A wealth of experience gathered Wednesday January 22nd, 9 a.m. as it does all year round, at the Cabo Blanco Hotel in the heart of Barra de Navidad. Teachers, artists, entrepreneurs, parents and partners filled the seats of the Costalegre Rotary Club breakfast meeting. The invisible bond connecting those present was a sincere concern for the Family of Man.
Through Rotary, members learn to base their life decisions on the simple concepts of The Four Way Test, an ethical yardstick first constructed in 1932. Not a catechism, the four following questions of The Test are a form of self analysis. Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Truth, of course, is relative and the final test is in the doing. That is where the invisible bond of the Costalegre Rotary becomes very visible. Cheryl Bronk, Chairperson for the Projects Committee, recently instructed all members on how to access resources from other clubs. “We already have twelve schools requesting tinacos (water tanks), in order for their students to study worry free while using the school bathrooms. Although our club is extremely involved in our community with fundraisers, the increasing need for help with this year’s focus, access to water, means reaching out to clubs north of the border.”
At that same meeting a visiting Rotarian from a north-of-the-border club, requested some air time with the Board, in fact looking to support the Costalegre club’s projects more fully. President Pat Quinn responded by letting the membership know how grateful the club is with contribution of any resources. She and other board members went on to confirm the pressing need to increase the number of formal members. “We would like to prevent burn-out among our present very active members. In fact, the resource we need others to share the most with us is their time. Regretfully, this year we had to postpone one of our most attended fundraisers, the chili cookoff, due to a lack of sufficient manpower.”
The Board wants to encourage membership to Rotary International through the Costalegre Rotary club. “Our club offers unique features. For one, the fee for membership in Costalegre Rotary is up to three hundred dollars less than almost any club north of the border.” That membership allows visits to all clubs internationally. “Also since we live part time or full time here, we experience firsthand the gratitude from the local community, witnessing the results of the monies well spent.”
Another appealing factor for some potential members is that Costalegre Rotary is one of the only English speaking clubs in Mexico. Newest member, Abel Lazareno, reminded the Board that their efforts have already brought in about 1.3 million pesos to Pacific coast regional projects. Besides satisfaction in the amount raised, Costalegre Rotary’s true wealth increases through the enjoyment of the team work and the social play that brings about these kinds of results.
Second String Send Off
Few can probably remember a funeral cortege moving through the streets of Barra de Navidad, except for January 14. At 3 p.m. a New Orleans-style second string send off — live drum, trumpet and banjo — played a rousing version of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” while the family and friends of Fred Henshaw followed close behind.
Fred himself most certainly was not a second string. In her eulogy .his daughter Lesley shared descriptions of her father through condolences received. “Witty, true gentleman, kind soul, twinkle in his eye, sense of adventure, enthusiastic dancer until his last days.”
Naomi, his wife of 63 years, remembered his humility, although his talents were many. “Freddie was known for his illustrations, cartoons, hilarious songs for all occasions, hamming it up in amateur theatre, storytelling, and throwing elaborate parties with me.”
Lest we forget, this imaginative man also served as Lieutenant Commander Frederick G. Henshaw in the Royal Canadian Navy during and after WWII. Even there he became known for some zany, daring and successful hijinks during negotiations with the Japanese at the end of the war.
The Henshaw family may have started a trend by refreshing this old ritual for the Pacific coast community. Fred Henshaw, 1926-2014, inspired an eloquent, undeniable heartwarming experience, even in his physical absence. Wife Naomi and daughters Lesley, Helen and Shelagh, sincerely want to thank those who provided their talents to the memorial service.