Wednesday, 25 November 2015

You need to ask

My Rotary Moment: You Need to Ask
-          By 9920 PDG Willard Martin

Rally New Zealand [2012] leader Sébastien Loeb in flying form during one of the special stages held in Northland.  Photo credit: Alan McDonald
Why did I join the Rotary Club of Ellerslie Sunrise in Auckland, NZ 27 years ago in 1988? 

I was involved in motorsport, and Ellerslie Sunrise Rotary had a fundraiser called Drive a Dream.  It was the chance to visit the Pukekohe Race Track and drive bendy buses, trucks and forklifts to compete in a Motorkhana, and have a ride in a race car around the track, that was good fun and a great fundraiser. 

I can still remember my friend Grahame Knight asking me to join Rotary.  He had to ask me several times before I got into actionI enjoyed the speakers at meetings, served on committees, was the club Treasurer, and became President in 2005-2006. 

In 2011, I was privileged to attend the inaugural multi-district South Pacific Presidents Elect Training Seminar (SPPETS) as an Assistant Governor for then District 9920 Governor Alan Eyes when my eyes were opened to the world of Rotary.

Rotary International President Ron Burton when presenting his theme for 2013-2014 Engage Rotary and Change Lives at International Assembly in San Diego made the point that you have to ask. You - not the person sitting next to you, or the person in charge of the Membership Committee, or someone else who you might think would be better at it, or who maybe has more time. Membership is not someone else’s job - it’s my job, it’s your job, it’s every Rotarian’s opportunity.

So you have to ask. You need to find those people who are waiting to be asked, find the people who never thought about Rotary, and let them know that you’d like to have them in your club. If you do a good job, and they say yes, and they become members, your job isn’t over. It’s only just beginning, because you need to mentor them, make sure that they find a meaningful role in your club so they get satisfaction out of Rotary.

What you go out and achieve this Rotary year is in your hands, because all the good things that we achieve in Rotary depends on our clubs, but it is your leadership, your members, how well you choose your projects, how you work with The Rotary Foundation and polio eradication, new generations and every other programme of Rotary that will make the difference. 

My club has its own theme which I adopted for District 9920 when I was governor in 2013-2014 - Feel Good while Doing Good. This is what Rotary is all about. 

Who will you invite to join Rotary?