August 30th 2021
Today is the historic return to dining together at the Grand Canal Hotel. It will be a business meeting.
Forthcoming Speakers and Events
Aug 31st Book Club meets at 7.30 p.m. at the Royal Irish Yacht Club to discuss ‘Tai-Pan’.
Sep 6th Business Meeting
Sep 12th Annual Duck Race on River Dodder at Milltown.
Sep 13th Paddy Furey, Croquet (that ancient Irish game which you are invited to try after lunch.)
Sep 20th Brian Cooke, Director General , Society of Irish Motor Industry Electric Vehicles
Sep 27th Alan Kirkpatrick, Men’s Sheds
Oct 11th Polio Plus, the need to continue
Oct 18th Katrina Buckley, Men’s Aid
President Alexander was in the Chair last week.
Visitors and Apologies
We had 22 members at the meeting and one guest, Cormac Trant.
Hon Sec Tony gave apologies for Patrick White, Rana Al Damin, Derek Griffith, Paul Martin and Bernadette Mulvey.
Rotary Rangers’ Schedule
Aug 31st Carraig Gollergan, Shankill. Meet at Brady’s Pub.
Sep 7th Sugar Loaf Mountain, Kilmacanogue.
Sep 14th Hill of Howth
Sep 21st Kanturk and Scarr Mountains, Oldbridge, Lough Dan.
Sep 28th Deerpark, Powerscourt.
Thought for the day
VP Delma Sweeney gave the thought of the day,
We, in the Rotary Club Dublin 2021 are living In changing & challenging times. Globalization, Climate change and Covid are some of the factors that have affected our lives. Working hours and remote working are now the norm which makes lunchtime attendance difficult if not impossible .Covid has disrupted how we meet, communicate and enjoy ourselves. Health and safety are now our priority. How do we adapt in these changing times?
My wishes for our club in meeting these changes are: That we continue to flourish. That we embrace change. May all members feel included. That we be creative. That each member is energetic in meeting our goals. May we find and welcome many new members. May we continue to enjoy each other’s company and that we continue to find ways to be of service to our community and the world.
President Alexander had the happy task of inducting our new member Vasily Ogievsky
PP Ted Corcoran welcomed Vasily into our midst and offered some thoughts on why he was still in Rotary after 30 years.
Thank you Mr President. Vasily.
My feelings about Rotary can be summed up in the words of Helen Keller, an American who was struck blind and deaf at the age of 2, yet went on to be very well known as an educator and advocate. Her words, “Alone we can do so little - together we can do so much”, pretty well sums up the overall ethos and strength of Rotary International.
Today I'll speak for a few minutes about my three Rotary Whys.
Why I was attracted to Rotary, Why I joined the Rotary Club Dublin and Why I'm still a member after 30 years.
Why was I attracted to Rotary?
My background as a child growing up in Co Kerry, some 7 Kms outside Killarney town made me very aware how much we depend on other people in moments of crisis. When my mother, at age 30, passed away, her mother, my grandmother, then aged 70 and helped by my father and grandfather, took over the rearing of my two younger siblings and me.
Our wonderful neighbors gathered around to support us in different ways. With everyone's help, I managed to win a scholarship to secondary school, which was not free then as it is now. And I'm here today because of that. This long tradition of coming together in the southwest of Ireland to help each other is known in the Irish language as the Meitheal.
I regard Rotary International as a world wide Meitheal helping people in need whenever and wherever it's needed. It makes me feel like I'm home again.
So why did I join the Rotary Club Dublin?
I had the good fortune to spend almost a week in the company of three stalwarts of this club back in 1990/91. Two of them, PP James Gorman and PP Dudley Engert have passed on but the third member PP Jonathan Pim is here today with us on the Zoom call, as he is most Mondays.
Having heard these committed Rotarians talk about the history of this club, the first founded outside North America, and the wonderful work it has and is still doing around the world such as supporting the Rotary Foundation in eliminating the scourge of Polio, plus many other good works here in this country, I had no hesitation in applying for membership.
Although my Kerry origins and the absence of a language interpreter could have been a stumbling block, I was accepted immediately and had the great honour of serving as club president in 2001/02.
Why I remain a member is very easy to explain. For 30 years I've seen, heard and experienced the huge assistance this club has and is giving to communities at home and abroad. Some examples are:
1. Helping the local St Andrews Resource Centre nearby in Pearse St which serves the needs of young and old alike.
2. Helping our highly regarded member Padraig O Fannin and his team from St Joseph's school in Fairview, build, staff and support schools for over 200 pupils in Kabwe in Zambia.
