Wednesday evenings 6.00 for 6.30pm at Roseville Memorial Club
Nothing really - as all Rotary is doing is to evolve. Fair enough, but in all evolution the baby is not thrown out with the bathwater, to coin a mixed metaphor. I hear you shudder.
Every organisation, business, government, individual, etc must allow for change over time to remain at least in step with improvements on those that existed yesterday. Otherwise we become stolid and no longer competitive. All evolution in nature has dead ends and something more suitable progresses further
What has all this to do with Rotary? Simple: not everything that was valid fifty years ago is so today, but the spirit behind Rotary principles must remain. Let's look at some examples:
The basics are as they have been, whatever age we live in - it is Service above Self. But how we give that service differs now from what was acceptable previously. The HOW evolves with technology and change of attitude in society: the needs of humanity change throughout the world - Rotary takes cognisance of that.
This present day attitude on how much time one can devote to "altruism" is a constant. We argue that we are too busy to donate as much time to Rotary as we were some years ago. I don't believe that! When I joined Rotary in 1971 I was building up my practice and I was very busy. Therefore when I was asked whether I would be interested to join The Rotary Club of Chatswood I has to advise the Club - yes, I was very interested, but I had to request a year's grace. The club agreed because the board recognised a valid request. Though I was still flat out a year later I felt I could become involved by reallocating my non-office time and some of the humdrum of business. I felt I could now devote time for contributing to Rotary.
The first thing I believe we have lost: the business climate is such that an inordinate amount of time is now demanded to carry out one's job; hence volunteering is curtailed. We are in danger of losing the fun in Rotary, which is reflected in what our projects can be. The fellowship of working on a major local project is in danger. There are more projects that need doing in the confines of our territory. These projects also involved families. The ladies provided morning tea.
In order to accommodate the demands of society the big brains in RI manipulated the rules, such as what can be counted as attendance; this relaxed club boundaries and can and does lead to a loss of club identity within one's boundaries. I believe therein lies one reason for loss of cohesion.
We have had and still have board meetings at our club venue. These meetings were once held at Rotarians' homes or rarely at a board member's office. This added to the melding of the Board and indirectly involved family. This could easily be resurrected.
We have lost the joy of hosting an overseas student in Youth Exchange. Why? Do we feel we cannot afford the time? Or is it too hard or 'inconvenient'?
We seem to have lost the close bond with our Rotaract Club. A Rotarian was supposed to be present at every Rotaract meeting and similarly Rotaractors were regularly welcomed to our club meetings. Why has this changed?
Do we take new members to a make-up in order to give them a perspective on the almost limitless nature of Rotary?
I could rabbit on and on, but let this suffice until another day. What we seem to be losing would still be valid to retain.