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Club Assembly Presentation 6 June 2017

Club Assembly Presentation – Colin Dowding 6 June  2017


*Welcome to Asst Gov Mary Whitehead, thank you for attending

*Thanks to all Club Members for all your efforts and achievements.

*Thanks for my nomination to become Club President in 2017-18,

 Honour a privilege & a significant responsibility

 Be assured 100% personal commitment to ensure we have successful year.

*Thanks also to the Club Officers Barry & Ian and the Committee Chairmen for agreeing to serve for another year. Your roles are crucial in achieving objectives

*The Committees have all been confirmed, will issue a note in the next few days.


Rotary Principles:

Before outlining my plans and objectives for the year, important & appropriate to restate the 3 key Rotary principles.


Service Before Self:

Exemplifies the humanitarian spirit of the organisation, and Club members work in community, youth and charity support projects.

The Object of Rotary:

To encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise by

  1. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service.
  2. High ethical standards in business and professions: the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations: and the dignifying of each Rotarians occupation as an opportunity to serve society.
  3. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business and community life.
  4. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
    The 4 Way Test:

    Rotary’s moral code: Of the things that we think say or do:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
    Plans & Objectives for the Year:

    *My objective build on the existing very strong spirit of  camaraderie and fellowship within the Club.

    *Club is a strong unit, we work well together & that strength has produced some significant results with comparatively small No of members –

    *Detail documented in Bob’s “Project and Activity Summary”.

    (Copy forwarded to Mary).

    To summarise in the last Rotary year under President’s Simon’s direction we completed the following:

    3 Major Fundraising Projects

    8 Community Projects

    6 International Projects

    7 Club Service/Social Projects

    In addition: Club Meetings / Speaker Finding:

    *Rota now established for each member to find & host an appropriate  speaker. New routine is still bedding in, - so far have had some interesting & very varied evenings.

    *Collaboration with Local Clubs:

    *Specifically 2  “3 Clubs Meetings” – are now an annual event and we collaborate closely & regularly with Luton Someries.

    *President Simon has initiated the regular contact and communication with the 4 Luton Clubs - will continue in the New Rotary Year.

    Support for Rotary Foundation & in particular End Polio Now

    *Significant No of crocus corms - planted in autumn. Effective local publicity was achieved & a good display in the Spring 

    *The Club fortunate in having No of members – who are actively involved in significant Foundation and International Projects – working closely with District and the wider Rotary community. These projects will continue to get the Club’s full support & commitment.

    Personal Objectives & Projects for 2017/18

    RI Presidents Tree Planting Initiative:

    *Highlighted at District Assembly – personal objective of the new RI President: As more information becomes available, keen for the Club to get involved with this project, either locally Marston Forest and the Woodland Trust (Ideally empowering younger and fitter volunteers! - eg Arnold School)

    or internationally – via appropriate charity. 

    (Clophill Bypass – 1970’s : Trees now mature & alive!)


    *Social Media :  We need to set up a simple but effective Club Facebook Page (Paul who currently updates and manages our website has agreed to investigate & get this project moving).

    Perverse, don’t personally use social media, but anecdotal evidence is very persuasive – it will help gain new members so we have to give it a go!

    *Rotary Club Central: Is a centralised RIBI web data base set up to document & quantify achievements at Club level. We are being encouraged to use this online tool to communicate & share our achievements with the wider Rotary Community & ultimately the public.

    * As an organisation we don’t formally document what we do & calculate what it is worth, & record it in a meaningful way.

    Bob who has assumed the role of Club archivist with the “Project & Activity Summary” has agreed to investigate & hopefully set up this activity.

    More later!!

    President’s Charity:

    I have identified The PEPS unit at  St John Hospice Moggerhangar (Partnership for Excellence in Palliative  Support)  & The Primrose Macmillan Unit at Bedford Hospital as my Presidential Charities.

    The reasons are very personal as follows:

    A very close friend of our’s Sue Bryce from Houghton Conquest fell ill in April 2016. Bowel cancer was diagnosed in July & intensive treatment immediately followed.

    Tragically Sue’s cancer proved incurable and she died at home on March 1.

    The support that Sue and her husband Jim received from PEPS & the Primrose Unit in the most challenging of circumstances was huge and I am keen to see what we can do to acknowledge that support.

    Ann & I have known Jim & Sue for close to 50 yr – very important.

    The Sue Ryder organisation St John’s Hospice Moggerhanger visited recently and explained the work done at the Hospice.

    Plan to renew that contact & also make contact with the Primrose Unit.


    *Firstly & without being complacent, we have done well in retaining members,

    *New members: one statistic came to light in preparing this talk, v. significant.

    My “New Members Manual” issued in 2013 quotes RIBI membership at 55000.

    District Ass’y last month quoted current figure at 46000.

    Assuming the manual updated in 2012 - 16% drop in 5 yrs. 

    The equiv figure for the Club was an 8% drop - “anno domini”

    The average age of an RIBI Rotarian in RIBI is now 76

    Gentlemen - The conclusion is obvious !!

    Reversing this trend:
    *No criticism - current and previous membership committees,

    First Class job – promoting the Club locally.

    Good website and excellent work done - raising the profile of the Club.

    particularly with local reporting of the Club’s activities.  

    *Internal project on the subject of membership - 2 years ago:

    Excellent analysis & proposals for change. 

    Conclusion - some interest has been generated but no new members!

    Andrew and I are the Club’s newest members!


    For the future, my role is to pick up on any helpful ideas from the Club, District & RIBI to help reverse this trend whilst importantly ensuring that we maintain the “ethos” of the Club. The social media route is an obvious one to try,

    *Rotary Club Central – will ultimately generate positive publicity

    To summarise:

    *My objective - Continue to build on excellent spirit & rapport within the Club.

    *Achieve the objectives we collectively set for the New Year - whilst ensuring (as far as is practical) that all viewpoints are heard and properly considered. *Continue to have some fun and enjoyment!

    *Not planning to initiate changes that are contrary to strengths & culture of the Club - will be on lookout for & promoting any ideas that are sensible and positive. 

    *Thank you gentlemen for your attention, genuinely looking forward to working with you all in new Rotary Year.


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