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What a night. This past week, I was invited to the Rotary Club’s Regional Rotary Dinner and Project Fair. Five clubs attended from the surrounding area, and they shared their stories of projects in which they have been involved. Not only do they contribute to local charities, but international causes also get their attention. Each member representing the five Rotary Clubs attending shared their story of the initiatives in which they have been involved. It was quite impressive. Also attending the celebration were representatives from two clubs from the United States, along with the next District Governor for Rotary.

The dinner was held at the First Christian Reformed Church, supplied and served by Dial a Chef, and if you have not experienced his roast beef, I urge you to attend any event he may be serving at, here in our local community. He always manages to impress me. The dessert table was fabulous, a long table of never-ending sweets, all prepared by Cora Beking. I am not sure where she found the time to do all that baking. But thank you Cora, I am sure, from all of us who attended.

The guest speaker for the evening was photographer, Louise Radmore, and she spoke about her one month trip in Mongolia. She was invited to tour with 8 other photographers, travelling with a tribal family and their hundreds of cattle, horses, camels etc. through Mongolia’s Altai mountain range, where the temperature, at times, dropped to -30 degrees. Louise said that it was an experience of a life time to have this honour. Her images were striking, and her sharing this story made it possible for someone like me, who will never experience anything like it, to have a glimpse of what life is like for these Kozak clans and their families.

Louise said that not much seems to have changed with this culture since the days of Genghis Khan, other than trucks are now being used, but that is still very rare. There are other small changes, to be seen in their clothing, which has become more western. Another change is that the children have now started attending boarding schools for months at a time.

One of the most notable images for me, was of the young daughter of the Clan Chief holding an eagle on her arm. She called herself an eagle hunter, unheard of for girls in this predominantly Muslem society. It is my hope that Louise can come back in the near future to share her story more widely with this community. You can see many of her images by going to her facebook page at @louiseradmorepovphotos

It was a great evening, and I thank the Rotary for all that they do, and for an evening out. Local businesses: please don’t forget to pick up your Duck Decoy; it’s not too late. For those interested in knowing more about the club and what they do, please visit www.kemptvillerotary.ca, or contact Cora Beking at corabeking54@gmail.com.

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