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Speech to Rotary Clubs

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Frank J. Devlyn


FRANK DEVLYN
RI PRESIDENT-ELECT
 ROTARY CLUB MEETING
SPEECH

FAMILY OF ROTARY . . .BUENOS DIAS!

IT IS GREAT BEING HERE …GOOD TO BE HERE WITH OLD FRIENDS . . .GOOD TO BE HERE WITH NEW FRIENDS ON THE FAST TRACK…VISITING THE WORLD OF ROTARY.

IT ALWAYS INTRIGUES ME HOW WE HAVE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ROTARIANS, DIFFERENT TYPES OF ROTARY CLUBS.

LIKE PEOPLE, LIKE CULTURES, THERE ARE DIFFERENCES.  WHY DO WE THINK DIFFERENTLY?  WE’RE PRODUCTS OF OUR SURROUNDINGS, UPBRINGING, BACKGROUND, WORK AND PROFESSION…

ROTARY CLUBS ARE DIFFERENT.  ROTARY DISTRICTS ARE DIFFERENT…THEY HAVE SIMILARITIES BUT THERE ARE DIFFERENCES.  THIS DIVERSITY IS OUR INTERNATIONAL STRENGTH…

AT ANY ROTARY EVENT, I’M AMAZED AT HOW WE HAVE SO MANY DIFFERENT OPINIONS…

PROBLEM: WE ALL THINK WE ARE RIGHT. THE OTHERS JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND.  TALKING ABOUT DIFFERENCES — ON THE LIGHT SIDE, LET ME MENTION SOME DIFFERENCES GLORIA RITA AND I NOTICE. 

  • TIME AWARENESS (PUNCTUALITY) - G.S.E. - PHILIPPINES

  • INVITATION TO A MEXICAN HOME WEDDING BULLFIGHTS — MASS

  • AGENDA CHANGES ALL THE TIME— IF PAUL HARRIS SHOWED UP…THEY WOULDN’T MAKE A CHANGE

  • HANDSHAKE -- FIRM, LIMP…

  • BOW…ABRAZOS --LET ME EXPLAIN -- WONDER IF HE’S FUNNY…

  • GREETING WITH A KISS = NO KISS ONE KISS TWO KISSES THREE KISSES…HEY I LIKE IT!

  • END UP KISSING THE LADIES YOU SHOULDN’T…NOT KISSING THE LADIES YOU SHOULD.

  • SOME CULTURES = TOUCHING SOCIETY COMFORT ZONES ARE DIFFERENT.  HOLDING HANDS = INDIA - NIGERIA - ACAPULCO

  • JAPAN = TAKING OFF YOUR SHOES HOLE IN MY SOCK…

  • THAILAND = RANK…

  • SMOKING — MY FRIEND IN SPAIN TOOK “SMOKING SECTION SIGN,” NOT UNDERSTANDING, NEVER APOLOGIZING…

  • LANGUAGES — ARGENTINA… SAYING “I CAN’T BELIEVE A PRESIDENT OF R.I. CAN’T SPEAK SPANISH.” 

IN THE WORLD OF ROTARY., THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF ROTARIANS.  QUIET ROTARIANS, OUTGOING ROTARIANS.  I LIKE THE QUIET ROTARIAN WHO TAKES ACTION.  DOESN’T EXPECT A LOT OF FANFARE…I ALSO LIKE THE OUTGOING ROTARIANS, BUT THE ONES WHO ACT AS MUCH AS THEY SPEAK…THE ONES QUIET AND OUTGOING…WHO DEVOTE TIME AND ENERGY TO THEIR ROTARY CLUBS AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.

I’M SURE THERE ARE SOME OF EACH IN THIS ROOM.  ALL OF US HAVE DIFFERENT STYLES, BUT IT TAKES THE SAME QUALITY TO GET THINGS DONE:  HARD WORK AND DEDICATION.  I HOPE WE ARE ALL ROTARIANS WHO GET THINGS DONE. 

SOMETHING AS ROTARIANS WE HAVE TO REMEMBER, WHAT’S RIGHT IN ONE CULTURE ISN’T RIGHT IN ANOTHER.  MOST CULTURES…OBEYING RULES IS A WAY OF LIFE.  BENDING RULES IS A WAY OF LIFE.  BREAKING RULES IS A WAY OF LIFE. 

