Rotary of Portsmouth Projects
Christmas for many is filled with good food and fun. But there are many in our communities who are unable to provide even basic meals for themselves and their families. 

1,760 Computers Donated to Dominican Primary Schools


Portsmouth, Nov 21, 2019 - The Rotary Club of Portsmouth working with its Canadian partners - the Rotary Club of Lethbridge East and the Rotary Club of Bracebridge, in cooperation with the IT for Dominica Foundation - are celebrating the realization of their goal to provide information technologies to 23 schools in Dominica. Most of the funding for the project came from a Rotary International Global Grant. A donation of more than 1700 used Chromebook computers and other pieces of technical equipment was secured by the IT for Dominica Foundation from partners in Alberta, Canada.  The new value of the donated equipment (Chromebooks, switches, wireless access points, projectors, cables, weather-safe cases, transport, and installations) is in excess of $1.5 million CAD ($3 million ECD, $1.1 million USD). Current/used value estimate 1 million CAD ($2 million ECD, 0.76 million USD)

For the past two weeks, a team has been working in schools across the island.  The team includes Hans Schilders and Lise Van de Kamp from the Rotary Club of Portsmouth DM, Andrew and Geri Bronson from the Rotary Club of Lethbridge East, as well as Dr. Maurice Hollingsworth, IT for Dominica Foundation Co-Founder and President and his technical team from Alberta, Canada. This all-volunteer team included Jason Yaremchuk, Director of Technology from Northern Gateway Public Schools, Chris Sluggett, Lead Network Analyst from Wolf Creek Public Schools, Jake Cameron, Systems Support Specialist from the University of Lethbridge and Chris Hollingsworth, IT for Dominica Foundation Fundraising Committee Chairperson.  Their efforts were fully supported by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources in Dominica and their technical team led by ICT Coordinator, Timothy Lavinier.

The schools were selected by the IT for Dominica Foundation Board of Directors. IT for Dominica has an almost 20-year history, working with the Ministry of Education, schools, and teachers on the island providing technology-focused professional development through their summer institutes. The selection process involved schools completing a comprehensive online application.  Each school was also asked to complete a Community Needs Assessment, gathering input from stakeholders including students, teachers, and parents. In total 38 schools (29 primary and 9 secondary) completed the online application. Of those, 23 also completed the community needs assessment. The information received in each application was carefully considered with a focus on identified needs and the plans each school shared for using the new technologies to improve teaching and learning.  Twenty-three schools were selected to receive learning technology installations as part of the IT for Dominica Foundation/Rotary Global Grant partnership. Each school received Chromebooks, weather-safe case(s) for storage - particularly in the event of severe weather - one or more digital projectors, wireless access points, switch(es), and power bars for charging.

Before the Canadian team leaves Dominica on November 23rd, installations will have been completed in 20 primary schools as well as at CALLS, an alternative school for at-risk youth in Portsmouth.  Two primary schools that successfully applied are scheduled for major reconstruction and will be cabled and networked once this work is complete. Technologies were also provided to the Dominica Association of Teachers.  These will be used to support teachers islandwide as they work to develop skills and access resources to serve higher-level learning in their schools. In addition, technologies were provided to Dominica Community High School in recognition of their ongoing support for the work of the IT for Dominica Foundation and as a trial program that will help the foundation explore the use of Chromebooks at the high school level.  The foundation has a three-year plan to replace learning technologies in all schools on the island that still need them. Their work over the next year will focus on raising the funds necessary to install technologies in more schools in November of 2020.  In addition, the IT for Dominica Summer Institute offering professional development to Dominican teachers is scheduled for July. This year will mark the eighteenth time that teams of volunteer Alberta teachers have traveled to Dominica to offer summer courses. More information on the foundation, its history and its work in Dominica can be found online at

The Rotary Club of Portsmouth, DM is the younger one of the two Rotary Clubs in Dominica (Rotary Club of Dominica, Roseau celebrates 45 years). It’s 21 members, of which 6 live off-island, are still very active with recovery projects post Hurricane Maria. Next to the 23 schools mentioned above, they have provided learning technologies to 4 more primary schools and a secondary school. They have also donated new roofs, fish pots, water filters, and various donations to primary schools. The RCP Recycle Project was created together with Recycle Rebuild SCIO from Scotland, and currently, the club is preparing a diabetes awareness project for the Portsmouth region.

