This Week in Rotary
Posted By Bob Girvan
The Rotary Club of Ashburton Plains gathered on Wednesday 17th of August for a business
meeting (no. 2276) featuring a full agenda. We were joined for the evening by Assistant Governor
Matt and Gabrielle Sullivan from the Lincoln club. After another hearty meal from the Noble 600
restaurant (monk fish), a new member Fraser Bailey was introduced by Ray King and inducted
into Rotary by President Carolyn Cameron.
Fraser presented an interesting report on his experiences at a recent aspiring leaders course in
Wellington, attended with support from Rotary. The event was stimulating and also challenging, as
the sessions addressed searching questions, such as “What is a leader?”. As John Duncan
shared with the group, Fraser is a particularly welcome addition to the club since, being still in his
twenties, he lowers the average age of members considerably!
Matt then talked to the meeting, about the Zone 8 Regionalisation Project, an initiative recognising
the role of members and club activities in the modern context, and the necessity for change if
Rotary is to remain relevant into the future. A proposed Regional Council would be established to
govern clubs autonomously, with the main aim of providing better and more direct support to
Rotary and Rotaract clubs. The structure would facilitate changes required to address problems
such as declining membership and the need to reduce duplication and layers of hierarchy. Our
region has been selected by Rotary International to pilot this initiative.
Searching questions from the floor for Matt examined the funding for future structural changes in
the organisation and also the meaning of the proposal — that is, what is being voted on. The
answer: an agreement in principle for a wide-ranging review. At this stage, individual clubs will
decide whether or not to support participation in the new structure — by voting ‘yes’ (a two-thirds
majority vote is required). Club presidents will communicate responses over the next few weeks,
for an end-September deadline.
A thought-provoking last word was shared by Alasdair Urquhart: “A dry crust eaten in peace is
better than a steak everyday with an argument”.