welcomes you

  • Our AnnE Down Under

    Here I am at the other side of the world, but made to feel so at home on my first visit to Western Australia by the RC of Perth.

    Even before my visit I was made most welcome by the lovely Kirstin Reed. She is employed by the club to keep them on track as regards everything IT, social media and communications. Look how she organises members badges in alphabetical order ready to pick up as they arrive for each meeting - no excuse not to wear it!

    A thriving club of about 90 members, not all making it to every lunchtime meeting, but attendees matched by almost as many visiting non rotarians!

    Their meeting began with their Vicar member bantering with fellow members (in a way familiar to me at Bradford West) whilst appraising the previous week’s activities and slipping in a religious grace at the end. Although I was sitting next to him, I didn’t feel I could tell him that we had moved away from bringing religion to Rotary in favour of a “thought for the day”.

    Every visitor was then introduced to the club before their two course lunch began. The roving microphone was used well for this and others spoke from a lectern.

    One visitor was Sho Ogami, their youth exchange student from Japan.

    Their club is very active and their meeting so busy, it was not appropriate to wax lyrical about our own activities. But I was able to tell them about our own Japanese Student, Satomi, and Bradford Universities’ Peace Study courses as I delivered greetings from President Allison and DG Robear at the beginning of the proceedings and exchanged banners with President Stephen.

    Their banner is newly designed by one of their members which made me wonder if it is time for Bradford West to look at ours afresh with Carolyn.

    Excellent use of time was made by conducting business between courses and coffee, though this required their President to excel at “speed eating”!

    So by the time we all had coffee and mints in front of us, it was time for our speaker.

    They have a master at arms who fined all and sundry in aid of their Charity of the year. This was interesting as the club had partnered up for the year with the charity who had representatives attending and speaking at each meeting, excellent for fostering enthusiasm and fundraising.

    Then suddenly the reverend beside me jumped up and installed himself at a piano in the room, we all stood, the Australians sang their entire national anthem and the meeting was finished.

    So I hope you will agree, I came away with some good ideas to bring home to our own club - partnership with a charity, redesign of banners, badges, logos etc using our own members’ expertise, paid “secretarial” help and organisation of identity badges.

    Also a reminder about ideas we have already had but could look at again - better use of time during lunch meetings, use of a podium and roving microscopes, more widespread invitation of visitors to our meetings.

    I am not, however, suggesting we sing all verses of our national anthem, or even one verse - Shame we haven’t a piano! 😂



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