Club Information

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay - Celebrating Over 30 Years Serving Homer and the World

Homer-Kachemak Bay

Four Way Test: True, Fair, Goodwill & Beneficial to All

We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Best Western Bidarka Inn
575 Sterling Hwy
PO Box 377
Homer, AK  99603
United States
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Home Page Stories
Tom painting the trim at the restroom at Ben Walters Park.
Maynard painting the restrooms at Ben Walters Park.
Charles racking and Maynard painting
Vivian rolls on the paint!
Rotary’s new president, Barry Rassin, strikes a perfect balance between Bahamian bonhomie and decisive leadership
By Diana Schoberg                                      Photos by Alyce Henson  
Several miles off the shoreline of Nassau, Barry Rassin, the 2018-19 president of Rotary International, balances in the bow of the bobbing Rat Bat. There are no colossal cruise ships out here, no noisy Jet Skis, only the occasional passing pleasure boat and the sound of water lapping against the hull. In the turquoise sea below, giant turtles glide across the ocean floor.
“To me,” Rassin says, “the sea is freedom, it’s peacefulness. When I’m out on the water, everything fades away. You feel like you’re at one with the world and nothing could go wrong.”
Barry Rassin enjoys some time on the water with his good friends Felix Stubbs, left, and Wade Christie.
A few minutes ago it was drizzling, but now the weak December sun struggles to peek through. The Rat Bat sways suddenly in the wake of a passing vessel. Unfazed, Rassin stands perfectly poised, staring toward a patch of blue sky floating on the horizon.
Late in the afternoon of 12 January 2010, Rassin and his wife, Esther, were at home in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti, 550 miles away. Shortly thereafter, Rassin got a call from Errol Alberga in Jamaica. At the time, Alberga was the governor of District 7020, which encompasses the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Haiti, as well as several other island nations in the West Indies.
Alberga told Rassin – a former governor of the district and president of the renowned Doctors Hospital in Nassau – about the earthquake and asked him to lead Rotary’s relief efforts. Rassin spent the rest of the evening pacing around his living room as he called other Rotary leaders in the region. In a corner of the room, a television broadcast images of Haiti in ruins – and then, scrolling across the bottom of the screen, came the emergency warning that caught Rassin’s eye: A tsunami might be headed for the Bahamas, a seismic sea wave so formidable it had the potential to wash over the entire country.
Rassin and his wife walked out onto their second-floor balcony and waited. “At night, if you look out toward the ocean, all you see is lights, stretching down to the edge of the water, and then everything turns black,” Rassin recalled in a powerful speech he delivered in January at the International Assembly in San Diego. “I looked at where the lights ended and the black began, and I waited for the blackness to come toward us and swallow the light.”
Barry Rassin at his home office in Nassau, Bahamas.
Fortunately, the tsunami failed to materialize, and Rassin got back to work. Over the next few days and weeks, as Richard McCombe, another past district governor, headed Rotary’s day-to-day response, Rassin coordinated long-term recovery efforts funded by donations from Rotarians around the world to The Rotary Foundation. He created a 132-page spreadsheet to track each detail: how much money was available, how much had been spent, which Rotary club was in charge of which initiative. “At the district conference the year after the earthquake, Barry went through the dollars for every single project,” says Lindsey Cancino, past president of the Rotary Club of East Nassau, Rassin’s club. “It matched to the penny what was in the [disaster recovery] account. I was mesmerized.”
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, Rassin worked with Claude Surena, a Haitian doctor and Rotarian who had turned his home outside Port-au-Prince into a makeshift shelter and hospital. There, Surena provided care for more than 100 displaced people. Elsewhere on the island, tens of thousands were dead and tens of thousands more injured. In nightly calls to Rassin and his team, Surena – who, at the behest of René Préval, then president of Haiti, would later oversee the recovery of the nation’s private and public health sectors – detailed the medicine and other supplies he urgently needed. And then, each morning, a private plane flew from Nassau packed with the necessary goods.
Rassin decided to tag along on one flight. On the four-hour journey, flying low over the ocean, he gazed out at the limitless blue of the sky and an azure sea dotted with green tropical islands. “It just looked like paradise,” Rassin said in his speech. “And then we came in over Haiti.”
