My fellow Rotarians and friends of Rotary,
Whether you are seeking support for a new idea or project, trying to recruit
new members, or restructuring your Rotary club and its meetings, the
"Early Adaption" is very critical. Whilst we
are trying to cope with the deadly pandemic, we are also getting the best
out of technological advancements.
People "adapt" new ideas at different rates. Some people naturally resist
change and may never engage with anything different. It is common to hear:
"We've tried that before," or "We've always done it this way." Individual
personalities change widely. Some people are very cautious and conservative
and may find it challenging to shift from the comfort of their default
positions, whilst others readily embrace change and new thinking.
Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated
purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to
provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the
world since 1905. We Rotarians have been "early
adapters" for us to strive and thrive doing humanitarian work for
more than 100 years with the same passion and vigour as the founders.
Last Sunday's district changeover was another
classic example of adapting and embracing change. A large number of
Rotarians gathered virtually through zoom to witness, Immediate Past
District Governor Warwick Richardson handing or the helm of Rotary District
9675 to Governor Jeremy Wright.
What was significant for the Rotary Club of Strathfield was that our club
was publicly honoured with two awards:
Rotary International President's Citation for
2020-21 - in recognition of the club achieving its Rotary goals
for the year.
Best District (9675) International Service project
for 2020-21. This was for the Indian Covid-19 emergency relief
It is timely to look at a few aspects - how we achieved these milestones.
This is in addition to all the projects we completed which you will see in
detail in our changeover bulletin next month.
2020-21, whilst disrupted, was
an extremely successful year for the Rotary
Club of Strathfield under the leadership of our Immediate Past President, Dr
Usha Garg. In addition to all our tangible achievements, member and partner
engagements, fellowship and other qualitative aspects were at their peak.
The first club to initiate regular alternate meetings (virtual and
in-person) at an early stage and maintained the same pattern and regularity
till the end of the year. No meeting was cancelled
due to the conditions. The virtual meetings allowed us to invite speakers
who were not within travelling distance or could not travel due to the
We also held an extraordinary event - the 50th
Anniversary of the Rotary Club of Strathfield. Attended by 160
people, this mega event was graced by all distinguished people with almost
half the attendance from former members, presidents and their extended
families who travelled long distances to be there. The event raised funds
generously for the Children's Medical Research Institute. We always
maintained a strong membership base, and this has been around 45 for the
last many years. During the COVID19 era where many clubs have lost members
and even folded, we have maintained our membership. We lost two people this
year and have inducted four new members.
A contingent of members attended the district assembly, and many other
members attended other training programs, including PETS. After a gap of
many years, we prepared a comprehensive new Strategic
Indian Covid-19 Relief Project: Responding to
this calamity of the century, Rotary Club of Strathfield (9675) together
with Rotary Australia World Community Services (RAWCS) and Rotary Club of
The Hills - Kellyville (9680), embarked on an emergency relief project to
send essential items of personal protective equipment (PPE) and Oxygen
Concentrators to India immediately by air freight. It was originally
initiated by the Rotary Club of Strathfield and in no time it gained
momentum. We have been working with other like-minded organisations
including many Rotary Clubs in both districts of NSW.
It was well-appreciated by the community here
in Australia - especially the immigrant community, as well as the recipients
in India. We acted very swiftly, involving many stakeholders. We planned and
executed at the same time due to the gravity of the crisis. Emergency relief
and urgent actions were critical and paramount. With our generous Rotarians
and all the civic-conscious citizens of our community, we conceived this
project within a few days, executed it and completed it within a couple of
"This is a changing world: we must
be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written
again and again".--