Joseph A. Caulder Collection
Past Rotary International Director 1928-29 - Regina, Sask., Canada
"Eyewitness to Rotary International's First 50 Years"
JOSEPH A. CAULDER - An eyewitness to Rotary International's first 50 years.
Rotary Information Book 4
[Page A-1 through D-10] [Pages N-1 through V-10] [Pages W-1 through End]
Page E-1 (Pagination as in Original)
The following several pages is a story of a flag presentation at Kansas City Convention in June 1918. The Rev. E. Leslie Pidgeon of Augustine Presbyterian Church, Winnipeg, was reaching the end of his year as President of The International Association of Rotary Clubs. John Poole of Washington, D.C. had been chosen the President for 1919-20. Leslie Pidgeon was the first president from Canada and he had done an excellent job. The article which follows is taken from the 1918 proceedings. This was the 9th annual convention of the National Association of Rotary Clubs of N. America and changed to International Association of Rotary Clubs in 1912. There were 4034 present from 267 clubs. The proceedings does not tell all the story of the 1918 convention. From those who were there it was claimed that this convention was one of the greatest in Rotary history. The Allies were in a critical position and the British Army had its back to the Channel. The fate of the world hung in a precarious balance, in 1918 none could leave England without government consent. The government thought enough of Rotary to allow Home Morton of London and Thos. Stephenson of Edinburgh to come to Kansas City, Mo. for the convention. Dr. M. Ashby Jones on behalf of the Atlanta Georgia club presented the two British delegates with a. magnificent silk U.S. flag. Home Morton accepted it on behalf of the British Association of Rotary Clubs and in doing so he pre-
sented Dr. Jones with a small Union Jack with about one shilling. He said in part "We cannot bring you a beautiful silk flag as ours is all used in building airplane wings". We have been told that at the end of the two flag presentations it would have been difficult to find a dry eye in the convention hall.
Convention proceedings report as follows :
I am happy today in the unique privilege, accorded me by the Atlanta club, of presenting to our brethren from the British Isles the flag of the United States of America. But in doing so I shall make bold to speak for a few moments for the heart of this America to the heart of Great Britain.
Within the folds of a nation's flag is symbolled the circle of a nation's sentiments, and within the range of those sentiments is revealed the reach of a nation's soul. Tell thestory of that flag and if it does not touch the chords of memory with a vibrant passion of patriotism, the soul of the nation is dead or dying. For a people who can forget their past will have no future worthy to be remembered. A nation which writes no history can make no history.
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So in this solemn hour of the life of mankind, when all that men have dreamed or dared for the building of civilization is being put to the jeopard, we turn for inspiration to the story of our flag. And I do not hesitate for a moment to recall in your presence, Brothers of Britain, that this flag was born out of the womb of a war of rebellion against your government and ours. For it was a rebellion of Englishmen against a tyrant who sought to usurp those blood-bought rights of freemen which had been handed down to them by their English fathers. And now in the light of a truer perspective, the truth is clear as noon-day -- that fight was yours as we'll as ours, and that victory was for you and me, and all humanity. As certainly as the priceless possession of Runnymede with its gift of the Great Charter of human liberty belongs to America, so Yorktown with its rebirth of democracy is the birth-right England. For be it remembered that since that day no tyrant has sat upon your throne, but England has been ruled by the regnant will of the people.
I am convinced that we have made a profound mistake in identifying the cause of freedom with any one nation. Freedom has fought under a thousand different banners, and won her triumphs on ten thousand different battle fields. Freedom is not a form nor a formula, a creed nor a constitution. Freedom is the very essence of life itself. It is
the divine instinct to live, to live the richest, the fullest, the most complete expression of oneself. It will make its protest in any language - - it will fight with many weapons – it will challenge any tyrant. But whatever the language it may speak, it is ever saying to tyranny in some form, "I demand the divine right from my Creator to fulfill unhampered the purpose of my creation."
Never in the history of mankind has that challenge been so clearly vocal upon the lips of men as today, and this old world shakes to its foundations as the sons of freedom and the sons of tyranny meet in a truceless fight for the conquest or the redemption of mankind.
Underneath all else, that is the meaning of this world war. When Germany marched through Belgium to the dirge of dying childhood and the minor music of the moans of raped and ruined womanhood--leaving it a desert of dust and ashes-- the horror was different from that with which we view the destructive pathway of an irresistible tornado. It was not simply the wreckage and the ruin. Humanity stood aghast, because this wild beast had first to break down the spiritual barrier of its own honor, crush the sacred rights of humanity, and trample beneath its feet the precious pearls
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of civilization, in its mad effort to enslave mankind. Then there was revealed in living letters of fire: This is not the fight of England or of Belgium, or of France or of Italy. It is humanity's fight.
America caught the call of democracy. And the other day, how our hearts thrilled with the spirit of '76, when the story came back of how the light of those stars had kissed in radiant beauty the Union Jack and the Lilies of France, while beneath its flaunting folds American lads, shoulder to shoulder with your Tommies and the poilus, had hurled back the Hun across the sacred current of the Marne.
But freedom needs peace for the fulfilment of its highest and holiest tasks. It needs the unhampered opportunity for all the thought and activities of all the people to flow in concentrated current into the great constructive work of civilization.
War from its very nature is an enemy to democracies. It reaches out in conscriptive force and seizes all the accumulated experience, knowledge, tastes and ambitions of the people and dragoons them into the service of destruction. The artist must leave his picture, the artisan his task, the musician his violin, the farmer his plow, the son and husband their home, and all the dreams and deeds which have gone in infinite variety to make up that corn-
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posite picture of beauty which we have called civilization, must be molded into a dull monotony of purpose for the destruction of that which men have builded.
Even the threat of war is a disturbing influence to the peaceful processes of civilization. For if a democracy must clutch a sword in one hand, it has only one hand left with clutch to work. Just a war cloud upon the horizon for the past forty years -- no bigger than a man's hand it may be claimed, yet with the fore- finger of that hand ever pointing to "the Day," has distracted the attention of men and robbed the world of an incalculable force for its up-building. The rattling of the sword in Northern Europe was continuously on the nerves of nations. The simple truth is now as clear as day Not simply since 1914, but ever since Bismarck welded the German people into a sword, the German Empire has been a threat and a menace to the freedom of the world.
So that now we front the stern paradox. We must fight for a peace. Not a German- Russian peace, but a peace which will rid the world Of the domination of tyranny, and whose terms shall include within its encircling care the least of all the nations. Our task is something more than to make a new map of the world.
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We have had enough of map-making -- tracing the boundaries of nations with a sword, and propping thrones upon pyramids of bayonets. No, our task is nothing less than to make a new world --a world builded upon the fundamental principle that "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." For that purpose and that alone flies that flag in France. And each regiment of the never ceasing current of khaki which flows across the sea, catches up the words of Pershing, "LaFayette, we are here." And they'll not come back until this threatened tyranny of the world is over, eternally over, "over there."
Brothers of the British Isles, this flag is yours too. By the light of the stars and the blood red stains of this flag, the daughter of democracy pledges the mother of political liberty a consecrated comradeship in a fight for the freedom of the world.
(At the close of the address Mr. Home-Morton waved the flag after kissing it, while the audience cheered and applauded vigorously. )
THE PRESIDENT: One minute for silent, earnest prayer for our country in accordance with the resolution we have passed. It could not be more appropriate than at this moment before the response is made.
(There was one minute of silent prayer.)
I could have wished that this task which now falls to me could have fallen to other hands, for unfortunately, the race to which I have the honor to be long is gifted with powers of expression in inverse proportion to the depth of our feeling. Never in my whole life for forty odd years have I found it so difficult to find words wherein to express the tumult of my heart as I do at this moment.
The eloquent speech made by Dr. Jones will make a lasting impression upon those of us who come from the other side, and I can assure you that every word of it spoken by him, a true American, is endorsed by us, the honored representatives of the mother country of the British Empire. (Applause.)
He said very truly that the war which brought your independence arose out of misunderstandings, and that you were also fighting our battles in helping to rid us of the tyranny of what today I grant we should call German propaganda, for our king in those days had not lived sufficiently long among Anglo-Saxon races to acquire that depth of humanity which we all would expect to find in the hearts of English-speaking people.
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I do not know that at this time I am called upon, even, if I thought it in my power, to make a long speech. There is so much that I would love to say if I could only find expression for it, but I would ask you to believe and to be assured that the brevity of my remarks on this occasion is no indication of our gratitude not only to those who are here before us, citizens of the United States, but of the United States and the whole of your country.
We see marching through our towns now your men, not in small numbers but in thousands, even in tens of thousands, marching with your Old Glory at their head, and are indeed glad to see Old Glory floating in our midst.
I can only say that we ask you now not only to send your
men nine hundred thousand strong, the more you send the sooner it will be
over, and then we shall come to that better understanding between the two
nations to which we have the privilege of belonging, and
I would just say in conclusion that we thank you, thank the club of Atlanta for this generous gift.
I may confess that it had been my intention before leaving these shores to
ask that I might be given a flag to take back, but like every other wish or even thought which we have, it's met in your dear country before we have time to express it. (Applause.)
