Hello my dear friends,
I am writing this from San Diego. Every time I come here for the International Assembly, I am impressed, just the way you all past Governors can’t forget this experience.
I firmly believe that the great international experience we get here, get trained, make friends for life and get inspired by ‘Enter to Learn & Go forth to Serve’ holds the secret to Rotary’s success.
Friends, think of it like this. If each District Governor makes training important and fascinating, your districts will be vibrant. I request you to focus on this and not dilute the importance of training.
Here is the theme for 2017–18 that President Elect Ian Riseley released with excerpts from his speech at the Assembly:
Rotary: Making a Difference
Some years ago, a new acquaintance asked me what should have been a simple question: “What is Rotary?”
I opened my mouth to reply and then stopped short with the realisation that I simply did not know where to begin. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what Rotary was. The problem was that Rotary was and is too large and complex to easily define. We are a member-based, club-based and a service-based organisation; we are local, regional, and international; we are community members, businesspeople and professionals, working and retired, active in nearly every country in the world. Every one of our 1.2 million members has a unique set of goals, experiences and priorities; every one of us has a unique understanding of Rotary. To me, Rotary is defined not by who we are, but by what we do, by the potential that Rotary gives us, and the ways we realise that potential in meaningful and lasting service…. In our fundamentals, however, we remain the same: an organisation of people with the desire and through Rotary, the ability to make a difference in our communities, and the world. We answer the question “What is Rotary?” with our actions, by making a difference through our service….
As Rotarians, we have more flexibility than ever to decide how we want our clubs to meet, work and grow. We’re focused more than ever on making sure that Rotary reflects the people it serves…. And we’re working hard to ensure that Rotary remains the world’s pre-eminent volunteer service organisation, by emphasising long-term planning, sustainable service and continuity in leadership on every level. In 2017–18, we will answer the question: “What is Rotary?” with the theme Rotary: Making a Difference. Whether we are building a new playground or a new school, improving medical care or sanitation, training conflict mediators or midwives, we know that the work we do will change people’s lives in ways large and small…. Whatever motivation each of us had for joining Rotary, it is the satisfaction we find in Rotary that causes us to remain, the satisfaction of knowing that week by week, year by year, we are part of Rotary: Making a Difference. (Please visit Rotary website for complete text of the speech).
Director, Rotary International