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

By Keith

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Rotary Update for the Autumn

So, our glorious summer is at last just a topic of distant memory, and we head through autumn towards Christmas.     Another calendar year drawing to a close though, of course, our Rotary year is still less than half way through, and it occurred to me that an explanation of our Rotary year, month by month might not come amiss.

People very kindly ask me about our motto – Service Above Self, our creed, and our annual theme which is chosen each year by the new President of Rotary International, and this year is Be The Inspiration.  Both these sayings help to give direction to what we try and do.

Moreover, instead of doing “Service Above Self” all the time – which can get a bit boring, we also focus, each month, on a different aspect of our service.

So for anyone who is interested and still reading, we do not interfere with July, which is the start of our year with new teams are still settling in.  It is a month for consolidation.

August becomes Membership and New Club Development month because, if we had no members and no new clubs, our efforts would never get off the ground.

September is Basic Education and Literacy month.  There are billions around the world who can neither read nor write – one of the basic tools of humanity – and from which stem poverty, high infant mortality and even war - topics in which we are already engaged.

October becomes Economic and Community Development month which, I think, speaker for itself – our emphasis this month often steers towards helping peoples and communities to become financially self-sufficient.  Give a man a fish and feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and feed his family for life.

November is Rotary Foundation month – our one and only charity which deals with everything charitable and funds most of what we do around the world including education, peace, health, and polio eradication.

December becomes Disease Prevention and Treatment month, the intent of which is obvious.

We start 2019 with Vocational Service month – when we pay special interest to our vocations – whether it be teaching, finance, shop-keeping or medicine.  We take a special look to see if our businesses and professions can be used to even better effect.

February is Peace and Conflict Resolution Month

And March becomes Water and Sanitation month.  It is difficult to have one without the other

April is Maternal and Child Health month

And May is Youth Services month.  Youth – the future of our world.

Regular readers of F.P.N. will see from this list that I give you that all that we are doing fits into one of these categories.

And then, finally, we go into Rotary Fellowship month – June.    If we do not enjoy what we are doing, if we do not get a kick out of helping those in need, and if we cannot work together and have fun together, there is no point in being a Rotarian.