DG Blog 9th November 2020

The Colour Purple

I was saddened to learn of a return to even harsher restrictions which are with us for November, but at least just before this second lockdown we were able to celebrate World Polio Day.

Like many of you, I spent the morning on my hands and knees pushing crocus bulbs into holes dug by my Rotary colleague Terry Rowcliffe. The photograph made the Somerset County Gazette and there was other publicity gained for Rotary re polio including a slot on BBC Radio Somerset for AG Bruce Bailey. I cannot stress enough the importance of improving public awareness of the great things we do in order to grow Rotary, and allow others to share the same experiences that we have had in being part of our great organisation. 


 Rotary Global Hub

There is a new initiative to grow Rotary called Gobal Hub. It’s designed to take account of our changing world, and indeed our changing Rotary world, and to complement our existing traditional club format. I’d urge you to register for the 3-district presentation on the Hub by our General Secretary Amanda Watkin taking place this Thursday 12th. The link is set out below.

 You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Nov 12, 2020 07:00 PM London

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYkc-qgrjgsHtZLpK-WrNhf08u2L5VczsKU

However, I realise that membership retention is just as challenging as growing Rotary in these difficult times so click here for a list of potential activities/ideas that clubs around the country have been employing to keep their meetings stimulated. Why not try something different?

 On the matter of stimulating club meetings, there is a growing list of speakers on the public pages of our district website which also includes a link to a similar list on the RGBI website.


District Conference – in pursuit of the positives

On the matter of our already-postponed District Conference, I’m sure you will not be surprised to hear that we have had to abandon our plans for the event at Taunton School. Even if we happen to be outside a lockdown period by our planned date next year, we are doubtful that many will have the appetite to be at large gatherings, or indeed it may not be permitted. I am gutted, because the conference committee had put so much time and effort into crafting an event that was innovative and different. Well, it’s certainly going to be that now!

As with most other events of any kind, our conference will now be delivered to you in the virtual world.  However, in the spirit of looking for positives at the moment, there could be some unexpected advantages to this – more of you across the district should be able to attend; you’ll have a ‘pick n mix’ of sessions from which to choose; and as we still hope to focus on recruitment to Rotary and showcase our work, it should be easier for your non-Rotarian friends and family to dip into Rotary life for a day via the conference. So – more on this as soon as we firm up some details.


Stay safe

‘Stay safe’ has become a new norm in our signing-off now, hasn’t it? Naturally, I am urging you all to please keep safe during these difficult times. Incidentally, I have had some PPE given to me – including face masks and overalls.

Happy to post it out to any clubs which feel they can make use of it – perhaps for homeless people, or volunteers on projects (a charity helping homeless people and the YMCA have already benefitted from some of the PPE here in my local area.)

 

Rory O’Donnell

District Governor

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