President 2017-2018:
 Phil Webber

What is the Rotary Club of Vancouver?
 
The Rotary Club of Vancouver consists of like-minded men and women from diverse backgrounds, both ethnically and in business and community affairs.  It members support each other in their respective businesses, professions and personal lives and are committed to “giving back” by contributing solutions to many social and community needs, locally and internationally.
 
The members of Rotary Club of Vancouver, along with members of all other Rotary Clubs, form a global network of over 1.2 million business and community leaders, all volunteering their time and talents, and usually contributing money, to serve their communities and the world.  Rotary Club of Vancouver is one of over 35,000 Rotary Clubs in over 200 countries world-wide which together form Rotary International, founded on February 23, 1905 in Chicago.  In fact, Rotary Club of Vancouver was the 61st club formed in all of Rotary International when it was officially formed on April 22, 1913.  It was the second Rotary Club formed in Canada; Winnipeg being the first.
 
The 2017/2018 Rotary Theme, “Rotary: Making a Difference
 
Each year Rotary renews itself by electing a new leadership team. This is true for Rotary at the International, zone, district and club levels. With each New Year (our new year starts July 1st), the Rotary International (“RI”) President choses a theme to not only guide us into the future, but to also reflect the legacy of previous leaders. This year our RI President, Ian H.S. Riseley, of the City of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia has taken over from John Germ of Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A. and has adopted the theme of: “Rotary: Making a Difference”.
 
I therefore challenge readers of this message to ask themselves, “How can each of us, collectively and individually, make a difference?”  At the level of Rotary Club of Vancouver, please see my comments below.
 
Rotary Club of Vancouver, like all Rotary Clubs, is autonomous.  So you might wonder, what is the role of Rotary International, often referred to simply as RI?  Rotary International provides support and guidance, including funding via the Rotary Foundation (“TRF”), to Rotary Club of Vancouver and to the other Rotary clubs, worldwide, in order to make the Clubs more effective in delivering humanitarian services which can change lives.  To appreciate the depth of RI’s support available to its Rotary clubs, Rotarians are invited to visit RI’s website, https://www.rotary.org, and to use the information there to assist them in their Rotary service and in “Making a Difference”.
 
Guiding Principles for Rotarians
 
There are certain guiding principles which have stood the test of time and which provide Rotarians with a strong common purpose and direction. They serve as a foundation for our relationships with each other and in taking action in our community and around the world.  It is worth reminding ourselves of these.
 
Guiding Principle No. 1: The OBJECT OF ROTARY
 
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular:
 
  • FIRST: To encourage and foster the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service (Think fellowship and friendships);
 
  • SECOND: To encourage High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
 
  • THIRD:  To encourage the application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
 
  • FOURTH: To encourage the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
Please note the emphasis in the “Second” point above on business and, in the “Third” and “Fourth” points, on the application of the “ideal of service”, not only to humanitarian service in local and international communities, but also in business.
 
So what is the meaning behind the reference to “ideal of service”, particularly as it relates to Business Networking and Vocational Service, but also to the other Avenues of Service?
 
To understand the meaning and significance of the “ideal of service”, it is useful to remind ourselves of the Five Avenues of Service, identified by Rotary International, present in the Rotary Club of Vancouver and identified below as the second guiding principal.  
 
Guiding Principle No. 2: THE FIVE AVENUES OF SERVICE
 
Rotarians channel the commitment to service, at home and abroad, through five Avenues of Service, which are the foundation of all Rotary Club activity.  What Avenue or Avenues of Service are you passionate about?  Let’s get engaged.
 
1.         Club Service focuses on making our club strong. A thriving club is anchored by strong relationships and by an active membership development and growth plan.
 
By next July, we would like to see our membership standing at 105 members.  We need 105 members and more to carry out all the service projects we have on the go;   to continue to “Make a Difference” as we do. 
 
July 1, 2017 we were at 90 members, plus honorary members.  To get to 105 (plus honorary members) we need to allow for attrition and therefore should strive to induct at least 20 new members this year.  We need to identify persons in our community who would benefit by experiencing the joy of “giving back” to the community, while at the same time enjoying the friendships and business opportunities which inevitably arise out of working together for a common purpose, such as on a humanitarian service project.
 
2.         Vocational Service calls on every Rotarian to work with integrity and to contribute his or her expertise to the problems and needs of society. A key element of Vocational Service, should also include business networking and support for each other’s businesses.
 