The Rotary Club of Lethbridge East, Alberta, Canada is very pleased to participate in this project.  Our 28 members of our 59-year-old club fundraise in Lethbridge through our Rotary Roses, Dragonboat Festival and Agricultural Scholarship projects.  Funds for this project were then matched by our Rotary District 5360, the Government of Canada and The Rotary Foundation. We are looking forward to participating in the next phase of this project in 2020.  

The Rotary Foundation is a non-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world. The Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International's sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary "to do good in the world." It has grown from an initial contribution of US$26.50 to more than US$1billion. It has one of the largest and most prestigious international fellowship programs in the world.

Paix Bouche Primary School Gets Public Attention

After Hurricane Maria the Rotary Club of Portsmouth responded to a request of the All Hands & Hearts Foundation to provide help to the Primary School in Paix Bouche. All Hands were building a new school and we decided that Rotary Portsmouth would try to find funds for new classroom computers. 
So we could tell you that story here, but why not let DA Vibes tell it ??? 
Here is their story as published on Sept 27, 2019.
The Paix Bouche Primary School has been gifted a donation of information technology equipment for its computer lab from the Rotary Clubs of Portsmouth and Barbados and the All Hearts and Hands Foundation.
At a ceremony on Thursday, September 26th Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth, Hans Schilders, explained that the gesture was made possible through a student of the Seventh-Day Adventist Secondary School.
“Lily came to me with some of the staff as well as the Principal and members of All Hands & Hearts. They came knocking on the door of the Rotary Club in Portsmouth and said ‘guys we need help for Paix Bouche. We’re giving them a new building but they also need more support.’
“We altogether decided that Rotary was going to try to give you computers because we already know exactly what computers to buy. We were in contact with the IT Department of the Ministry of Education so we all came together. That one student had done so well and had such good grades that one Rotarian from Florida came to bring the computers. He was in the middle of Hurricane Maria horrified and decided to give computers to the school. We are here the Rotary Clubs of Portsmouth and Barbados to bring you your computers.”
Principal, Joannie Honore said “We are delighted that the Rotary Club has seen the need to make this partnership official. The ravages of Hurricane Maria upon the school cannot be forgotten or overlooked. However, the blessings which have been bestowed on the school, as a result, are truly tremendous. We shall forever be grateful to you all…”
The package comprised Chromebooks, projectors and photocopiers which Principal Honore assured will assist in providing quality education to the students of her school.
The value of the donated equipment is about EC$35,000.
Rotary Portsmouth Meets Rotary Willemstad, Curaçao
Secret Bay, the corporate sponsor of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth helped to organize a nice little event.
Last Wednesday the Rotary Club of Portsmouth, Dominica, was invited for a Rotary banner exchange at Secret Bay with their guest Mr. Alexander Galarraga of Booking Success and his partner Monica. Mr. Galarraga is a member of the Rotary Club in Willemstad which he joined about a year ago. It's the small Dutch-speaking club, next to the bigger Rotary Club of Willemstad, somewhat similar to our situation here in Dominica: a small and active club alongside the big traditional club.
A delegation of Rotary Portsmouth went to Secret Bay for the appointment. We started introducing ourselves in English, but it soon turned out that everyone spoke Dutch! We had some nice conversations and the banner exchange.
We'll meet again soon, possibly already at the District Conference in St. Kitts and Nevis, next year in April.
Thanks very much to our corporate member Rotarian Dinesh Kissoon, general manager of Secret Bay, for organizing this banner exchange. We hope to have many more visits like this to the beautiful premises of our corporate sponsor.
Visit from Rotarian Peter, member of the RC San Rafael California USA
In our last meeting (17/1/19), we had an unexpected short visit from a Rotarian living in the USA, but born and raised in Dominica. 
He surprised most of our local members when he started to speak the "Dominican" language. 
Because he had not much time, we did a fast banner exchange (our last banner) between President Hans and Rotarian Peter.
ARUBA - One Happy Island
Just a very quick little story...
A couple from Aruba visiting Dominica today decided to make a donation to the Rotary Club of Portsmouth....
Thanks a lot Rolf and Nicole. Much appreciated
We will make sure that your gift will be made to good use for the people of the north of Dominica.
Enjoy the rest of your vacation!
Rotary Club of Portsmouth Celebrates Their First Five Years
Tonight we celebrated with our members and Rotary friends 5 years Rotary Club of Portsmouth. We combined this celebration with our traditional  Secret Santa.
Recycle Rebuild approached St Johns Primary School, Portsmouth to organise a plastic bottle collection competition, upon which the pupils of the school were tasked to collect as many plastic bottle caps as possible from their homes, and communities.

