Well, over that past 33 years, I have heard many inspiring District Governor’s presentations. I have also sat through some truly numbing experiences. All of them, in essence, extolled the high values of our great organisation, the virtues, benefits and duties of being a Rotarian, and exhorted us to increase our membership. In other words, without meaning to be derogatory, preaching - to the converted.  Not so Andy…
 
Instead of starting off with a prepared speech, Andy simply asked the question “What would you like to hear from the District Governor?” The requests from the audience were largely of general nature: ‘Overall, how is our District going?’, ‘How can we obtain money from the District?’ etc. Impressively, Andy deftly eased from a Q&A style to a relaxed summary of our District’s notable achievements. Membership growth was specifically addressed: “The District is doing very well, both in terms of membership as well as financially”, Andy said. “Did you know that 9640 has the highest increase in membership in Zone 8 (14 countries): since 1st July, we have had a NET increase of 45 members!” This is not the result of just the last few months, Andy accentuated, this is the result of the last 5 years of steady building up. New clubs were formed, some of quite different style, such as Gold Coast Passport. “Do you know that District 9640 has the largest percentage of family membership in Australia (34%, compared to average of 26%), partially due to no District dues applying to partners? We have the largest percentage of Under 40’s? A new club, ‘Corporate Centre One’ is in the process of being established, its potential membership based on about 40 companies whose offices are in that large office building. But it’s not easy! To increase membership, “you have to hit the street”, Andy said. You have to ask people to join. The competition is high: there are some 152 networking organisations on the Gold Coast!
 
So, after 33 years, I continue to be grateful for having been invited to join Rotary, to witness every year the leadership dynamics of a new Club President, a new District Governor, new Rotary International President.