Free Portland News entry by Keith Barnard Jones/ Free Portland News

August 2018

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Rotary Roundup - What can we do to help?

Rotarians are very good at telling people what we can do for them, and what we have on offer.  It is very often our way of interpreting our motto of Service Above Self – i.e. doing something to help others.  However what we sometimes forget is that perhaps individuals have wishes, needs etc. which are not necessarily what we are offering.

We have fairly regular, informal, meetings with the newer members of our club to give them the chance to ask what they may consider to be stupid questions which they would not dream of asking in a full club meeting because of the risk of perhaps causing embarrassment.  However, when sitting down in a small group in someone’s house, with a glass or two of something in one’s hand, it is a lot easier to be brave. A lot of very good suggestions/proposals have arisen from such events.  We had such a meeting a few weeks ago, and one of our newer members asked the question – Do we always tell people what we have on offer, or do we ask them how we can help?  An interesting twist.  So the question I am posing this month is - Are we actually doing what the members of the Portland community really want, or are we just telling you what we are offering you and you take it or leave it?  So, is there something we are missing and that, perhaps, we could provide or that we could do to help?  Answers to

It is obvious that we cannot build low cost houses, or a new road around the Fleet or any other large scale project.  We started doing the Table Top Sales because someone suggested them and, from feed-back given, they are popular, useful and raise monies for the various organisations concerned..  We started doing the Father Christmas deliveries because someone suggested them and they are still very popular. We have helped with Mock Interviews and Public Speaking Competitions for the schools or other youth organisations because we were asked so to do.   We help with car parking and marshalling people at events because of requests.  So is there something else that we are missing?  Here is your chance, perhaps, to make history and change the direction in which the Rotary Club is heading.  Of course we have limited numbers and thus a relatively small amount of talents so we cannot work miracles.   However, if there are a lot of people out there itching to become Rotarians and help us in our work, we can always use you as more hands can accomplish a lot more than can be accomplished by fewer hands.  If so, let us know.  If we are not aware that anyone is interested, then we cannot ask them to join I am afraid.

So back to normal, and our members have helped out this last month at the Southwell Village Fayre and also in Easton Gardens for their Annual Fete. The links between the club and the community on the island seem to get stronger every year

In two weeks’ time we will be holding our first District meeting of the Rotary year, once again being held at the Bath & West Show Ground.  This is the opportunity for all Rotarians, whether chairs, committee members or whatever to meet their counterparts from the other 50+ clubs in our Wessex District to listen to their views, and to discuss our own ideas.  I have not yet seen the agenda but I can report on that next month.  Something exciting to which to look forward.

By the time this is in print, we will almost certainly be planning our activities for the Christmas period, now just four months away.   Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun?