Toast to Rotary International by PP Rob Chaffe: Rotary International is identified by its symbols of excellence the Gear Wheel that is abbreviated to “the Rotary Wheel”. We know that symbols can be shallow promises and in the modern world we see and experience the consequences of unfulfilled promises yet shining out amidst all the Rotary Wheel. We know Rotary not through this symbol but through what the members of this organisation are driven by. They promote Peace, fight disease, provide clean water, save mothers and children, support education and grow local economics. High ideals indeed, but Rotary International has pledged $150 million US to help fund the eradication of Polio that will cost $1.5 Billion. To give you an idea as to the significance of this Australia has pledged $13 million. Yes only 8.37% of Rotary’s contribution. There are three parts to Rotary and the first is the Rotary Club, the second is Rotary International and the last the Rotary Foundation. World wide of the 7 billion people only 1.2 million are Rotarians and 35 000 Clubs. How is it possible that Rotary can make such an impact, by the way so far this year there have been no recorded cases of “wild” polio. Yes we have almost wiped out this debilitating disease world wide. How is this so? Rotarians think differently, see differently and act responsibly because we, the whole 1.2 million Rotarians are Common unity builders, problem solvers and people of action. Rotary international punches way above its weight where ever it is. Regrettably in the wider community Rotary is known only by the local Rotary Park or a sausage sizzle. In Alexandra its Driver Education Program has saved over 45 lives.
It’s contribution to Rotary Foundation over 50 years amounts to over $100 000 US; this capital investment is never touched but the interest provides the money needed. Think what the compound interest on just $10 000 amounts to, let alone $100 000! It was a significant force to get Kellock Village off the ground in the 80’s and the development of the new library.
It has welcomed over forty five students on the youth exchange program and sent out 35 students all over the world, 8 vocational exchange team members, six Rotary Foundation scholars and on and on. All this has been possible because of those 35 000 Rotary Clubs around the world come together through Rotary International.
Now 113 years old Rotary International is one of the most dynamic, responsible and respected organisations in the world. Let’s shout it out that it is no secret anymore Rotary International is a vibrant energetic and responsible organisation that reaches around the world first a toast to Rotary International and then pop your poppers. The toast is Rotary International! Shout it out with your party poppers!