EXAMPLE -- THINK ABOUT THIS -- TURNING OVER JEWS TO THE GESTAPO…TURNING A MIGRANT WORKER IN TO IMMIGRATION…

WE HAVE TO BE UNDERSTANDING.  WE HAVE TO HAVE INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING.

THINK ABOUT THIS…WHY DO PEOPLE JOIN ROTARY?  THINKING BACK…I HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION…PEOPLE JOIN ROTARY FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

THEN SOMETHING HAPPENS…YOU FIND OUT THAT BESIDES FRIENDSHIP, PRESTIGE, NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES…ROTARY PROMOTES HIGHER ETHICAL VALUES.  THEN THE MAGIC OF ROT. OCCURS…

THE TRANSFORMATION…ROTARIANS FIND OUT THAT THEY CAN DO SOMETHING BY WORKING TOGETHER — COMMUNITY SERVICE. 

THEN THEY FIND OUT THEY CAN HELP COMMUNITIES IN FAR AWAY PLACES …THEN THE BIG TRANSFORMATION OCCURS.  THAT’S INTERNATIONAL SERVICE!  IT’S HARD TO EXPLAIN HOW IT HAPPENS.  IT JUST HAPPENS…THE INTERNATIONAL TRANSFORMATION…THAT’S THE MAGIC OF ROTARY . . .

AS YOUR PRESIDENT, FOR THE YEAR 2000-2001, I’D LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE WITH YOU SOME OF MY CONCERNS.  I HAVE A PLASTIC FRAME ON MY DESK WITH THE FOLLOWING LIST:

  • GIVING FULL SUPPORT TO PRES. CARLO RAVIZZA AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS, 1999-2000

  • 3 C’S…CONSISTENCY, CREDIBILITY, CONTINUITY

  • PRO-ACTIVE CONTINUING EMPHASIS ON EXISTING R.I. & T.R.F. INITIATIVES -- INCLUDING POLIOPLUS, LITERACY, WATER, LOW-COST SHELTERS, AND CHILDREN

  • PRO-ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT (SALES FORCE)

  • ENCOURAGE HAVING ALL MINORITIES AND ETHNIC BACKGROUNDS IN OUR R.C.’S -- IN FACT, I’LL BE GIVING A PREFERENCE TO ROT.’S WHO DEMONSTRATE THAT THEY ARE BRINGING NEW PEOPLE INTO ROTARY

  • PRO-ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP RETENTION (CUSTOMER SERVICE)

  • PRO-ACTIVE PUBLIC RELATIONS & MEDIA AWARENESS…I LIKE OUR U.S.A. P.S.A. -- THANK YOU TO PERSONS GIVING FREE P.S.A.’S

  • DAVE SCLAIR AND MARY LOU CONVERTING R.I. COMMITTEES INTO PRO-ACTIVE ACTION TASK FORCES WHERE POSSIBLE, OR SUPPORTING COMMITTEES WITH PRO-ACTIVE TASK FORCES

  • WE ALSO MUST PRO-ACTIVELY LOOK FOR INNOVATIVE WAYS TO APPROACH A MENU OF CONCERNS -- R.C.’S & DIST.’S:

  • WORLD POPULATION CONCERNS – LITERACY FOR THE GIRL CHILD & WOMEN

  • VILLAGE BANKING & THE ELIMINATION OF POVERTY; FOCUS ON WOMEN

  • URBAN VIOLENCE – NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

  • JOBS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

  • AVOIDABLE BLINDNESS

  • DISASTER RELIEF

  • DRUG - ALCOHOL - TOBACCO ABUSE

  • HELPING MINORITIES

  • FEEDING THE HUNGRY

  • POLIOPLUS, TOTAL GLOBAL IMMUNIZATION

HOW?  MOST IMPORTANT -- OUR SECRET FOR MORE SUCCESS: PARTNERING WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS AT CLUB AND DIST. LEVEL  -- AND POSSIBLE FUTURE R.I. APPROVAL FOR INTERNATIONAL ENDEAVORS.

I HOPE THAT THE ROTARIANS OF THIS REGION WILL FIND INNOVATIVE WAYS TO ADDRESS THIS MENU OF ISSUES & CONCERNS.

THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO — I’VE GIVEN YOU A MENU TO ADD TO YOUR MENU…  THE FUTURE OF ROTARY IS IN YOUR HANDS…WHAT YOU DO WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

SO LET’S CREATE AWARENESS AND TAKE ACTION TO MAKE THE MAGIC OF ROTARY CONTINUE INTO THE NEXT MILLENNIUM!

¡GRACIAS!

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