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President Thaya's Message

11 August 2021




My fellow Rotarians and friends of Rotary


There are some images so powerful they can never be forgotten. That was my experience when I viewed a famous photograph of the late Princess of Wales, Diana. At first glance, the captured scene shows Diana smiling warmly, the princess shaking the hand of an unidentified man. But it's the photographer's story that makes it remarkable. On April 19, 1987, when Princess Diana visited London Middlesex Hospital, the United Kingdom was engulfed in a wave of panic as it was confronted with the AIDS epidemic. Not knowing much about the disease-which often killed with terrifying speed-was spread, the public at times treated AIDS victims like social pariahs. So it was a stunning moment when Diana, with ungloved hands and a genuine smile, calmly shook an AIDS patient's hand that day. That image of respect and kindness touched the world to treat victims of the disease with similar mercy and compassion.


The picture reminds me of something I often forget: freely and generously offering the love of humanity is an act of love, which is worth it. Rotarians don't miss any opportunity to give. We give - help to the helpless and hope to the hopeless. We also take a stand when it matters - whether it is risky or unpopular to save humankind and serve the needy people. We always step out to address the "need of the hour". Whatever the project, be it a foodbank for the homeless due to lockdown, a publicity initiative to support vaccination, educating the indigenous community in regional Australia, youth empowerment scholarships for the local community or our recent Covid global grant projects in India and Sri Lanka - our Rotarians contribute very generously.


Our first Club Assembly for the new year was a successful event last week. We started our year with a strong Strategic Plan, and our board presented a detailed implementation and execution plan based on our strategy. All our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for both community service and friendship. We had a very healthy discussion for more than an hour, and the outcome was relevant and timely for us to move forward with the next 50 years of serving our community locally and globally. We are conscious of one thing - some leaders are good in strategic planning and some leaders are good in strategic execution, but great leaders are good in both strategic planning as well as execution.


Rotary International has dedicated the month of August as a MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT MONTH. I cannot emphasise strongly enough that the goal of this month is not getting the largest and most impressive numbers. There is not going to be any competition, recognition, or public use whatsoever of the numbers reported by any individual club. Our goal is to increase the number of quality members. The goal that answers not only the question, "What is Rotary?" but the question, "What does Rotary do?"


I strongly believe that with these numbers, we will be better able to demonstrate the value of Rotary: Making a Difference - which in time will enable us to make more of a difference, for more people, in more ways, than ever. The lockdown is not good at all, but not even the lockdown can stop the Rotarians from serving the underprivileged and deprived community among us.


Yours in Rotary,


Thaya Ponnia    


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Last Update Wednesday August 11, 2021