Rotary International Kalyan Banerjee's October 2011 Message
My dear brothers and sisters in Rotary,
WIn the pages of this month's magazine, you will be introduced to the marvelous city of Bangkok, Thailand, which will play host to our 2012 Rotary International Convention. Please consider this my personal invitation to join me, my family, and our fellow Rotarians at what promises to be an incredible event in one of the world's most fascinating locations.
Thailand is a spectacular destination, truly the Land of a Thousand Smiles. I would particularly urge Rotarians who have never visited Thailand before to consider this as your chance. You'll be surrounded by gracious Rotarian hosts and friends, old and new, from around the world. Bangkok is a fantastic gateway for those wishing to explore Southeast Asia, and a wonderful experience on its own. For those who hail from countries closer by, take the opportunity to visit a major cultural capital, with all it has to offer – including shopping, dining, and sightseeing. Indeed, Bangkok will give you a wonderful value for your time and money.
But the very best reason to visit Bangkok, of course, will be the 2012 RI Convention itself, 6-9 May – the highlight of the Rotary calendar.
All through the year, we reach out to Rotary communities around the globe. At the convention, we have the chance to see all those communities represented in one place – to hear all the languages, see all the people, and learn about all the projects of the past year. Nothing brings home the internationality of Rotary like a Rotary convention – and nothing else has the same power to inspire.
I firmly believe that every Rotary event should be a family event, and this is why Binota and I plan to bring our children and our grandchildren. Why not do the same, and make the Rotary convention part of your family's vacation next year? With so many wonderful events and activities to choose from, there is something for everyone, and plenty of opportunity to draw our families closer to our Rotary service.
Every year, I go to the convention excited to see old friends and make new ones, to celebrate our successes and learn from our experiences. And every year, I leave with a sense of pride in Rotary, eager to begin another year of service.
Bangkok promises to be the best convention yet. I urge you to register now at http://www.rotary.org/convention and to begin planning your trip to our 103rd international convention!
An exciting month for the Foundation
October is a busy month for The Rotary Foundation. While our Trustees meeting is usually held in October, this year, because the 2012 RI Convention is so early in May, it was moved to September. This meant that "Taiwan Day" was also held earlier.
On Taiwan Day, we inducted Rotarians from Taiwan into the Arch C. Klumph Society in honor of their contributions of at least US$250,000 to our Foundation. We inducted five generous couples on Taiwan Day in 2009, seven in 2010, and as I write we've had eight in 2011. When you consider the population of Taiwan and the number of Rotarians there, this giving is humbling. We now have over 300 Arch C. Klumph Society members, with the highest number in the United States, and now the second highest in Taiwan. A challenge to the rest of us!
October is a month with many Rotary institutes, where current, future, and past Rotary leaders come together to discuss what is happening within Rotary. We have a trustee and Foundation staff at each institute.
Each October, we also select the next group of our Rotary Peace Fellows – up to 60 for the two-year master's, and up to 50 for the three-month certificate. The selection process is fascinating and resembles the draft system used by U.S. football teams to select their new players. All the applicants are scored and ranked by experienced Rotarians and the universities. Representatives from the universities come to the meeting with their "wish list" but take turns in choosing their actual scholars. Their choices may be influenced by a desire to have a wide geographical or subject spread, and sometimes they will "trade" choices. The result is that the best candidates become our fellows, and our program remains among the best.
Source: Rotary International
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Rotary eClub NY1 * Updated 2011