We will therefore take your flag back to our home country gladly and we shall keep it forever and I only hope that our government which has covetous eyes towards all things that are made of metal will not rob us of the beautiful brass ornaments which have been put upon the pole. (Applause and laughter.) I can assure you that if they try to seize them there will be a pretty hefty fight in the British Association of Rotary Clubs. (Applause.)
FRANK E. HERING (South Bend, Indiana): In connection with this wonderfully inspiring occasion may I take just thirty seconds to tell those that are assembled here what has been adverted to by the last speaker to be in the mind of every citizen of this great Republic? The man that sat upon the throne of England, George III, was not an Englishman, was not a Scotchman, was not a Welshman, was not an Irishman; he was of the house of Hanover and he was a German.
There never was a period when he was able with all his power to claim more than twenty thousand soldiers from the islands. (Applause.)
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(A ladles glee club from Parsons, Kansas, sang a number of selections to the pleasure of the members of the convention.)
THE PRESIDENT: I take this opportunity of expressing the gratitude of the International Association to the Rotary club of Parsons and to the Glee Club of Parsons, Kansas, for this beautiful and artistic contribution to the day's program. (Applause.)
Vern B. Hampton
Great movements find the man,
The man the hour
When world events are shaped,
And new paths opened for mankind
In History's onward march.
In 1905 the man and hour met
Unnoticed in Chicago's busy mart
Where teeming multitudes
Toiled at their daily tasks,
Needless of others,
Hardly heeding self:
The rush of life left little time for living.
What was the gain where none enjoyed the game?
A lonely man was young Paul Harris there,
Wanting a friend, companionship,
A chance to serve his fellowmen.
Suiting the action to his need,
Pour kindred souls at his behest
Began The Great Adventure!
A circle drawn,
A simple meal, a fruitful talk,
Warmed by one brotherhood.
Idea into action,
That spelled R-o-t-a-r-y.
So struck the hour,.
And a new light lit our world.
Down History’s corridors
The sounding gong resounded
As Rotary was born,
The pioneer of Service Clubs,
Rotary was first to meet a modern need
For a society of men of diverse callings,
Classified by their vocations,
Desired by Rotary for their worth in civic leadership,
Success in business or profession,
Personal attributes and fellowship.
Rotary offered to all, its high ideals
And a program for accomplishment,
And challenged the world at large
To raise its sights, Reorient its thinking:
To dignify the role of man in every station,
Into Rotary - Hallmark of Leadership.
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The emblemed wheel became a passport far and wide,
Mark of accomplishment.
Mottoes are idea sloganized:
"Who profits most serves best
His craft, community, mankind."
This early concept founds its complement
In "Service Above Self,"
The Founder's aim for all
Rotary's collective force
In Paths of Service.
Paul Harris knew the score:
In many lands he had seen poverty and ignorance
Helping his fellowmen became a
The spirit of Vermont possessed his soul:
New England lakes gave him
Meadows bequeathed their beauty, streams their calm;
Snow-silenced winters, time for contemplation.
Tempered and tried in youth,
He grew to manhood modest, patient, wise,
Enduring as the granite hills of home,
Endowed with zeal to serve, not to be served.
No pretense marked his modest mien,
And friends in converse found his epigrams and wit
Enjoyable, lighting the moments of companionship
With warmth and wisdom.
As Rotary expanded,
Crossed boundary lines, seas,
continents and hemispheres,
Not easily, for there were times of stress:
When inhumanity to mart seemed paramount
And war engulfed the world;
"Broaden our understanding," he told Rotary,
"Strengthen the bond, rebuild, renew.
These gains will come," he said prophetically.
His steady hand from 1905 to 1947
Helped guide the craft launched on life's tortured seas.
After the dim days when Rotary began,
Strong men of Rotary upheld his arm
Against the setting sun
When weary toil and travel took his strength.
And always by his side, part of the Rotary van,
Was Bonnie Jean, beloved wife,
His Rotary Ann.
Grateful is Rotary that Paul Harris lived so long
To firm the movement in the mold he formed in faith.
A living monument, Rotary -
No lengthened shadow
But a Tel-Star on the world,
Progress unparalleled is seen
Its growth phenomenal,
Its program rich and timed to current needs
An annual harvest of good works and leadership,
Thousands of times repeated.
The human mind scarce comprehends the global impact
That Rotary has had on the world's millions
In three score years.
These forces of fraternity
Have breached estranging walls of custom, time and distance,
In Friendship' s name,
And made one world of many.
For Rotary, the Past is Prologue, Future Limitless,
As Paul would have it be.
A before his death
Paul wrote a friend:
"I still can appreciate
The press of a warm hand
And the smile of a friendly face."
His Godward thoughts still felt the warmth of friendship,
Essence of Rotary. Beautiful Epitaph.
Spirit of Paul Harris, invisible,
Over the broad expanse
Of Rotary International
Watching the child of his dreams -
A Salute to Rotary International
and a Special Tribute to its Architect
in Rotary’s 60th Year – 1964-65
An Original Poem by Rotarian
Vernon B. Hampton
301 Hart Avenue
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., U.S.A.
Jack Wilkinson - Leaside
At this – our first meeting of the New Year 1963 – it seems fitting that we pause for a moment and think about an answer to the question we all run into from time to time -- WHAT IS ROTARY?
It is possible that our special guests of the day would also be interested in an answer to this question, so perhaps they will bear with me for a few minutes.
The best definition that I could find is that "Rotary is a world fellowship of business and professional executives who accept the ideal of service as the basis for success and happiness in business and community life".
This is all very well but at this point you begin to wonder just what has been the magic ingredient that has kept this Rotary fellowship alive, vital and growing, so that over the past 57 years it has spread all around the world to include over 528,000 members in 11,387 Clubs located in 128 different countries.
Our four basic objectives are sound, honest and workable, with their recognition of acquaintance as an opportunity for service; -- the endeavour
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To maintain the highest ethical standards in the business; -- the application of service above self in our personal, business and community life; -- and the constant striving to advance international goodwill, understanding and peace through our worldwide contacts.
We are also constantly aware of our mottoes "Service Above Self" and "He Profits Most Who Serves Best" which are bound to kindle the spark of selflessness and in addition we have ever before us our sound guides and reference points in our four way test to keep us on the right road.
All of these are desirable and fine -- but I feel -- are not the complete answer. To me – the best and highest point of Rotary is the individual Rotary is the individual Rotarian.
Without in any way minimizing the corporate, united action and activities of all the Rotary Clubs, it does seem to me that the ideal of service that we talk about starts with and mainly concerns the individual in his incorporeal duties, in his moral responsibilities as distinguished from his awful responsibilities, in the intangible rather than the material -- - and as such represent something good that we are all looking for. This
must he, the answer to the tremendous and continuing spread of Rotary.
As most of you know—Rotary selects and chooses its members with care, for their good character and leadership in business or professional life. Then Rotary exalts the man chosen, by surrounding him with friends disposed to appreciate him so that he can make the most of himself. It gives him a platform to air his views – it gives him a job and a free rein to do it -- and through it all Rotary exposes a man to this ideal of service which gives him an approach to daily living that calls on him to act as an individual for the betterment of mankind.
This ideal of individual, and then group service, seems to be the core, the genius, the one factor in our organization which sets it apart from all others and, in my opinion, largely explains why in the past 57 years, Rotary has passed through nearly all the barriers of race, creed, colour, customs and language which human beings everywhere have set up between, and among themselves.
This has to happen because the true ideal of a service involves the thoughtfulness and helpfulness to others and becomes an integral part of morals, and virtues, and ethics and cannot be separated from them.
This then becomes a philosophy of life -- a manner of living for the individual Rotarian – which upholds the dignity of man and the integrity of the human being by the recognition of the responsibilities in life we each must assume as members of a decent society.
This is the philosophy of life under which freedom is born, under which human rights are nourished, under which man lives rather than merely exists.
The true Rotarian outlook is not compatible with dictators or communism -- that is why in the late 1930's all the Rotary Clubs in Germany, Italy and Japan were obliged to dissolve -- although they are now back stronger than ever -- There are no Rotary Clubs
In Russia, however, and any clubs behind the Iron Curtain when it was lowered were obliged to close out.
The fact that our ideals of service-- our feelings about the human rights and the sanctity of the individual are undesirable and the sanctity of individual are undesirable and acceptable to the leaders of a totalitarian state seems to be reason enough to cherish them.
I like to think of Rotary and my Rotary friends in the
way they were described by the great Albert Schweitzer as "The keepers of
our way of Life" BUT -- we all must realize that to warrant this high praise
we must constantly keep before us the fundamental question -- not whether
any proposition is promising or comfortable BUT RATHER whether it is right
This to me, is Rotary at its best individually and collectively and this is a fine time of year to take stock as to just now we, as individual Rotarians, measure up.
4-WAY TEST OF ATTENDANCE
IS IT True that you really can't remain until the meeting adjourns?
IS IT FAIR to walk out on the speaker who is giving his time to inform you or entertain you?
WILL IT BUILD GOODWILL AND BETTER FRIENDSHIPS to slight your guest and your host at the club?
WILL IT BENEFIT your fellow club members, their guests and other visitors to see you leave early?
--Scandal Sheet, March 4th, 1966
THE DAYS RESULTS
Is anybody happier because you
passed this way?'
This day is almost over and its toiling time is through
Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you?
