RI President 2018-19 Barry Rassin
- Jan. 2019
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
Vocational service can be hard to define, but it is easy to describe:
It is simply the point where our Rotary lives and our professional
lives intersect. When we put our Rotary ideals to work through our
work, that is vocational service.
When I returned to the Bahamas after many years working in health
care administration abroad, I realized that my country badly needed
a modern health care facility. The resources we had at the time
were out of date and inadequate, and people who were unable to travel
abroad for care often did not receive the care they needed. Without
the experience I had gained in the United States, I could have done
nothing to change the status quo. But since I did have that experience,
I was in a unique position to have an impact. I knew I could turn
my professional path to good and make a career out of improving
Bahamian health care.
As Rotary became part of my journey, I discovered that the words
of Paul Harris that became the basis of Rotary — that shared
effort knows no limitations — were also true for my vocation.
I could not bring modern health care to the Bahamas alone. But through
partnership, both with the doctors who eventually became my partners
in Doctors Hospital and with all the dedicated staff members who
worked in the hospital over the years, we could change everything.
My goal became a shared goal — and then it became reality.
Rotary emphasizes the dignity of every vocation and the worth of
every calling. Remember that the four founding members included
no doctors or peacemakers — just an attorney, a mining engineer,
a coal dealer, and a printer. From the beginning, the diversity
of those vocations gave Rotary a special strength. And that diversity
is reflected in our classification system, which aims to ensure
that each club represents the full range of businesses and professions
that serve each community.
Paul Harris put it this way: "Each Rotarian is the connecting
link between the idealism of Rotary and his trade or profession."
It was true when he said it and should be equally true now. We only
spend an hour or two a week at our Rotary meetings, but most of
us spend most of our waking time at work. Through Rotary, those
hours are also an opportunity for service: a chance to Be the Inspiration
to those we work with, those who work for us, and the communities
Trustee Chair's Message - Jan.
Ron D. Burton, Trustee Chair
Trustee chair's message
I would be willing to bet that most Rotarians
remember the person who sponsored them into their Rotary
club. It's a person we will never forget and to whom we
will always be grateful for sharing with us such a life-changing
opportunity. Having said that, I'm not really sure most
of us can pinpoint exactly when our Foundation became so
important to us. It's not quite as simple as someone inviting
you to a meeting. But I have to think there was some seminal
event, project, or happening — whether in your club
or district, or internationally — that turned on that
light for you.
Since 1905, Rotary clubs have provided the outlet that allows
Rotarians to be people of action in their communities. Our
local clubs are where we live, work, and make lifelong friends,
and where and how we have the most direct, visible impact
on the place we call home. I firmly believe that when most
Rotarians hear "Rotary International," they think
of their Rotary club.
On the other hand, when Rotarians hear "The Rotary
Foundation," they think of the myriad humanitarian
and educational projects and programs that have made the
Foundation the premier foundation in our world today. It
is truly the magic that brings Rotary to life for them,
makes their community the world, and allows them to be global
people of action.
As we begin the new calendar year and think about the many
things we would like to get done, many of us make New Year's
resolutions. I hope one of yours is greater involvement
and participation in our Rotary Foundation. Let's each make
our Foundation our charity of choice. If we do that, we
can make this Rotary year the very best in our incredible
history. Please join me and make Rotary's legacy your promise!
Ron D. Burton
Trustee Chair 2018-19
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