Stephen said he would never stand as DG! This is now the second time!
Stephen is a Cousin Jack. He was brought up just outside Camborne, though to keep the peace he lets people know that he was born in Redruth (and then adds he was given no choice!).
After leaving the tin mines, and missing the camaraderie and banter, he joined Camborne Rotary in 1993. Soon, work was taking him abroad for extended periods where he was seeing life in the raw and how Rotary responded. He became a rare visitor at his club.
Stephen admits he only started to become a Rotarian in 2008 ! He attended District Conference for the first time prior to becoming President and this was when he started to realise what he had been missing.
Having a thirst for more Rotary, he accepted the position of District Community and Vocational Chair in 2009. He says “The fact that we have real poverty here at home shocked me. I’m local and was unaware, I am sure I am not alone”. He redefined ‘Vocational Service’ to make it more appropriate to the communities we serve: “it’s our individual skills, interests, talent, influence, wherewithal etc that Rotarians individually apply in delivering the other four avenues of service”. Stephen was invited to join the RIBI Community Service Working Group in 2011; RIBI also adopted the Vocational Service definition we use.
It was then that Stephen began to change his mind about becoming a DG: “I was getting a far wider view of Rotary which made me proud to be a Rotarian in D1290. I realised that Rotary is our Rotary, and individuals can influence change”. But the decision had still not been made.
Stephen would not have entertained being DG without Carol’s total support. So in 2013 -14 he was DG for District 1290: Cornwall, west Devon and the Isles of Scilly. “I was blown away by the work that our clubs do, they are so motivating and inspiring, but they take their work for granted”. At the end of his year as DG both Carol and Stephen transferred to the Rotary Club of Lostwithiel after moving to Duporth Bay near St Austell.
“I had learned a tremendous amount about Rotary and with the merger of D1170 and D1290 in 15-16 it seemed logical to put my name forward for District 1175 Governor in 2016-17. It is very important that clubs and Rotarians across the south west work closely together so that we can do so much more. That’s Rotary Serving Humanity.”
And now - to expose the other half of Stephen.....