefit from this effort for many years to come.

You endured a number of fundamental changes this year and I thank you all for your well considered opinions and concerns. 

We kept you busy with special meetings

-November review of the survey results

- March Special meeting to approve new TV Bingo fundraiser
- June Special Meeting to review revised By-law No. 1

-September Special meeting to approve revised by-law No. 1

Thank you to those that took the time to attend these meetings and to contribute their insight.     

Our fundraising events recovered well this year:

Bedzz Race  netted $33k

Bon Appétit  netted $22k

Charity Golf Tournament  netted about $50k

So thank you for all the hard work that went into these great events.

And thanks to Jamie Johnson, our Club’s Web Site has been renewed and is now a more powerful and valuable communications resource.  Our Club is slowly adapting to the internet age – I even have 19 Facebook friends from this Club.

And thank you to all of the members for sticking with me this year as we made some fundamental changes.  My goal at the beginning of the year was to remove barriers to membership – and I think that we knocked a few down. 

Last week we heard that Lord Baydon Powell was quoted as saying that a good scout “always leaves a campsite in better shape than he found it”.  I hope that you will find that I have done at least that.

That’s it from me – its been a wonderful year.Thank you.

Peter Nadeau, President 2009-10