On the ground below, he saw buckled roads, collapsed houses, and entire neighborhoods turned to rubble. Unable to land in Port-au-Prince, the plane touched down on a grassy strip outside the capital. After unloading its cargo, the plane headed for home. “In a couple of minutes, we were out over the water,” Rassin recalled in his speech, “looking down on that same gorgeous view. Haiti disappeared behind us, the Bahamas lay in front of us, and there we were, in between.
With his wife, Esther, Rassin mingles with fellow members of the Rotary Club of East Nassau.
"And looking down at that water, out at that horizon, I realized that there was no line, no boundary between there and here, between them and us, between the suffering we had escaped and someone else hadn’t. It could just as easily have been the Bahamas. It could just as easily have been us.”
Barry Rassin always felt he was supposed to go into medicine. It was his heritage. His father, Meyer, a notoriously brusque orthopedic surgeon, had arrived in the Bahamas from England during World War II to oversee the medical care of the Royal Air Force troops there. Except for some submarine activity, the Bahamas was outside the theater of war. Nassau’s Oakes and Windsor fields provided flight training for would-be RAF pilots destined to return to the fighting over Europe.
With little in the way of military medicine to occupy him, Dr. Rassin spent time ministering to local residents, including treating people with leprosy who had been exiled from society. This work endeared him to the populace. After the war, he returned to England, but in 1947, a few weeks after the birth of his son Barry, Rassin père returned with his family to Nassau to work in the government hospital. In 1955, he and his wife, Rosetta, a surgical nurse, opened Rassin Hospital to better serve their patients.
Barry was 10 when his father had him watch his first cesarean section. (“That kind of freaked me out,” he says today.) This was his introduction to the family profession. His older brother, David, would earn a PhD, specializing in pharmacology, and devote himself to researching the properties of breast milk.
As for Barry, he enrolled as a pre-med student at Long Island University outside New York City – and flunked out after two years. “I don’t know whether it was too hard for me or I just had no interest,” he explains. “I was never a good academic. Teachers always said I never applied myself.”
Rassin returned to Nassau and worked menial jobs at the British Colonial Hotel. He started at the front desk – “That was not me” – but was soon relegated to microfilming and delivering office supplies. After a year, Rassin realized he had to make a decision: He could either spend the rest of his life working at the hotel and living at home with his parents, or he could go back to school. 
Barry Rassin converses with Charles Diggiss, who took over as hospital president when Rassin retired. 
In 1967, he moved to Miami, enrolled in community college, and took whatever classes struck his fancy. He wanted to figure out what suited him best. “Two days in accounting and I said, ‘This is me,’” he recalls. “It was just so easy. It came to me.”
He transitioned into a business program, improved his grades, and transferred to the University of Miami, where he earned a degree in accounting – with honors. Later, he received his MBA in health and hospital administration from the University of Florida.
Back in the Bahamas, following several prosperous decades, Rassin Hospital had undergone a decline. After the Bahamas won its independence in 1973, a lot of British expats, including many of the hospital’s patients, left the country. That’s when Rassin, with several years of health administration under his belt (primarily at Miami’s Mount Sinai Medical Center), returned to Nassau once again, with his first wife and their kids, Pascale, Michele, and Anthony. His goal was to bring the best in modern medicine to the country – and he planned to do it at a transformed Rassin Hospital.
Charles Diggiss, today the president of Doctors Hospital (as the reinvented facility came to be known), covered emergency room shifts there in the late 1980s, when he was a surgical resident at the public hospital. “Barry was running a hospital that was one block away from the public hospital,” Diggiss says. “He had the courage to take that on. There was no promise of success, but every guarantee that this was going to be frustrating, every guarantee that the physicians were going to be skeptical.”
Looking back, Rassin recounts the challenges he confronted: “It was a battle with my parents. It was a battle with the doctors. It was a battle with my wife.” All that pressure caused the demise of his first marriage, he says. But the friends he made through Rotary steeled his resolve to persevere. “It gave me the support from a group of citizens of the Bahamas who said there was really a need to do this.”
Several years earlier, Rassin was working for American Medicorp in Hollywood, Florida, when a doctor asked him to join Rotary. Rassin declined. “In my mind, he was at least 70,” he explains. “I was 30. People say new members aren’t joining because we don’t ask. It’s not just the ask. I was asked. I didn’t want to join.”