Did you give a cheerful greeting
to the friend who came along
Were you selfish, pure and simple, as you rushed along your way
Or is someone really grateful for a deed you did today?
Can you say tonight, in parting with a day that's slipping fast
That you helped a single brother of the many that you passed?
Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said
Did you leave a trail of kindness, or a scar of discontent?
As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think your "GOD"
-- St. Louis Pepper Box
CHESLEY R. PERRY
One of the Topics for Discussion at the 1959 Institute of Past and Present Officers of Rotary International recently held at Lake Placid, N.Y., U.S.A. was this:
Could the Council on Legislation provide better legislative procedure than is provided by the Convention?
What follows herewith is in substance what I said at Lake Placid in responding to the Committee's request that I open the discussion on this Topic.
At the subsequent R.I. Convention in New York City I was impressed by the various references to the importance of service by individual men and women in meeting the problems of humanity in a changing world.
The most recent publication of Rotary International is an excellently written and very readable little book, with a thrilling exposition of the fourth avenue of Rotary Service. The title of the book is "Seven Paths to Peace". Every Rotarian should secure a copy of this little volume, and after reading it at least twice lend it to some of his non-Rotarian friends. In my copy
again I found the golden thread of individual service running through all its 114 pages.
Likewise I am thinking of individual service in the internal government and operation of our Association of Clubs. Every human society must have its law and order. If it has to be accomplished by the power of the few, even without the mailed fist, that is one thing. If it can be accomplished by democratic participation that is quite another thing.
Such democratic participating may be of varying degrees but the more individual participation there is the more democratic will be the grouping. And the more democratic the grouping is the greater will be its influence in human society.
We may have a problem. The solution of it may not be as simple as the Topic question implies.
The two most valuable things in the worked for mankind, apart from theological conceptions and conclusions, are democracy and the Golden Rule but they both must be activated -- made to work – by men.
Every Rotarian has subscribed to:
The advancement of understanding, good-will and peace through a
world fellowship of business and professional men united in the Ideal of Service.
But this laudable, declaration will amount to comparatively little in the totality of human society unless and until we Rotarians extend it to include all people everywhere.
The Rotary Movement has been and is an influence for the betterment of human society. Its record for the past 50 years should give us Rotarians a vision of its continued good influence (not only for another 50 years but for 100 perhaps 500 years) to a time when its influence will have resulted in a universal acceptance for daily life everywhere of the two inter-related ideals of democracy and the Golden Rule the Rotary interpretation of which is thoughtfulness of and helpfulness to others.
Only then will all problems of human relations as they arise be resolved in the spirit of Service above Self.
Until then the continued influencial contributions of the Association of Rotary Clubs, of each Rotary Club, of each Rotarian to this great objective will be made most effective by maintaining and perfecting the democratic character of the Movement.
The group of16 original Rotary Club’s formed themselves into an Association
under a constitution and by-laws with a procedure for making changes in or additions to these documents in the same manner that they had been adopted that is by the representatives of the Clubs in Convention.
That is still the procedure today.
In whatever we do we must be cautious not to destroy or nullify the principle of this procedure lest we thereby change the structural character of our Association and thereby lessen the effectiveness of its influence for the betterment of human society.
A few years ago we awoke to a realization that in doing some things on the basis of expediency we were drifting into degrees of centralization that might possibly some day emerge into totalitarianism.
In 1952, 1953 and 1954 we reviewed the situation and took steps to check and reverse that drift. Having done so we neglected to face the present and the future with constructive contributions to making our present law-making procedure operate successfully. This our Clubs and their Rotarians must do or admit the failure of democracy in our Association of Rotary Clubs. That we do not want to happen. In whatever we do now and hereafter we should give thought to how easy it is to drift away from democratic principles.
I am prepared to examine with an open mind and optimistically any plan of law-making procedure which presumably will be an improvement upon the present one provided it does not directly or indirectly remove from the member Clubs - that is to say from the Rotarians in them – their control over the structure, the program and the administration of the Association.
Until such a better plan is devised our present plan of law-making procedure can and should be made to operate with a greater amount of satisfaction by our devoting sufficient attention to the details of making it work.
Our present plan of law-making procedure is sound in theory. It begins with the understanding that legislation will be enacted in such form as the majority of individual Rotarians want it to be. Such democratic participation should be preserved.
The enactment of a Legislative Proposal into law starts at the grassroots with the Club, that is to say with the Rotarians who constitute the Club. By unanimous or majority vote they determine the conclusion of the Clubs as to the Proposal, and. they elect the Club's Delegate to represent them in Convention and there support their conclusion.
At the District Conference, or otherwise, the Clubs by vote of their electors
elect their Representative on the Council on Legislation and provide him with the conclusions of the Clubs of the District as to the Proposal for his guidance in serving on the Council.
In the Council the Representatives of the Clubs of all Districts compare the conclusions of the Clubs of their respective Districts and prepare their composite recommendations as to action by the collectivity of the Clubs in the Convention on the Proposal.
In the Convention the Delegates of the Clubs (representing the Rotarians in them) after giving consideration to the recommendation of the Council as to the Proposal by their votes finalize action on the Proposal.
The primary conclusion to support or oppose a Proposal is reached in each Club. The grand climax comes in the Convention where the Clubs collectively by their Delegates make their final decision.
All this is democratic procedure which will work successfully if a sufficient number of Rotarians at the right times and in the right places make their contributions to making it succeed.
Some of us must believe that it can be done. Some of us must join in
planning how it shall be done. All of us must participate in doing it.
Rotarians who at present are not attentive to making it succeed can be gradually induced to be attentive and to make their necessary contributions.
Various things not now done or most effectively done can be so done as to encourage and induce a Club President to lead his Club in examining Legislative Proposals.
To begin with we must find a satisfactory way of getting the Book of Proposals directly into the hands of the Club Secretary and President who are in office during the legislative year instead of those in office in the preceding year. Many a forward pass is not completed.
With the transmitting of Proposals to the Clubs we must be thoughtful of the difficulty a Club President (or anybody else in the Club) may have in endeavoring to present a Proposal to his Club in a few minutes. We should tell him in simple language the purpose or substance of it so that he can present it to his Club.
Let us glance at this present book of Proposals.
PROPOSED ENACTMENT NO. 1
If we read all the way through the text we find at the end of the small type:
The purpose of this proposed enactment is to provide that each geographical region recognized by R. I. for administrative purposes shall have continuous representation on the board of R. I. without increasing the number of members of the Board.
That is a good simple summary of the Proposal but if it were placed directly under the general heading it would be the first thing read by the President and immediately he would have the gist of the Proposal and so would the members of his Club as he read it to them.
Now let's turn to Proposal No. 2: After reading through all the IT IS ENACTED's we find in the small type at the top of the second page:
The purpose of this Proposed Enactment is to provide an exception to the limitations set forth in Article III Section 4 of the Standard Club Constitution etc., etc.
A technically correct statement but not very clear. It would be more helpful to the President to have
directly under the general heading:
The purpose of this Proposal is to under that a Rotary Club may have under the classification of "Religion" more than one active and one additional active member.
That would be sufficient to start a discussion in any Rotary Club during which the text and the background could be read if necessary for further information.
No. 3 and some of the other Proposals do have their summaries at the top. Some do not. All should have them -- without assuming familiarity with their backgrounds.
In every possible way the Book of Proposals should convey to the President the idea that he is looking at something which it will be very easy to present to the Club.
On the back of the Book this year there is a helpful tabulation of the 38 Proposals by their subject matter but it would be still more helpful and a time-saver to the President to find the texts also grouped contiguously in the Book.
Incidentally the helpful information on this green sheet which came with the Book should not be on a separate sheet liable to get lost but printed in the front pages of the Book or as an
additional cover sheet and bound with the Book.
At times those of us who have been entrusted with responsibilities of leadership service may be disposed to think that rank and file Rotarians are not interested in Rotary legislation but, want someone else to take care of it for them. Such thinking on our part is drifting away from democratic procedure.
In recent years some of us by moderating or observing Club meetings on the subject of proposed legislation have found that the average Rotarian when he understands the purpose or substance of a Proposal reacts with interest in it.
And furthermore that for Rotarians in their Club to have a properly presented opportunity to examine, and voice their conclusions as to, the biennial Proposals is to them an enlightening and welcome revelation as to their relation to Rotary International.
As a helpful contribution to Club interest in this subject a District Governor could appoint. (with their consent) the Council Representative and Alternate (with perhaps a third Rotarian) as a Committee to encourage the Clubs of the District to plan
their meetings for the examination of Proposals. The members of this Committee might even be willing to serve, or able to get others to serve, as moderators for such meetings especially in new Clubs or wherever the President is hesitant about undertaking the job.
At District Conferences the review and discussion of Legislative Proposals is becoming somewhat difficult --there are so many Proposals but there could be a reading of the purpose of each Proposal and a showing of hands as to how many Clubs are supporting and how many opposing it for the information of the District's Representation on the Council of Registration.
(And if the Clubs of a District were especially interested in any particular Proposal it of course could be scheduled for a full discussion.)
There is great merit in Past R. I. Vice President Pettengill's suggestion of a "Proposed Legislation" Week in every legislative year. If such a Week is designated Clubs will plan for it. It will be another occasion for them to recognize theirs cohesion as the member Clubs of with Association.
