Today was a great day in Rotary. Kathleen received a Paul Harris fellow, Adrienne and Gerry received a True Rotarian award, and we were visited by our District Governor. Plus we added a new member and the 50/50 didn't go!
January 21, 2011 Today was an especially fantastic day. Kim Carter, Don MacNeil were both guests today. Mark Brown, our District Governor, was in to speak with us. First off though, we had some awards to hand out. Kathleen was the recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow. The Paul Harris Fellowship is named for Paul Harris, who founded Rotary over 100 years ago. The Fellowship was established in his honour in 1957 to express appreciation and recognition for a contribution of US $1000 to the Rotary Foundation. A Paul Harris Fellow is an individual who contributes $1,000 US or in whose name that amount is contributed. Great job Kathleen! You see what happens everybody when you make a monthly commitment, it quickly adds up. You too can be working towards a fellow like Kathleen! We also handed out two True Rotarian awards to Gerry and Adrienne. The True Rotarian Award is presented to a Rotarian who demonstrates through his/her Rotary and community life that he/she lives by the four-way test and provides 'Service Above Self'. The "True Rotarian" has a Rotary attitude. This is a person who conducts him/herself following the 4-way Test at all times, who is humble, does not flatter wealth or boast of his/her own possessions or achievements. This Rotarian speaks with frankness yet always with sincerity and sympathy. After having communicated his/her differences, he/she supports the activities of others even if the direction may not parallel with their thinking. Deeds follow words, and this Rotarian thinks of the rights and feelings of others. This Rotarian always appears well in any company and is a person whose honour is sacred. The "True Rotarian" is the foundation of Rotary â€" always there, contributing to the current Rotary activity and by any Rotarian's measure, is the life blood of Rotary. (I debated whether or not to actually paste that entire explanation. The more I thought about it though, the more I thought it should be there. This is truly how I, and am sure others, see how Gerry and Adrienne conduct themselves. Congrats to both of them, this is an award to be proud of!) As if that was not already a great start, we inducted a new member to our club, but not to Rotary, Peter Skakum. Welcome Peter! We had a great presentation from Mark. He spoke about our focuses for the district this year. First is Public Relations. Mark mentioned that in our district we have put over a million dollars into our community this year. But who knows this? What do the public know about Rotary? A lot of people still consider Rotary a bunch of old men. We need to let people know what we are doing. Second focus is Communications. The district is trying to send clubs only things that are important. Also-Mark mentioned that there are some people that cannot be Rotarians for whatever reason, schedule, and family life. But these people still contribute to their communities and we should work to recognize this. Rotary Foundation-we need to be maximizing our grants. We need to communicate and be more helpful to our clubs so that we can get money to the clubs. Mark also spoke about speaking with Rotary's International President. A major theme with Rotary this year is Building Communities Bridging Continents. Our president spoke about how he wants to change Rotary to fit with the future of Rotary. This was a major theme the night before in our executive meeting as well. Mark spoke passionately about how he feels we should be looking at the future of Rotary. We need to engage young people, they are the future! We need to work on Public Relations so people know who we are and might want to join us. And he spoke about not looking at this year as "Mark Brown's year", we need to be constantly be working to improve on everything and working together for the present and the future of Rotary. And this is true within each club as well; the current president should be working with future presidents. Close to the end of our meeting Mark outlined six goals for the district this year. 1. Look at memberships and prepare membership plans for the next 3 years 2. Fellowship events-have two per year. 3. This was an interesting one. Identify the major needs in your community. See how you're spending matches up with that need. If not matching, see what you can do to begin the process of partnerships to help with that specific need. 4. Look at the membership and identify somebody to be recognized. 5. Begin process to encourage Rotarians in District to go somewhere in the 3rd world to explore and experience opportunities of service. 6. As 3 clubs to commit to establish an Interact club in their area. In closing, Mark told us that there are lots of places to learn about Rotary, so learn. Be involved, don't be a RINO!