Beach Ballroom

Conference on Saturday with added items on Friday and Sunday

Booking is open.  Details are on the District website using this link

Aberdeen conference holds potential for growth

By any measure, a major Rotary event scheduled for Aberdeen next week is important.

For its organisers are determined to ensure that Rotary District 1010 Scotland North’s annual conference, being held at the Beach Ballroom on October 29,  reaches out not just to Rotarians but to the vast community the District serves.

Basically, the aim of this busy event, back in Aberdeen after 16 years, is to underline as clearly as possible Rotary’s list of achievements and to emphasise just why Rotary deserves its hard won reputation.

Rotary District 1010 Scotland North serves a major chunk of the Scottish land mass stretching from the North Highlands and Islands to South Fife and Kinross and is one of the oldest and the largest Rotary Districts in the UK, with 90 Clubs and just under 3000 members.

Aberdeen itself boasts seven separate Clubs with its initial-Club dating back to 1916.

The present District Governor,  Roddy Duncan, a member of the Rotary Club of Kintore,Kemnay & District was born in Aberdeen and underlines how he wants to share his conference with the community as well as fellow Rotarians.

Roddy has confirmed his aim will be to further build awareness of what Rotary has achieved and the progress of its many major projects including the nearly won battle to eradicate polio. As he has underlined:

“Rotary Serving Humanity, the theme for this year in Rotary, spells out very clearly why we exist.”

Announcing this theme, Rotary International President John Germ had, he said, focused on Rotary’s “great purpose” in serving men, women and children around the world.

“Coincidentally, the theme for our District Conference was declared many months ago as:  It’s What We Do That Matters,” Dr Duncan added.

“At the club leadership seminars, I announced our four main priorities for 2016-17: End Polio Now; Foundation-the charitable arm of Rotary; Membership; and Public Image.

”I urge every club to meet these challenges and invite many more women and men to enjoy the privilege of being a Rotarian.

“We make a difference. With more of us and with more clubs working together we can achieve even more.”

Roddy will be joined by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President Eve Conway and other keynote speakers to emphasise the conference theme.

Mike Robins, a former Stonehaven hotelier and President of Stonehaven Rotary Club, who is also District Governor Nominee for District 1010, is in no doubt about the continuing relevance of Rotary both domestically and in the wider world.

He said: “Rotary is a totally voluntary, racially diverse, dual gender organisation originally formed in downtown Chicago by lawyer Paul Harris and some business friends in 1905. It was called Rotary because it met in rotation at each of the members’ offices. 

“Its main ethos is Service Above Self, basically helping those less able to help themselves, in communities, your country and in the wider world. An example of this is the eradication of polio project started by Rotary in 1985 and with the help of partner organisations, not least the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is within a couple of years of achieving its aim of disposing of this hideous disease to the history books. 

“To date, Rotary has immunised some 2.5billion children in 122 countries.  

“That ethos stands the test of time and has developed to an organisation represented in over 200 countries with 1.2million members. 

“In its 111 years the Rotary organisation has continued to evolve and runs projects and programmes involving all age groups, abilities, backgrounds and religions. It is non political but uses its powers and influence to achieve good and peace in the world.

“Is there still a place for such an organisation today? It is probably better to say not only yes, but more so. As the world and communities have evolved, so has Rotary. 

“Rotary’s image is understated, probably more because of its deference to the good works it does and is involved in, than a need for self glorification. However as time and lifestyles change, so should its image. Now more than ever, the challenges are greater so a wider understanding and appreciation of what Rotary can and does achieve needs to be understood so that the team for tomorrow can be recruited and harnessed to take the lead.

“Working in partnerships to achieve common goals is immensely satisfying; repairing the ravages of misfortune is the human way. Look out for example for Shelter Boxes and the Rotary Wheel at the scenes of every major disaster and you will understand the commitment Rotary has to helping those in trouble.

“Rotary has no age barriers other than the ones you set yourself. 

“From young children, to youth, to family, to the middle aged and the retired all are supported and have a part to play in improving the world for those less able than themselves. 

“Helping those less able than ourselves with the noble cause of Service Above Self is indeed the Rotary way.”