August is Membership & New Club Development Month

The District Governor Cheryl Writes...

Time flies when you are having fun – or so the saying goes!
I can now declare this absolutely true.

The Luton Someries Musical Evening was brilliant, with top rate young musicians. The standard was astonishingly high, and a must for your calendar next year – although the hall was full with parents, teachers and Rotarians. Classics on the Common with Harpenden was very wet, but very successful, and plenty of cars I would have happily driven away.

August has been busy with General Council up in Alcester as well as various club visits with Milton Keynes, Wendover & District, including the most rained on Teddy Bear’s picnic I’ve ever been too, ably moved in to the Village Hall. The local Mums, Dads and Grandparents still turned up to enjoy tea and cakes, tombolas, raffle, face painting, children’s entertainer. A great event to keep those little ones busy on the wettest day. 

A visit to Sandy the next day was bathed in sunshine (at last) and a great lunch and welcome was given.

I was able to take the Governor £10 challenge to Sandy that had been announced at the District Council meeting in July. The response has been fantastic so far, so if your club has not had their £10 as yet, don’t worry I will be bringing it on my visit to you, or if you would like it sooner let me know.

I wanted to show that making a difference isn’t just the next buzz line to come out of RI. We really do make a difference. So I am giving £10 of my own money to each club and asking them to grow it, and to see how large it can grow to by the end of May 2018. I then get the £10 back which goes to End Polio Now, and half of what your club raise goes to the charity of your choice and half goes to End Polio Now. What is equally important is that you send me your little stories and photos of how the money was raised over that period. I would then like to put together a little book of ideas that we can all use. I don’t expect Rotarians to put their hands in their pockets for this, its more about being inventive and adventurous. 

August is a fairly quiet month with so many on holiday, but everything steps up a gear in September. 

Enjoy the summer and I hope to see you around the District.

Cheryl
District Governor


Presidential Message: August 2016
Dennis Spiller, RGBI President 2017 - 18

A President with 2020 vision

Denis Spiller is on a mission. The man charged with guiding Rotary in these isles over the next 12 months is determined to break down a few barriers and reconfigure public perception with the goal of pushing membership through the 50,000 barrier by 2020.

Working in tandem with the next two Presidents, Debbie Hodge (2018-19) and Donna Wallbank (2019-20), Denis is hoping the 3-D 2020 vision will reinvigorate Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland.

A clever tag phrase, maybe, but one month into his new term, Denis knows that failure is not an option. “We are making Rotary relevant to people’s lifestyles and what and how they want to contribute,” he insisted. “Our theme for the next three years has to be growth.”

Denis, a member of the Rotary Club of Strood in Kent, and a former IT training manager with Hewlett Packard for 22 years, is not a man who pulls his punches. His assessment of Rotary is blunt: “we’re too old!”

When asked why this is so, Denis believes that Rotary took its eye off the recruitment ball some 20 years ago. Then, Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland had more than 50,000 members, club sizes were 30 to 35-strong, with an average age of around 60. “That meant we had members in their 40s and 50s who were still working,” explained Denis.


“What has changed is people’s lifestyles, how they communicate,
how they travel, and when they want to be available.”

Denis has challenged Assistant Governors to create a new club in each of their districts which, when achieved, would mean 250 fresh clubs and potentially 2,500 new members.

“Rotary 2 is not a new Rotary,” he explained. “It is a new image of Rotary and these new groups must take full advantage of the new flexibility rules.

“People can meet when they like, do what they like and, importantly, not be tied by tradition. Too many new clubs have become clones of the parent thinking you must have a toast, you have got to say grace, and you have to have a meal, because we gain fellowship though eating together.”

“Well you don’t. And the truth is there is not a single rule in the Rotary rulebook which says you must have a meal.”

“The rule book simply says you have to meet regularly.”


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