The East Nassau club recently helped clean up a community center for teenagers with HIV/AIDS.
He changed his mind about Rotary when he moved to Nassau and met John Robertson at a fundraiser for the East Nassau club. Robertson was helping out, and Rassin’s daughters, Pascale and Michele, were participating. The two men chatted, and at the end of the conversation, Rassin accepted Robertson’s invitation to lunch at Rotary. Seven years later, in 1987, he was the club’s president. Michele, the club’s first female member, would take the helm in 2009.
Rassin’s rise through the ranks of Rotary coincided with the culmination of his plan to transform Rassin Hospital. In 1986, he worked with a consortium of doctors to buy the hospital from Meyer Rassin and create the newly christened Doctors Hospital. In 1993, under Rassin’s direction, it completed an $8.5 million expansion, and today it’s considered one of the Caribbean’s leading hospitals.
As all this transpired, Rassin’s personal life changed as well when he met and, in 1990, married Esther Knowles. A successful banker, Esther dived into her husband’s life at Rotary. When he was district governor in 1991-92, she accompanied him on a six-month odyssey to every club in every country in the district. Their mutual respect and partnership are evident when you see them together. “Esther has always kept me grounded,” Rassin says. “As soon as she thinks that my ego is kicking in, she makes sure she kicks it back out. After any speech, if Esther was there, I always ask her how it was. She’s the only one who I know will tell me the truth.” 
Rassin retired as the hospital’s president in 2016, though he continues to serve on its board of directors. In retrospect, the long struggle to make his dream a reality was worth it. “You’ve got to take risks in this life,” he insists. “That’s what we’re here to do: not to follow the same old path, but to take out your machete, cut away the bush, and create a new way. People here weren’t getting good health care. They needed it badly.” 
“One of the most appreciable things about his journey is watching how he committed himself wholly and fully to Doctors Hospital while maintaining his involvement in Rotary,” says Charles Sealy, who met Rassin through Rotary and succeeded him as the hospital’s CEO. “To see how someone can balance the two – except I don’t think the word is ‘balance,’ because he was wholly committed to each of them.”
At the hospital, as in Rotary, people recognize Rassin as both a visionary and a detail-oriented administrator. They also salute him as a valuable mentor. “He’s good at identifying leadership talent,” says Felix Stubbs, a board member at Doctors who credits Rassin with creating the opportunities that led to Stubbs’ own stint as District 7020 governor. “When he sees someone with skills that he thinks could be advantageous to Rotary, he makes sure to pull that person along. That’s exactly what he did at Doctors Hospital. He identified good young leaders and pulled them up – and then he was able to retire and dedicate his time to Rotary.”
Barry Rassin helps Rotarians and Rotaractors plant mangrove trees at Bonefish Pond National Park on the southern coast of New Providence Island in the Bahamas.
As befits an island organization, the Rotary Club of East Nassau meets inside a wood-paneled room at a yacht club. Pictures of sailboats bedeck the walls. Sir Durward Knowles, who, until his death in February, reigned as the world’s oldest living Olympian (bronze and gold medals in sailing in 1956 and 1964, respectively), was an active member.
In many ways, it’s the ideal 21st-century Rotary club: Sixty percent of its members are younger than 50, and one member is a dual Rotarian/Rotaractor. At a meeting in October, there were so many women in leadership positions that a man didn’t come to the lectern for the first half-hour. One order of business: handing out attendance awards. Rassin receives one for 30 years of perfect attendance. Since joining in 1980, he has missed only one meeting. 
Though Rotary has been central to Rassin’s life for nearly 40 years, it was never his goal to become president of Rotary International. He was loath to even put his name up for consideration. But, he explains, “the Bahamas and the Caribbean have never had a president, and Rotarians there felt I should put my name in and represent them. I realized that they want to feel part of Rotary, and I was in a position where it was possible. So for them, I thought I should do it.”
Sam F. Owori, a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala, Uganda, was nominated in 2016 to serve as Rotary’s 2018-19 president. After he died unexpectedly of complications from surgery in July 2017, Rassin was selected to take his place.
Among the first people Rassin called was John Smarge, a past Rotary International director from Florida who had served as Owori’s aide. Rassin asked Smarge to serve as his aide too. “One of his first sentences was, ‘I want Sam’s memory to continue, and I want you to help me do that,’” Smarge recalls. “Barry was uniquely qualified to come in at this time. He will allow Sam’s memory to shine brightly.”

