I greet you tonight from my home,” said DG Thomas Vavanikunnel as he welcomed Rotarians of RID 3211 to the induction of 361 members in the district’s clubs through a zoom meeting. All new members lighted a candle and their spouses pinned the Rotary pin on them as the new members displayed their membership certificates on the screen.
TRF Trustee Chair K R Ravindran congratulated the DG for organising “this unique ceremony” and hoped “other districts follow this solemn and humble idea.” Stressing on membership retention he said “Make these new members feel valued so that they choose to stay with Rotary. It will be my absolute pleasure to meet all the 361 of them in person when I come there next year.”
Ravindran shared with the new members how Rotarians, including himself, played an important role in saving the life of a little boy named Zachary from Mongolia. “You will get opportunities to serve and make a difference in the life of other people because you are going to be part of this great organisation that makes the world a better place. Rotary will help you grow as a professional and make you a better person,” he said.
DG Vavanikunnel was happy to announce that 34 new women members were inducted this year. “They are all professional women eager to get involved in community service in our district. I wish them luck and hope their numbers grow in Rotary,” he said. Dressed in the traditional white and gold Kerala sari, one of the new members, Dr Anu Antony Varghese from RC Travancore Trivandrum, said “I want to help my community, but realised that I can’t do it alone. I have seen and heard about Rotary making a difference and I am glad to be part of it now.”
The induction ceremony with a participation of over 750 national and international guests was organised by PDG R Reghunath and his wife Parvathy “and they have done an amazing job. Preparations began a month ago, there were rehearsals of the ceremony and club presidents received clear instructions about what had to be done,” said the DG.
To ensure that the families of the newly-inducted members felt included, Annets and Rotaractors shared their Rotary experience. “As the induction is taking place from the comforts of our homes you have a better chance to experience Rotary along with your family,” said PDG Reghunath to the newcomers. He added that “this is a glimpse of how you will enjoy Rotary together. You and your spouse will serve meals to the needy, be part of a cleanliness drive, aid in relief activities and attend district conferences.”
RI Director Floyd Lancia (RID 6540, US) was a special invitee.