The designation of such a Week would set the stage for a newsy, readable article on it in The Rotarian and Revista Rotaria in the issue of the month before the month of the Week --
an article dwelling on this great example of democratic attention to proposed law-making on a world-wide scale by a great international organization. Brief simple language statements of the purpose of each Proposal could be used to intrigue the Rotarian reader and cause him to look forward to the discussion to come in his Club.
FROM CLUB TO CONVENTION
I haven't time for more than brief references to the Council and the convention.
Realizing that the conclusions reached in a local Club may fail to take into account the inter-relations within the world-wide expanse of the Rotary movement the Clubs years ago established a clearing house for the exchange of the conclusions of all the Districts and regions of the Rotary world.
The Council on Legislation is this clearinghouse. It is composed basically of Representatives elected by the Clubs of each District not as experts or specialists to express merely their own personal individual conclusions as to what action should be taken on a Proposal but to take into consideration the conclusions of the Clubs they represent. The Council is representative democracy at work.
Out of such exchanges of conclusions, and the reasons for them, and with the helpful advice of the non-voting members of the Council, will develop the collective recommendation of the Council to the Delegate body of the Convention as to what should be the action on the Proposal by the collectivity of the Movement.
Then we come to the Convention. What happens there is the climax of what began in 10,000 Club meetings. In the Convention the member Clubs by their Delegates finalize what their members initiated several months earlier in their Clubs.
The Club meeting is direct democracy. In the Convention (as in the Council) the Clubs function through representative democracy. From the beginning to the end it is the Clubs (meaning the Rotarians who compose them) that are in control. It is so because the Association is a democratic one.
The Delegates of the Clubs are at the Convention to support the conclusions of their Clubs but with the understanding that if from what they learn at the Convention it seems best for them to vote otherwise they may do so.
The Delegates will listen to the recommendations o£ the Council and its reasons for them. They will consider the merit of points made in discussion
on the floor of the Convention. They will deliberate They will vote. Their decision is final. When it is recorded Rotary International has spoken. Its member Clubs have spoken. A half million Rotarians have spoken.
All through this demonstration democratic action in legislation there must be thoughtfulness of and helpfulness to each other as we'd all participate in it -- whether, as officers or members of our respective Clubs or as representatives of them in Council or Convention or as R. I. officers or directors or committeemen.
One deterrent to smooth working machinery is speeding up. That creates heat and friction. Let's move at a lesser speed with greater opportunity for thoughtfulness of and helpfulness to one another.
My thoughts at times may appear idealistic but Rotary is idealism democratically made to work successfully.
I repeat that the Rotary movement for peace on earth among men of good-will will be most influential and effective so long as it is outstandingly democratic in character and operation and participation.
With this review of the situation I do not believe that the Council could provide better legislative procedure than the Convention.
Comments by the Speaker:
"At their recent Conference the Clubs of District 644 set aside the week of October 19-23 for their study of Legislative Proposals and provided for a District Committee to encourage and assist the Clubs in conducting meetings for this purpose.
The Committee has prepared a suggested procedure for moderating such a meeting and presenting to the members of a Club in simplified form the substance of each Proposal.
A copy of such suggested procedure may be had-without charge by addressing the Rotary Club of Chicago, 156 N. Clark St., Chicago 1, Illinois."
Chesley R. Perry
Chicago Rotary Club Luncheon, July 13, 1954
My dear Fellow Rotarians:
I hope you realize that I am speaking to you merely as a member of this Club. Once upon a time I did hold a high office in Rotary International but that was long ago. For 12 years I’ve again been just a run-of-the-mill Rotarian the same as most of you.
Perhaps I do possess some background knowledge of the history of Rotary; but I do not know anything about Rotary of today which the rest of you do not know, or which you can not acquire if you are interested to do so.
Rotary’s Golden Year is here or will soon be here. Its celebration will begin in February and terminate with a great gathering of Rotarians from all over the world assembled in Convention here in Chicago where 49 years ago Paul Harris, Silvester Schiele, Harry Ruggles and others founded this Club.
A question often asked of me has been: Do you think that when Paul Harris and Harry Ruggles organized the Chicago Club they had any idea that it would develop into what it is today? The answer of course has been: No, they did not.
But right now I am asking you all: Do you and I have any idea as to where Rotary is going from now on? We should have.
In celebrating Rotary’s Golden Year we should not only historically review the past, and proudly survey what Rotary is today, but give serious consideration to what may be the Movement’s future. Some of them are tangibles. Some are intangibles. Some have to do with theories – some with practices but all pertain to the future of the Movement.
Paul Harris has told us he planted a sapling in Chicago. American Rotarians have had a great deal to do with the development of that sapling into a forest of trees - into what we call by name Rotary International.
In fact we might say that thru the years the American Clubs have controlled the Movement. How long will we continue to do so?
Are we content to look at the leaves and the twigs and the branches without being able to see the forest?
Are we prepared to accept the decisions of others as to further developments in this forest?
Today there are 4400 Rotary Clubs in the USA and 3900 in other countries. During the past year only 77 new Clubs in the USA and 403 new Clubs in other countries.
At this rate in a couple of years there will be more Clubs outside the USA than in it. What will be the situation 10 or 20 years from now?
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Suppose the unexpected, the impossible happens. Suppose our prayers are answered and the iron and bamboo curtains suddenly are raised and 800 million people now behind them are reunited with the 800 million people of the free world. Isn’t it likely that there would be thousands of additional Rotary Clubs almost overnight?
The thoughts you are permitting me to share with you today are based on four words: Altruism, Freedom, Democracy and Participation.
We understand best and appreciate most the things that we participate in. There is a play that has been running in a Los Angeles theater for 22 years, not 22 months but 22 years. Why? Because the audiences are given the opportunity of participating in each performance.
Rotary once was a young movement. And in its early years what a thrill we got out of participating in our Rotary! What Rotary was and where it was going was in the thoughts of every Rotarian.
At the 1918 war time Convention in Kansas City Rotary was declared to be a living force in human relations. To be that it musty be again, as it was then, composed of young men to whom the idealism of Rotary is not an established and accepted fact but a revelation and an inspiration - - - a call to service in a great adventure, the making of understanding and good-will and constructive cooperation so world-wide that there can be no more wars either hot and cold.
For many years the program of the Conventions was principally Rotary business, with a little time provided for relaxation. In the more recent years the Convention has become principally a great fellowship jamboree with big name speakers, pageantry and outstanding entertainment, with a little time provided for Rotary business.
For a number of years the Member Clubs of the Association continued in control and met their responsibilities fairly well but there came a time when there seemed to be a loss of control of, the Association by its member Clubs, and from year to year their convention delegates concurred in legislation which led to more concentration of responsibility and control in the R.I. Board of Directors, and as things went along, in the depression period and during World War II, an idea seemed to develop that the Board and the Committees of R.I. were Rotary International – something apart from and above the Clubs.
Then in the post-war period, instead of returning to the democratic tradition, the organization seemed to grow more and more centralized. As a result there were murmurings among some of the member Clubs.
The policies of the R.I. Board not permitting the use of the Rotarian magazine and other Headquarters publication for the discussion of Club grievances the situation had to be handled by correspondence among the Clubs and articles in Club publications.
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Then came several meetings of representatives of Clubs to discuss the situation. The largest meeting was here in Chicago about 15 months ago with some 60 Clubs represented. Findings were arrived at and printed and mailed at the expense of the participating Clubs to all Rotary Clubs in the World. Meanwhile with regard to one particular Board proposal to take away the legislative rights of the Clubs nearly a thousand protests were filed with the Central Office.
All this became known as a Grass Roots activity among the Clubs. Efforts to hush it up and discredit it were unsuccessful. It persisted. Thoughtless denunciations of it and of those interested in it by representatives of the Board only generated more heat.
However it was such a live and wide-spread activity especially among the Clubs in North America (although Clubs in other countries also manifested interest) that the Board finally had to believe that there might be some warrant for it, and with a change of membership on the Board came the appointment of a committee of Past Directors with Past R.I. President Dick Hedke of Detroit as chairman to see what could be done to improve relations between the Board and the Clubs.
This Committee after reviewing the situation advised the Board that the Rotary Clubs are Rotary International, that the Board is an administrative and not a governing body, and that there are various ways in which the Board could be more cooperative with the Clubs, and the Board concurred with its committee.
From then on, what some thought was going to be a civil war in the organization was rapidly resolved into cooperation by all concerned.
And that brings us to the significance of this year’s Convention at Seattle. I’ll review for you some of the legislation.
But first let me say that it was a gathering of understanding and good-will. Members of the Board and representatives of the Grass Roots activity came there not to fight but to persuade or be persuaded. The spirit of Rotary was definitely in evidence.
Several things contributed to this – the calmness and logic of the statements made to the Hedke Committee by various Clubs such as the one the membership of this Club approved last December; the report made to the Board by the Hedke Committee; the uncrowded character of the Convention program as approved by the Board and adopted by the Convention; timely pre-Convention talks to the incoming District Governors at Lake Placid by Director Luther Hodges and Vice President Knapp; and the determination of President Serratosa to keep us all happy.
Past R.I. President Ken Guernsey presided with tact and good humor at the Advisory Council of Legislation and conducted it as a real deliberative body. Proposals were explained and debated with calmness and courteous regard by speakers for what was said by others. There were no unyielding objections from Clubs to any of the proposals of the Board.
