Club Information
Come visit the Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach, doing good things since 1926!
Fernandina Beach
Service Above Self
We meet Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Story and Song Bookstore Bistro
(self-serve lunch begins 11:30)
1430 Park Avenue - Second Floor
Fernandina Beach, FL  32034
United States
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Executives & Directors
Community Service
immediate past president
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Coach Benson
August 1
Rick Campana
August 1
John McClane
August 6
Dorothy Lord
August 15
Foy Maloy
August 28
Spouse Birthdays
Dick Connelly
August 7
Darrell Holcomb
August 12
Aaron Bean
August 22
C. Buck
Dolly Buck
August 24
Join Date
John McClane
August 1, 1981
38 years
Mary Ruark
August 2, 2017
2 years
Dorothy Lord
August 4, 2010
9 years
Rick Campana
August 8, 2018
1 year
Rick Keffer
August 8, 2007
12 years
Timothy Flanagan
August 15, 2018
1 year
Laureen Pagel
August 19, 2009
10 years
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
This Weeks Speaker
Professor Eric Johnson, UNF
"Threats to Sea Life from Invasive Species"
The effective management of invasive species requires detailed understanding of the invader’s life history. This information is essential for modeling population growth and predicting rates of expansion, quantifying ecological impacts and assessing the efficacy of removal and control strategies. Indo-Pacific lionfish ( Pterois volitans/miles ) have rapidly invaded the western Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea with documented negative impacts on native ecosystems. To better understand the life history of this species, we developed and validated a length-based, age-structured model to investigate age, growth and population structure in northeast Florida. The main findings of this study were: (1) lionfish exhibited rapid growth with seasonal variation in growth rates; (2) distinct cohorts were clearly identifiable in the length-frequency data, suggesting that lionfish are recruiting during a relatively short period in summer; and (3) the majority of lionfish were less than two years old with no lionfish older than three years of age, which may be the result of culling efforts as well as ontogenetic habitat shifts to deeper water.
Sorry.....we did not receive any other information from Eric G. Johnson in time for this publication.
Above was taken from the web site about his writings. FG
Last Weeks Speaker

Author, Thomas Sanger

His new historical novel "Without Warning"


Author Thomas Sanger and his wife Author Kay Sanger



For those of you who missed his introduction:
Tom Sanger has been a writer for most of his adult life. After earning a journalism degree, he worked in Los Angeles as a news writer at KABC radio and a reporter at the Associated Press. During a tour of duty in Vietnam, he served as an information specialist, writing hometown news releases and stories for Stars & Stripes, the military newspaper. In Sydney, Australia, he researched and wrote documentary scripts for two years at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, before starting a 22-year career in corporate public relations in southern California. Tom wrote newsletters, speeches, annual reports, and employee publications and supervised communications departments. With his wife, he has written freelance travel articles and a guidebook published in 1990 by Clarkson N. Potter titled Southern California for Kids. In 2010, Tom ghost-wrote Shepherd: Memories of an Interfering Man, a biography for a doctor in Australia. He presently lives in San Diego with his wife, Kay.
His Story:
Tom’s particular interest in the Athenia tragedy stems from his grandmother, Rhoda Thomas, who was a passenger on the ship. She survived the torpedoing and later wrote an account of her experiences.  Her personal recollections were so vivid that they inspired Tom to tell this story through the eyes of the people who lived it. Nearly 78 years after Athenia sank, there are several people still alive who were aboard that ship on Sept. 3, 1939, and who have vivid memories of those events.
Telling the story of the attack on the passenger ship Athenia required six years and a great deal of research. The first two years, Tom read contemporary newspaper accounts from 1939 about the incident and familiarized myself with the political and social environment in which it took place; reviewed affidavits given by many of Athenia’s passengers and crew members regarding their experiences; and studied the British government’s official inquiry into the ship’s sinking. He also read about German U-boat operations and torpedo technology at the start of World War II.
Because he wanted to tell the human side of the sinking, he identified a number of individuals aboard Athenia and the U-boat whose stories would allow readers to experience these events first-hand in order to bring this history to life. Getting to know these people, either through their writings or by meeting their descendants turned out to be the most rewarding part of the research.
On September 3, 1939, the first day of World War II, the British passenger ship Athenia was steaming 250 miles northwest of Ireland, bound for Canada. Many of the 1,100 passengers on board believed they had outrun the danger of a submarine attack, but they were wrong. As dusk fell that Sunday night, a young German U-boat commander fired the first torpedo of the war at what he thought was an armed merchant ship. It was a colossal mistake. Without Warning tells the story of eight people – six passengers, Athenia’s chief officer and the U-boat commander – whose lives were dramatically upended by the mistaken torpedo attack.


The book begins in June, 1939, with the clouds of war ominously gathering over Europe, and quickly proceeds to the last week of August, when all eight characters were caught in the vortex of events leading to the war. We follow conditions aboard the submarine, U-30, secretly waiting for word to attack British shipping, and also aboard Athenia as she picked up passengers in Glasgow, Belfast, and Liverpool before sailing into the Atlantic Ocean.

Athenia’s passengers made the best of crowded shipboard conditions; some were happy to be returning home as war broke out in Europe, some were escaping Nazi occupation, and some hoped to start or re-kindle a romance on the high seas. As night fell on Sunday, September 3, passengers were sleeping, dining, or watching the last glow of sunset when the torpedo slammed into the ocean liner.

Many passengers were separated from loved ones as they boarded the lifeboats, a result of evacuating women and children first. In the lifeboats, a misting rain and persistent leaks made for challenging conditions, especially for those wearing only night clothes or evening dresses in the cold, biting wind. When the first rescue ships arrived shortly past midnight, passengers faced more dangers climbing out of their lifeboats in rising seas. One boat was chopped up by the propeller of a rescue ship, leaving a few survivors clinging to wreckage in the cold waters until dawn. Another boat capsized as it neared a luxury yacht, causing a desperate mother to swim through the oily seas searching for her son.  On board U-30, the young commander faced his own dire emergency before finally discovering his tragic mistake.



