As most of my readers know I have now served my year of office for Burton Rotary Club, and here I repeat the letter I posted in the club bulletin as I thought it might be of interest elsewhere.
Ive now been a member of Rotary for 15 years (2 different areas) and it really is a special organisation, that Im proud to belong to………
As my year of office as President draws to its close, my attention turns towards memories of a very special year and my thankfulness for the privilege of having served you all. A few ramblings……………….
Thinking of that word “privilege” it can grammatically be used in a variety of ways. As a countable noun it means it is a special gift or right afforded to a person or a group. For me this year has felt like a special gift: it has been tiring, difficult and because of my work and family commitments has not been easy but I have seen it as a role whereby the members of the club have set me aside to carry out a particular task. To represent someone or something you believe in passionately is a great privilege.
Secondly, it can be used as an uncountable noun which speaks of power, but this has not applied in this year. In the PePs training they constantly told me that “it is your Presidential year, you can do what you like”; I soon found that I couldn’t and rightly so for in Rotary the President only carries whatever power is given by virtue of agreement, which is why its representative not dictatorial or tyrannical.
Thirdly, it can be a verb, expressing that to privilege someone is to treat them differently or better, rather than to treat them equally. Yes, I got my dinner marginally sooner than others but that’s for practical reasons of the activity of the top table. I hope I wasn’t treat any differently than any other Rotarian, for we’re all in the organisation together, with different skills and gifts to be used; however everything we bring to the club is for the benefit of others not ourselves.
Fourthly, it is as a singular noun that I use it. Here it means that it has been a privilege to have been your President. It has enhanced my view, not only of Rotary, but of you all as friends and special people. I offer you my heartfelt thanks.
BUT, what will I remember from this past year ?
1) The Trafalgar night, being piped on board SS Rotary with Admiral Sir Trevor Hoar, and the chance to speak to some of the youngsters of SS Modwena, the towns sea cadets.
2). The special entertainment at our Christmas dinner, by a local school showing us their pantomime
3). Charter night with entertainment by Hilary and Andy. Special friends
4). Presenting the Burton Hero of Heroes award to Jyoti Shah, alongside Carol Moralees from our Bretby club.
5) Speaking at Bretby Rotary Club Christmas celebration
6). Travelling to Retford to collect our District award, but not knowing what we had won it for; fun part was it seemed that no one in the District knew either.
7). Last years garden party at John Jacksons house
8). The Presidents hand over last week to Bryan. I loved it, good food, good venue, good company. What more could you ask for ?
Sadly because of work commitments I missed the Pirelli parade, the young chef competition and several other events such as the Marquee event at Repton. However I feel that you have supported me through difficulties this year, with my Father and currently with my Mother-in-Law. Thankyou.
Finally, a thank you for the magnificent support you have given through the Presidential appeal towards a Hearing Dog for the Deaf. (currently standing at £1005 I believe). My deafness is now almost complete and without my hearing aids I hear nothing. I have been accepted onto the waiting list for a dog and I hope word gets through soon, but it can take up to 4 years for this to happen. However hopefully I’ll have one before I move on from Burton. If you’re still not sure about the organisation please look up its website (www.hearingdogs.org.uk)
I ‘m delighted to have had the year past and I’ve been proud to serve the Rotary Club of Burton, even in my moments of inadequacy. As I close this article I wish Bryan a good year as he takes on the reins of office (like me for the second time). We have a lot to be proud of in Burton Rotary Club; its a great organisation, a great club and some great people.
Yours in Rotary
Mike, Immediate Past President (or back bench whinger !)
Handover to President Bryan Pickering June 2019
P.S. As a bit of fun I wore a different waistcoat every time I turned up anywhere for Rotary; now Im receiving complaints that Ive attended two meetings without a waistcoat !!!!! lol