The Rotary year has come to a close. A year full of activities which saw enthusiastic participation from all Rotarians. Having interacted with so many Rotarians and participated in a number of Rotary activities in this Zone, I must say we are part of a winning team. And by that I mean winning the hearts of the communities whom we serve. We must earn the goodwill of corporates by involving them in Rotary projects. We should keep motivating and energising the spirit of our fellow Rotarians. The force is with us and we must keep the momentum going and for this we must celebrate our accomplishments. You are aware that the media and the business world regularly organise seminars, conferences, award ceremonies and galas. These occasions are used to celebrate achievements and commend exemplary contributions. Such activities kindle enthusiasm and develop a competitive mindset. Unfortunately, within Rotary the realities of club-based politics can turn celebratory moments into a tightrope walk for the leaders of winning teams. I have seen many Rotarians wanting to give credit and encouragement where it is due, but holding themselves back because they do not wish to be seen as boastful. There is a distinction we must make between recognition and boasting. The first is important as it celebrates achievement; the second is mere hot air. At the same time, the achievements we recognise have to be inspirational and memorable, else, the purpose of the celebration is lost.
Also we must celebrate important events as these are milestones in the journeys of our clubs. Celebrating important events such as installation of new officers, Governors’ official visits, contributing to TRF and participating in district programmes and service projects are milestones that infuse life into Rotary. A celebration need not be ostentatious. It can be as simple as recognising the performance of an individual Rotarian or the overall success of the club/district in the preceding 12 months. Success should be celebrated when a fellow Rotarian achieves a goal for Rotary. Personal efforts count when the achievement contributes to the team’s common goal. Every achievement that contributes to the mission of Rotary is the real success of the club.
Share your accomplishments. But not solely with your fellow Rotarians. Leverage the power of social media and share your successes; you can list your projects and the important achievements of your Rotary activities, making it visible for others to see what you and your club have done. Remember to make your club’s achievements specific and meaningful. Many accomplishments in the Rotary world need some numerical benchmarks particularly in terms of retention, membership, extension and contribution to The Rotary Foundation. We should also create more awareness among new and young Rotarians about that benchmark in order to show why it matters for the growth.
It is my duty to salute and thank all Rotarians of Zones 4, 5 and 6 (South Asia) for their involvement in Rotary activities in the year gone by. I am truly proud of your good work.
Let us prepare for Rotary Year 2018–19.
Let us show the world that Rotary is making a difference.
Director, Rotary International