Blogging about Rotary: a lost opportunity?

By John Borst

Considering that there are over 1.2 million Rotarians there are very few “blogs” dedicated to sharing views about Rotary in existence.

In this case, a blog is a format for sharing ideas about Rotary both good news stories and opinions both positive and critical about Rotary initiatives or policies.

Most use WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr software. All are Content Management Systems (CMS) which permit an individual to write an article and post it without knowing much about coding. It is nearly impossible to know how many blogs exist but the best bet today is somewhere near 200,000,000. A better statistic is how many posts per day have occurred which as I write this is over 1,700,000.Rotary-Voices-400x116

Rotary International has a blog called Rotary Voices: stories from around the world  It is a blog of good news stories about what Rotary is accomplishing and rarely shares a Rotarian’s “Voice” which questions a policy position or practice Continue reading

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How company time has changed, a recruitment challenge

John-GermBy John F. Germ, R.I. President, 2016-17

Forty years ago, a man named George Campbell, the owner of the company I worked for, invited me to join Rotary. Back then, that was a common practice in the United States. Your boss invited you to join Rotary because he thought it would be good for business and good for the community, and you said yes. It’s not surprising that our membership surged during that period. Continue reading

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Growing membership means a stronger Foundation

Kalyan-Banarjee-150x180By Kalyan Banerjee, R.I. Trustee Chair, 2016 – 17

Our Rotary Foundation depends on a strong and thriving Rotary membership. It is, after all, our members who provide the generous support that enables our Foundation to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. As important as that support is, it’s not the only contribution Rotarians make to our Foundation. Continue reading

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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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