Rotary will miss you, PRIP Carlo Ravizza

It is hard to believe that the lion amongst Rotarians has stopped roaring. An upright visionary and outspoken… that was the personality of this outstanding Rotarian, PRIP Carlo Ravizza. I was fortunate to serve as the district governor in the year he was the President of Rotary ­International. My first meeting with him was in my home town Calcutta, when he and his gracious wife Rossana had come to the Calcutta Zone Institute.

Rashi and RI President Shekhar Mehta (then DGE) greets Carlo Ravizza, the then RIPE, and Rossana at the 1999 International Assembly.
Rashi and RI President Shekhar Mehta (then DGE) greets Carlo Ravizza, the then RIPE, and Rossana at the 1999 International Assembly.

Spending five days with him in my own city was indeed a privilege. He was a man who wanted to make major changes in Rotary, who had a sharp mind and spoke candidly. His clarion call of “Two ow ow ow” to all the Rotarians serving in the millennium year made Captain Carlo a big hit amongst his crew.

The theme of the year ‘Act with ­Consistency, Credibility, Continuity’ had great meaning and inspired all of us to put in our best. After the first meeting, Rashi and I met him in Anaheim at the ­International Assembly, then at the Dhaka ­Conference and several occasions thereafter in our ­journey in Rotary. Each time we met the warmth was the same.

In later years, age did start showing but it did not affect his spirit one bit. May his soul now rest in peace. Our heartfelt condolences to Rossana and her family.

(The writer is RI President)

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