Stephanie Sinclair’s photography is just one of the ways she advocates for the rights of girls


Photos by Stephanie Sinclair                                       Story by Julie Bain


Stephanie Sinclair was way ahead of the #MeToo movement. After 9/11, she wanted to tell the stories of people who had survived their world being torn apart. While covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the photojournalist found her passion when she learned about young girls being forced into marriage. After nearly a decade of photographing these girls, she published “Too Young to Wed” in National Geographic in 2011. In 2012, Sinclair formed a nonprofit, also known as Too Young to Wed, dedicated to protecting girls’ rights and ending child marriage. 

While she maintains a busy schedule on other photo projects, documenting subjects such as life on a circus train and the care of elephants in India, she always returns to the stories of girls and young women who are vulnerable to exploitation. She has done more than accrue numerous awards for her photos; she has also raised money to help girls who have escaped their captors restart their education, learn new skills, and regain their self-esteem.

In addition, Sinclair created a foundation to provide scholarships and teach photography, giving girls a way to tell their stories and begin to change the world. Her foundation helped support and educate the young women she photographed for her acclaimed 2017 New York Times story, “Child, Bride, Mother: Nigeria.” In February, two of those girls shared their harrowing stories with U.S. lawmakers and United Nations officials. 

On a snowy late-winter afternoon in Peekskill, New York, while one of her two children was fighting a fever, Sinclair spoke with frequent contributor Julie Bain and did something she rarely does: talk about her own life, her photographic vision, and how she found her true calling.


Two Yemeni child brides stand alongside their husbands. Tehani, left, married when she was 6 and her husband, Majed, was 25.


At age 10, Nujood Ali divorced her husband, a man three times her age. The case led Yemen's parliament to consider setting a minimum marriage age.


Maya, 8, and Kishore, 13, pose for a wedding photo in India, where, despite legislation forbidding child marriage, the custom continues.


In Afghanistan, Ghulam, 11, had dreamed of becoming a teacher, but when she was engaged to marry Faiz, 40, she was forced to drop out of school. 


Baby, 17, and Claude Seibureh, 48, of Freetown, Sierra Leone, were married during the Ebola crisis.


Q: There has been a lot of discussion about women and sexual harassment and abuse in the United States. As someone who has covered these issues in other parts of the world, what’s your take on this moment?


A: I tend to be an optimist, and there’s no question that change is happening in our country with the #MeToo movement. It is very clear that women have had it. Some very difficult conversations are happening in every industry about how women are valued, but there are still limitations. We have many women in politics now, but we need many, many more. Ability is not the issue here – there’s no reason that women can’t compete on the highest levels with men in any category if they so choose. Their biggest challenge is the way they’re perceived.

I hope the progress we’re making in this country makes its way to places in the world where girls are the most vulnerable. As someone put it to me today, “It’s like #MeToo to the power of 14.” I’m proud to be helping to fight this battle.


Q: Are more women entering the photojournalism field, which was heavily skewed toward men when you started?


A: Yes, but it continues to be male-dominated. That is inevitably going to change, though. There are now more female photojournalism students than male photojournalism students, so we’re seeing that tide start to shift. Still, doing certain kinds of photojournalism requires significant sacrifices. It is very demanding of your time, there’s a lot of travel, and it’s not very conducive to raising a family.