3. Helping a charity dear to my heart, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which provides books to over 5000 young children in Tallaght here in Dublin. As a young pre-school child myself, I first learned to read from books sent every year all the way from Sydney, Australia, by my grandmother's nephew. Learning to read is a vital first step in everyone's education.
An equally important reason for maintaining my membership for 30 years is the members I have served with and serve with today. Their friendship, support, and commitment to helping this club maintain its reputation as a club which delivers on its promises, is key for me.
Now that you've heard my three Rotary Whys, I hope they resonate with you and that you will enjoy your membership of this great club, like I have for so long. You know you can count on help, support and advice from everyone here as you need it.
Finally, as Rotary, generally, faces a somewhat uncertain period post Covid, we must be the change that will guarantee our future as one of the leading clubs in Ireland and I know you will play your part in that.
I'll leave you with the words of President Barack Obama when he said:
“We are the change. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
Fellow Rotarians let's be guided by the wise words of Helen Keller and Barack Obama.
Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. But, the greatest challenge we face is to be the change that matters.
Members wishing to speak
David Booth said he had heard from Michael Neubrand in Bonn and that they have had to postpone the three-way Zoom meeting with Tours and ourselves on Sept 13th as Tours will not be available on that date. The talk by their star speaker – for 2 years the Chief of NATO forces in Afghanistan, PP Egon Ramms – will take place now on Monday 11th October at 6p.m. Irish time. They still look forward to us visiting them in Germany for their 25th Anniversary party on the weekend of March 25th next year.
Delma Sweeney said she was volunteering with Samaritans and they had wondered if we could fund the training of 8 of their volunteers in a course on presentation and listening skills given by Carr Communications. Ted Corcoran suggested that he knew of people in Toastmasters who already had highly developed communication and listening skills who would be happy to volunteer. Frank Bannister rallied to Delma’s side by saying that listening to people in the greatest stress they’d faced in their lives was a completely different thing to listening to speeches.
Last Week’s Meeting
Our speaker last Monday was our own President, Alexander Kopf, who spoke to us about Rotary Action Groups.
Rotary has many very skilled people within its ranks and many of these get involved in their clubs’ various projects. The idea behind Rotary Action Groups is that such people could join up with experts from other clubs who have similar professional skills and work together on local, District or international projects. There are Action Groups for economic development, peace, addiction prevention, the environment or water.
Rotary Action Groups supported 1797 projects in 2019-2020 and raised $317,620. The vast majority were club projects (1573) but 72 were district projects and 54 were multi-district projects. Action groups offer their technical expertise and support to help clubs plan and implement projects to increase their impact. They can help clubs find partners and prepare grant applications.
Each Rotarian Action Group functions independently of Rotary International, with its own rules and administrative structure. Rotarian Action Groups provide opportunities for Rotarians to engage in meaningful service with like-minded Rotarians outside their own country. In order to receive official RI recognition a prospective group must secure the commitment of at least 25 prospective members representing at least 5 countries and 3 Rotary zones.
Examples of Rotary Action Groups recent activity include:
• Rotarians for Family Health and Aids Prevention and Rotary club members for Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda sponsored a three-day event to provide HIV testing and counselling for more than 138,000 people.
• The Rotarian Action Group for Population Growth and Sustainable Development partnered with Rotary clubs in Germany, Austria and Nigeria to reduce maternal death by 50% at 10 hospitals in northern Nigeria with a programme to treat obstetric fistula, a serious birth injury.
Currently Rotary Action Groups are focusing on 8 areas
• Promoting Peace (Domestic violence prevention, Peace, Refugees)
• Fighting Disease (Addiction, AIDS and blindness prevention, Malaria, Diabetes, Family health)
• Providing Clean Water and Sanitation
• Saving Mothers and Children ( Clubfoot, Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health)
• Supporting Education and Literacy
• Growing Local Economies (Community economic development, disaster assistance)
• Protecting the Environment (Endangered species, sustainability)
• Action groups with more than one area of focus (Food/Plant solutions)
The key numbers to remember for the Rotary Action Groups in 2019-2020
There were 27 Action Groups with 27,000 members worldwide
150 different countries were represented
710 was the average size of each Rotary Action Group