Rotary encourages high ethical standards in business and in our daily lives, encourages support for our members’ businesses and encourages mentoring fellow members and other persons, including young people, beginning or expanding careers as employees or in business.
This year, Rotary Club of Vancouver, will have a fresh emphasis on Business Networking and Vocational Service. 
 
In order to “Make a Difference” by increasing the effectiveness of our Networking and Vocational Service Committee, please contact Past President, Paul Martin, President-Elect, Brian Street or Franco Gallo, all of whom are passionate about serving the needs of our members in their employment and businesses.
 
3.         Community Service and Hearing encourages every Rotarian to find ways to improve the quality of life for people in his or her own communities and to serve the public interest.
 
This Avenue of Service is co-chaired by Rene Abi-Rached and Gerry Glazier for overall Community Service Challenges.  For aid to persons with hearing challenges, we have a Hearing Committee, chaired by Jack Zaleski and Blair Trenholm, which is charged with “Bringing Back the Sounds of Life” to those persons in need.  The Community Service and Hearing Committees, along with Youth Services, are probably the Avenues of Service which engage most of us, and for most of us is what drew us to Rotary.  If local humanitarian service or hearing projects is a passion of yours, then our Community Service Committee or Hearing Committee could certainly use your help.  Contact Gerry or Rene, or Jack or Blair to see how you can help and to get your name on the committee list. 
 
4.         International Service, sometimes called World Community Service, exemplifies our global reach, through Rotary and by seeking partners abroad:
(a)       for promoting peace and understanding;
(b)       in promoting improvements in the human condition of residents of a foreign land; and
(c)       by sponsoring or volunteering in international projects. 
 
This work generally involves participation in projects in the developing world or in connection with disaster relief. 
 
This Avenue of Service is co-chaired by Ian Storrs and Michael Woolnough who, like others on their committee, are passionate about it.  No Rotary club does International Service better than Rotary Club of Vancouver.  If international humanitarian service, including arranging for and shipping Rotary World Help Network containers is a passion of yours, then our International Service Committee could certainly use your help and you can “Make a real Difference”.  Contact Ian or Michael to see how you can help and to get your name on their committee list.
 
5.         Youth Service recognizes the importance of empowering youth and young professionals through leadership development programs such as:
  • Rotaract Clubs (Rotary for ages 18 to 30; we sponsor the UBC Rotoract Club and the Vancouver Young Professionals Rotoract Club);
 
  • Interact Clubs (Rotary for ages 12 to 18; we teach the traditions of and joy realized from Rotary humanitarian and charitable service through high school students participating in Interact Clubs formed in high schools; – our Interact Club is conducted at Gladstone Secondary School;
 
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (“RYLA”) organizes three leadership conferences each year, one for ages 14 to 15, another for ages 16 to 18 and one for ages 18 to 25.;
 
 
  • Rotary Youth Exchange serves young people ages 15 to 18 by providing an international exchange experience for an outgoing Vancouver BC student, provided we host an incoming student from a foreign country for each outgoing student we select;
 
  • Various “Adventures Programs” such as “Adventures in Citizenship” (A trip to Ottawa for a Parliament of Canada experience) and “Adventures in Forestry” (A trip to Prince George for the purpose of getting exposed to careers in forestry);
 
  • Literacy programs such as Rotary Club of Vancouver’s involvement with Norquay School, an elementary school on the border of Vancouver’s so-called inner city area.  For over 30 years, Rotary Club of Vancouver has funded a breakfast program and also a “reading” literacy program, directed at elementary school children attending Norquay School.  Through the reading program, we assist young students who do not have enough help at home in the development of reading skills.  The Norquay School project is a pet project of John Richardson and has involved at least 6 readers at various times in the past; and
 
  • Scholarship programs such as our “Stay-in School Program" which, for at least two deserving Gladstone High School students, each year commits $7,500.  The $7,500 is made available in stages over grade 12 and four years of post-secondary education; ($1,000 during grade 12 and $1,500 per year for up to four years of post-secondary education). 
 
Guiding Principle No. 3: THE FOUR WAY TEST
 
Rotary encourages high ethical standards in business and in our daily lives.  That fundamental goal is embodied in one of Rotary’s guiding principles to which all Rotarians aspire, namely the “Four Way Test”.
 
