Highlights from the General Meeting with DG Brian Thompson and ADG Viji Leger

  • Highlights of DG Brian’s presentation are summarized below:
    • DB Brian informed us that joining Rotary in 1980 was one of the best things that ever happened to him – he recounted his first Rotary moment when in 1983 he attended a conference where he and his wife Karen spoke with an inspirational couple, Clem and June – he later learned that Clem was a past RI President. DG Brian was impressed with the quality of people in Rotary and became President of this club a few years later.
    • DG Brian discussed the results from a consulting firm that was hired to determine why Rotary is not attracting new members. The firm interviewed > 20,000 people and attended a number of Rotary events.  The main outcome was that we are not getting the message out.  Rotary is in a class of 1 – we are different from other organizations as our leaders come from all walks of life, clubs are well-connected and are eager to help each other, our leadership is unique, we have passion and perseverance (example – our unwavering commitment to end polio since 1985)
    • DG Brian informed us that the word Rotary has been added to the Rotary logo – we should include the new logo when we generate new material
    • DG Brain provided updated information by discussion the answers to a series of multiple choice questions
      • There are currently 54 clubs in District 7070 with approximately 2000 members
      • There are 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide – it was noted that membership is on the rise in Germany and China however there is a decline in other areas – while 1.2 million members were added over the years there is still 1.2 M members – there has been a 50 % lose in members – it is important to figure out why members leave
      • Rotary Foundation started with only $26.50
      • RI President XX 2014-2015 theme is Light Up Rotary – it is better to light a single candle then to curse the darkness – together we can Light Up Rotary.  DG Brian emphasized that it is up to each club to determine how we will light up Rotary – it is up to us – we know what our community needs and what we need to do to “Light up Rotary”.  DG Brian encouraged us to hold a Rotary Day to show the community who we are and what we do – we should also involve Rotaract and Interact clubs
      • The District 7070 conference will take place Oct. 24-26 – the conference will be held at the Westin Prince hotel in Toronto. There will be a James Bond theme – Agents of Change Shaken and Stirred.  There will be a number of breakout sessions – examples include a hands- on session to pack dry goods, another session that will honour indigenous people.  Keynote speakers include past RI assistance Brad Howard to will speak on polio immunization and Paul Henderson former hockey player and corporate speaker.   There are a group of Rotarians who will come out to our club to provide further details on the conference
      • DG Brian updated us on a novel week that was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sarasota Bay – they hosted a week of activities for 16-20 incoming governor’s – it was a great week of fellowship not only with the Sarasota club but with other clubs in the area
      • The eradication of polio remains our #1 priority.  India is now polio-free – this was a major accomplishment since in 2009 experts said that it would be impossible to eradicate polio in India due to the sanitary conditions in many of the small villages but they did not count on the support and commitment from Rotary as well as the WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as other supporters
      • DG Brian reminded us that the first water and sanitation project was the installation of public washrooms in downtown Chicago – these washrooms were a win/win since shoppers stayed in the downtown area – the project elevated the stature of the Rotary Club of Chicago
      • The Rotary Foundation theme of EREY (Every Rotarian Every Year) continues – Rotarians are asked to donate whatever amount they can (goal of $100) every year
      • DG Brian reminded us that fun is the blueprint for a successful year – we must share the joy of Rotary
      • DG Brian ended with a quote from Winston Churchill – “We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give
      • DG Brian asked us to Light our own candle and presented the club with the 2014-2015 banner Light Up Rotary.
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