Rotary – Club Assembly


So, all of a sudden it seemed Club Assembly day was upon us.

Lucy spent an evening with me planning what we would say and preparing a flip chart pad as our presentation tool. Now, you’re probably aware that I’m not afraid of doing a presentation but I generally hate every second of it. I fret all the way through, I miss bits I wanted to say, I speak far to fast and at the end of it I go over in my mind all the things that I should have done better. I can’t remember ever doing so complex a presentation as this one. Complex in that I wanted a lot of things to happen in the right way and it wasn’t just me speaking, there were parts for 4 other members.

I was taught that when presenting it is perfectly acceptable to control the room and event in order to get your message across. I sort of decided that this would apply not just to my allotted presentation time but to control of the whole assembly meeting. The week before Lucy had read the “Object of Rotary” at the start of the breakfast meeting. She stumbled upon a word or two at the end at which point John made light of it. Ours is a happy and light hearted club, so all was taken in good humour. At the beginning of our Club Assembly meeting we gave John the Object of Rotary to read…. in French. Well, seeing as Lucy is French and stumbled over the English version we thought it would be fun to get John to read the object in something other than his first language. This wasn’t done purely for fun though, I wanted everyone to remember the “Object of Rotary”. Having it read in a different language was more effective than my original plan – to get someone to give the object of rotary from memory. As I said earlier, the object is a tough set of words and no one in our club has memorised them. Much merriment later, the Assembly meeting continued in what I assume is the normal way, with each committee reporting their progress to everyone in the club – finishing with a short speech from Martin who was visiting to represent District. Poor chap, It was his first visit to us and I don’t think he quite understood our approach to Rotary.

After all the other committees had spoken, we were the last to go. The meeting was slightly overrunning so I made the decision to condense the first part of our presentation. Referring to the object of rotary I challenged anyone to stand up and say it. Obviously no one could. If I had more time I might have managed to get the gist of the object from those around the room. We had the full objects printed and taped into our flip chart so everyone got to remember what the object was, then we gave them our “Object of Rotary in 3 words” version:

Do Good Things

Having set the objective clearly, the next question is ‘What counts as a good thing?’. This is where I got to introduce Craig to talk about what Playing for Success is. Following him was Steve Auty on the Pilgrims Hopice, with Diane following Steve on how we will be helping Pilgrims by organising and running a Summer Ball and how she would eventually be getting more of us to help as things developed with her plans. I think this is the part we lost Martin from District, when Diane said with a straight face she expected us to raise 50,000. I gather that’s a large amount for a club in it’s first year but the amount itself is a side effect of knowing what we can achieve. The week before Assembly the target was 40,000 but a local farmer offered a better venue so Diane expects us to raise more.

Closing the presentation I wanted to get across two messages. Firstly, I wanted everyone to at least remember our short object of rotary (Do Good Things) if they weren’t going to remember the full version. Do Good Things is something everyone is starting to say. Secondly, I wanted them all to realise that as members it’s up to them all to find the Opportunities to Do Good Things. Present the opportunity to the club and maybe someone in the club can help. Maybe we can’t, we’ll certainly not be able to help in every case but the first step is always to identify the opportunity to serve. I’m not sure I got that message across so well.

What next? Well, time start Doing Good Things…

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