District Governor's Newsletter - August 2017
Teddy Bears Picnic
Wendover's picnic was forced to move inside because of the rain.
But families didn't let the rain spoil the afternoon for them.
RIBI President Dennis Spiller
August is Membership & New Club Development Month
The District Governor
Time flies when you are having fun – or so the saying goes!
I can now declare this absolutely true.
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
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.
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
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
“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.”
Check out our Club News
page for the latest around the District.