Emmy Iheme, a fellow Rotarian from RC of Oshawa is a retired Staff Sergeant from Durham Regional Police Services. After 29 years on the force, he is now able to devote his time to his family and his volunteer life. But before we get to that, a few bits from his life’s story. Emmy was born in Lagos Nigeria into a loving, supportive and well educated family who shaped his values and life’s arc. As a promising young soccer player, Emmy was awarded a scholarship into the farm system of a European soccer club. So began his teenage years in Europe. After several transfers, he landed in Italy, released from the soccer obligations and able to attend university, which he did at the Vatican! His slides of home, Italy and Pope John Paul II were a great opportunity for us to travel vicariously this morning.

His friendship with a Canadian family whom he met while at the Vatican Museum led him to Canada in the early 80”s. And in 1985, he accepted a position with Durham Regional P.S. While at university Emmy had specialized in conflict resolution thus he was well prepared for some of the challenges he would encounter during his next 29 years. He worked across Durham region from Whitby and Oshawa to Clarington, beginning as a foot patrol and rising first to C.I.D., then homicide detective, then Executive Officer and finally Staff Sergeant, platoon leader. He retired in 2019.

His professional life was the catalyst for his community involvement especially in his desire to make a positive influence on youth. To that end, an example of his volunteerism is his 2019 co-chairing of the Ontario Parasport Games where over 450 athletes from around the province came to Durham to compete. His photos of some of the athletes and games illustrated how gifted and talented these athletes are.
In addition to coaching, Emmy is involved with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports. This organization works with Canadian athletes of all ages to educate them on the dangers of drug use (both recreationally and as athletic enhancements). This work has taken him to many schools from elementary to university, to the Para Olympic Games in Vancouver and Turin, and this summer to the Games in Tokyo.
As a Rotarian, Emmy has worked extensively on a project sponsored by his club and the RC of Whitby Sunrise who have dedicated time, talent and resources for the past 20 years to migrant sugar cane workers in Dominican Republic. These workers, many immigrants from Haiti, live in very poor conditions. Furthermore, when they arrive in DR, their passports are taken rendering them stateless thereby exacerbating their vulnerability. The Rotary clubs support the workers by installing solar panels and water filtration systems, by erecting playground equipment for the children and by creating a home sewing programme that makes feminine hygiene kits. Providing the hygiene products allows the young women to continue their lives outside their homes every day of the month, prevents disruption of school, and supports school completion. In addition, the clubs help fund technical and culinary programmes for the students at the secondary level. This training allows the student to find employment away from the sugar cane plantations and essentially break the bonds of “contemporary slavery”. Emmy Iheme has given generously of himself in a number of ways throughout his life.