Dear Club President,

Congratulations on taking office as the President of your Rotary club. I hope you have an enjoyable and fruitful year and I very much look forward to working with you over the next 12 months.

We have an exciting, historic year ahead as it is the year that we are celebrating the Centenary of The Rotary Foundation. This is a unique opportunity for us to go out there and raise our profile as we mark one hundred years of our Rotary charity “doing good in the world”, from funding global scholars and peace fellows to carrying out our countless humanitarian projects around the world, to ridding the world of polio. This is “Rotary Serving Humanity”.

We are now so close to achieving Rotary’s number one goal of a polio-free world. We have reached this historic milestone thanks to the dedication and determination of Rotarians from when our campaign started in 1985 to eradicate this crippling disease.

But to End Polio Now and forever, we have to keep up the fight and finish the job.



That is why we have launched the Purple4Polio campaign as we need to continue to raise awareness and funds.

As part of this campaign, Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland has forged an exciting partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and together we aim to plant five million crocus corms to add a vibrant carpet of purple to communities.

The Purple4Polio campaign and RHS planting partnership is a fantastic opportunity to build new and strengthen existing relationships with other community groups, as well as providing a chance to engage with the public and welcome potential new members.

There are wide, varied and fun purple-themed ideas that clubs can get involved in. You can find more details here (sign in required).

The Purple4Polio campaign has the support of the legendary singer and songwriter Donovan who has agreed to be a Rotary Purple4Polio Ambassador. This role is close to Donovan’s heart as he contracted the disease himself when he was just three years old growing up in Glasgow. 

I am sure that you will have planned a busy year ahead and I do hope those plans include activities in support of both the Purple4Polio campaign and the centenary of Our Rotary Foundation. 

Foundation Centennial

The Rotary Foundation Centenary

The centenary year for Our Rotary Foundation and the eradication of polio are two very good causes, at the heart of being a Rotarian, and are of paramount importance.

For the centenary of The Rotary Foundation, every Rotary club is being encouraged to celebrate with an event to mark the Centennial and Purple4Polio events can be part of this.

There are also interesting ideas about different ways to mark The Rotary Foundation Centenary and plenty of resources here.

If you haven’t already factored these in, I would urge you to do so now as they will be my main focus for this Rotary year. They are not something just for the Foundation committee but for all avenues of service in your club and could also help generate membership interest too.


Building Membership

Collectively we change lives for the better for those we help and we enjoy ourselves at the same time. Surely the best gift we can give as our legacy will be the continued strength of Rotary in the future.

Please encourage innovation and flexibility within your club and do whatever is necessary to make sure that it is fit to attract new members, to welcome their ideas and allow them to contribute to Rotary in a way that suits their lifestyle and family or professional commitments. If your club isn’t able to do that yet, could you lead it to adapt or should you initiate a satellite club, or a new club altogether? The rules that held us back have been relaxed so, as one of Rotary’s current leaders, you are being actively encouraged to build a stronger future for Rotary in your community.

If you need help from your District Governor or me, please let us know, as I firmly believe that the clubs are the most important part of Rotary and that District and RIBI Officers are here to help. It is the clubs that deliver the projects that make a real difference for people.


Conference 2017

Finally, another highlight of the forthcoming Rotary year is the Rotary in Britain and Ireland Conference in Manchester from 7th-9th April, 2017. 

There will be inspirational and motivational speakers including Paralympian, broadcaster and polio survivor Ade Adepitan and a stunning concert featuring world-renowned golden-voiced Katherine Jenkins.  We shall also be celebrating the Centenary of The Rotary Foundation and the 10th anniversary of the Rotary Young Citizen Awards.

So please join me for this special event. More details can be found here.

In the meantime, I wish you an enjoyable and rewarding presidency during which you achieve all your aims for a great Rotary year.  Please let me know if you need any help.




Eve Conway
Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President 2016/17


About this newsletter

This newsletter is to Rotary Club Presidents within Great Britain and Ireland.