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Altho members of the Board in their enthusiasm were very much in evidence (perhaps too much so in some instances) I support of its proposals, and in opposition to proposals from Clubs there was no suggestion that that, because the Board was opposed to this or that proposal, loyalty t o the Board required members of the Council to defeat it.
In the Convention the recommendation of the Council were preceded by very interesting and informative reports from Secretary Means, Treasurer Vernor, Chairman Hedke of the Clarifying of Relations Committee and from Chairman Pettingill of the Committee on Revision of the R.I. Constitution and By-Laws whose report was submitted several years ago only to remain pigeonholded since then.
The text of these reports and the manner in they were presented gave the Delegates of the Clubs a feeling that they were as stockholders of a corporation receiving the information that was due them.
When the Council was ready to report President Serratosa asked First Vice President Halsey Knapp of Farmingdale, N.Y. to take the Chair and he did a fine job of presiding during that important period.
There was some evidence that the Council and the Board were disposed to expedite the acceptance of the Council’s recommendations. It is difficult to avoid following old patterns of procedure. Information
Was not given to the delegates as to why the Council was recommending as it did nor as to how the vote stood in the Council on decisions not unanimous. At the next legislative Convention two years from now it may be possible to improve the procedure so as to better recognize the function of the Voting Delegates and the rights of the Clubs they represent. Most of the items were disposed of the speed but a couple of them developed such a lively difference of opinion in regard to them on the floor of the Convention that the vote had to be determined by the casting of a printed ballot. The method of doing this requires some further study.
As couple of months ago the members of this Club by their vote conveyed to our Club’s Delegates certain indications as to our Club’s position pro con with regard to each of the proposed enactments and resolutions.
There were at that time 31 proposals before us and unanimously or by majority vote our fellow Delegates of the rest of the Clubs concurred with our thinking on 26 of those proposals and disagreed with us with regard to 5 of them which seems to be a pretty good batting average for participation by our Club – thanks to our Club’s special Committee which reviewed thoroughly those proposals for us.
Among the 5 on which we, along with others, were on the losing side was the proposal
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For longer time in which to make up an attendance. This had a lively discussion on the Convention floor and had to be settled by the casting of a printed ballot in which the vote was 2201 for and 3054 against the proposal. It may be again proposed at the Philadelphia Convention.
The representative from India agreed that our Club’s proposed resolution to encourage Clubs in India to interpret the Rotary Object as we do in this country wasn’t necessary, and so President Whit withdrew it.
The Chico, California, proposal for USA Clubs to elect the USA members of the Nominating Committee for President of R.I., which we supported, lost out to the Board proposal on the same subject which we opposed. They were not debated on the Convention floor. If they had been the Chico proposal might have won out but its backers thought it best to let the Board have the credit of doing something its predecessors should have done years ago. Anyway it was a great victory to have te Board finally present such a proposal.
Our own Club’s proposal to restore to the R.I. Constitution the provision that it is the duty of each member Club to participate in the voting at all conventions by delegate or proxy went thru without a single dissenting vote or voice. This action alone confirms the democratic character of the Association of Rotary clubs.
This year over 55% of all Rotary Clubs were represented by delegates or proxies. This was a good showing but for the next legislative convention we must find ways to increase it. Distant Clubs and the smaller Clubs may find it difficult to send delegates but they can send proxies if we get them interested enough.
The adoption to two other enactments constitute a great victory for the democratic tradition providing as they do for Convention legislation every two years instead of every year thus giving the Clubs and the District Conferences a much longer period in which to consider and develop their conclusions as to proposed legislation; and furthermore the Clubs of each District are now to elect their best qualified representative to sit on, and speak for them at, the Advisory Council on Legislation. These provisions should contribute to more interest, better understanding and greater participation by the Clubs in the formulation and evaluation of the policies and procedures of the Association
The Magazine Committee has been confirmed as an operating committee with a majority of the members having had experience in the publishing or allied fields. The Board proposal as submitted was incomplete but when completed by amendment it was accepted.
A Club wishing to make a nomination for President of R.I. will now have a little more time in which to advise other clubs of its decision to do so.
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The Council of Past R.I. Presidents is now free from any restrictions from the R.I. Board as to what topics they may discuss at their annual meeting.
The R.I. Board distributing to the Delegates at Seattle, and I assume has sent or will send to all Clubs, a copy of the R.I. 1954-55 Budget of Estimated Income and Expenditures. This is more, or at least better explained financial information than the Clubs have had for a long while.
Incidentally during the past year several decisions of the R.I. Board were very helpful. For example, the district Conferences and the Institute of President and Past Officers of R.I. are no longer limited as to what they may discuss; and Board members dissenting from Board decisions are no longer prohibited from letting their dissent be known by the Clubs.
It is evident that a trend has been changed as a result of the activity of so many Clubs during the past couple of years.
Gratifying progress has been made in the reviving of the democratic tradition in Rotary International. The conflict between democracy and centralism in Rotary Internationalism has been settled at least in principle.
However our Clubs must stay awake and alert and participate in making our precious democracy work out successfully in practice.
If they don’t do so, the centralists will be able to say: "We told you so. The Clubs can’t or won’t function. Some of them will splutter a bit but practically do nothing."
Legislation is merely a record of how things should be done. They have to be accomplished by men who want to make them work. Democracy is not found as a product of nature. It is created by like-minded men participating in a mutual endeavour.
There must be constructive cooperation between the R.I. Board on the one hand and by the Clubs on the other hand, and it is up to cur clubs to demonstrate not only that they want to participate in the advancement of the Rotary Movement but that they know how to do so. This may not be so easy at first having been out of practice so long but they can find ways to do it.
All Rotarians, even tho they haven’t held office in R.I., are competent to think about the Movement in general and at least many of them will do so if methods of doing so are clearly brought to their attention.
In selling goods or services getting an interview is not enough. Interest must be aroused. Desire must be created. It may take some definite salesmanship to present matters to the Clubs and their members so that their interest in them will be aroused and the desire to participate in them will be created.
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A few days ago I learned that the Fort Worth, Texas, Club has set up a Grass Roots Committee for the current year manifesting in this title the keen interest of the Club in the policies and procedures of R.I. without implying any purpose to interfere with the proper functions of the R. I. Board.
Other Clubs should have similar committees to help interpret matters to their Clubs and a way be found for interested Clubs to establish and maintain contact with each other on matters of mutual interest. How many members of our Club would like to serve on such a Committee? (Scores of hands were raised).
Rotary came into existence to encourage the practice of altruism first within a club, later in other fields. Today the world is our field and for the sowing of seed in it there are things for Rotarians to do, for Rotary Clubs to do, for the Central Administration of R.I. to do.
Rotary is altruistic, free and democratic and in its organizational set-up and in its operation the Rotary Movement should manifest and exemplify its steadfast adherence to Altruism, Freedom and Democracy for by doing so it will encourage the practice of these three things throughout the world.
Organizing another 8,000 Rotary clubs and having another 400,000 Rotarians (and we want them) will be a contribution to our overall objective but while we are increasing our membership that much how many millions of
converts to Communism will have been made? Isn’t that something to think about?
A program, which will with greatest speed multiply tremendously the number of people in our country, and in all other countries, who accept and practice the ideal of service needs constructive thinking by every one of us Rotarians. Let our ideas flash out like fireflies on a summer night. Some of them may prove to be guiding stars for the accomplishment of Rotary’s overall objective.
I am convinced that our whole Rotary Movement – Board, Governors, Clubs, Rotarians – can be stirred to the fulfillment of the Movement’s destiny.
An intelligent, consecrated, wise, dynamic leadership both at the central level and at the District and Club levels will make our thousands of Clubs a real living force for a peaceful and happy world – not a militant or aggressive force, but a persuasive force in all countries of the world convincing peoples everywhere that we ALL BENEFIT MOST WHEN WE ALL SERVE BEST.
We live in a world that desperately needs a simple but powerful international ideology that is neither communist nor fascist.
Rotary has it. Rotary’s message is not a political one, not a theological one, but the God-loving and neighbor-loving message which the world needs and which Rotarians can deliver effectively if they will but it will require a democratic Rotary back of them for it to be done effectively.
The Moslems have the following saying: "As you are, so shall those be placed in authority over you." We in America say it more succinctly; "You get the government you deserve or you vote for". You ask, "what has all this to do with better Rotary citizenship?" I maintain that an understanding of the basic organization ani the mechanics of Rotary, and the intelligent and judicious exercise of our responsibilities, duties and .privileges, are a MUST or good Rotary citizenship.
The trouble with most of our clubs is that they are so engrossed with their own pet local community projects that they neither know nor care about what goes on in the central administration and how the movement is run. Let us, therefore, start right at the beginning and review some basic Rotary facts of life.
As you know, the individual Rotarian is a member of a club, but he is not and cannot be a member of Rotary International. It is only the clubs the selves that are members of Rotary International. Moreover, each club is entirely independent within the limits of its statutes and by-laws and the statutes and by-laws of R.I. You
know enough about the administration of your own club. I, there fore, need not take time to explain to you how your club is run with its president, board of directors and various committees.
