Posted by Peter Brennan on Aug 20, 2018
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
 Date: 8/20/2018
Today’s Program:  "Panama and the Panama Canal - A Brief History and a Recent Visit," presented by Warren Carlson
Meeting Called to order: President Dan Lehuta @ 12:30 pm
  • Invocation by: Reid Bates
  • Pledge of Allegiance led by: Boy Scouts of America
  • Song: My Country Tis of Thee, led by Gloria Strait
  • Four Way Test led by: Nate Naismith
Visiting Rotarians 
Van VanJepmond, Lacey
Guest of Rotarians
  • Craig McElfresh, Boys & Girls Club – guest of Sam Bovard
  • Pat Carlson – wife and guest of Warren Carlson
  • Norm Mitchell – guest of Reid Bates
Happy Bucks – hosted by Sean Murphy
  • Sean Murphy kicked of HB by sharing that The Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council recently was awarded a $2.4M grant to further their program.
  • Chuck Fowler is happy because Chip Hanauer, legendary, Unlimited Hydroplane racer, will be the speaker at the meeting next week.
  • Heather Antanaitis announced that Scott Hanauer has joined Family Education & Support Services.  She has tickets available for their upcoming Strengthening Families Luncheon.  See her for more information. 
  • Kelly Cooper made her birthday contribution and shared that she celebrated in Walla Walla wine country.  She is also happy that our inbound exchange student, Camilla from Chile, will arrive soon.
  • Nick Schmidt thanked the Boys Scouts for leading the Pledge of Allegiance as he is an Eagle Scout.
  • Bill Latta recently visited Annapolis, MD and highly recommends others do.  
Invocation Volunteers
Reid Bates is asking members to sign up for future invocations and will be passing around a sign-up sheet. 
New Member Induction
Lynn Wofford introduced Jonathan Pleger who recently assumed the role of President/CEO of Morningside.  Jonathan moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1997.  He started as development director at Morningside.  He loves hockey and eventually would like to live off the grid. 
Oscar Soule reminded members that the annual Olympia Rotary Rainiers game is next Monday evening.  For those who purchased tickets, but not present today, he will mail out tickets.  He then sold the Mike Marjama autographed baseball to Jewel Goddard.
Program:  The Panama and the Panama Canal - A Brief History and a Recent Visit," presented by Warren Carlson
Warren and Pat Carlson recently toured the Panama Canal as a “bucket list” trip to experience the culture of Panama and learn the history of the Canal. 
John Stevens, renowned engineer and founder of Stevens Pass, ultimately designed and oversaw early construction of the Canal after France failed to complete the task after 20 years of effort.  During that time, 25,000 lives were lost along with hundreds of millions of dollars, which included massive bribery schemes and many top level politicians were found guilty of fraud and jailed.
President Theodore Roosevelt took it up and the United States selected Panama as the location to build the Canal.  Columbia, who then ruled Panama, resisted and Panama seceded.
Stevens greatly improved the living conditions for workers in many ways, including bringing food wagons and commissaries.  Most important, he gave his chief sanitary officer complete support and freedom to protect workers from disease.
Stevens built an extensive railroad system to act as a conveyer belt to move dirt as quickly and efficiently as possible.  He developed the lock system after determining one level from sea to sea was not possible. 
Due to exhaustion, Stevens left the project after 18 months.
For more information, read ”The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal” by David McCullough.
Mr. Snappy
Steve Bean broke his 49-year winless streak to take home a gift certificate to Ramblin' Jacks, Mercato, or i.Talia restaurants, donated by Jim Leonard.
Meeting Adjourned: 1:32 pm by Dan Lehuta