South Queensferry Rotarian Gordon McInally starts his year as Rotary International President

Sat, Jul 1st 2023 at 12:00 am - 2:00 am

Gordon McInally to head Rotary International, the world's largest humanitarian organisation

RI President-elect Gordon McInally (left) and South Queensferry President Sandy Mackenzie

In July 2023, long-serving member of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry Gordon McInally will become President of Rotary International - the world governing body of Rotary. Rotary is the largest voluntary humanitarian organisation in the world with 1.4 million members and 46,000 clubs in over 200 countries. Gordon, a dental surgeon, was a Queensferry resident for many years before moving to Yetholm in the Borders on his retirement. He was President of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry from 1991-92, served as District Governor of  Rotary District 1020 and went on to become President of RIBI which administers Rotary in Britain and Ireland.

Sandy Mackenzie, President of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry, said: 'We were all delighted to hear that Gordon had been elected President of Rotary International for Rotary year 2023-24. He has been a valued member and honorary member of this club for over 38 years and has shown great commitment to the Rotary movement worldwide. Gordon will be only the sixth President of Rotary International from  Great Britain and Ireland and the second president from Scotland. We wish Gordon and his wife Heather well for the presidential year and hope to welcome them to the club whenever his schedule permits.'

Gordon said: 'I had just clambered out of the garden pond after clearing duckweed when the message came to tell me I had landed the biggest Rotary job of all. I didn't go into the process blindly. It is something you would not enter into without being prepared to make the commitment.'

Gordon believes that now is the perfect time to move Rotary forward as the changes forced on the clubs by Covid restrictions may have accelerated changes in the way we do things by up to five years.

'I feel one of the most important things is that I am going to follow Jennifer Jones as RI President. Jennifer, a Canadian, was the first woman president and I get on well with her. I have heard some Rotarians say:"I just want to get back to normal and back to the way we used to do it." We can't afford to go back to the old ways. The pandemic has focused our attention and made us aware of the communication technologies that are out there. We must make best use of them.'

Clearly because of his medical background, health will be a high priority  when Gordon considers the issues during his term of office. Children and mental health too. Asked how he might describe himself, Gordon laughed. 'I would like to think that I am out-going. I can relate well to people right across the spectrum, which probably comes from my professional background. I like a laugh as well. After all you have to like a laugh when you support Hibernian Football Club .'

During his latest visit to the Hawes Inn, Gordon said it was a pleasure to be among his ain folk in the club to which he belongs. He wished to thank the club for its support over thirty-nine years. A wonderful Rotary journey.