This is some very important information, and very timely. Recently one of the subject fire extinguishers discharged itself, and spread a white powder into the owner's house.  The powder MUST be vacuumed up, as it can be quite corrosive, and definitely shortens the life of moving parts as it is also very abrasive.  The extinguishers can self-discharge or not discharge at all!  Please check. Please note that there are several different brand names included in this recall.
Kidde Recalls Fire Extinguishers with Plastic Handles Due to Failure to Discharge and Nozzle Detachment: One Death Reported
Name of product:
Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles
The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard.
Recall date:
November 2, 2017
Recall number:
Consumer Contact:
Kidde toll-free at 855-271-0773 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, or online at and click on “Product Safety Recall” for more information.
Recall Details
In Conjunction With:
This recall involves two styles of Kidde fire extinguishers: plastic handle fire extinguishers and push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers.
Plastic handle fire extinguishers: The recall involves 134 models of Kidde fire extinguishers manufactured between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017, including models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015. The extinguishers were sold in red, white and silver, and are either ABC- or BC-rated. The model number is printed on the fire extinguisher label. For units produced in 2007 and beyond, the date of manufacture is a 10-digit date code printed on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom.  Digits five through nine represent the day and year of manufacture in DDDYY format. Date codes for recalled models manufactured from January 2, 2012 through August 15, 2017 are 00212 through 22717.  For units produced before 2007, a date code is not printed on the fire extinguisher.
Plastic-handle models produced between January 1, 1973 and October 25, 2015
Gillette TPS-1 1A10BC
Sams SM 340
Home 10BC
Sanford 1A10BC
Home 1A10BC
Sanford 2A40BC
Ademco 720 1A10BC
Home 2A40BC
Sanford TPS-1 1A10BC
Ademco 722 2A40BC
Home H-10 10BC
Sanford TPS-1 2A40BC
Home H-110 1A10BC
Sears 2RPS   5BC
All Purpose 2A40BC
Home H-240 2A-40BC
Sears 58033 10BC
Bicentenial RPS-2  10BC
Honeywell 1A10BC
Sears 58043 1A10BC
Bicentenial TPS-2  1A-10BC
Honeywell TPS-1 1A10BC
Sears 5805  2A40BC
Costco 340
J.L. 2A40BC
Sears 958034
FA 340HD
J.L. TPS-1 2A40BC
Sears 958044
Kadet 2RPS-1   5BC
Sears 958054
FC 340Z
Kidde 10BC
Sears 958075
FC Super
Kidde 1A10BC
Sears RPS-1 10BC
Kidde 2A40BC
Sears TPS-1  1A10BC
Fire Away 10BC Spanish
Kidde 40BC
Sears TPS-1 2A40BC
Fire Away 1A10BC Spanish
Kidde RPS-1 10BC
Traveler 10BC
Fire Away 2A40BC Spanish
Kidde RPS-1 40BC
Traveler 1A10BC
Fireaway 10 (F-10)
Kidde TPS-1 1A10BC
Traveler 2A40BC
Fireaway 10BC
Kidde TPS-1 2A40BC
Traveler T-10 10BC
Fireaway 110 (F-110)
KX 2-1/2 TCZ
Traveler T-110 1A10BC
Fireaway 1A10BC
Mariner 10BC
Traveler T-240 2A40BC
Fireaway 240 (F-240)
Mariner 1A10BC
Volunteer 1A10BC
Fireaway 2A40BC
Mariner 2A40BC
Volunteer TPS-V 1A10BC
Force 9 2A40BC
Mariner M-10  10BC
XL 2.5 TCZ
FS 340Z
Mariner M-110 1A10BC
XL 2.5 TCZ-3
Fuller 420  1A10BC
Mariner M-240 2A40BC
XL 2.5 TCZ-4
Fuller Brush 420 1A10BC
Master Protection 2A40BC
XL 2.75 RZ
Montgomery Ward 10BC
XL 2.75 RZ-3
Montgomery Ward 1A-10BC
XL 2-3/4 RZ
Montgomery Ward 8627 1A10BC
XL 340HD
Montgomery Ward 8637  10BC
Quell 10BC
Quell 1A10BC
Quell RPS-1 10BC
XL 5 TCZ-1
Quell TPS-1 1A10BC
Gillette 1A10BC
Quell ZRPS  5BC
Plastic-handle models with date codes between January 2, 2012 and August 15, 2017
Push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers: The recall involves eight models of Kidde Pindicator fire extinguishers manufactured between August 11, 1995 and September 22, 2017. The no-gauge push-button extinguishers were sold in red and white, and with a red or black nozzle. These models were sold primarily for kitchen and personal watercraft applications.
Push Button Pindicator Models manufactured between  August 11, 1995 and September 22, 2017
FF 210D-1
Consumers should immediately contact Kidde to request a free replacement fire extinguisher and for instructions on returning the recalled unit, as it may not work properly in a fire emergency.
Note: This recall includes fire extinguisher models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015. Kidde branded fire extinguishers included in these previously announced recalls should also be replaced. All affected model numbers are listed in the charts above.
Recall information for fire extinguishers used in RVs and motor vehicles can be found on NHTSA’s website.
The firm is aware of a 2014 death involving a car fire following a crash. Emergency responders could not get the recalled Kidde fire extinguishers to work. There have been approximately 391 reports of failed or limited activation or nozzle detachment, including the fatality, approximately 16 injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor burns, and approximately 91 reports of property damage.
Sold At:
Menards, Montgomery Ward, Sears, The Home Depot, Walmart and other department, home and hardware stores nationwide, and online at, and other online retailers for between $12 and $50 and for about $200 for model XL 5MR. These fire extinguishers were also sold with commercial trucks, recreational vehicles, personal watercraft and boats.
Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Company Inc., of Mebane, N.C.
Manufactured In:
United States and Mexico
About 37.8 million (in addition, 2.7 million in Canada and 6,730 in Mexico)
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
Toby Reich (KL2T) past president of SPARC
Jun 28, 2018 12:00 PM
Amateur Radio in the Homer Area
Past President Will Files
Jul 05, 2018 12:00 PM
Installation of Officers
Bob and Leslie Bell
Jul 12, 2018 12:00 PM
Habitat for Humanity
Boyd Walker
Jul 19, 2018 12:00 PM
Rotary Youth Exchange
Vivian Finlay
Jul 26, 2018 12:00 PM
Fellowship and Fun
District Governor Diane Fejes
Aug 16, 2018 12:00 PM
District Goveror Visit
Lee Post
Aug 30, 2018 12:00 PM
Bookstore, books, skeletons, kayaking, or...something
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