Pictured are Amy Hocking Houlton Rotary President, Francine Walsh wife of Michael Walsh Rotary District 7810 District Governor.
Mike was born in Stratford Ontario and spent his younger years there with his large family of ten. In his early years he moved to Moncton N.B. where he attended Moncton High School. After high school Mike moved into the retail business with a large international chain. After being transferred all around the Atlantic Provinces, he ended up with one of the largest stores in the country. Always enjoying investing Mike ventured to move into the world of finance when he became a broker with a large brokerage firm. He enjoyed the field so much he went out on his own in 1980 and remained in the industry until he sold his company in 2007.
Mike has been happily married to Francine Fournier-Walsh since 1978. Both Mike and Francine have done extensive volunteering in their communities. Mike has been involved with many different charities from treasurer and chairman of his parish council to chairing the N.B. March Drive for the Kidney Foundation. Mike served on the board of a high profile Charity in Moncton for many years .He was President of Moncton Headstart Recycles for 8 years. It was an organization to help socially challenged and people from the correctional system integrate into society. He also served On The Headstart Foundation Board of Directors for 5 years. This resulted in his nomination as NB Volunteer of the Year.
Mike joined Rotary in 1995 and has not looked back. He has held almost every position in his club, The Moncton West and Riverview Rotary Club. Mike was The RYLA District Chair for 3 years and New Generations District Chair for 2 years. He was honored to be named Rotarian of the Year In 2008/09.Mike has been the NB Ambassador for Shelterbox for the last 6 years. He has travelled extensively with Rotary including a friendship exchange to South Africa, and one of his most enjoyable things to do is visit Rotary clubs in different countries.
Francine was born and raised in Ste Jean De Baptiste in Northern NB. She Attended Universite de Moncton. After university she became a professional Puppeteer. She and her troupe represented Canada at the World Puppet Championships in Prague and placed second. She was with the Public Service of Canada for 30 years , the last 20 years as executive assistant to the President of an Atlantic Development agency. She sat on the board of Mapleton Teaching Kitchen for 5 years. Francine was awarded special recognition from The Government of Canada for her support of stranded passengers on 9/11.She hosted people from 5 different countries. Francine was on the organizing Committee for The World Micro Credit Conference with dignitaries from around the world. She ended up introducing Queen Sophia of Spain to other dignitaries, but that’s another story. Recently she spent 5 years on a national committee called Chez Soi / At Home. It’s goal was to help integrate people with mental illness integrate into society without using group homes.
In August of 2013 Francine became a Rotarian
Michael started his term July 1st, he was very encouraging. He discussed many things that Rotary International has done and continues to do, he encouraged all (this includes you readers) to visit www.rotary.org to find more information. Michael discussed we are l l this close to eradicating Polio, but we need to keep up the efforts. There is only one other disease that has been eradicated and that is Small pox, so it is now time for the eradication of Polio!
Michael gave a brief overview of the History of Rotary which was very interesting apparently Rotary assisted in forming the United Nations which is something I did not know about.
Michael’s logo for this year is Light up Rotary, we are a beacon of peace throughout the world so be proud! Michael was very impressed with all that our club has done and continues to do. He said that you can not drive around Houlton and not see Rotary every where. He then asked where would Houlton be with out Rotary? I thought that was a great question, we have lots of wonderful organizations in our area with many terrific individuals but for me at least it boils down to our motto Rotary is service above self and it shows not just in Houlton, or the county or our country, but across the world.
Michael also talked about having each club be a fun club, I think we do pretty good at that but we can certainly do more. If you are interested in Rotary and you really should be please visit our website, face book and ask a local Rotarian about how to become a part of something so much more. Our current president is Amy Hocking, vice president Jane Torres, secretary Deb Clark, sergeant of arms Matt Nightingale, treasurer Paul Callnan.
Written by Tammie Mulvey