Be the Inspiration

As we round out August, Membership and New Club Development Month, there is no better way to conclude than to consider the words of the leaders of our great organization.  I have extracted parts of RIPE Sam Owori (deceased) and President Barry's speeches and discussions on Membership to share with you.

Sam Owori on Membership

There are many places which need Rotary and numerous potential members who have never been invited. The problem is Rotarians who got in and closed the doors.

Rotary International President-elect Sam F. Owori died unexpectedly on 13 July 2017 due to complications from surgery. Sam was a member of the Rotary Club Kampala, Uganda, for 38 years. 






Sam and Norah Owori

RI President Barry Rassin said : “Those who know what good Rotary clubs do will want to be a part of it, and we must find new models for membership that allow all interested in our mission to participate,” he says. “With Rotary more in the public eye, we will attract more individuals who want to be part of and support a membership organization that accomplishes so much good around the world.”

Although RCGI took the initiative of starting a Satellite club in the south thereby "finding new models for membership", we perhaps need to look inward to analyze what makes the club less than attractive to young professionals.  I am delighted to see that RC Saint Lucia will launch a Satellite club within weeks with membership largely comprising past Rotaract members. Saint Lucia is likely to have two new Rotary clubs within this Rotary year where the new clubs are drawn from different demographics than the existing clubs.  This is exactly what President Barry and the RI Membership committee  have been promoting.

President Barry frequently refers to Rotary's Vision: "Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves" when he speaks of the value proposition for Rotarians. He says "That simple sentence distills so much of what is essential about Rotary. We unite, because we know that we are far stronger together than we could ever be alone. We take action, because we are not dreamers, but doers. We work to create lasting change that will endure long after our involvement has ended – across the globe and in our communities. And perhaps most important of all, we work to create change in ourselves – not just building a better world around us, but becoming better people ourselves".

He continues: "A quotation attributed to French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry goes: “If you want to build a boat, don’t begin by collecting wood, cutting boards, or assigning tasks. Begin by awakening in the souls of your workers a longing for the vast and boundless sea.” Each of us came to Rotary because we had a longing – to have an impact, to make a difference, to be part of something larger than ourselves. That desire, that vision for a better world and our role in building it, is what drives us in Rotary. It’s what made us become members, it’s what motivates us to serve, and it’s what led me to choose our theme for this Rotary year: Be the Inspiration.

I want to see Rotary Be the Inspiration for our communities by doing work with a transformational impact. It’s time to start moving forward, by removing the barriers that are holding us back. Let’s make it easier to make adjustments in our clubs or start new clubs that suit different needs. Let’s work to strengthen Rotaract and smooth the transition from Rotaract clubs into Rotary. Let’s give all Rotarians the flexibility to serve in the ways that work best for them, so that every Rotarian finds enduring value in Rotary membership".