Clubs in various regions are pooled together in what is called a district, comprising generally anywhere between 30 and 70 clubs administered by an officer of R.I. elected by the district and called governor. Moreover, various districts situated in several adjoining states are grouped together
to form a Rotary zone or region, and each region or zone (and there are 5 zones in the United States) elects a past governor to represent it on the Board of Directors of R.I. The Governor is the link between the district and the Board of Directors, whereas the Director is an administrator of Rotary International worldwide, and, as such, must remember that he, being on the Board, represents net his club, his district or his zone, but Rotary worldwide.
Beside the governors and the directors, Rotary has at its head an international president who is nominated each year in January by a Nominating Committee for President and is elected at the convention in May or June thereafter. It is
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the President's privilege to appoint the members of the various international committees who will cooperate with him and his Board in the administration of this fine movement of ours.
Besides these elected officials, we have the Secretariat, which is the permanent and continuing entity and whose job it is to carry out the instructions of the President and the Board of Directors.
Speaking of the Governor again for a moment, some districts elect a governor by direct vote; others have nominating committees that propose one man, and the district generally endorses the choice of this nominating committee. Most governors are .fine outstanding Rotarians with plenty of business or professional experience, and they generally turn out to be good administrators. Nevertheless, certain districts seem to elect not the best man available but the one who has made as few enemies as possible within the district by straddling fences and smooth glad-handing approaches. We should exercise the utmost care when picking the best man available as Governor, because it is from such material that later on we will have to elect our directors to the Board and our future presidents. If, therefore, we pick wishy-washy, me-too yes-men
for our governors, we only have ourselves to blame if, later on, we have a dearth of good men for the more responsible jobs in our organization.
We must always keep in mind the two following principles when electing Rotarians to responsible posts. First, it is the job that should seek the man and not the man who should go chasing after the job. Second, just as a large business concern does not pick or hire the first man at hand to serve as an officer or member of its board of directors, so must we be very careful when choosing our governors and directors to pick men with a wealth of background and information in the fields of business and finance, the professions, public relations, and especially world affairs. We must stop picking men because they are hail-fellow well met, and instead go for those who have the courage to stand up for a principle in which they believe and have enough vision to fight for what is best for Rotary even if it makes them unpopular with the self-seekers on whose toes they must, perforce, tread.
We new come to the matter of the Nominating Committee of R.I., and I wonder how many of you know how this committee is constituted and how it operates. It may be news to many of you that you, as a club in
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the United States, have to put .forward to the Secretariat before April 1st the name of a past director who has not already served two terms on the Nominating Committee for President.
The man of your choice plus men proposed by other clubs from the same zone, will be listed by the Secretariat, and your zone will have to vote on the list at the Convention. The one who receives the most votes will be the member on the Nominating Committee, and the one with the next largest number of votes will be his alternate.
It is a sad fact however, that through death and various other causes, the number of Rotarians still available to serve on this Nominating Committee has been shrinking over the years. I doubt that we have more than 6 names from which to choose in Zone 5 for example, and I believe that 2 of the 6 are either unavailable or unwilling to serve. A worse situation exists for the Asiatic region where I believe, they have only 2 men available. Something therefore, must be done to correct this state of affairs, and I believe the simplest solution would be to submit legislation specifying that past directors may be elected to, and serve on the Nominating Committee for President any number of times without restriction so long as the same man is not elected to this Committee any two years in succession. The present Board is trying to correct this situation by
submitting legislation to the Dallas convention of 1958, reducing the term of directors on the Board to one year only, instead of the present two year term. They claim that this will give Rotary a larger reservoir of past directors from which to pick future members of the Nominating Committee. and future presidents. The function of the Board is to administer the affairs of Rotary, not to supply past directors for .the Nominating Committee. These are separate and distinct functions. If the procedure for selecting members of the Nominating Committee is inadequate, then change the procedure, not the number of directors on the Board.
I believe many Rotarians, when given all the facts, will agree with me that it would be a mistake to go back to the one year term for directors, notwithstanding the argument that by reinstating the one year term we would give more Rotarians a chance to serve on the Board and thus acquire a better knowledge of the mechanics of Rotary. My experience, like that of many of my fellow past directors, has been that it was only after the second Board meeting in January that we really got a thorough understanding of the problems confronting Rotary and a grip on the mechanics of Rotary. By the time we sat in on
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the third and final Board meeting in May, when we were at last able to contribute constructively to the administration of Rotary, our time was up and we were perhaps wiser but certainly sadder men - sadder because after all the trouble and expense incurred in training us, we had to leave before we could be of real service to this great movement of ours.
The shorter, one year term obviously involves and will definitely throw more responsibility on the Secretariat, because it is the only continuing power. Rotary government even now is not properly democratic, and the more the Board consists of relatively untutored and inexperienced members, the less democratic the whole situation becomes. Please do not misunderstand and jump to the conclusion that I am criticizing the Secretariat or our very able yet self-effacing Secretary, George Means.. However, the Secretariat must perforce, deal with circumstances as they find them, and they cannot help it if we make them, against their wish, more and more the only continuing element in Rotary.
As you know, the Board is presently composed of l4 members including the President and immediate Past President. Of the remaining 12 members, 5 represent the 5 zones in the United States, one represents Canada, one the British
Isles, 2 represent Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, and normally, in, the past, one represents, Latin America, one Far Eastern Asia, and another Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
In recent years, however our Latin American friends have pressured for 2 representatives on the Board of Directors thus depriving the Far East of their seat. To remedy this situation, your present Board of R.I. is submitting legislation to the Dallas Convention to increase the size of the Board by 2 further members, one of whom will be permanently allocated to Latin America and the other to the United States.
Here again I venture to disagree with the conclusions of the Board for the following reasons. A director is supposed to represent the thinking, culture, religious beliefs and civilization of a given region of the world. In the case of Latin America, we must agree that they all have a more or less common and homogeneous background, heritage and culture. Therefore, they do not need more than one person to represent their point of view on the Board. Moreover, they represent only about 7 1/2 percent of the total membership, whereas our British Rotarian
friends represent 8 1/2 percent of the total membership, and yet they are satisfied with one seat on the Board.. Furthermore, our Latin American friends have been very remiss in paying their dues. Over the years hundreds of clubs in Latin America have had their charters revoked for non-payment of the per capita tax. At best they pay only half what American Rotarians pay and that in blocked, depreciated currencies which, when finally translated into real, effective money, boils down to roughly 30 cents per capita against the $6 paid by every American Rotarian. We have been buying Rotary in Latin America for the last 30 years, and I frankly do not see any reason for continuing to do so indefinitely.
Someone may ask: "Why should the region of continental Europe, North Africa and the Near East be represented by two directors on the Board?" Whilst this region has 50% more Rotarians than Latin America, the number of Rotarians in any region should never be the determining criterion for representation on the Board. I respectfully submit that this region, CENAEM, far from being homogenous, comprises Nordics of the Protestant faith in Scandinavia, Denmark, Holland, etc ., Germanic Saxons of mixed Protestant and Catholic faiths who inhabit West Germany and Austria, and Latins of the Catholic
faith who form the majority of the population of France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It also comprises Arab Moslems who are the main inhabitants of North Africa and the Near East, besides Greeks, Turks, etc Consequently, two director on the Board are hardly enough to adequately represent these various races, cultures and creeds.
I have also been told that so many promises had been made to our Latin American friends to give them an extra director on the Board, that the Board cannot go back on those promises. May I submit that it is not in the power of the Board or the President to promise extra seats on the Board, even if all the members of the Board are unanimously behind these promises (which they are not); only the convention can change legislation and assign additional seats on the Board.
Human nature being what it is, I realize that there is a great attraction in Harry Hopkins' dictum: "Spend and spend, elect and elect". But we must not lose sight of the third ingredient in his formula, "tax and tax". Our per capita taxes were raised at the Mexico City Convention from $4.50 to $6.00. The extra income of around half a million dollars thus created has been earmarked and practically spent in
successive budgets. Since it costs several thousand dollars to bring a director from overseas three times a year to Evanston and back to attend the Board meetings, in my opinion increasing the number .of Board members will dangerously increase our expenditures, make the Board more unwieldy and less-efficient, and will not add any fresh point of view or thinking along hitherto unrepresented regional lines.
Somebody said, and this applies to Rotarians especially: "Give free people the facts and you can trust them to come up with the right an answers". I have tried to give you the facts as objectively and as dispassionately as I could. I hope that in the interests of better Rotary citizenship you will think these problems through, and when we assemble in Dallas, my prayer will be that you and my fellow Rotarians everywhere will come up with the right answers.
Note: Francis Kettaneh is one of the finest students of Rotary. He comes from Beyrouth, Lebanon and has lived in N.Y. for many years. He and his brother have had the Chrysler agency for all Arab Countries (also many other lines} for over 40 years. He served on the R.I. Board in the year 1942-43.
J. A. Caulder
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
Rotary teaches us to think less of profit for ourselves and more of serving others. This encourages us to change our outlook on life and attitude toward our fellow men so that we live Rotary in all our daily contacts -- in our homes, with our friends and as citizens of our communities, countries and of the world. The world judges our club and Rotary according to the way we conduct our businesses and professions and live our lives.
---Bulletin, the Rotary Club of Ballston Spa, New York, USA.
