After the speakers (well, between really, on the Saturday night) was the 'ball'. An excuse to get dressed up in a dinner suit and have a mass produced meal that would have been prepared several hours before it reached me. Still, I don't enjoy dinners for the food, I enjoy it for the company. I didn't know for certain Rhonda and I would get into the ball as we booked so late (by Rotary standards, quite soon for my mind as a new Rotarian). We were lucky though, but our late entry put us on a table with people from other clubs. To me, that was a bonus. It's not that I don't want to be with my club, I love them dearly but I'm sure they're bored of my conversation by now and if not they've got the Christmas meal where I can bore them further. I still haven't learnt about all the formality of these things. When the announcement was made Gentlemen may now remove their jackets it was pure luck I still had mine on I would have removed it earlier if it wasn't comfortable. The other confusing thing to me was a string of announcments along the lines of The District Governer John Wilton would like to drink wine with....... Fine, go and drink wine with them but I really don't need to know you've just interupted the person I was listening to on our table. Perhaps there is a purpose to that announcment, maybe it reminds us who the important visitors are.
I also took the opportunity to meet some other people at the ball. Lyn Mitchell who's been suffering some of my many questions about Rotary membership, she's an Assistant Governer and in her club Chair of service projects like I am for my club.
Ian Thompson, president of RIBI, also suffered my questions because of something he said during his presentation. I need to find his email address to get the rest of the answer. The question was essentially, What proportion of the population should be in Rotary?, I want to know what the informed view is as to how big Rotary should be in the UK. His answer, the first person who's actually given an answer, was 100% of all the eligible population should be in Rotary. I now have to find out just how many people are eligible.
At the end of the weekend, I'm sure I'll be going to the next one. The best part of all being not each individual presentation, but the opportunity to meet so many different people all united by one cause. Speaking over lunch, speaking over dinner, speaking to another club member while we both served as stewards, it's meeting with so many different people that I enjoyed most. Next year, the conference is off to Brighton so the challenge is set to see what can be achieved before then by our new Rotary club.
This entry is last entry in a series about my visit to the Rotary District Conference. It might not make much sense on it's own, why not start at the first post and read all the way through.