At 100kms an hour Cyclone Vardha was the final challenge flung at the Dazzling Dubai Team before Institute Chair V Raja Seenivasan and his Team 247 finally left Chennai. Jawarilal Jain, DGE 3231, faced a double whammy on the morning of the cyclone, as he wrapped up the final ceremonies of his daughter’s wedding, and rushed to the airport with spouse Sumithra to catch the delayed Dubai flight. It was a tired but excited group of DGEs who landed in Dubai, but were immediately enfolded in the warmth of the Dazzling Dubai Team’s welcome with long stemmed red roses, and of course dates and nuts.
The team’s journey began at the seaside foyer, where the DGEs realised how much was expected of them as leaders in the year ahead. The holiday excitement, the joy of that bus journey to a catamaran… rocking on the coastal waters in the catamaran was an unforgettable beginning. Seenivasan’s personal theme was, “Enjoy!” All stops were removed to ensure that.
One could see that Rotary was in a hurry to use the dazzling array of technological Rotary Astras to better effect!
RID Manoj Desai was proud and happy, waiting to hand over the trained Trendsetters to RIDE C Basker. RI President John Germ, with his special brand of dignity and humour, challenged each DGE to create the ultimate team. “Together we achieve,” he said, gamely supported by spouse Judy. “Remember all those who are going to live a better life because of you,” he reminded them. The magic of manifesting what you want by the power of your attention, was the magician’s theme as a magic show unfolded. That night everyone was under a spell. Under an almost full moon, playing games with the silver waves and the bright faces of our future leaders, nothing really seemed to be impossible.
The next morning GETS Chair Ravi Vadlamani offered the menu for the day. As always, Director Desai started with the cornerstone of our movement — the Strategic Plan. He provided a bird’s eye view of our well-loved goals of building better clubs, providing better projects and creating a better public image. The core values of friendship, integrity, diversity, service and leadership provided the background. The breakout sessions created the dazzling display of ideas one comes to expect from DGEs on the threshold of District leadership. The focus as always, was on the Foundation, membership and building public image. Technology took centrestage with Club Central, My Rotary and Rotary Showcase. One could see that Rotary was in a hurry to use the dazzling array of technological Rotary Astras to better effect! The RI South Asia staff were enthusiastic helpers. The Desert Safari that followed was the stuff of fantasy. Swooping through nature’s sand architecture was a mind-blowing experience. No one realised how cold the desert can be at night.
Our success will not happen because of single effort by one individual or because of any one thing — it will be the result of partnerships and team effort.
— RI President John Germ
The third day’s focus was on the lifeblood of Rotary: membership. As they planned their time at the International Assembly, DGEs focussed on membership strategy. The Idea Exchange focussed on how to attract, young members and women. Discussions on public image were full of great ideas. Connecting with clubs and using the new communication technologies were core issues. Building and leading teams became the ultimate goal. There were no lectures or talks. The sessions were interactive idea exchanges. The enthusiasm of the new leaders was evident as they explored the limits of the boundless territory ahead. “Even eagles need a push,” said RID Desai as he surveyed the terrain ahead with RIDE Basker. TRF Trustee representative Gary Huang kicked off the time to celebrate. The moving graduation ceremony brought the session to a close.
The Spouses Programme, chaired by Sharmishtha Desai, used the three days to train the partners of the DGEs to embark on that epic journey. The next year being the Centennial celebrations of TRF will be a very special journey, they were told.
The inspirational addresses of Judy Germ and Corinna Huang will long be remembered. President Germ concluded, “Our success will not happen because of the single effort by one individual or because of any one thing — it will be the result of partnerships and team effort. It will take people working together who are concerned with accomplishment rather than personal glory to achieve our goals.”
Technology is the ultimate Brahmastra. The only way to predict the future is to create it. Rotary is nothing if not proactive — as highlighted in the words of Michael McQueen: Digging wells before they are needed, avoiding auto pilot modes and viewing everything with new eyes. The clear theme running through all training sessions was technology with a heart.
Germ spoke of love, values and how the Four-way-test and the Right-way will never go out of fashion in the world of Rotary. IPRIP K R Ravindran, having ridden the technology wave by making Club Central and My Rotary a way of life while introducing the Rotary Global Rewards programme, provided the view ahead. Leaders were encouraged to create the wave, with innovations, proactive plans using technology, being the key themes.
The writer, PDG, D 3230, was part of Team DDZI.