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New Rotarians Detail Life Experiences

By Mitch Lehman
San Marino Tribune

Rotary Club of San Marino calls them craft talks — convivial presentations in which a club member becomes the featured speaker at a Rotary meeting, telling about his life and work. Former Rotarian Bill Steele maintained that such occasional briefings were his favorite programs, and undoubtedly he’s not the only one who feels that way.
The format was used to pleasing effect last week at San Marino Community Church’s Fellowship Hall, where new club members Grant Fujiwara and Michel Roy offered interesting insights into their differing backgrounds.
A lifetime San Marinan who ran for City Council last November, Fujiwara progressed through local public schools, from Valentine Elementary through San Marino High, where he was a swimmer who specialized in the 500-yard freestyle. He was also a Boy Scout in Troop 351 and earned the Eagle Award.
Fujiwara then attended the University of La Verne, where he was a member of the International Student Organization.
Nowadays he is in the business of medical devices and currently sells pediatric wheelchairs.
The new Rotarian said his hobbies include music, hiking, traveling and ballroom dancing, prompting club President Rob Feidler to perform a couple of steps, which Fujiwara did, drawing on his specialty, Latin music.
“I love the salsa,” he said.
Fujiwara mentioned that he has also recently taken up golf and that his bucket list includes traveling to every state and hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
He yielded the stage to Roy, who explained that his last name has a French pronunciation, “Wa,” in keeping with his Canadian roots.
Roy, who the club said owns and manages a small portfolio of apartment buildings, as well as industrial and medical office properties, mentioned that his hobbies include golf and black-and-white photography. He explained that he moved to San Marino to get closer to the San Gabriel Country Cub, which he loves dearly.
“I have a great wife, country club and dark room,” Roy said. “That about sums it up.”
Roy talked about his daughter, an equestrian, and his son, a chef who attended Pasadena Culinary Institute.
Since moving to San Marino, Roy said he has become active at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens. He said that Rotary gives him a great opportunity to use his knowledge and skills to give back to his community.


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