Crew from H.M.S. Bulldog prepares to board U-110 Photo credit: Wikipedia


Last Weeks Meeting Highlights

President Ron Heymann called the meeting to order.  


Club President Ron Heymann


Dr. Page lead the club singing a patriotic song: God Bless America followed by Bill Bailey & Bye, Bye Blackbird


Rotarians Dr. Page, Wally Messer on bass and Bonnie Ridley on piano


Recited our "Pledge of Allegiance"


Followed with an excellent invocation by Rotarian Joe Hastey


Secretary, John McAfee Report:

In attendance were 28 Club Members.  34 total attended the meeting.


Honorary Rotarian Members in attendance - Larry Myers & Jim Hicks


Visiting Rotarians:  Bob Ward from Ada, Ohio - Micky Ulner, President of the morning Sunrise Club and fellow member Peter Stevenson.


Visiting Guests: Guest of Rotarian Mary Ruark was Tim MacNair


50/50 Jack Pot:  @$100  - Rotarian  Larry Melnick had the drawn ticket and drew the Jack of Hearts! 46 cards remaining.


Boy Scouts: $33

Shelter Box: $38




Sergeant at Arms, Larry Melnick:

Nothing to report but we did have some good Trivia Questions.

Rotarian Larry Melnick 


President-Elect, Antoinette Richter:       

No report


John Howard, Community Services Report:

This Wednesday coming, January 23rd, is our Blood Drive being held at the Nassau Health Food Store like we did the last time we had one.  Please see John to sign up to donate.  We have many names already but short a few to reach our goal.  Much appreciated!


John Boylan, Director of Youth Services Report:

Our Exchange Student, Simon, is with his new local foster family now....more info forthcoming!

Upcoming home games of Simon at FBHS (Exchange Student)…

Tuesday, Jan 22nd at home against Boles 7pm

Friday, Jan 25th at home against Baldwin 7pm

Tuesday, Jan 29th at home against Hilliard 7pm

Friday, Feb 1st at home against Yulee 7pm

Monday, Feb 4th at home against University Christian 7pm


Kris Meyer, Public Relations Report:

Public Image Report:  Scholarship Luncheon Publicity largely done.  Rick Keffer's column on the effort ran in the NL.  Still have social media to do once event page has been modified to allow for donations.  Bradley Bean to do in cooperation with Antoinette Richter. Bids are being sought for Volunteer Breakfast.  Prices and pre-event publicity will follow, once cost of tickets is locked down.



EACH MEMBER should approach a minimum of two businesses (not restaurants) and request support for the program. See Ray Whitehead for solicitation forms and Pledge Cards to help you out when approaching prospects.


Barbara Gingher, Fundraising Report:

Everyone should be involved with the Luncheon whether or not you're on the committee or not! 1 month to go!.

Scholarship committee meeting before our regular meeting

Our next meeting will be Wednesday January 23rd at 10:45am at the Story & Song Book Store just before our regular meeting to continue our focus on the February Scholarship Luncheon Event.  Please attend if you are interested in sitting on this committee or just helping out in any way! We are in full swing to the Luncheon!!!


Pam Crouser, Club Membership Report:

No Report


Nick Klein, Club Social Events Report:

Rotarian Nick Klein speaking to the club. I totally missed the info Nick but did get the picture..frown


President Ron Heymann, Club Report:

Tickets to our 2nd Annual Scholarship Lunch are limited and selling fast.  The Cost is $300 per individual or $500 per couple.  Corporate sponsorship opportunities are available at $1000, $2500 and $5000 levels. See Ray Whitehead for the information Sheet.

Even if you cannot attend the lunch, please consider donating what you are comfortable with.  We are a 501(c) organization so your contribution is tax deductible (consult you tax advisor).  100% of your contribution will be used to send a local kid to college and help them achieve their dreams.

Checks can be made payable to:

The Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach (Please write Scholarship on the Memo Line)

PO Box 16046

Fernandina Beach, FL 32035  




Debra Connelly, Club Foundation Report:

Jeni Kardinal our Rotarian on the ground in Nawa Kerti, Bali Indonesia; will be sending a presentation/status update for us this coming month.  We were hoping to have Jeni present to our Club during December 2018 but our schedule of presenters was too booked for the month of December.  Our Bali water project will provide clean water to over 3,000 members of the Datah village and toilets/hygiene training for 125 students/staff at the Sekolah Dasar Negeri School in the village of Nawa Kerti. This project was originally initiated with a $5,000 contribution by one of our Club Rotarians and contributions from clubs in Sweden, Tarpon Springs, Long Island New York and Bali.
Dear 2018-19 club presidents, secretaries, treasurers, membership chairs, and Rotary Foundation chairs:

We have launched Rotary’s redesigned Learning Center, and your new club officer courses are now ready.

First steps
If you don’t have a My Rotary account, learn how to create one. If you do have an account, sign in and:
  1. Go to
  2. Take the Getting Started With the Learning Center course to see all the ways you can use the new Learning Center.
  3. Search for the learning plan for your role:
  4. Club Administration Committee Basics 
  5. Club Service Projects Committee Basics
  6. Club Public Image Committee Basics
  7. Club Rotary Foundation Committee Basics
  8. Club Membership Committee Basics
  9. Club Treasurer Basics
  10. Club Secretary Basics
  11. Club President Basics
Note: If you were already signed in to My Rotary, you may need to sign out and sign back in to see the new Learning Center.