5th Charter Anniversary

The Rotary Club of Portsmouth is a Resilient Crew…

Allow me, President Hans, to give you my version of the history of RCP - Rotary Club of Portsmouth.

I believe I’m in a good position to talk about our history because I was there all the way ;-)


What most of you will not know is that our history starts in the late part of 2010.

Rotarian Dan Hopkins, member of the Rotary Club of Dominica in Roseau suggested to his board to start a Rotary Club in Portsmouth. He proposed to ask Rotarians Lise and Hans to form a committee together with him to do the necessary preparations.

The board of the Roseau club was a little hesitant. Dan, Lise, and Hans wanted to create a club mixed between Dominicans of the North and the Ross community. Concerns were that Ross members would come and go, but the challenge was accepted and so the journey started….

[[ If you don't see the YouTube video below, then copy+paste this URL into your browser to see the video:  ]]


Official visit from DG Dominique Vénéré to Rotary Club of Portsmouth
Thank you District Governor Dominique Vénéré for your visit to the Nature Island Dominica 
and for the time you did spent with RCP / RCD / Rotaract and Interact.
We loved you enthusiasm for our nature (Indian River), your participation on the FUN Day in Mero with all clubs.
Your listening ear during our board meeting. It was a pleasure hosting you.
RCP joins Portsmouth in celebrating Heritage Day on the 21st of October 2018
On October 24th Portsmouth celebrated his heritage day with a 10am service at the St John's Catholic Cathedral followed by an exhibition at St John's School. 
On Tuesday October 9th, Rotary Club of Portsmouth pins our third honorary member: Dr Dan Wrubel.
Dr Dan Wrubel, an optometrist from Michigan in the US, and his wife Genie have visited Dominica as volunteers for over 24 years with his VOSH eye-care program. Dr. Wrubel is involved in our new 21th century health care project. 
To honor him,  several club members gathered together at the poolside at Champs Hotel, where we had the pinning ceremony.

Rotary Grenada Supports Dominica Plastic Recycle Project

Rotary Club of Portsmouth and Recycle Rebuild SCIO have produced the first product of their joint recycling project.
Rory Dickens, newest member of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth and co-founder of Recycle Rebuild with the assistance of Anne Sofie Uldahl Eriksen has produced the first recycled plastic product made from 3 plastic forks and plastic party cup retrieved from the beaches of Dominica. 
This joint project has so far built a plastic shredder and an injection molding machine with the objective of producing useful, saleable products. Our goal is to create a viable, sustainable business employing community members of Portsmouth and the surrounding areas to manage the facility, which can make and sell useful and decorative recycled plastic products. 
End of July the Rotary Club of Portsmouth received a financial donation from the Rotary Clubs of Grenada to sponsor this innovative and much needed project. Once the pilot side in Portsmouth will be up and running in their own workshop, occupied by local employed people The Rotary Club of Portsmouth and Recycle Rebuild hope to receive more sponsorship to open several small recycle shops all over the Island. 
It will build awareness of the plastic problem in Dominica and will give local people the chance to learn a new skill and earn their own living.  
For EC$25 you can buy these earrings and support this worthwhile endeavor.
Contact Rory Dickens directly on +1 767 277 0771 for more information.  

Portsmouth Rotarians and Guests Celebrate Achievements and Welcome New Officers to their 2018-2019 Term

On July 5th at 6:30 pm, members and guests of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth met at C&D Beach Bar & Restaurant in Picard to celebrate the club’s accomplishments in the wake of hurricane Maria and install new officers and board members. This annual event marks the beginning of the new Rotary year 2018-19.
Master of Ceremonies, Rotarian Kenneth, called the meeting to order.  He introduced outgoing President Ezra, who shared some experiences from the club’s past and rather challenging year.  This was followed by an installation ceremony where Assistant District Governor Sammy pinned the incoming President Hans who introduced and pinned the new board members.
Incoming President Hans made a brief presentation about the Club’s expectations for the coming Rotary year and pinned Rory Dickens, the club’s newest member.
Dinner was served. Live music was provided by Heidi Fabian and Bangie.
Following Dinner, the new pinned Rotarian Rory demonstrated and discussed the club’s Plastic Recycling project, for where we will receive financial support from the Rotary Clubs of Grenada soon.  
Foundation Chair and newly installed VP, Anne and new President Hans presented a citation and pinned the current Secretary and President-elect for 2019-2020 Sari Prosper as a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of her selfless dedication and tireless service during a very challenging year post-Maria. Both President Hans and President-elect Sari extended a vote of thanks to the RCP membership and everyone was served dessert.
It was a fine evening of fun and fellowship for the Rotarians of Portsmouth and their families and friends.

