District Governor 2000-2001

My Dear Action Presidents, Club Secretaries and Rotary Leaders,

In the three months ending 30 September 2000, we have taken on 99 new members, including the intake of 35 members from the Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar and those inducted at District Installation, but we have also lost 85. The membership count on that date is 1,706 and a rather far cry to the membership target of 2,001 we set for ourselves to achieve by mid May 2001.
I would like to thank the clubs and the members in particular that have brought in new members so far. Past Governor Moses Cheng has been visiting clubs talking about the District Membership Challenge – the by now well known Challenge 2001 – and we have designed rather attractive recognition pins for the proposers and new members. They should be ready for distribution soon.
The fact remains that we need to work much hard at membership recruitment, retention and retrieval. While the figures indicate that the District achieved a net increase of 14 members in the first quarter, the shrew readers would notice that we would actually have lost 21 members if we had not had the addition of 35 members from Mongolia. To add to the gravity of the situation, I have unconfirmed reports that we might not have 35 members from Mongolia, certainly not now. This means we are losing members as a District. The situation is serious. We need to address the problem urgently and the clock is ticking.
Consistent and continuing membership growth is one of the four criteria for an effective club. It follows that a district that cannot report membership increases for a few years can hardly be regarded as an effective district. I am calling for an urgent meeting with Membership Task Force Chairman Moses Cheng and the District leadership to address the problem and I am looking for effective solutions. Please tell us what the problems are and what you think we can do to increase our membership.
As we move out of October, I hope you have commemorated Rotary’s Vocational Service Month in a meaningful way. At district level, Past Governor Arthur Au organized a District Vocational Service Seminar during a regular meeting of the Rotary Club of Peninsula. Over 100 Rotarians attended. In Macau, President Cinderella Ngao of the Rotary Club of Guia partnered with a number of government and non-governmental organizations and launched a series of activities in a New Millennium Seminar and Exhibition at the Macau Tourist Activities Centre, featuring life long education, environmental protection, time management and free training on the use of the Internet. I am particularly happy that the events received a good run from the local media, both the printed and the electronic. President Cinderella has certainly created awareness of Rotary’s concern for Vocational Service and has taken action by partnering with other organizations and in the process enhanced Rotary’s public relations and image. These are certainly in line with what President Frank J Devlyn has been urging clubs and Rotarians to do. If you are still thinking about what to do, I suggest you answer to President Frank’s call to provide job opportunities for the disadvantaged and the disabled. It is not necessary to start or complete your projects in the month of October. As I have said before and I am saying again, there is no beginning or end for anyone who wants to do a good turn to others. Anytime is as good. The important thing is to take action and do it.
Now is the time to plan for activities in November to mark The Rotary Foundation Month if you have yet to do so. I urge you to create awareness in your club of the Foundation and the need to contribute to it. I urge you to encourage club members to get accustomed to contributing to the Foundation on a continuing and regular basis. Once again, I am not asking every Rotarian to contribute US$1,000 each year, although that would be very much welcome. I am thinking of a tenth of the amount, but making it a habit. Yes, doing good can be habit forming. I can think of no better and more worthwhile or noble habit than doing good I general and contributing to The Rotary Foundation in particular. If you need help or ideas for giving, please feel free to call any committee member on my District Rotary Foundation Committee or you can call me. We are here to help.
Still on The Rotary Foundation, I would like to share with you – if you have not already heard – the good news announced by the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation recently. Past Governor Y K Cheng and Managing Editor of this very District Bulletin is among the 171 Rotarians awarded the Citation for Meritorious Service for 1999-2000 in recognition of his significant service to the Foundation. As we congratulate Y K for his achievement and the thoroughly merited award, let us pause for a while to think of the service rendered to the needy by these worthy Rotarians through the Foundation. Don’t be left out. Support the Foundation.
I cannot leave without asking you one more time to support the Rotary Zone Institute to be held in Hong Kong from 10 to 12 November. Many Rotarians in the District are working very hard to host the event and to ensure that our visitors would receive the welcome they deserve. I urge you to be part of it, to play host and to make a difference. Talk to you soon.

Your Governor John Wan