The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and non-sectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and business relationships. The test has been translated into more than 100 languages, and in English is:
 
Of the things we think, say or do, ask
 
  1. Is it the TRUTH?
 
  1. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
 
  1. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
 
  1. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
 
 
Guiding Principle No. 4: ROTARY CODE OF CONDUCT
 
In a business context, the Four Way Test is also echoed in the Rotary Code of Conduct, another guiding principle which is set out following:
 
“As a Rotarian, I will:
  1. Exemplify the core value of integrity in all behaviors and activities, or putting it another way, “Act with integrity and high ethical standards in my personal and business life”;
 
  1. Use my vocational experience and talents to serve in Rotary;
 
  1. Conduct all of my personal, business, and professional affairs ethically, encouraging and fostering high ethical standards as an example to others;
 
  1. Be fair in all dealings with others and treat them with the respect due to them as fellow human beings, or putting it another way, “Deal fairly with others and treat them and their occupations with respect”;
 
  1. Promote recognition and respect for all occupations which are useful to society;
 
  1. Offer my vocational talents:
  • to provide opportunities for young people;
  • to work for the relief of the special needs of others; and
  • to improve the quality of life in my community;
or putting it another way, “Use my professional skills through Rotary to mentor young people, help those with  special needs, and improve people’s quality of life in my community and in the world;
 
  1. As a Rotarian I will honor the trust that Rotary and fellow Rotarians provide, and not do anything that will bring disfavor or reflect adversely on Rotary or fellow Rotarians;
 
  1. As a Rotarian I will not seek from a fellow Rotarian a privilege or advantage not normally accorded others in a business or professional relationship.
 
Guiding Principle No. 5: ROTARY MOTTOES
 
At its core, Rotary has two official mottoes which establish a goal for each of us and describe the result of being an effective Rotarian.  These trace back to the early days of RI.
 
First: “One Profits Most Who Serves Best” (Approved in 1911 at the second RI Convention)
and
 
Second: Service Above Self (which arose out of a discussion at the 1911 RI Convention but was only formally approved at the 1950 RI Convention as one of two official mottoes, the other being, One Profits Most Who Serves Best.
 
The 1989 Council on Legislation established “Service Above Self” as the principal motto of Rotary, because it best conveys the philosophy of unselfish volunteer service.
 
Summary
 
In Summary, I have asked each of our members, as such:
 
  1. To engage his or her passion for service and so ‘Make a Difference”, and help Rotary Club of Vancouver “Make a Difference”;
 
  1. To review the organization charts for our Club and let me know on which committees he or she would like to serve (even if I have you down for something else).  We want to engage what you are truly passionate about; your passion for those Avenues of Service which are particular to you and thus areas where you are able to make an even greater difference:
  • to people suffering from hearing disabilities or deafness?
  • to people in poverty or otherwise disadvantaged?
  • to children and others with literacy challenges?
  • to people in the world who do not have clean water?
  • to those who don’t have necessary or emergency medical attention or facilities and equipment at standards we in Canada take for granted; - think the “Rotary World Help Network”?
  • To those suffering from or who might otherwise contract polio?
  • To our fellow Rotarians who have goods or services we need or could use.
 
  1. To propose at least one new member who ultimately joins our club, the Rotary Club of Vancouver.
 
I also ask our members to ask themselves each day, “How can I, today, make a difference?”:
 
  • a positive difference in my family and personal life?
  • a positive difference in my work and business life and to the business life of my fellow Rotarians where I can just as easily do business with a Rotarian, who I know subscribes to the Four Way Test and to the Rotary Code of Conduct?
  • a difference to the Rotary Club of Vancouver?
  • a difference in our community?
  • and in our Province?
  • a difference in the world?
 
Let each of us, each day, keep in mind the Object of Rotary,  Rotary’s Five Avenues of Service and the Four Way Test so as to separately, and together, as Rotarians, “Make a Difference”!
 
Let us keep in mind our motto, so that it can be said of each of us that we believe in “Service Above Self”; even though it may also be true that “One Profits Most Who Serves Best”, particularly where profit has a broader meaning than merely short term financial profit or gain.
And lastly, it has been 30 years since we were the home club of the District Governor.  Please plan to attend:
 
  1. District Governor, Don Evans’ Foundation Dinner on November 18, 2017;
  2. The Rotary Presidential Conference on Environmental Sustainability & Peace, to be held here, in Vancouver, BC, from Friday to Sunday, February 9 – 11, 2018 and being one of Ian Riseley’s six Presidential conferences to be held in the world;
  3. Don Evan’s District Conference to be held at the Whistler Sea to Sky Conference Centre at West Coast Heritage Railway Park, Squamish, BC from May 31 to June 3, 2018; and
  4. The Rotary International Convention to be held in Toronto from June 23 – 27, 2018.
ENGAGE YOUR PASSION IN HUMANITARIAN AND ROTARY SERVICE AND “MAKE A DIFFERENCE”!