ROTATE AMONG TABLES
Are you one of those who stick to a favorite seat, or sit with the same fellows each week? If you do, you are breaking the chain of Rotary's fellowship which every club member is entitled to. Change tables often: enjoy new associations; do your full part in Rotary fellowship.
--Rota-Pattah, the Rotary Club of - -Allapattah (Miami), Fla., U. S. A.
By Founder President of
Jan. 3rd, 1934
Ample proof that the high intellectual standing of today's members of Rotary will be perpetuated was given at last Friday's meeting when the sons took charge of a considerable part of the proceedings and showed their dads how it is done. The meeting was undoubtedly one of the most successful devoted to fathers and sons, in the history of the Club, and the idea of having the sons relieve President Don McLaughlin of many of his usual duties was both unique and pleasing.
Graham Sanderson, the-chairman, performed like a veteran, showing the result of some good training by "Sandy" his father. George Reid announced the Visiting Rotarians and Bob Kettlewell welcomed them along with the guests from "what used to be known as the Military St. Christie Hospital". Bob pointed out that it was quite evident all the guests, including the sons, were welcome. "You are the big guns and we are the sons", he said, in adding the consolation to fathers that they were out with the boys to-day and for once it wasn’t necessary to keep that fact dark.
Returning to the chair President Don made reference to Tom Wibby’s tragic
death, that being the first break in the Rotary circle during his year. He also read the report of the Christmas Basket Committee which showed that 436 baskets, the largest number in any year to date, had been donated this year by the Club members. Fred Brigden read his notion, notice of which had previously been given, calling for the election of "Bill" Peace as an honorary member of the Club. Bob Copeland seconded the motion after making some very complimentary remarks about Bill's early activities in Rotary when he was not only the first President of the Toronto Club but was a vice-president of the International Association of Rotary Clubs. The motion was carried and three hearty cheers were given Bill.
In a brief address of welcome to the sons President Don stated that the fathers were being given a chance to show their sons to the Rotary Club. There were several sons in the gathering with whom Don went to school, he said, and so he felt he had better go light on handing out words of wisdom.
Following a piano-accordion solo, Stan Reid introduced "Red" Horner, star defense player of the Maple Leafs Hockey team, to the club, who gave some good advice to the boys on the value of team play. Important
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accomplishments were not the result of any two or three men's efforts in team play, said Red, but success was achieved by the combined efforts of the whole team playing in unison and harmony. "Playing the game for all that is in it and not for individual glory is the thing", he stated, "keeping the thought in mind that if your team is a success you will be a star". Red presented autographed hockey sticks to all the red headed boys present, and his generosity made him temporarily color blind. Even Bob McLean tried to qualify.
Telegraphed greetings were read from E. W. Roberts, president of the Montreal Rotary Club, following which a splendid demonstration of some branches of the Y.M.C.A.’s physical training work was carried out under the direction of Oscar Pearson.
The thanks of the boy guests were conveyed in a motion by Joe Caulder, Jr., and seconded by one of the diminutive McLaughlin heirs.
Among the favors presented to each boy in attendance were the following: apples by Art McCart; arrowmints by Mac Macnab; picture puzzles by Ches Decker; and Canmada Dry ginger ale by Geo. Mitchell and Charlie Landell.
Attendance was 531.TOP OF PAGE
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
That a bridge of friendship is one thing no one else can build for you. It is the easiest thing to build but is also easily destroyed -- one unkind word or deed is all that is needed.
That length of service is not as important as breadth of service.
That some Rotary clubs need to learn that growing up is more important than just growing.
That Rotary is like ripe cheese – the older it gets the stronger it becomes.
That the spark of Rotary burns brightest in the breasts of those who have learned the real meaning of Service Above Self.
That fellowship is one aspect of Rotary that cannot be measured and like love, cannot be described – only enjoyed.
That the true test of Rotary in the community is not who belongs to it, but what it has accomplished.
That there is so such thing as too much Rotary information – only too many uninspired people trying to give it.
--- Courtesy Vancouver "Rotor"
TO HIS CLUB
By W. A. Peace
To be a Rotarian, a man has to be socially acceptable, financially responsible; in a line of work of economic importance, and different to that of any other member of his Club. There should be no chance whatever of conflict of business or professional interest between individual members of a Rotary club.
The first duty of any man - and a Rotarian is presumed to be a man - is to obey the moral law, and further, to obey the greatest law of all -"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbour as thyself."
Having set forth the fundamental principles upon which Rotary has been founded and further developed, let us consider how these can be put into actual practice as applied to each Rotary Club.
Rotary demands of its members regular attendance at meetings, the promotion of wholesome acquaintance, warm and lasting friendship, good fellowship,
an abiding confidence, and a reasonable success in all legitimate business and philanthropic undertakings. It is one duty of a Rotarian to conduct his business upon a perceptibly higher plane than that of his non-Rotarian colleagues.
As a short-cut to Rotary knowledge, it is necessary to study and become familiar with Rotary literature, particularly the "Objects of Rotary", "Rotary Code of Ethics," the Constitution and By-Laws of the Club and of Rotary International. Impart that knowledge to others.
It is well to visit other Rotary Clubs from time to time, attending Inter-City meetings, District Conferences, and International Conventions, wherever and whenever convenient.
Particularly is it the duty of all members, especially old members, to give loyal, active, hearty, sympathetic and enthusiastic support to the President and the Board of Directors. These men are elected by a majority vote of the members at the annual meetings, and
they should be saved from fault-finding and unfair criticism, so that their duties and responsibilities, which are heavy, may be lightened, and all their energy and efficiency may be devoted to promote the interests of the Club. The same support should be accorded the chairmen and members of the various
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committees who are appointed from year to year.
Some of the great privileges of a Rotarian are to act promptly when called upon by the President or Board of Directors, or a Chairman of a Committee, or even, in some cases, an individual member, to:-
I. Do a service - Club, District, National, or International.
II. Engage in a work of philanthropy, charity or mercy -Crippled Children, Boys' Work, Community Service, Public Affairs, and others. (Financial assistance or personal work, or both, may be given to these according to means and time available.
III. Give a word of good cheer, encouragement or advice where and when needed.
IV. Attend a confidential conference regarding business difficulties, or personal problems, where a request is made by a member or officer.
V. Deliver an address, make a speech, or give a talk, without fear, according to ability, upon one's own classification or on some ether subject of interest or moment.
VI. Perform a "stunt" or take part in an entertainment - Introductory, Educational, or Recreational.
VII. Play in various sports and games arranged from season to season - Baseball, Golf, Curling, Badminton; or attend as a supporter of the Rotary teams, if unwilling or unable to play.
Now that you know these duties and privileges, happy will you be if you do them, and so live a well-balanced physical, mental and moral life, spreading much comfort, joy and happiness to those around you, and enjoying a deal of satisfaction yourself.
A THOUGHT BEFORE DEADLINE . . .
Here’s what Rotarian Bergkwagga of Cradock, South Africa thinks:
"Every time a man joins a Rotary club the boundaries of human understanding are moved back a span. And in this world of folly in which we are now living every man with the ideal of service in his heart is needed."
Thanks for taking time to read this rag!
Winnipeg Whizz, Aug. 7/63
A SPEECH BY
CLIPFORD A. RANDALL, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Rotary International, 1958-1959
THE ROTARY CLUB OF
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.
1st June, - 1962
During the time we were together at the International meeting, Commander Carpenter made his trip into space. This exciting event served to remind all of us once again that it is now an accomplished fact that a pair of human eyes can look at the whole world almost in the same fashion that one can stand off and observe a globe in one's living room or study. This fact adds a new significance to the terms, "Our World" and "One World", which have long been a part of our vocabulary. The mind behind the human eyes which can survey the whole world in ninety minutes, must have an understanding of that globe far greater than the human understanding we have been able to achieve or demonstrate to date.
This line of thought leads me to a discussion of the objective of Rotary.
Particularly the long-range objective. I feel that we have a great tendency to confuse these objectives and to confuse ourselves. This confusion also produces the frustration that is evident so often when we criticize our own activity or ask criticize our own activity, or ask the question, "Why doesn't Rotary do something?"
May I mention briefly my own idea of the two objectives:--
Our short-range objective is to bring business and professional men into continuing contact with one another in a friendly atmosphere which will stimulate and inspire them to joint undertakings which will be of benefit to others. This is admittedly an over-simplification but necessitated by limitations of time. This objective encompasses most of our Program, and what we describe as administration and procedure.
Our long-range objective in the development of a world fellowship of world-minded business and professional men devoted to the concept of the dignity of man. Rotary does not, and need not claim any originality or uniqueness in this. It is an objective that has impelled mankind for centuries. It has fallen to our generation, however, that human events appear to be continuing to
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make what has seemed a dream something which has become not alone a possibility, but a necessity. It is this long-range objective that I like to call "The Big Idea."
Several years ago Rotary International made a world-wide survey to determine what was -- or what should to-- the attitude of the world-minded Rotarian, if such could be said exist. The result was the statement of policy of R. I. in International Service. It warrants the most serious consideration of all of us. In fact, I do not believe anyone can appreciate the Big Idea, or our long-range objective, unless he completely understands this statement-- whether he agrees with it in whole, or in part, or not at all. A part of the statement is that, as a world-minded Rotarian:-
3. He will support action directed towards improving standards of living for all peoples, realizing that poverty anywhere endangers prosperity everywhere.
