Russell Hampton
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Gary Miller
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President Elect
Immediate Past President
Foundation Chair
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Club Information
Rotary of Avon-Canton - Founded 1973
Service above Self
Fridays at 7:30 AM
Golf Club of Avon
160 Country Club Road
Avon, CT 06001
United States of America
(860) 760-6364
In person starting July 9, 2021. Zoom will also be available for those unable to attend in person.
District Site
Venue Map
November 12, 2021
Veterans Appreciation Breakfast
at Dish 'n Dat Restaurant
Members Present: 32
Guests: Carlo Geddo, Prospectiver Member
Speaker: Kershwin Singh
Visiting Rotarians: None
Happy Dollars: $35 for World Polio Day
Raffle winner: None
Fines: None.
Birthdays: None
Happy Dollars:
Lisa Wright reported that Craig was at St. Francis.
Debbie Stanwood and John had traveled to New Orleans to visit with grandkids. They have managed to spend time will all four of them recently.
Gary Miller missed last week's meeting as he and Debbie spent a couple of days in Salem MA for Halloween. Debbie has relatives that were early settlers. Deliverance Putnam was involved in the witch trials. The Dartmouth-Harvard football game was the highlight. A. bunch of his classmates attended for tailgating and great seats on the 50-yard line.
President Chris Lamadrid was happy that we had raised $500 happy dollars for World Polio Day. (Note: Our club was recognized at the Nov 7th Rotary Foundation Luncheon for donating more than $1500 to PolioPlus this year)
Asst Governor Heather Pantano has been enjoying her new role visiting the Rotary clubs in her area on responsibility. She and DG Joanne Alfieri were both at the Litchfield Morris Club this past week. She reminded everyone about the luncheon on Sunday. We had two tables reserved for our club.
Jolly Lux announced that she and Kurt were leaving for Uganda next week.  They would be checking on the status of the new wells that our club and district grant funds had helped provide. They would be hosting guests visiting from Chicago that have been support the work of GLO.
Don Bonner said that FAVARH was looking for a couple of people to help put Rotary stickers on a bunch of new vehicles.
Gary Roman said that the Community Service Committee was meeting to discuss helping with a Food Truck for the Hartford Rescue Mission.
SAVE THE DATE:    Our meeting on Friday, November 12th will be a very special day. We will celebrate and honor Veterans! Our Friday morning meeting will be held at Dish 'n Dat. We will partner with Dish 'n Dat's owner, Dan Keller, to make this a very meaningful celebration for our local veterans. Dan is well known for his dedication to our community and to our veterans.    Mark your calendar and be sure to attend.   More details will be coming from Heather Pantano, Chair of the People of Action Committee.
November 12 - Meeting honoring veterans at Dish n Dat.
November 26 - No regular meeting. Lonely Rotarians meet at LaSalle Market in Canton.
December 3 - Meeting at Tower Ridge hosted by Healing Meals.
None today
Community and International Service Grants: None today
From Apartheid South Africa to Living the American Dream
Kershwin Singh
President Chris Lamadrid introduced Rotarian Kershwin Singh, a member of our club, who is currently the Head of Privacy and Compliance at ZOLL Medical Corporations, an international diversified medical device and software solutions company helping save lives. Prior to joining ZOLL in 2021, Kershwin spent six years as a lawyer at Pfizer, two years in legal and compliance at the Barnes Group in Bristol, six years at Boehringer Ingelheim, a privately held German pharmaceutical company, and seven years at Aetna. He has lived in Avon in since 2005 and is married with three daughters. He is a huge fan of Liverpool Football Club and enjoys pickleball, golf, volleyball and skiing. Kershwin joined Rotary and our club in May 2020.
Kershwin and his wife, Thej, were born and raised in South Africa. Kershwin said that everyone has a completely different perspective on South Africa largely because of its colonial history, Apartheid, misleading name, and remote location, but it's the best place to go on vacation according to him. He compares Cape Town to St. Petersburg and Rome. He and his family have returned to South Africa several times.
South Africa is the only country with three capital cities. Eleven different languages are spoken. It's the only country with two Nobel Prize winners living on the same street. The first heart transplant was performed in Cape Town. The country's nickname is "The Rainbow Nation."
Apartheid officially ended in 1948, but the segregation of whites and other ethnic groups persisted. Like the one in which Kershwin lived, nearly all communities are ethnically homogeneous. Funding for schools were proportioned by ethnic class, largest per student funds to the whites and lowest to the black. 
Kershwin summed up his life, education, work history and family in one slide.
He grew up in a ethnically segregated community like most other non-white citizens of South Africa. He had a normal, happy childhood. After completing elementary and secondary school, he trained as a lawyer in college. He spent a summer teaching tennis at a camp in Maine which inspired thoughts of moving to America. Because of the high crime rate in South Africa, he and Thej were considered living in Australia or New Zealand, but Kershwin applied for the US Diversity Immigrant Green Card program. At the time 30,000 green cards were put in a lottery each year. Kershwin won the lottery. They were able to immigrate to the US with work VISA.
(Editor's Note: The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) currently makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.) 
In the US, he completed several internships to broaden his work experience including working for several law firms as a paralegal. He took the time needed to study and passed the NY Bar Exam to become a fully licensed attorney.
Kershwin spoke extensively from his viewpoint as non-white immigrant who came from a country where racism was legal. He says he will always be seen an an immigrant even though he and his family have lived in the US for years and have fully assimilated into their American lifestyle. 
Kershwin continues to practice as an attorney, while Thej works as speech language pathologist with Avon Public Schools.   He and Thej were recently elected to positions in Avon Town Government. 

Special Announcements: None this week.
Mail Bag: None this week.
Photo Credits: Mike Mezheritskiy [Unless otherwise indicated]
Technology Credits: Mike Mezheritskiy [Unless otherwise indicated]
Editor's Notes
Submission Deadline: Members are kindly encouraged to submit all materials directly to the week's designated editor for inclusion in that week's Early Riser, and to do so as early as possible. Please note that some editions may be published and distributed as early as the Saturday following the most recent meeting, and therefore further contributions will not. be included in that week's edition.
“The FOUR-WAY TEST of the things we think, say or do”:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all Concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?