“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” – 1 Peter 4:10
The Rotary International (RI) organization, now in its 112th year, evolved from the world’s first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago. This club was formed by Paul P. Harris, an attorney, who wanted to create in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The Rotary name derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members’ offices.
I am now in my 30th year serving as a Rotarian and it has been a very stimulating, educational, humbling and generally gratifying experience. Last week, I attended an RI District 7030 conference (primarily a gathering of Rotarians from political jurisdictions from St. Kitts and Nevis in the North to French Guiana in the South), proficiently organized by the three Rotary clubs in Barbados. There were more than 400 registered participants which consisted of fledgling and more experienced Rotarians, men and women, their partners-in-service and rotaractors (youth arm of Rotary).
We were assembled for four days of motivational speeches, training sessions, presentations, fellowship, interactive dialogue around the themes of RI’s core values which help to guide the organization and mold our culture.
These values are Service as exemplified by the motto “Service Above Self”; Fellowship which transcends all boundaries, including those of race, gender and nationality; Diversity leading to international unity; Integrity in terms of adherence to the highest standards in both professional and personal relationships with others, guided by The Rotary Four-Way Test; and Leadership as we believe in the development and nurturing of current and future leaders in our community.
A wide range of selected Service projects from around the District were presented during the conference which are now available on the District website –www.rotarydistrict7030.org.
Quite apart from the wonderful camaraderie that existed in the breaks and at lunch, Rotarians had the opportunity to enjoy fellowship and meet new friends at formal and informal evening sessions.
Experienced speakers, who have been on the Rotary Circuit, were able to use their talents to vividly share Rotary in motion stories around the world and in so doing motivate others, to the point of tears.
The first two days of the conference consisted of training of the leadership teams of each club in the District primarily to prepare them for their stewardship in the upcoming Rotary year (July to June). The training was so comprehensive that its benefits could very well be used in the individual businesses of Rotarians.
Rotary clubs work with governments and the private sector, in public-private partnerships, to find ways to improve the quality of life for people in their communities and to serve the public interest.
Let us learn about Rotary clubs and let us raise funds to help the less fortunate in the community. There are 1.2 million Rotarians in 35,000 clubs doing good all over the world. Find a club near to you and be of service to the community – www.rotary.org.
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his columns may be found at www.cbetmodel.org and www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com.)