2009-2010 R. I. President John Kenny & President-elect Ray Klinginsmith

John Kenny

John Kenny, 2009-2010 RI President, Addresses Conference in Birmingham, England

24 June 2009
It is a great honor to be speaking to you today, in the island on which I was born and raised, addressing you as the first Scottish president-elect of Rotary International in the 104-year-history of our organization.

As I look out at all of you here today, I think of the words of the Apostle Luke, who said, “To whomsoever much is given, much will be required; and to whomsoever much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.” I know that much will be entrusted to me in the Rotary year we are soon to begin, and I am prepared to give all that I am able to this organization which I have served for the past 39 years. I am strengthened in that resolve in that I shall have the full support of my wife, June, as I continue that service in the months that lie ahead.

Every year, the Rotary baton passes to a new team of Rotarians, but whilst leaders in Rotary change, leadership does not, and in this process of continuity, Rotary manifests its greatest strength. You will add fresh ideas and energies to those who have gone before, so that you can pass on to your successors a better district and stronger clubs. Now is your time. It is for you to grasp the opportunity, for The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands. This is the theme I have chosen for the coming year. I have full confidence in each of you to ensure that the visionary fires of Rotary will burn more brightly at the end of our year.

When Paul Harris founded the first Rotary club 104 years ago, he did not initially think of service. Instead, he had in mind a place where people of good character, intelligence, and morals could enjoy each other’s fellowship and friendship. The service came later, as a natural outgrowth of the gathering of such people.

When a club is formed of people who are honest, who are ethical, who enjoy each other’s company and take pleasure in shared accomplishment for the good of all — that is a Rotary club as Paul Harris envisioned it. And that is a club that makes all of Rotary stronger. We in Rotary have potential that is unmatched by any other humanitarian organization in the world. We can bring health to the sick, education to the illiterate, water to the thirsty, and sustainable livelihood to the poor and the hungry. We can help those closest to us and those in the farthest corners of the earth. All this we can do, if only we choose to.

And that is why, in the 2009-10 Rotary year, I selected the theme The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands. Because the future of Rotary will not be determined by me, or by any of Rotary’s senior leaders — in this Rotary year or in any other. The future of Rotary will not be determined at this convention or by any decision by the Board of Directors of Rotary International. The future of Rotary is being decided every day, in every one of our clubs — by every one of you. The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands.

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Ray Klinginsmith

Klinginsmith elected RI President for 2010-2011

Ray Klinginsmith, of the Rotary Club of Kirksville, Missouri, USA, was elected as president of Rotary International for 2010-11 by delegates during the fourth plenary session at the 2009 RI Convention in Birmingham, England.

Klinginsmith thanked the audience, saying that his election completed a long Rotary journey of nearly 50 years that began with a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship. "Thank you for permitting me to complete a circle in my Rotary life. It was 25 years ago, in this very building, that the delegates to the 1984 convention elected me as an RI director," said Klinginsmith. "That election in 1984 permitted me to become the youngest director on the RI Board as a result of my early exposure to Rotary as a college student, because I was a Rotary Scholar."

Klinginsmith said that when the RI Convention is convened in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, in 2011, it will be the 50th anniversary of his "monthlong trip that lasted a lifetime." Awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Cape Town, Klinginsmith said he was the first student from his community to study abroad. He told the audience how he embarked on his journey on a ship that sailed from New Orleans to Cape Town, where he made friends and was first exposed to the transformative power of Rotary.

"I had the good fortune to travel 16,000 miles in Africa and to visit 35 Rotary clubs in four different countries, and therefore, I am pleased to stand here today as a product of The Rotary Foundation," Klinginsmith said.

The Rotarians who will serve as 2010-12 RI directors were declared elected at the plenary session. They are Noel A. Bajat, of the Rotary Club of Abbeville, Louisiana, USA; Elio Cerini, of the Rotary Club of Milano Duomo, Italy; Kenneth W. Grabeau, of the Rotary Club of Nashua West, New Hampshire, USA; Stuart B. Heal, of the Rotary Club of Cromwell, New Zealand; Masaomi Kondo, of the Rotary Club of Senri, Osaka, Japan; Barry Matheson, of the Rotary Club of Jessheim, Norway; Samuel F. Owori, of the Rotary Club of Kampala, Uganda; and John C. Smarge, of the Rotary Club of Naples, Florida, USA.

RI General Secretary Ed Futa also declared elected the nominees for district governor in 2010-11 and announced the officers for Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland in 2009-10.

Source: Rotary International News

 

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