Keynote Speaker:  John Burns, District Governor
Topic: “Vision for Rotary Year 2023/2024
Host: Akm Khorshed Khan, Assistant Governor
Rotary Toronto Meeting Wednesday, October 4th, 2023 
Dinner at The National Club, 303 Bay Street, Toronto
Views and Opinions Expressed Disclaimer:  The views and opinions are those expressed by the Speaker and do not necessarily reflect the official views or opinions, policy or position of The Rotary Club of Toronto or its Members.



John was born in Scotland and emigrated to Canada, and is now a proud Canadian citizen. He is married to Pauline Calvert, a longtime Rotarian and Past President of the Bowmanville Club (2000-2001). They are the proud parents of two children, Rachel and Adam and are grandparents to four grandchildren. Rachel Boyd, true to family tradition, is now a most successful Past President of the Rotary Club of Bowmanville Rotary Club (2022-2023). Both Pauline and John retired from their respective careers in 2014, and now live in Newcastle in Wilmot Creek, a grouping of more than 1600 residents. Both are very involved in many activities and volunteering is a huge part of their days. Playing golf and travelling are much enjoyed when time permits.

John's worldwide career extended over 40 years and was largely centred in the Wood-based Panel Board Industry. He served as a negotiator, a problem-solver, and a manager of 400+ people as well as in project management and was also a self-employed consultant. Many of those skills will be employed as he serves as our District Governor in 2023-2024. Just as an interesting aside, John's second language is German.

With John's retirement in 2014, he was able to dedicate more time to volunteering, and he quickly became a committed Rotarian with the Bowmanville Rotary Club serving in many capacities including Chair of the New Member Committee, Director of International Service, President-Elect, and then President in 2018-2019. Becoming an Assistant Governor meant supporting the Rotary Clubs of Oshawa, Oshawa Parkwood, Bowmanville and Courtice, and in 2021-2022 he was named as the District Governor Nominee, and the rest is history.