Leaders from community, Suquamish meet
March 30, 2012 · Updated 2:57 PM
SUQUAMISH — North Kitsap community leaders, members and guests of local Rotary clubs and the Suquamish Tribe met March 13 in the House of Awakened Culture to promote fellowship and learn about Suquamish Tribal history and culture.
A social hour and buffet dinner opened the event, which was catered by Central Market, with smoked salmon provided by the Suquamish Tribe. The buffet and social hour were followed by a presentation on Suquamish history and culture by Suquamish historic preservation officer Dennis Lewarch and Suquamish Chairman Leonard Forsman.
Also during the event, Meredith Green and Mike Scott were recognized as Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotarians of the Year for their contributions to the community.
Organized by the Poulsbo- North Kitsap Rotary Club, the event was attended by more than 225 people, including Suquamish officials Morrie Black Eagle and Jay Mills, Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, Poulsbo City Councilman Ed Stern, Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder, Rotary District Governor David Stocks, Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotary Club President Steve Garfein, and officers and members from the Poulsbo, Kingston, Bainbridge Island, East Bremerton and Bremerton Rotary clubs.
Garfein explained that the event was an expanded version of what are normally much smaller monthly “firesides,” typically held by individual Rotary clubs in a club member’s house, to encourage fellowship and learn more about Rotary in a relaxed social setting.
He said the idea of holding this large “fireside,” using the House of Awakened Culture as the venue, emerged in the course of discussions with Forsman and Port Madison Enterprises CEO Russell Steele during their recent visits to the Poulsbo club. All agreed such a gathering would be a great opportunity to enhance community awareness of Suquamish culture and the role of Rotary, and would fit well with the tradition of the Longhouse being a community gathering place.
Many of the participants had never been inside the House of Awakened Culture and openly marveled at its beauty and scale. The presentation about the Tribe provided an increased appreciation of pre-contact history and the longhouse, as its role in the culture was explained.