BARRIE ISLAND—With the fun, camaraderie and travelling she is able to take part in as a member of the Friendship Force Toronto chapter, Carolyn Lane-Rock is hoping to start a chapter on Manitoulin Island.
“I belong to the Friendship Force Chapter of Toronto, and I would like to start a chapter on Manitoulin Island,” Ms. Lane-Rock told the Recorder last week at her home in Barrie Island where she was hosting 13 fellow members of the Toronto chapter.
. “The Friendship Force was founded by former US president Jimmy Carter to promote friendships and international relationships, peace and good will around the world.”
“Once a chapter is formed locally, you visit the international group in Atlanta (Georgia) and can visit and host other chapters,” said Ms. Lane-Rock. “The club or members that are hosting another club and its members put together a plan of events and sites to see in an area, and billet them.”
“It is like a cultural exchange,” said one member of the Toronto chapter.
Ms. Lane-Rock said through the exchange program she has been to Japan. “I went to Japan with our chapter about a year and a half ago, and am going to Utah, Colorado and Wyoming this fall. Once you become a member you can go on exchanges to other
groups-areas.” Generally a club member will visit another area no more than seven days on a trip, it was pointed out.
The Toronto chapter has about 40 members in total. And it is obvious that club members enjoy each other’s company, this reporter was only on hand for about half an hour to conduct this interview, and there was lots of laughter, discussion and good natured ribbing between members. There was a real sense of friendship and camaraderie.
“When I invited the members of our chapter here, I thought three people would visit,” quipped Ms. Lane-Rock. “I have so many people here this week I’m sleeping in a tent.” Actually, she pointed out, most of the chapter members were staying at McLaughlin’s Apartments in Gore Bay for the week.
“Usually our members get together once a month,” said one member.
“I see this as a group of people that are very supportive of one another. If one person is sick we all worry about them,” said Ms. Lane-Rock.
“For this visit Gloria and I put together a three-day program,” said Ms. Lane-Rock. “We have had a very active few days, we have visited Meeker’s fish farm, were taken on a tour of Misery Bay Provincial Park by Gaynor Orford, had dinner at the Meldrum Bay Inn. Today we visited Gore Bay and toured Barrie Island and Thursday we will be going to Kagawong, visiting the Ojibway Cultural Foundation in M’Chigeeng, and then tour Split Rail Brewery in Gore Bay and have dinner at the Manitoulin Island Country Club,” continued Ms. Lane-Rock, “and on Friday we will be visiting the farmers’ market in Gore Bay.”
There are currently around 300 Friendship Force chapters around the world, in a total of 333 countries.
“It is great for tourism in an area and members-visitors love all the attractions we have on the Island,” stated Ms. Lane-Rock.
Ms. Lane-Rock said, “I would like to see if there is any interest in having a Manitoulin Friendship Force group started on the Island. If there is people can contact me.” You can contact Ms. Lane-Rock at email@example.com