BECOMING A ROTARIAN
PRESENTATION AT THE ROTARY CLUB OF LIAMUIGA’S MEMBERSHIP OPEN HOUSE MEETING BY ROTARY ASSISTANT DISTRICT GOVERNOR (AG) OF ST. KITTS & NEVIS, CHRISTOPHER ENGLISH
What is Rotary?
Rotary is an organisation of business, professional and community leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belonging to more than 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries worldwide.
Rotary club membership represents a cross-section of the community’s business and professional men and women, as well as community leaders. The world’s Rotary clubs meet weekly and are non-political, non-religious and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.
The main objective of Rotary is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop service projects that address many of today’s most critical issues. They also support programmes for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals.
The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self”. However, each year the current Rotary International (RI) President chooses a theme for their year to complement this – this year RI President, John Kenny chose “The Future of Rotary Is In Your Hands”.
In a nutshell, the mission of Rotary is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards in an environment of friendship and camaraderie.
Although Rotary clubs develop autonomous service programmes, all Rotarians worldwide are united in specific campaigns such as the global eradication of polio. Since 1980 the PolioPlus programme would have contributed well over US $1billion to polio eradication and provided an army of volunteers to assist with immunization in polio-endemic countries.
Finally, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is a not-for-profit corporation that promotes world understanding through international humanitarian service programmes and educational and cultural exchanges. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and others who share its vision of a better world. Since 1947, the Foundation has awarded more than US$1.4 billion in humanitarian and educational grants, which are initiated and administered by local Rotary clubs and districts.
The Object of Rotary
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
SECOND. High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business and community life;
FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
Rotary has no official creed but our guide is ‘The Four-Way Test’ – In our lives as Rotarians, of the things we think, say or do we ask ourselves:
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
The Family of Rotary
The family of Rotary extends beyond individual Rotarians and Rotary clubs to include other service-minded people who help with the Organization’s work.
Rotaract 18 – 30 years
3 Rotary Clubs
1 Rotaract Club
Rotary Community Corps
Interact 14 -18 years
How to Become A Rotarian
An important distinction between Rotary and other organizations is that membership in Rotary is by invitation. Rotary clubs invite individuals to join and become members. This is based on its founder, Paul Harris, who in 1905 decided to start a community-based organisation by choosing one representative from each business, profession and institution in his community.
This is what we call the “classification principle” and it is used to ensure that the members of a club comprise a cross section of their community’s business and professional life. The classification is determined by activities or services to society rather than by the position held by the particular individual. In other words, if a person is president of a bank, he or she is not classified as “bank president” but under the classification “banking.”
Rotary International also recognizes the value of diversity within individual clubs. A club that reflects its community with regard to not only professional and business classification but also gender, age, religion, and ethnicity is a club with the key to its future.
Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally under the motto Service Above Self. Rotarians are members of Rotary clubs. Rotary clubs belong to Rotary International. To become a Rotarian, you must be invited to join a Rotary club by a member of that club.
A qualified candidate for Rotary club membership is an adult of good character and good business, professional or community reputation. Candidates fit the following criteria:
Holds or has held an executive position with discretionary authority in any worthy and recognized business or profession
Serves or has served as a community leader
Is an alumnus/alumna of the Rotary Foundation
Members of the Rotary Club of Liamuiga, as with other clubs, pay a joining fee, membership dues (paid semi-annually), cost of breakfast at our weekly meetings as well as contribute in cash, kind and personal efforts to fundraisers for projects of the Foundation, the District and to benefit the local community.
Who Are Rotarians?
What we are not…and these are criticisms I have heard quite frequently…
A cache of cliques – we do not sit around once a week in our little circles chatting, our Sargeant At Arms fines people who sit in the same seat every week!
A crash of RINO’s (Rotarians In Name Only) – there is one in every crowd but RINO members who just want to wear the pin are actively discouraged!
An elite or elitist! – not really but we do want members who are decision makers in their companies and communities!
What we are…
Simply men and women, who share the same passion to make this world a better place not only for us, but for generations to come. We are business and professional leaders who want to provide humanitarian service, to see the eradication of polio, to encourage high ethical standards, to help build goodwill and peace in the world.
For those of us who are Rotarians the decision to become and to remain so is personal but we all share the passion to serve humanity and to try to make friends, have fun along the way and be part of this wonderful family.
We are always looking for like-minded men and women to join that cause…if you think you fit this mould please talk to your Rotarian friends to find out more.
Production of the Rotary Club of Liamuiga
P. O. Box 1304, Basseterre
Club PR Director – Eustace Warner