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April-May 2019 | Regulars

Brian Stoyel – Rotary International Director’s Column

Brian Stoyel – Rotary International Director’s Column

Latest column for April-May from Rotary International Director 2017-19 Brian Stoyel.

How time flies. No sooner have I put pen to paper and pressed send, than the request came through for the next column of Rotary magazine. In that time, there have been meetings, conferences, district and club visits, plus two talking points: polio and where will Rotary be in five years’ time?

With polio, we are nearly there! And yes, there are bound to be highs and lows when tackling any significant task, but we must maintain momentum, keep praising success and raise funds to complete the mission.

With Rotary in five years, the previous resolutions and forthcoming Council on Legislation enactments should be a very good guide as to where we could be.

But, of course, legislation is one thing, moving decisions into action within our clubs and their membership is quite something else.

So many clubs continue as they have done for so many years without embracing change by being innovative and flexible.

Do we really want to see all the work which Rotary has been involved with over the past 114 years fall into neglect and disrepair?

We all need to take stock.

Having partaken and enjoyed Rotary activity, I don’t think anyone wishes to be the one to turn off the light.

Success is within our grasp. Embrace Rotary2, establish satellite clubs, enjoy innovation and encourage flexibility within clubs, support district continuity teams and attend district and club council meetings – be part of the change.

If you have not already heard, our organisation age profile makes us vulnerable to extinction, remember that much talked-about, flightless bird the Dodo!

I have been engrossed in numerous online and face-to-face Council on Legislation meetings. These provide a wonderful insight into our world, understanding where strict understanding of regulations need to be addressed – more flexible meeting arrangements, younger members needed, reduced fees for older and young Rotarians.

In reality, how can we hope to satisfy the needs of so many?  Be realistic, Rotary is a fantastic, worldwide, humanitarian, respected, thoughtful, and caring organisation, and being a part of it requires enjoyment, participation, finance and time.

A final few words often repeated around the New Year period: “I joined a fitness club, but haven’t seen any improvement. No-one mentioned I had to make a regular effort!”

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