Posted by Richard Tamkin
Thursday, October 4, was Departure Day for the 2018 convoy heading south to Mazatlan, Mexico. A 7.00 am celebration breakfast was held in the Nord-Bridge Center with some 60 people present. This was the opportunity to thank donors to Los Amigos who had supplied vehicle maintenance, decals, coolers, tools, etc.
Mayor Bob Tarleck (Mayor of Lethbridge from 2001 to 2010) was thanked for his faith in Rotary. It was his faith in Rotary that basically began the Los Amigos project in 2010. Don McInnis and Richard Tamkin asked him and the Lethbridge City Council for one retired school bus to take wheelchairs and walkers down to Mazatlan and, to Rotary’s surprise and delight, he and the City Council gave Rotary three retired school buses. This enlarged gift presented an unexpected (but pleasant) problem which Berga Moen, Judy Reed, Don McInnis, Jim Campbell and Wayne Stewart were left to solve while Richard Tamkin and his wife, Di, drove south to spend 6 months snow birding in Mazatlan. Thanks to the invaluable assistance freely given by Rotarians from the Grand Prairie area the three buses were safely delivered to Mazatlan. It soon became apparent that we Lethbridgeians had a lot to learn about border formalities.
Berga Moen is seen here thanking Karley Lewis, the band teacher at Gilbert Pattison Middle School. Karley had found many, many musical instruments which were then donated to and driven down for Mazatlan schools to enjoy. Travis Conrad, of Wilson Middle School was likewise thanked for repairing these instruments and for bringing them back to good working order so that Mazatlan’s students could enjoy them. The Mexican health inspectors at the border were particularly pleased that Travis had carefully replaced all the mouth pieces with brand new ones. Travis had wisely anticipated this potential problem.
Karl Samuels, the Los Amigos project Coordinator, (a.k.a. The Boss or “El Jefe”) is seen here thanking Val Bhoeme of the Rotary Club of Raymond for a $2,500 cheque which will be added to the Los Amigos project’s funds.
Connors’s Fleet Services were especially thanked for all their valuable mechanical checks on each of the vehicles in the convoy.
After the breakfast the drivers loaded up, said their farewells and drove off almost on time.