Burlingame Rotary Club
Founded in 1925

High Gear Bulletin


Zoom Meeting - Wednesday, August 25, 2021

High Gear Editor: Lisa Goldman

President Joe LaMariana called the meeting to order at 12:15.
This Week: Lisa Goldman led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Joe Galligan shared some remembrances of our dear friend and former Rotarian Rosalie O’Mahoney, who passed away on August 14. Joe told us that Rosalie always followed Rotary’s Four Way Test. When Joe heard of Rosalie’s passing, he thought about September 11. That morning, Joe called Rosalie at 6:30 a.m. Rosalie told Joe to get the grey binder and figure out what he was supposed to do that day. In those days, there was a binder that passed from Mayor to Mayor that had information about what to do in an emergency. When President Bush closed down SFO, Joe and Rosalie called all of Burlingame’s hotels and helped arrange for the hotels to house people stuck at the airport and made sure the hotels only charged employee rates. Joe shared other stories about their shared time on the City Council, including Rosalie’s ability to wield the gavel with a mighty hand.
For the invocation, Joe recited an Irish prayer for the departed:
Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, that, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before, only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.
Guests of the club:  Today’s guests included our guest speaker, Janet Martin, and Jim Nantell, former Rotarian and former Burlingame City Manager.
Sunshine Report:  President Joe let us know that Cheri Carr had a brain aneurysm that required extensive emergency surgery, but she is doing well now. Keep healing Cheri!
Rotary District News:  There is a blood drive Sept. 17 – October 1. Go to the District website for registration and information.  The District is also hosting The Climate Crisis - Rotary Making a Difference, a presentation and discussion, on Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Sign up on the District website.
In Memoriam, Rosalie O’Mahoney:
Lisa Goldman spoke about Rosalie and her many contributions to the City of Burlingame. First, Lisa let the group know that Rosalie was her sponsor for Rotary but only attended a couple of meetings with Lisa before quitting the club.  Coincidence?  Rosalie was appointed to the Burlingame Beautification Commission in 1986 and to the City Council in 1989. She was a five-time Mayor, serving in 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004, and 2008. She was the only woman to serve as Mayor that many times, and only the fourth person in Burlingame history to do so. Rosalie represented the City of Burlingame on many regional agencies including the Airport Roundtable, the San Mateo County Emergency Services Council, the City/ County Association of Governments, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, and the San Mateo County Investment Advisory Committee.
She was very committed to the City’s infrastructure, making sure that the City took care of its streets, sidewalks, storm drains, etc.  She was also instrumental in getting the Broadway overpass funded and was there for both the groundbreaking ceremony and the ribbon cutting ceremony when the project was completed. If you walk over the north side of the overpass bridge, you can see Rosalie’s name on the plaque commemorating the project. 
Finally, Rosalie was a founding member of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency and served as the City’s representative on that agency’s board, as well as the City’s Storm Drain Citizens Oversight Committee, even after she left the Council.
Jim Nantell, former Burlingame City Manager, spoke of his years working with Rosalie. She was the consummate professional Councilmember and a wonderful mentor. Jim knew Rosalie from Our Lady of Angels parish even before he came to work for Burlingame. She had this ability to give people a look to keep them in line. She used that frequently on former Councilmembers Joe Galligan and Mike Coffey.  She was one of those Councilmembers who also read their agenda packets and was on top of everything. She was well respected and had great influence throughout the community and the region. She made sure the City continued to invest in infrastructure through good economic times and bad.
Father Michael Mahoney let the group know that his name when he was born was Michael O’Mahoney. Back in the 1980s, Rosalie called him Father Michael O’Mahoney. They were born less than 20 miles from each other. Rosalie was a County Kerry woman and he was a County Cork man, but they had some people in common in Ireland. Rosalie was direct, principled, unwavering, thorough, and realistic. She wasn’t very involved in the social life of the parish and didn’t join a lot of groups, but she was a woman of prayer. She attended church frequently until almost the end. Anyone living south of Sanchez is in St. Catherine’s parish.  Anyone living north of Sanchez to the Millbrae border is in Our Lady of Angels’ parish. Rosalie attended mass at OLA every Sunday. But since she lived south of Sanchez, she considered herself a St. Cat’s parishioner. In that way she was true to her principles. Her funeral service will be at St. Cat’s this Saturday, August 28, at 9:30 a.m.
After the reflections, the Club was treated to a slide show featuring photos and remembrances of Rosalie put together by Mike Heffernan and Jim Shypertt.
Program:  Emily Matthews introduced today’s speaker, Janet Martin.  Janet has lived in Burlingame all of her life. She grew up here and has been an active member of the community. She runs the Studio Shop Gallery with her husband. Janet started out with some thoughts about Rosalie, noting that she was an amazing woman, ahead of her time, and a role model for all of us.
Janet’s presentation was on the importance of art and how art in a home and a work environment finishes a room and enhances a space.  Founded in 1915, the Studio Shop is the oldest retail shop in Burlingame. Janet’s parents bought the shop in 1955 with a $500 down payment. The shop’s services include art and design consulting, curation of local and international artists, and fine art picture framing.
Last year, the business had to shut down for 2.5 months because of the pandemic. Surprisingly, 2020 was their best year ever as people focused on their homes, wanting them to be a place of comfort, rest, and relaxation. Buying art online became the new trendy thing to do. But seeing art in person makes a difference. The Studio Shop offers in-home consultations and lets people borrow art to see how it looks in their homes.
Art is important because it is good for the soul, reflects one’s personality, and sparks human creativity. It finishes a room, tying it together, serving as a focal point, and making a space livable. Art is an investment that can be passed down to family and friends. It makes history and helps future generations understand the past. Art curation is also fun. Janet then showed beautiful photos of art in people’s homes and in work spaces and answered questions from the group.
President Joe closed out the meeting at 1:30 after thanking our presenter.
Link to Recording
Watch the recording of the Zoom meeting here.
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