Rotary Club of Portsmouth Provides Seed Money For Plastics Recycling Project

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, local residents Richard Rognlie and Kayla James-Rognlie of Salty Dominica approached the Rotary Club of Portsmouth with the idea to build a plastics shredder and an extrusion machine to help rid the environment of excessive plastic waste,  including thousands of relief water bottles shipped to Dominica.
Salty Dominica and the Rognlies with the encouragement of the Rotary Club donated components for the shredder. Several months into the effort Rory Dickens joined the effort. He had originally come to Dominica as part of the staff of the charity All Hands and Hearts, here to rebuild the Primary School in Paix Bouche.  Rory Dickens had been working with the organization since 2015 in the Philippines, Ecuador, Peru, Nepal and the British Virgin Islands.
These various charitable endeavors led Rory to see the importance in seeking entrepreneurial solutions to social problems.  Dickens, who received a Masters in Architecture from Robert Gordon University in Scotland, brought his design ingenuity to manufacturing an injection device largely out of scrap components found locally.
In April of this year he founded his own charitable foundation, Recycle Rebuild, which is an accredited SCIO in Scotland. It is through this organization that he formed a working partnership with the Rotary Club of Portsmouth to develop and build a plastics recycling facility utilizing the source design developed by David Hakkens Precious Plastics Global Initiative in Holland. This is an open source design resource available to communities.
The goal is to take Dominica’s discarded plastic and turn it into usable and saleable items for the benefit of Dominicans. The Rotary Club of Portsmouth and Rory Dickens’ Recycle Rebuild plan to have a pilot, which includes a shredder and injection molding machine functioning by the end of May.
The organizations will be seeking additional funding to establish a central recycling center in the Portsmouth area within the next six months at which point the product becomes for Dominicans and run by Dominicans.
Volunteers To Assist the Rotary Club of Portsmouth’s Cover a Home Program
Swiss volunteers sailed from Martinique aboard a private yacht, Martine, with skipper Mario Jusufovic who organized the volunteer mission.  Arriving in Portsmouth on Jan. 31, the crew included Kathrin Morf, journalist, Martin Angehrn, banker, Marcel Stucki, club-owner, Peter Winiger, retired air traffic controller, and Andreas Jarosch, an electrical engineer.  In addition to contributing $10,000 US donated by Swiss Rotarians to assist the Rotary Club of Portsmouth with their Cover a Home initiative, the volunteers paid their own way and lent a helping hand in the reconstruction of the home of Emrica Thomas in Portsmouth. 
The home was first damaged by Hurricane Maria. The family, an elderly husband and wife with mental and physical challenges, their daughter Emrica and granddaughter with some assistance managed to put a makeshift covering back on their home only to have it further damaged by the fire.
To date the Rotary Club of Portsmouth has completed seven Cover a Home projects out of the fifteen so far identified, which meet their criteria for assistance.
The Swiss crew then sailed south to assist with a similar project in Soufriere.
The Rotary Club of Portsmouth is most grateful for the generous financial support of the members of the Rotary Club of Zurich-Glattal and the Swiss volunteers.
 Thanks to Joint Efforts of US Charity Waves for Water and the Rotary Club of Portsmouth
On January 15th Brent Lievsay and Ethan Lovell from the California based charity Waves for Water returned to Dominica to complete Phase Three of their mission to distribute much needed water purification systems.
They received on site assistance from members of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth.
A month earlier members of the club assisted in Phase Two, which involved the receipt of five hundred units through the port facility in Portsmouth plus transportation and warehousing the units prior their distribution.  Club members also helped identify
contact points at various health centers and schools to demonstrate how to put together and maintain the filtration systems and distribute them to those most
in need.
Matilda is our treasurer elect and was a major volunteer immediately after Hurricane Maria hit Dominica. As many Dominicans did, she and her family endured not only fear for the safety of herself and her family, but house damage, loss of income and the immediate lack of basic necessities. Matilda’s husband, a fisherman lost all of his fish pots and has until recently been unable to return to his livelihood.

Although our club has received a lot of assistance in goods and in contributions to help rebuild, this money is earmarked for general service projects and not to use for Club finances. We as a club would like to reward Matilda for her service and give her the opportunity to attend PETS training and meet her fellow  Rotarians from our district. 

