Being a member of Rotary is more than just being a member of a club.
This week i have experienced so many flavours of Rotary and have met many people for whom Rotary is an important part of their lives, but for so many different reasons.
I attended the quarterly District Forum where 100 Rotarians from Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire networked together and learned about projects and activities carried out by clubs in our district. Working with other organisations in our communities is important for most Rotarians and this event is an opportunity to network and share ideas.
Club Presidents occasionally get together with a group of other presidents, the Zone meeting. This week presidents and presidents elect from the 5 clubs in our zone got together to share thoughts and ideas. Dorchester Poundbury club are one of the newest clubs in our district. They meet at 7.30am on Friday morning for an hour before going to work. I visited their club in December and was made very welcome by their members over coffee and toast. Dorchester Casterbridge, Yeovil, Yeo Vale and ourselves are more established clubs operating in a traditional way with a mix of members, young and old, male and femaie, working actively in our communities, and making a difference. Each too considering the challenges of reforming established clubs and some, like us, considering starting new clubs in their area.
I ended my week by attending the Wassail organised by Brue Valley club at the Catash pub in North Cadbury. This was as always a fun event with 130 people enjoying morris dancing, a wassail ceremony involving toast cider pots and pans and a shot gun, a mummers play, a meal and traditional folk songs in the pub to end the evening. A great event, well done Brue Valley Rotary.
So Rotary really is much more than being a member of a club. Rotary clubs are changing and evolving to match the expectations of the 21st Century. The traditional clubs are being joined by new family friendly clubs which are flexible and make their own rules for how they operate and what they do. As a member of Rotary we can visit any club, make new friends and expand our ideas.
Rotary really does does have many different flavours. We are all volunteers, we are part of a network of 1.2 million volunteers in over 200 counties, all supporting our local communities and we all have fun.