PDG John Wan – GML – February 2001
Congratulations to Rotary mums; Register for District Conference; Council on Legislation; Support the Rotary Foundation
My Dear Action Presidents, Club Secretaries and Rotary Leaders,
I would like to begin by sharing with you the good news from Assistant Governor Amy Ho. Amy announced that at 22:29 hours on 22 January 2001, her first baby, arrived, weighing in at 6 pounds 6 ounces. Had the baby girl waited a day and an hour and a half longer, she could have been the first baby born in the Year of the Snake in Hong Kong. Amy also reported that mother and daughter were both doing well as she wished us a Happy New Year. Congratulations, Amy and well done. Now, we all wait for the arrival of Cinderella’s baby expected to be in April. We have already said that if the baby arrives on the 7th or 8th April through natural birth, mother and child will attend district conferences of our District free in future.
Yes, our District Conference will be held on 7 – 8 April 2001 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. RI President Frank Devlyn has appointed RI Director-elect Toshio Itabashi and his spouse, Ritsuko, to be his and Gloria Rita’s personal representatives to our District Conference. Director-elect Toshio has been a member of the Rotary Club of Ashikaga East, Japan since 1962. He is President of a paint and chemical distributing firm, Managing Director of the Japan Paint Commerce Association, Chairman of the Ashikaga Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Chairman of the Ashikaga International Association. He is also editor of Rotary-No-Tomo, and has served RI as district governor, International Assembly discussion leader, committee member, and Foundation regional coordinator. Director-elect Toshio is a Rotary heavyweight and a keen Rotarian. I look forward to meeting the couple and to sharing his Rotary wisdom.
My Action Presidents, now is the time to urge your members to register for the District Conference. I should stress that a district conference is for all club members and their spouses, not just for club officers and committee members. The purpose of a district conference is to showcase the achievements of clubs in the District and to provide occasions for fun, fellowship, inspirational speeches and discussion. The theme of the conference is Back To The Future. It is a reminder for us to look into the future – the future of Rotary, the future generations, and what the future means to you. We would bring in speakers outside Rotary and the District to provoke new thinking. We would try to make this a conference with a difference. Please urge your Rotaractor and Interactor advisers to register for their Rotaractors and Interactors and to encourage the youths to attend all the sessions, not just the youth sessions. Indeed, all sessions would be relevant to them, because we would be looking into the future. Rotaractors and Interactors attend free if they do not stay for the meals. This policy is in line with our commitment to the new generations and our resolve to live up to the challenge in the slogan, “Every Rotarian an Example to Youth.”
Also taking place in April, but in Chicago, Illinois, USA will be the Council on Legislation. The Council meets once every three years and will next meet on 22 – 27 April 2001. Past Governor Arthur Au will represent our District to attend and I believe you have all received his letter asking you for views on the proposed legislation to be considered. I received in the post the booklet (Volume I) with the complete text of the duly proposed legislation, 527 in number. It is 4-cm thick. There are two types of legislation – enactments and resolutions. A proposed enactment is intended to amend the constitutional documents of RI, i.e., the RI constitution, the RI bylaws and the Standard Rotary Club Constitution. A proposed resolution is legislation that does not seek to amend the constitutional documents. The documents are printed in English, and in French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish. The English version of the legislation is considered the official document. The booklet is available in compact disc format and on the Rotary World Wide Web site. We have been advised that Volume II will soon be posted. This is a second booklet with the complete text of the duly proposed legislation that has been amended for errors in Volume I.
Back to the present, we are now in February, and February is Rotary’s World Understanding Month. On 23 February 1905, the first meeting of Rotary was held and the day is now designated World Understanding and Peace Day. DGN Gloria Chan organized a joint meeting in the evening on Friday, 23 February 2001 at the Regal Hong Kong Hotel. I am glad to see so many of you at the meeting.
World Understanding month is a chance for every club to pause, plan and promote the Fourth Avenue of Service – International Service – and to pursue Rotary’s continued quest for goodwill, peace and understanding among the people of the world. I discussed the international responsibilities of a Rotarian in my last letter. I urge all of you to take up the quest with due seriousness and to promote and practice international understanding in spirit and through action. As a start, consider our responsibilities towards our brothers and sisters in disaster stricken Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, India and El Salvador. Consider our responsibilities towards the Rotary Foundation and the wonderful programmes that can be carried out for humanity with our continuing contributions. Consider this an assignment and a duty to your fellowmen. This may sound quixotic, but in the words of President Frank Devlyn, let this be the year that people many years from now will recall as the year in which the Action Team of Presidents created awareness of the international responsibilities of a Rotarian and led the members to take action, by taking proactive steps in our disaster relief efforts, in our contribution to the Rotary Foundation and in our International Service programmes.
Talk to you soon.
Your Governor John Wan