Posted by Ron Dick

On Thursday, October 12, 2017,  The Rotary Club of Oshawa held a Night of a Thousand Dinners with members of the Rotary Club of Oshawa, Rotary Club of Oshawa - Parkwood and Rotary Club of Ajax in attendance, at the Officers' Mess of the Ontario Regiment in Oshawa, Ontario. The gala dinner ensured that proceeds went to support the Canadian Landmine Foundation, with the removal of landmines around the world.

Senator Art Eggleton, was the keynote speaker at the Event in Oshawa. Senator Eggleton was the Canadian Defence Secretary, at the time that the Landmines Treaty was signed .

Left to right - Senator Art Eggleton, Rotarian Trish Best, Rotary Club of Oshawa President Ron Dick

It is easy to forget about the landmine issue. This is a man-made disaster that affects the most disenfranchised people in the world. Thousands are affected – through the loss of livelihoods and/or loss of limbs. People are hospitalized daily as a result of landmines.
 
For every step North Americans take every day – without a care – civilians in too many other parts of the world have to be wary where they step. In Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East (Afghanistan, in particular) and eastern Europe, every day civilians pay a deadly (or at least debilitating) price when leftover landmines catch them unawares.
 
Canadians have a special relationship with this issue. Since the Ottawa Treaty of 1997, three quarters of the world's countries have banned their use, production, and trade. Sixty million landmines held in stockpiles have been destroyed with an estimated 60 million to go.The use of landmines has almost ended and clearing efforts are making it increasingly possible for children to play, farmers to farm and animals to graze without fear and brutal injury or death
 
Rotary has been a key supporter of the effort to eradicate mines and support those affected. Plus, the Canadian Landmine Foundation is recognized as one of the key organizations in the fight to stop their use, and in the support of those farmers, fathers, mothers, children, and peacekeepers who have been hurt. Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 7070 (southern Ontario_ are being encouraged to have a Night of A Thousand Dinners (also called “Meals for a Mine Free World”)  event as a way to highlight this issue and show that Rotary cares.
 
The Night of a Thousand Dinners (N1KD) campaign, has been rejuvenated by Rotary in Canada, and District 7070 in particluar, which hopes to see thousands of Canadians come together to support the campaign against landmines. Celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney, former Governor General Michaëlle Jean, and former US Secretary of State Colin Powell have all been involved with N1KD events. At its peak, 90% of Canadian Rotary Districts were hosting dinners and there was participation in over forty countries worldwide.
 
The use of landmines has almost ended and clearing efforts are making it increasingly possible for children to play and farmers to farm without fear and brutal injury or death.  Changing the world takes money. Fortunately, with landmine eradication, even small amounts of funding can make a significant difference in the lives of a community. And that is why the Rotary Club of Oshawa hosted this gala dinner and evening, with memebrs from the Rotary Clubs of Oshawa-Parkwood and Ajax in full support.
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