President's Message JULY 2015
A year ago, Rotary International
invited us to present new ways to conduct Rotary meetings. The Flexible Club Pilot should address
weaknesses in traditional Rotary clubs and allow a fresh approach that will fix
entrenched problems that are excluding people aged under 50. There is an
expectation that there will be less emphasis on the traditional weekly meeting
and greater emphasis on Service Above Self. Many clubs want to try the
fortnightly meeting concept (same as Lions) that is favored by many younger
professionals. NOTE - the Rotary Club of
Sydney CBD, whose members became part of Rotary eClub One, handed back their
charter when RI forced them to revert to weekly meetings after their authorized
trial of meeting once per fortnight ended.
Also a major problem to be
addressed in the pilot is “weak and unattractive weekly meetings that are
perceived to be designed by silly old men for silly old men”. This includes the outdated sergeant's fine
sessions, long-winded reports from committee chairs, singing corny old songs
from the Edwardian music hall era, boring guest speakers from charities who
simply come along to ask for money, meetings that run beyond their allotted
time because of poor chairmanship, high cost of meals, menus of "Rotary
comfort food" for the over 70's, and failure to acknowledge the needs of
younger men and women who may need to drop out of meeting attendance due to a
sick child or other household emergency.
Also, there is concern that
thousands of older Rotarians are focusing on 100% meeting attendance and
writing a few checks, but are not interested in actual volunteer service
The pilot started July 1, 2015 and
is to end on June 30, 2017. After that
date, the participating Rotary clubs will be required to revert to whatever
scheme is prescribed by RI. Because Rotary
eClub One is already deemed by RI to be an innovator and thought leader in the
worldwide community of e-clubs, I think we can achieve our goals within our
current Constitution and By-laws. We can
be a key influencer without the administrative and regular formal reporting
workload that the new pilot requires.
you participating in this Pilot Project?
Are you aware of clubs that are? By clicking the tab “Contact us” you
can share your creative ideas. Did you
start a satellite program for young people bringing their brown bag to meetings? Have we checked on the concept of Rotary
e-interact? The young are constantly
connected to their devices anyway so they would always be in touch. Give us feedback on these questions.