There are basic concepts founded on world-wide thinking, which we are enjoined to apply to our own action and experience. These are no idle fancies. What we do depends on what our attitude is towards such principles.
Reflect on the problems in Capetown; the Freedom Riders here, the free one-way ticket to some place else. What do we mean, in relation to these situations, when we say "we should resist any tendency to act in terms of racial superiority?"
Reflect upon the injunction that we should defend the rule of law and order, so that the individual may enjoy freedom of thought, speech and assembly. Does that really mean that we shall advocate freedom for those in our midst who would overthrow our democratic rule to propagate an alien, and, to us, repulsive dogma?
What is involved when we say we should support action to raise living standards for all people on the ground that poverty anywhere
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endangers prosperity everywhere? What does it mean to you, as a Rotarian, business man and employer, if you are already caught up in the struggle to compete with imports of Japanese textiles or with West German machinery?
What does it mean to Rotarians who are citizens of the nations who are giving money, material and men to help raise living standards, if the receiving nations insist on the right to use these gifts without interference to build up socialistic economic systems with which to compete in the world market?
Without exception, the underdeveloped countries seek to industrialize. Also without exception, they are all lacking the first important ingredient to industrialization on the principles of free enterprise. Lack of capital. Capital formation depends on savings, which in turn means that a man must produce more that he consumes. There can be no savings among people whose standard of living never rises about subsistence level, and for whom, life is a daily struggle for survival. If a man does get to the state that he produces more than he consumes, he must then be persuaded to deny himself the present enjoyment of the surplus so capital can be accumulated. This takes character and discipline. Since we do not always find these qualities
Among our own people, it is mot – or it should not be – surprising that they are seldom found among those people who are just at the threshold of independent.
In our devotion to free enterprise, we Americans hold to a sort of faith that a proper incentive will always bring forth effort. But this is not necessarily so in some of the underdeveloped countries.
If a fellow wants to start a bakery in Albany, he probably has a check-ins account in the bank and knows one of the junior officers. He will negotiate a loan, if the bankers are willing to bet on him; and a new business is born. This would not happen in Bangkok. If the boy who wants to promote himself from pushing a pedal cab to a bakery proprietor, he will have to get financial help from his family or friends. The banking facilities are very limited by our standards, and interest rates extremely high.
Most of these countries lack one of the business tools we take for granted – the corporation and the concept of dividable equity ownership.
I do not raise these questions to attach the R.I. statement, or suggest it is defective as a statement of the responsibility of World-Minded
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Rotarians. I raise them to stimulate your thinking about your individual position as a Rotarian in relation to the serious issues of our time.
I am tempted to say that, if we had to put a full stop to Rotary's philosophy here, we might well feel that this latest codification is unrealistic in part, unacceptable in part, and to some degree a trifle confused. It is, I believe, a confusion of thought to mix up freedom of thought and speech with freedom from want and fear, though there is eminent authority for the confusion.
Bust as I have shown, Rotary is a continually expanding concept. What we have is the fruit of many minds, a fusion of conflicting ideas, the point on the beach to which the rising tide has so far washed. It is not the final end; it is the preparation for the next step forward.
This statement, containing though it does many fine and noble ideas, representing as it does the height to which we today are challenged, is incomplete. As a statement on the outlook of the world-minded Rotarians, it lacks at least one vital additional concept, and that is the realization that in his daily business the Rotarian touches the world. In fact even before he goes
to business, if he did but realize it, he depends on the world to feed and clothe him. Wool from Australia; cotton from America, rubber from Malaya; silk from the Orient; leather from Argentine hides; soap from West African palms--these are his waking contacts with the day's experiences. And he may have at breakfast corn from Iowa; bread from Manitoba wheat; bacon from Poland; butter from New Zealand; honey from Canada. Before he even sets out on the day's work, he has been fed and clothed by the efforts of thousands and thousands of men the world over.
Each of you will be able to continue the train of thought in relation to your own work, and will realize that there is no such thing in the world as an independent nation. Today we are all inter-dependent. And it is on that foundation, not the old ideas of self-sufficiency, that the world of the future must grow and come of age, out of its present children stage.
Freedom, national pride, national sovereignty and so forth are understandable ambitions, but they cannot exist as ultimate and isolated dogmas. Surely the world does not need another Muscadeq before it understands that already the modern world, created by industry and science, it
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One world, a world in which a great international body of business men has a part to play and a mission to discharge.
And so, as we have surveyed the evolution of the Big Idea of Rotary, we have cleared the stage for the final scene. Where now? Whither is Rotary destined to go? One thing is certain. No movement could grow so fast and so great without a purpose. That purpose, I believe, as I have tried to show, is as yet only partly revealed. The time has come for the next step to be taken.
I believe Rudolf Steiner, that neglected but brilliant scientist turned philosopher, was right when he said that every man lives three lives in the modern world:--
A life of the mind and spirit, within itself.
A community life with his neighbors, where his rights and duties as a neighbor are of first importance.
His working life, where he touches not only his neighbor but the whole world.
I believe he was also right when he said that the fundamental ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity were truly inspired, but that their true
interpretation is that:--
Liberty in things of the mind and Spirit;
Quality before the law, in all matters of right and duty;
Fraternity in the life of work.
Here surely we gather up the finest of Rotary's declaration about which I have spoken, and here we resolve its complexities. Here, moreover, do we complete the picture by adding in the missing link, rounding off the whole part with a concept embracing the whole man in all his parts. And here, above all, could be made plain and clear our immense opportunity in the complex modern world.
For where the need is, there lies our duty. And in this world of scientific materialism, the malady is desperate indeed. Man, subordinate to the machine, concentrating his view of life on the material, has fallen into the disaster that he has so surrendered himself to the earthly that he has lost sight of that which lies beyond and above.
We are fighting in the truest sense for our lives; fighting a devil’s creed of dialectic materialism; fighting for the survival of all that
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makes man higher than the animal and lower than the angels.
That Material, creed is our enemy, by whatever name it goes; and Rotary can be, indeed it must be and will be a fighting force when the scales drop from our eyes and we perceive the enemy within and the enemy without.
I should like to come back to our long-range objective, and to put some emphasis where I am afraid we have neglected to place it. We are striving for a world fellowship – a world fellowship of what? – of business and professional men. In the words of a popular song a year or two ago, "You can’t have one without the other." Our world fellowship cannot exist without business – private business.
Our incoming R.I. president for 1962-63 has called Rotary, "A new voice in the World of Business." Among the great issues of the day are the adjustments and implications of the European Common Market and the political decisions necessitated by the forces of business activity in what is becoming one market – the world market. Here is where the decisions of the world-minded business man becomes so vital and important.
Let me remind you – No Government ever planted a seed or wrote a book. No committee ever composed a song or painted a landscape. Nor can the
common market be separated as a force, from the men who are faced with the decisions which will make it function as an evolving process for still greater international co-operation rather than merely a modern device for the protection of the trade of its members.
Despite the difficulties and frustrations which daily face the business men of the Free World, there is evidence that wee can afford some optimism about the chances for progress towards our long-range objective. The cold war and the power struggle between the East and West, the political upheavals in the new nations, may have diverted us a bit too much.
Walter Lippman, who is a respected and keen analyst of the world scene, stated in a speech recently:-
"One of the most interesting developments in the new and buoyant Western Europe is that the Socialist parties in Germany, France, Italy, and Great Britain are finding that traditional socialist doctrine has become largely irrelevant. It is no longer fits the facts of life. It is a generation out of date. Some of the old socialist doctrine, in particular the welfare state, has been adopted. Much – particularly the public ownership of the means of production –
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Has been bypassed and surpassed by the new European economy which is proving to be highly productive and is creating an affluent European society.
"To the less developed nations it is offering a third way to become more productive and to raise their standard of life. They do not have to plunge themselves into a totalitarian
system. The new nations do not want to do this. And the alternative is no longer that they have should try to imitate vainly our own special American kind of individualistic free
enterprise. For the undeveloped and crowded nations it is altogether impossible to duplicate the American economy.
"The example of free but planned economy which comes from the new Europe, is backed by the strong Western accumulation of wealth. This is making it no longer necessary to assume – as perhaps it was necessary even ten years ago – that for the poorer and backward peoples there is only one quick solution to their misery, which is to follow the example of the Soviet Union, which raised itself from poverty and chaos to world power in forty years."
This suggests that we should now take positive action wherever we can, to press every advantage we can demonstrate over the totalitarian
System. It is for this reason I urge all of you to place
our short range and long-range objectives in proper perspective, to examine
anew our responsibilities as world-minded citizens, and to take into our
working lives daily the vision of the World Fellowship of business men as
part of our armor in the current battle to preserve the dignity of man. I
WHY SHOULD A MAN BE ASKED TO JOIN ROTARY?
Not because he is your personal friend, or that he is your neighbor – or has amassed great wealth or is a money-maker – or jolly good fellow, or a good speaker – or because he belongs to your church, or club – or because he would "dignify" Rotary – or because of his standing in the community – But because he is a man of tried character – a leader in his business or profession, whose community efforts are outstanding – whose word can be depended upon. One who loves friendship and fellowship and the opportunity to meet each week to exchange ideas for the common good. A man who will honor and respect his classification.
-- Brooklyn Rotary Fellow
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