Kitchener Rotary


November 8, 2021

Meeting Recording

A recording of Today’s Meeting can be found here.

President's Comments

Past President Paul Rostrup chaired our meeting today as President Adrian is recovering from recent back surgery.  Paul reported that Adrian is doing well and has even been out walking.  Paul noted that in its original form, in 1922, Remembrance Day was known as Armistice Day and was recognized on the Monday of the week in which November 11 fell.  So in our inaugural year we would have been recognizing the Day at our Monday meeting, as we are today


Eric Story, our guest speaker
Robert Shipley, guest of Ross Newkirk
Michael Booth, guest of Ross Newkirk

Club Announcements

Neil Swayze let members know that our Online Auction is off to a great start.  We have about 180 items so far and more can be added up to November 15.  Members who have not been able to solicit items are asked to consider purchasing a Gift Card from a favourite restaurant or store and donating it for which you can receive a tax receipt for the full amount (be sure to keep your receipt).  In total there are over 1100 items in the auction and all members are asked to spread the word among friends, family and colleagues.  There are many great deals to had at rotaryonline
On behalf of President-Elect Rohit members were reminded that the notice of call for Board Members for next year has gone out.  Anyone not wanting to have his or her name stand for election to the board needs to let Rohit know no later than Wednesday November 10th.  
Acting President Paul reminded members of some of our other ongoing activities.  Our Car Lottery is progressing well.  Last week President Adrian asked all members to send a note to at least 5 others with the link to the Car Lottery site and Paul is asking that we find 5 more to contact as a “gift” to Adrian as he recuperates.
Our second Catch the Ace will be starting this week and the first draw will be on Thursday Nov 18th.  This time all of the proceeds will go to KidsAbility and there is a guaranteed minimum prize of $9,999! 
Members were reminded of the Sip n’ Shop at the Sat. Jacobs Market this Friday evening from 4:00 to 9:00 and thanks those members who have volunteered to help out.  If not there as a volunteer you may want to consider coming out with family or friends to enjoy the event and get some Christmas shopping done.

Program Highlights

Our program today was in recognition of Remembrance Day and began with a video presentation prepared by Ross Newkirk.  It featured a simulated service based at the Ypres Menin Memorial gate in Belgium.  It also included a reading of In Flanders Fields by Leonard Cohen and a prayer of remembrance.
Our guest speaker, Eric Story, then spoke about The Lost Identity of Henry Norwest – A Cree Families Story of Remembrance and Resiliency in War and its Aftermath.
Eric Story is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Outreach Manager at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies. He is a historian of the First World War and the author of many blog posts, magazine and journal articles. His most recent publication, "The Indigenous Casualties of War," looked at the struggle of Indigenous veterans and their families after the First World War to secure pensions from the federal government. It appeared in the Canadian Historical Review.
Many know the story of Indigenous peoples' prowess in sharpshooting on the battlefields of the world wars. But few know the context in which these men were born, raised and served in the military. Even fewer know how they and their families lived in the post-war period. This talk explored the life and times of the legendary Cree sniper Henry Norwest and the larger Norwest/Batoche family that lived in Treaty 6 territory in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries of Canada
Eric provided some background to the situation in which Henry Norwest would find himself.  In the 1800’s the fur trade was diminishing and the bison hunt was becoming more government regulated and many Indigenous groups were struggling to survive.  One such group, the Papaschase First Nations (after Chief Papasachase) looking to find better land moved to an area what was to become the city of Edmonton.  Hoverer, famine and drought continued and the band was forced to sign Treaty Six which was to have provided them with secure land and government support.  Due to some dishonest and immoral tricks by the Indian Agent some of the members of the band were removed without real cause and forced to struggle on their own.  This also resulted in the band receiving less land than that to which they were entitled and in a new location forcing them to resettle again.
One of the people in the cast off group, called the Edmonton Stragglers, created by the Indian Agent was Genevieve Batoche who was Henry’s mother.  Not much is known about Henry’s early days other than he as a labourer who worked at various farming and related jobs.  He also became a very skilled hunter and trapper.
In 19i7 he enlisted with the 50th Canadian Battalion and soon after saw action in Belgium.  His skill as a sniper was soon recognised.  In April of 1917 he had three sniper kills in a one hour period, a very rare accomplishment at the time.  He was able to use stealth and camouflage to work in no-mans-land between the trenches to shots at closer range to the enemy.  At one point he remained laying still in one spot for 2 days to avoid notice and get two German snipers who had been tracking him.  In his first year he claimed 100 kills, which was a record at the time for all of the British troops.  His abilities as a sniper become known through the higher ranks and he was even known specifically by the enemy.  Henry was killed on August 18, 1918 with a total of 115 kills.  In 2008 it was noted by the Veterans group in Calgary that Henry’s name did not appear on the cenotaph so a successful campaign was made to have it added.  The canteen at the base in Calgary is now also named in his honour.
Eric concluded his talk by noting that, today, November 8 is actually Indigenous Veterans Day.
Many more interesting details and photos are available through the recorded version of today’s meeting.

Closing Remarks & Reminders

Past President Paul reminded everyone that the next meeting will be Monday November 22 and will be on Zoom. Previously this was planned for the Edelwiess so please update your calendars. 
No meeting is scheduled for Monday November 15th as this week is available to arrange committee meetings. 
Nov 08, 2021 12:00 PM
The Lost Identity of Henry Norwest: A Cree Family's Story of Remembrance and Resiliency in War
Nov 15, 2021
Committee Meetings to be Scheduled by Committee Chairs
Nov 22, 2021 7:00 PM
Zoom Evening Meeting
Nov 29, 2021 12:00 PM
Speaker Series - Climate & The Environment - Community & Organization Sustainability
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Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Jess Perucho
November 6
Rohit Kumar
November 11
Dave Martindale
November 23
Ed Fowler
November 24
Mike Ellis
November 25
Join Date
James Brown
November 3, 2014
7 years
Jess Perucho
November 4, 2019
2 years
Kelly Miller
November 23, 2020
1 year
Kingsley Madu
November 23, 2020
1 year
Erin Way
November 24, 2020
1 year
Darren Sweeney
November 28, 2011
10 years