Club Newsletter
The Rotary Club of Wakefield, Rhode Island
Thursday, March 7, 2019
Place & Time:
Arturo Joe's
140 Point Judith Road, Narragansett, RI  02882
Meeting Thursday @ Noon
Meeting Called to Order; President Elect Bob Cruz
4 Way Test; PE Bob
Pledge; PE Bob
Prayer; Harvey
Song; Elizabeth "Every Days a Gift"
Guests: Fred Frostic, former member; Bill Marcello, prospective member; Donna Vignali, prospective member, guest of Valerie Szlatenyi; Jennifer Dowell (of Jennifer’s Chocolates) and Samantha Seitz-Elting, guests of Spencer Seitz; Peter Swain, guest of Jim Blackerby.
Posted by Gene Corl & Glen Zibolis
Number of members present:     
Visiting Rotarians:    
Number of guests:   6 
When paying with a Credit Card, fees approach $1 per transaction, Cash is preferred.
  • Former member Spencer Martin is ill; Elizabeth will send a card on behalf of the club.
  • Harv Whitley announced that on June 8 we are invited to participate with Vet Surf, a program to help veterans deal with physical and psychological issues through surfing. More information will be forthcoming.
  • Wakefield Rotary Club and the Chariho Rotary Club will have a joint meeting on the evening of April 16 at the Richmond Country Club. The speaker, a polio survivor from New Jersey, will talk about the importance of the Polio Plus campaign. Please plan to join the group for fellowship with our neighboring club.
  • The RLI or Rotary Leadership Institute will be held on March 31 in Lincoln. Please notify Tom if you are interested in attending.
  • New Members Proposed and approved by the Wakefield Rotary Board, Please contact Membership Chair Russell or President Tom with any concerns.
  • Third Notice.
    • Christine Tanner, REMAX Real Estate, Sponsor Linda Hennessey
    • Bill Marcelo, Banker Washington Trust, Sponsor President Tom
  • First Notice, Fred Frostic, Former member of the Wakefield Rotary Club, Sponsor President Tom
Thank you for your service above self!
Happy Bucks
Happy bucks
  • Fran Alexakos is excited to be leaving soon for three weeks in Israel.
  • Gene Corl thanks Bill and Glen for serving as Sergeants-at-Arms while he was away.
  • Jim Buchanan apologizes for missing meetings while he was in Nashville on business.
  • Jim Blackerby apologizes for not having his badge and welcomes our speaker.
  • Ben Bardo is glad that after 12 phone calls to RI Hospital, his bill was finally reconciled.
  • Steve White was in Vero Beach and visited the Rotary meeting there. His next trip will be to the Galapagos.
  •  Betsy Wisehart is staying positive about the effects of cold weather on her running.
  • Dave Baud apologizes for missing while he was skiing. He brings greetings from Carl.
  • Spencer Seitz was happy to see Sezgin smile when Elizabeth sang in Turkish.
  • Elizabeth Candas’s mother was in the hospital but she is recovering.
  • Chris Van Hemelrijck contributed 10,000 Dong (Vietnamese money), thanked Steve for buying his lunch, and is happy to be going on vacation with his daughter and 10-week old grandchild.
  • Glen Zibolis fined Sandy Cutting and Sheryl Peno for not having their badges.
  • Nancy Kleniewski was happy that she saw her first robin of spring this week.
Speaker and program: Dr. Kristin Mulready-Stone, “Understanding China Today,” introduced by Spencer Seitz
Dr. Mulready-Stone received her Ph. D. In Chinese History from Yale University. She taught history at Kansas State University for several years and now is the director of the Writing Center at the Naval War College in Newport, where she also teaches history. The theme of her talk is that there are two keys to understanding contemporary China: humiliation and hegemony.
The word “China” is made up of two characters: “Middle” and “Kingdom.” For most of the period of the late Middle Ages through the early modern era, China was the most important power in Asia and considered itself the center of the world if not the universe. Then, foreign powers gained economic and political dominance, leading to a century of humiliation (1839 to 1949). The 1942 treaty after China’s defeat in the First Opium War ceded Hong Kong to the British and gave them access to four other port cities. Foreigners living in Chinese cities had legal control over their communities and were not subject to Chinese law. Rather than existing as a unified kingdom, the country devolved to struggles between competing warlords. Foreign domination was the ultimate humiliation.
After World War II, civil war, and the Communist revolution, Mao Zedong unified the country. Regardless of the many atrocities of the Cultural Revolution, he brought the nation together as one entity and also shut it off from the world. Following Mao, Deng Xiaoping’s goal was to open China to the world and provide economic stability. His opening led people to expect that they could express themselves politically. This ended in 1979 with the massacre of the demonstrators against corruption in Tiananmen Square. Deng then reinstated a program of economic development through a “bargain” with the Chinese people: as long as they stayed out of politics, they could have freedom in other realms.
Today the Chinese people have much more freedom than in the 1990s: they can be educated, travel, become wealthy, choose their own line of work, express themselves through their dress, body art, and culture. China’s strength in the contemporary world is a point of pride, overcoming the former humiliation at the hands of foreigners. Chinese leaders know that to remain viable they have to maintain a position of strength both at home and abroad. Their great fear is social instability, which could be triggered by the lack of political freedom, controls over communication (such as the Internet), and a fall-off in economic growth. (One indicator of slowed growth is that there are dozens of newly-built cities that are sitting empty because the pace of urbanization has slowed.) So they stress pride and economic progress.
In response to a question about state capitalism, Kristin said that there are certain advantages of a centralized economy, for example, the leaders can dictate that electric cars will be the norm instead of having to convince carmakers to produce them. However, a disadvantage is that negative economic realities are cloaked with “smoke and mirrors,” for example, hidden government debt, environmental degradation, and empty new cities. The Chinese government needs to keep people employed to prevent instability and needs to appear strong and in control, leading to some deception and inefficiencies.      
Samantha and Jennifer
Donna and Valerie
Next Meeting:  Thursday, March 14, 2019!
Many thanks to Nancy for reporting and Sandy for the pictures this week!
Please make every effort to attend our next meeting!!!!!
Upcoming Events
Event Planning Committee
Easter Seals of Rhode Island
Mar 12, 2019 5:00 PM
Board of Directors Meeting
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Mar 20, 2019 5:00 PM
Event Planning Committee
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Apr 09, 2019 5:00 PM
Board of Directors Meeting
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Apr 17, 2019 5:00 PM
Bulletin Editor
Russell Bertrand
Russell Hampton
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