PDG John Wan – GML – December 2000
First of all, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everybody! You have worked very hard in the year 2000 and you deserve a break and a happy holiday with your family and loved ones.
Our DGN Gloria was in Australia earlier this month. Words traveled fast: a local television network in Australia got wind of the happy news, tracked her down and interviewed her for nearly an hour during which she talked about her vision of Rotary and recent development in District 3450 including the addition of Mongolia to our territory. Both interviewer and interviewee were apparently satisfied with the interview because no editing or a second take was necessary. The interview is now on tape and no doubt Gloria would make it available to her fans on request.
You should all be planning for the election of the next board of directors. Once again, I would like to remind you to send your club election results on the prescribed form by end of the year to Rotary World Headquarters with a copy each to Governor-elect Johnson and me.
In the next few weeks, your Assistant Governor and District Secretary would be calling on you to discuss how best to secure the Presidential Citation and other awards. These District officials are there to help you, specifically to help you achieve your goals. Most presidents have only one chance to be presidents in a lifetime. I urge you therefore to make the best use of the remaining months of your term and reach your goals. Remember what President Frank Devlyn said of Don Quixote? He said that Don Quixote never had any doubt on whether his dreams could be realized. In the same spirit, all of you Action Presidents should never have any doubt on your ability to achieve the goals for the year. His Presidential Citation is there for the taking. Go for it!
Also in the coming weeks, RYLA Chairman Stephen Tsai (Quarry Bay) will be asking for nominations for the 2001 RYLA Camp, while GSE Chairman Dicky Yip (Admiralty) for GSE team members and a leader. Both programmes are designed for young people. Do not be shy to nominate your young staff or Rotaractors to go on either programme. These are wonderful programmes. Give the youths a chance and send in your nominations early.
Our District Conference would be held on 7 and 8 April 2001 at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. Past President Kay Lau (Hong Kong Harbour) is Conference Chairman and Past President Haywood Cheung (New Territories) Committee Chairman for the Governor’s Banquet. I am happy to have these two dedicated Rotarians working on this single most important project in the next few months. Both are heavyweights in our District and are known to be first class organizers. Both have promised to offer innovative and special programmes that you would not like to miss. The theme of the Conference is “Back to the Future” to remind us to look to the future. Please start promoting the Conference at your weekly meetings and register early. The full package, including the Governor’s Banquet, two lunches, three coffee breaks and a Conference kit, costs $1,800, the same price tag for the Conference organized three years ago by Past Governor Jason Yeung.
Back to my official visits, by mid-December, I have visited all except three clubs officially. I made follow-up visits to some clubs and I tried to attend all anniversary dinners or balls. I missed a few; and I could not attend a few District functions because they clashed with other appointments. I have enjoyed every meeting and every function I attended. As I thank the Action Presidents, the Rotarians involved and my District Team for the hard work and hospitality and for making these occasions enjoyable, I would like to apologize to the Action Presidents and Rotarians who were disappointed because of my inability to turn up at their functions.
I have often been asked whether I find all these activities tiring or tiresome and whether I am feeling relieved now that the halfway mark is in sight. Well, the short answer is no. Life is a series of choices. Since a friend introduced me to Rotary some years back, Rotary has become part of my life, and I am glad. In the same way that one ought not be tired of life, I do not think I would ever be tired of Rotary. Yes, there were times when club members failed to deliver, did not honour promises and made me feel more stupid than I really was. In such cases, I would remind myself that life comes in a package and that all the sham, drudgery and broken dreams had nothing to do with Rotary or Rotary’s Ideal of Service.
It is this Ideal of Service that has kept me going, and dare I say that has motivated many Rotarians worldwide all these years in their strive for world peace and international understanding. It is all these selfless men and women doing great deeds quietly that has made Rotary the great organization that it now is. I often see images of these men and women during my visits to clubs. I am encouraged every time I see them and I can never see them often enough.
On this note, I wish all of you, your loved ones and your families once again a joyous holiday season ahead. May the spirit of Christmas fill you with faith, love and hope, reinforce your Rotary spirit, enhance your creativity and capacity, create awareness in you and enable you to take action in your club, in your community and in your world, for the greater good of humanity in general and for the good of the people who need your service in general.
Talk to you soon.
Your Governor John Wan