El Cerrito Rotary Bulletin for Oct 25, 2018

El Cerrito Rotary – The Wheel

October 25, 2018

Editor:  Gary Buffon




President Terry:  greeted everyone and Sal led the pledge.  Terry provided a thought for today.


Guests and visiting Rotarians:   None today



  • Terry announced the TGIFF in San Pablo. Sounds like a great event, go attend if you can.
  • Jane had another medical procedure and will be laid up for a couple of weeks. Terry wanted to make sure we cover the speakers for Nov and Dec in her absence.  We need a speaker for Nov 1st and Nov 8th.


 Happy Dollars:   

Marty is happy he went to Marla memorial and learned more about what she did in life and the positive impact she made on so many others.  Gary is happy the Interact members are doing grammar school visits and enjoying it.  Lee is happy about his daughter getting married and explained the parties and two weddings that will take place.  Jack is happy for his relaxing trip to Hawaii.  Sal had $3 and was happy for no good reason.  Terry is happy about his daughter’s excitement over Halloween.  Sonya is happy to be going to Las Vegas with her Mom for a vacation.


Sgt at Arms:  Sal did a great job on the table trivia but a couple of his questions were weak so he did not collect as much $$ as he wanted.


  • Terry played a celebration video about the progress of eliminating polio with the song written by Bob Marley. 


Today’s Program:

Lee introduced Jane and Rich Bartke to speak to us about the Sundar Shadi holiday display.  The story began in 1949 and over the next 50 years we learned about how the display began and was continually added to each year by Sundar until he had a display that took three lots and a staggering number of volunteers to put it up every year.  Sundar was an amazing person who came to this country as an immigrant and secured a masters degree in horticulture and owned a couple of gas stations and other assets.  He had the desire to make a difference and did exactly that.  He contributed $250 thousand dollars to the city to support the building of a new city hall.  The building has a historical room which honors Sundar and other who have made a difference   Sundar and his wife Dorothy have three daughters who has also been instrumental in a number of things including the continuation of Sundar’s display.  In 2000 the display was given to the city.  At that time the diplay had over 500 pieces.  There was a need for electricy for the display so its current location on Moeser an electric pole has been placed by PG&E and late Rotarian Mike Gonzalez being an electrician did a lot of the work to bring electricity to the location for the display.  Jane and Richard explained how the figures havev been maintained.  The display is set up Dec 15th and is taken down on Dec 27th.    This was an excellent presentation and gave us all a better understanding of the historical and current significance of the display.  We were given donation envelopes and other information about how to become involved.  It is possible to be a docent at the display to sign up send an email to Donna.houser@alumni.Berkeley .edu.  You can keep informed by visiting www.facebook.com/Sundar-shadi-holiday-display.com.  You can also volunteer for assisting restoration efforts.  These dates are 9:30 to 11:30a at the recycling center on March 10, Apr 14, May 19, June 9, July 14, Aug 11, Sept 8 and Oct 13.  All dates are 2019.  It is amazing how much of the display has been restored but there is much more to do. Jane and Richard had a sheep with them that had been restored and it was impressive.

Jane and Richard Bartke spoke to us about the Sundar Shadi Holiday Display.  Sundar was 96 when he passed and he was still working on the display up to the end of his life.  Talk about a life mission!!

Jane and Richard Bartke 

A big thank you to Lee for inviting Jane and Richard to be our guests today!!!



Raffle Winners.

The marble game ticket pulled belonged to Sonya who drew a the gold marble and won the pot of $55..  Marty had his ticket drawn and won the tickets to the Opera.  Sonya won the bottle of wine.  Next week the pot will be $50. 



Thought for the Week: 

People like Sundar Shadi are such an inspiration and they represent a role model for the rest of us.  Always approach things with the end in mind and set up the circumstance so that you are not irreplaceable because just like the holiday display, it has now taken on a life that has a lot of people who are involved and want to see it continue.