Matilda is administrator at the volunteer institute Colls Center, dedicated to giving a second chance to at risk young adults from the Portsmouth area, through vocational training and motivational programs.  The young Rotary Club of Portsmouth will benefit immensely by the training our treasurer elect receives.

Matt Gemmell has recently returned from the hurricane-ravaged island of Dominica where he worked as part of the Rotary-backed Disaster Aid International. This is his story

AS the mother of Jesus, Mary or Maria is venerated by millions of Christians throughout the world. However, following the tragic events in the Caribbean last September, it may be some time before babies are christened Maria again. Maria, the 13th storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season made its rst landfall in Dominica with wind speeds in excess of 155 mph. What followed was unparalleled carnage, devastating Dominica just two weeks after Hurricane Irma had caused considerable damage.
      Maria, a category five hurricane, was undoubtedly the worst storm to ever hit Dominica.

Matt Gemmell with children from the region
On this beautiful, unspoilt, island paradise, mains water supplies were disrupted, roads were impassable, bridges were broken; it must have seemed like Armageddon to the stunned survivors.
      Thirty one people died and, as the world rushed to help restore the broken Garden of Eden, so did Disaster Aid International.

It’s amazing to think how this scheme is 47-years-old with its origins planted in the Rotary Emergency Box, which was conceived by Arthur Bowker who, at the time, was a member of the Rotary Club of Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester.
      Arthur recognised there were people a ected by all kinds of natural disasters around the world who had lost everything they owned. Provision of a few very basic things quickly would help these people survive and he also knew that Rotary was a huge force for good with a global reach.
      In 2010, the UK project joined forces with Rotarians around the world to form Disaster Aid International. The pooling of our respective resources and expertise has inevitably resulted in an organisation which now has a signi cant impact on disaster relief.
      Each country partner of Disaster Aid International is sponsored by a Rotary club - in the case of Disaster Aid UK & Ireland, that is the Rotary Club of Denton & Audenshaw.
      In Dominica, the Disaster Aid International team consisted of myself,
a 58-year-old retired police o cer living near Loch Lomond in Scotland, Suzi Vaill, 48, a project manager from Hamble in Hampshire, and team leader Tore Knos, 68, a retired master builder who switches his time between Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe in New Mexico.
On Monday January 29th, board members of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth and acting Assistant Governor for Dominica, Haynes Jacob greeted visiting Rotarians, Ron Ferril, Rotary International Director from Virginia, District Governor Waddy Sowma, from Suriname, and Past District Governor David Edwards, from Barbados.  From the Douglas-Charles airport the visiting Rotarians toured several of houses, which have been reroofed, one in Marigot, one in Woodford Hill, one in Calibishie, under construction, and another completed project in Borne.  The club hopes to do a total of fifteen roofs in their area.
Following a luncheon in Picard hosted the Rotary Club of Portsmouth and president, Ezra Fabiane, the visiting Rotarians and the club’s board visited a household in Dublanc that received and is using a Sawyer water filtration system, which the US based charity Waves for Water distributed with the help of the Rotary club. All told the Rotary Club of Portsmouth facilitated the delivery of well over 1000 systems.  After this demonstration the visitors and board proceeded to the workshop of Nicolas King in Cottage Hill to attend the hand over of 10 newly made fish pots to Kirwin Deluge of Dublanc,  representing the fishing cooperative of Bioche and Dublanc. The club has already distributed 20 pots to the fisherman of Portsmouth. An additional ten fish pots will be distributed to the Bioche/Dublanc cooperative when they are completed.
In the evening the club’s full membership honored their distinguished guests with a light dinner and drinks in Picard.  President Fabiane introduced acting Assistant Governor Jacob who introduced
District Governor Sowma and Past District Governor Edwards and District Governor Sowma introduced Rotary International Director Ferril to the full membership. They were treated to a video presentation of the club’s immediate response following hurricane Maria and their ongoing projects.
After briefs remarks by Director Ferril and District Governor Sowma, the Rotary Club of Portsmouth inducted Rudolf Stomps as its newest member. Rotarian Stomps, an internet consultant and recent émigré from St. Maarten joins the club’s twenty other active, enthusiastic members. 

Home Page News

Following the visit of our District Governor Lara Quentall-Thomas on Nov 1, 2011 we now have a confirmed agenda for the set-up of the new Rotary Club in the North of Dominica, the Rotary Club of Portsmouth.






An optimist is the human personification of spring.
We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.
Club Information


Service Above Self

We Meet Thursdays @ 5:30pm
Hotel The Champs
Tel +1 767 616 3001
Picard, Portsmouth,  -


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