A8 NEEPAWA BANNER OCTOBER 7, 2016
A 60th celebration for Neepawa Inner Wheel
Submitted Neepawa Inner Wheel This year, the Neepawa Inner Wheel (IW) Club is remembering its 60th anniversary. To celebrate, club members hosted the Inner Wheel District 555’s annual general meeting called ‘Fun & Friendship’ on Sept. 16 and 17, in the Arts Forward Centre and the Legion Hall. Visiting Inner Wheel members included the IW Canadian National Representative from St. Mary’s, Ontario, and the IW District International Representative, from Flin Flon, as well as ladies and their husbands, also from Regina and Weyburn. In addition to meeting, sharing, games and delicious meals, out-of-town visitors appreciated the opportunity to tour the Margaret Laurence House and Beautiful Plains Museum. In turn, Neepawa’s Inner Wheel shared celebratory donations to both of these tourist sites — as well as toward Neepawa’s own Victoria’s Quilts. Sixty years ago, the Charter Meeting of the Neepawa Inner Wheel took place at Knox Presbyterian Church. Present were 24 ‘Charter’ members, along with five visitors from Minnedosa. Neepawa’s was the third such club to be formed in Manitoba — Winnipeg and Minnedosa already had clubs by this time. In keeping with the founding motto ‘Friendship & Service,’ clothes, books and toys were sent to an Indian Mission in the North West Territories. Patients at the Brandon Hospital of Mental Diseases were remembered with Christmas gifts and holiday hampers were provided for Neepawa shut-ins and people in need. In 1964, a ‘Farmer Doll’ was sent to Australia to add to their collection from all over the world. In 1965, Neepawa’s contribution to the International Inner Wheel Recipe Book was for pumpkin pie! In 1978, Neepawa Inner Wheel members noticed that this area’s Rotary International Exchange Students need-
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ed an opportunity to meet each other and get acquainted. Thus, these students were invited to Neepawa, hosted by Rotary families and gathered — over a weekend, in a member’s home — for a time of fellowship and fun. This event became so popular and well-received that it has since evolved into what is now a compulsory orientation for all international exchange students in this Rotary District. Inner Wheel still organizes this event and, assisted by Rotarians, hosts these students with activities such as a wiener roast and tours. Hosted by Neepawa’s Inner Wheel, the 39th such International Rotary Student Exchange Orientation was just convened on Sept. 30 to Oct 1. Over the years, Neepawa has entertained three Inner Wheel International Presidents and convened four ‘Fun & Friendship’ events. The club is proud and pleased to have had members serve on Inner Wheel’s national and international boards, with many others having served and continuing to work at the district level. Ongoing projects include, since 1970, supporting a foster child, monthly visiting to East View Lodge and now Country Meadows, with a flower for each person celebrating a birthday. Other activities include donating a trophy to junior piano at the Neepawa Fine Arts Festi-
The 2016 Neepawa Inner Wheel Members.
val, contributing financially to the annual Inner Wheel District project and co-supporting NACI students to participate in the annual Rotary Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg. Fundraisers have included pie sales and a ‘White Elephant Table,’ bridge or whist tournaments, food service for the Rotary Auction and a ‘Traveling Basket.’ Instead of a gift exchange at Christmas, each member donates to send a local child to summer camp. Currently, the Neepawa Inner Wheel Club has 20 members who meet once a month in a local restaurant, for a meeting, program, coffee and time of fellowship — continuing and enhancing their founding Inner Wheel Motto of ‘Friendship and Service.’
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