District Governor 2016 Introduction
Both continuity and change are needed in Rotary. We need to hold on to our core values and consider ways to make our Rotary Clubs more relevant and ready for new Rotarians and future generations.
We need to decide what is relevant for our communities and for our Clubs. Change will come from Clubs, because you know the needs of your local community and you know how best your Club will function and attract new members. I urge you to create the Club that suits and represents your community.
Continuity involves continuing and strengthening those things Rotarians do well.
We need to maintain our “can do” attitude. There are so many areas in which we have been very successful - working for clean, safe water; spreading literacy; working in so many ways with our youth. And of course, our greatest project, polio eradication.
In 2017, The Rotary Foundation celebrates 100 years in which we have been improving people’s lives in our communities and overseas communities.
We are also just about at the point where we will have no recorded cases of polio and the start of a 3-year period before the World Health Organisation declares polio’s eradication. You have done great work supporting this cause for over 30 years and we need to see it through to the finish.
When we see off the last case of polio, we need to let people know that Rotary helped rid the world of this disease, not just for the developed world but for the developing world. If Rotary can do that, how much more are we capable of doing to make this world a better, safer, more peaceful place.
The projects we carry out in our communities are the key to retaining our relevance and growing our membership. Whatever it is we do in Rotary it should be something that we enjoy doing and which the connections and knowledge of Rotary allow us to do better than if we did it by ourselves.
Rotary International President John Germ’s theme for 2016-17 is “Rotary Serving Humanity”. In his words, “Service to humanity has been the cornerstone of Rotary since its earliest days, and has been its main purpose ever since. I believe that there is no better path to meaningful service today than Rotary membership; and no organization better placed to make a real and positive difference in our world.
No other organization so effectively brings together committed, capable professionals in a wide variety of fields, and enables them to achieve ambitious goals. Through Rotary, we have the capacity, the network, and the knowledge to change the world: the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.”
Your efforts as Rotarians are simply overwhelming. The benefits to your communities are immense and cannot be measured. I look forward to working with you over the next year.