TRF: from $26.50 to 1 billion in assets in 100 years

Kalyan-Banerjee-150x180By Kalyan Banerjee, RI Foundation Trustee Chair

The start of a new Rotary year is always an exciting time. We have a new inspirational theme, new club officers and exciting new projects to work on. In 2016–17, we also have a very special occasion to celebrate: the 100th anniversary of our Rotary Foundation.

Since 1917, when Arch Klumph proposed an endowment “for the purpose of doing good in the world,” The Rotary Foundation has grown into a world-class humanitarian organisation. Few other charitable foundations can claim a 100-year history — all the more impressive when you consider its humble beginning of only $26.50. Continue reading

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As a Rotarian, “Everything you do matters”

John-GermBy John F. Germ, President Rotary International 2016-17

Today, we look ahead toward a Rotary year that may one day be known as the greatest in our history: the year that sees the world’s last case of polio. Wild poliovirus caused only 74 cases of polio in 2015, all of them in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As we continue to work tirelessly toward our goal of eradication, we must also look beyond it: preparing to leverage our success into even greater successes to come. Continue reading

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Rotary and the dilemma of religious values

by John Borst, Past President Rotary Club of Dryden

When I first joined Rotary my club held a Friday evening, all day Saturday educational workshop. We covered a lot of topics, but one comment has stuck with me to this day; probably, it wasn’t meant to have such an impact.

The trainer was discussing the role of Rotary in her life and said that “Rotary was her religion”. I was taken aback but I figured she was speaking figuratively to make the point about how important it was in her life.

Yet it seems to me that there is in fact, at the very least, a quasi-religious nature to the organization. Continue reading

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A wall of flame will burn forever in my memory, dancing with light, shifting in shadow

Ravindran_KR_14By K R Ravindran, President 2015 – 16

British writer and Royal Air Force pilot Roald Dahl was also an avid photographer who carried his beloved Zeiss camera on his many adventures. At a time when each photograph had to be laboriously developed by hand, on film or glass plate negatives, he amassed a collection of hundreds of images. In later years, these photographs served as a visual record of his travels, a way to document his experiences and share them with others. Yet he always spoke of his memories as being far more vivid than the photographs could ever reflect. So many events and experiences, he said, were simply impossible to capture; they could not be adequately conveyed in images or words. Continue reading

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It’s the end of the movie & Ray Klinginsmith as the cowboy rides away

Klinginsmith_RayBy Ray Klinginsmith, Trustee Chair 2015 – 16

Western movies were the most popular film genre for several decades, and they were well known around the world. In many of them, after a victorious battle between the good guys and the bad guys, the hero would accept the appreciation of his friends and supporters – and then ride off alone into the sunset. Continue reading

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In Praise of Seniors; the new Rotary ‘Zoomers’

by John Borst, Past President, Rotary Club of Dryden

Rotary International wants to grow and puts nearly all its effort into recruiting young members. This is logical but is proving challenging as few long time Rotarians have much of a clue about how young Millennials think let alone, live their lives.

There is, however, another group who Rotary ought to target in equal fashion and they are the new seniors in our society. Continue reading

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Is it ‘Not ready yet’ or because ‘Equality is disruptive’?

by John Borst

At District 5550’s recent conference titled “Infinite Possibilities,” it was anything but ‘infinite possibilities’ for women in Rotary.

Disruptive-voices-of-Equality-500x350

An opportunity presented itself to discuss with an internationally renowned woman the issue of a woman as president anytime soon. Incredulously the possibility elicited the response that none of the women who are currently qualified “aren’t ready yet”. Continue reading

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