The Rotary Convention is the largest annual gathering of Rotarians from all over the world and the 105th Rotary International Convention held in Sydney in June 1-4 was no exception. The Convention was attended by over 18 thousand plus Rotarians from over 200 countries. Rotary in Mongolia is one of the fastest growing regions in the global map of Rotary International movement and we are very proud to have 17 Rotarians and Rotaractors from Mongolia attending the Convention. The Mongolia delegation was headed by incoming Area Governor Oyungerel Erdembileg and included representatives from 4 Mongolian Rotary Clubs (RC of Ulaanbaatar, Khuree, Peace Avenue and Bayanzurkh 100) and 2 Rotaract Clubs (Ulaanbaatar and Selbe).

As a first time attendee to a Rotary International Convention, what struck me most is the feeling of warm welcome by the whole city.You could feel from the moment of your landing in Sydney the cheerful atmosphere of the convention. Everywhere across the city you could see welcome banners for Rotarians. It was so convenient and fun to have local Rotarians with the volunteer badges cheering you up and showing you directions to the public transportation along the way to the Convention venue. Even the Sydney Opera House lighted up for Rotary supporting our global fight against polio. With our large Rotary convention badges, when you approach employees of the public transportation or just ask anyone on the street for directions, people were well informed that there is a Rotary gathering in the city and they went all the way to help you.

For me, it was like attending a very large and extended family and friends gathering of the Rotary. Everywhere you could see people getting excited as they meet their old Rotary friends from other countries. I have not met before many Rotarians from so many countries at the same time. You can imagine that in such large crowd, it was not easy to stay in touch for our Mongolian group and yet, from tens of thousands of people you had to bump into our Club’s two former members from Israel who served in our Club in the late 1990-ies! I could not contain my excitement of meeting them again after so many years and learning that they remained members of the Rotary Club in their hometown in Israel since then.

What also made special this Convention for us is that there was a separate breakout session for our Club’s project on maternal health. After the presentation, we received many congratulatory notes and inquiries on how one can support the project’s next phase in Mongolia. This moment was the most inspiring for all the Mongolian Rotarians who attended the session.

One of the highlights for me as the President of the Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar was that we were invited to the special event of the Rotary Club of Sydney and our two Clubs came to an agreement to become twin clubs.

This Convention was indeed a special moment in our Rotary lives.

Amgaa Oyungerel, President, Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar (2013-2014),

Deputy Assistant Governor, Area 9, D3450 (2014-2015)

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