District Conference

October 2019

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The 2019 District Conference was F.U.N. and we must tell people about our “dogoodery”

Attending this year’s Conference, the Portland crowd was buzzing, celebrating the F.U.N. being Rotarians and by dancing the night away. We gathered on Friday evening in Southampton’s city centre Grand Metropol Hotel (after indulging in retail therapy).  F stands for Fellowship: we met, made connections between clubs, shared ideas and found old friends. On Saturday the best speaker (who Janet jumped up to grab a selfie with), was Evan Burrell, an Aussie with great dress sense. Rotarians, he said, are truly modern-day superheroes. Each of us has the power to do good in the world and to make a difference. A Rotarian from Turramurra in D9685 Sydney, he joined Rotaract at 18 and is now an actor (was in Neighbours as Toadie’s friend). Here’s our 2019 District Governor, Dennis Stevens with Evan.

His message was to make Rotary Fun, Update and spread the message, talk about what we do and create New Clubs, like Rotakids: school clubs for Primary-aged children, each with a link-Rotarian and a supporting teacher. He also highlighted how Rotary meals always seem to involve chicken, and more significantly the Six Areas of Rotary Focus.

Another key message was what inspires people to make a difference and how do they approach challenges? Speaker Bonita Norris explained why she climbed Everest, and Assistant District Governor Dr Michael Fernando why he loved being a member of Rotary: because through Rotary he could initiate the rebuilding of a school in the Helambo District of Nepal and help set-up neonatal care training projects in Pakistan. We also heard from Yeovil Rotarian Dr Yinka Ossoba and how her RI Friendship Exchange (RIFE) led to the funding of the Nethra Eye Project, a mobile eye clinic in Kerala, southern India. So much is possible through Rotary!

It’s all about Service Above Self. Be proud and tell people why you love being a Rotarian.