PDG John Wan – GML – August 2000
I would like to begin by officially announcing the results of the Ballot-by-Mail that all Action Presidents had participated in July 2000. I said officially because I had actually announced the news on 7 August through an open letter uploaded on the District Website under the title “Why we are Rotarians”. Further, I had the letter faxed to the Presidents who were not known to the District as having operating an e-mail address. Now, the results.
On Friday, 4 August 2000, the Balloting Committee, comprising Past District Governor Dr. Jason Yeung (Kowloon West), Past President Stanley Mok (Hongkong Sunrise) and Past President Ted Ho (Kingspark Hong Kong), met to examine the returns from club presidents in respect of the Ballot-by-Mail for the 2000-2001 Per Capita Levy towards the District Fund. In attendance were Past Governor Anthony Hung, Governor-elect Johnson Chu, District Secretary (Returns) Edmond Chan and myself.
Committee Chairman PDG Jason Yeung sent me the formal report on 5 August 2000 which included the following findings. First, all the 48 clubs in Hong Kong and Macau returned their ballot which were all determined by the Committee as valid. Thank you very much, Action Presidents for the part you played in creating awareness and in taking action in the exercise. That every club in Hong Kong and Macau responded without exception is an unprecedented show of solidarity and a reflection of the seriousness the clubs attached to the exercise. I am proud of all the Action Presidents.
The 48 clubs together mustered 66 votes based on RI rules. Of these, 45 voted for, 20 against and one abstained. This means that the clubs in the District have now voted by majority for the 2000-2001 District Budget. Specifically, the Per Capita Levy towards the District Fund from 1 July 2000 now stands at HK$1,100 for a Rotarian in Hong Kong, and HK$830, Macau.
In my open letter dated 7 August, I went on to address the issues raised by clubs and members related to the District Budget in general and to the process in particular. I would not repeat the arguments here. You are welcome to visit our District Website for Issue 27 of my Letters. Indeed I would urge all Action Presidents to visit the site at least once a week if possible.
From the Budget, I move to my series of Official Visits. Many of you would have noticed that I have started the visit program. Indeed, I have been exchanging notes with a few Action Governors on what some people have called a necessary routine. Well, it may be a routine for the fact that every governor visits his clubs this time of the year, but to the people concerned, particularly the principal protagonists, they should be anything but routine. Let me explain.
To start with, an official visit must not be seen as an end in itself. Rather, it is a means of achieving an important objective of Rotary International, which is to ensure that clubs in a district would continue to observe the Object of Rotary and remain effective clubs. Members of the twenty or so clubs I have officially visited so far would recall that an effective club in this context is one that would have sustained membership growth, meet the needs of the community, continue to contribute to the Rotary Foundation and provide leadership beyond the club level.
I quickly point out that it would be unrealistic to expect a one-hour visit can achieve this objective, or for that matter, anything substantial. The leadership at Rotary International have been aware of this, and this is where the District Leadership Plan (DLP) has come in handy. Under the DLP, governors can appoint a number of assistant governors to handle some of the administrative workload and for greater flexibility in official visits. The plan is designed to strengthen Rotary at the district and club levels by making possible faster and more responsive support for clubs, a larger supply of well-trained district leaders, better communications within the district, and so on. As far as official visits are concerned, governors can now visit clubs individually or in multi-club meetings conducted throughout the year for the purpose of focusing on important Rotary issues, motivating Rotarians to participate in service activities, and so on. The DLP also envisages that these visits should take place at a time that maximizes the governor’s presence, including charter nights, induction ceremonies, new member orientation programs, citation or award presentations, special programs, Foundation events or intercity meetings.
Under the DLP, therefore, it would be up to the clubs and members to make full use of the Governor’s Official Visits for the purposes of the respective clubs. After all, each club has its own special culture and characteristics and is its own best judge for its performance up to a point. If there are problems, the club leadership, in consultation with the assistant governor, would be best placed to find solutions.
As we are moving out of August, Rotary’s Membership Development and Extension Month, I would like to remind all members of the urgency and need to redouble our efforts to recruit, retain and retrieve members. The statistics so far are not encouraging. We took on 35 new members at District Installation and we added another 30 or so members on 1st July from Mongolia, but our total membership ending July was not a lot to write home about. We need to bring in drastic and dramatic measures, and PDG Moses and I are all ears.
Before I sign off, I would like to announce that nominations for District Governor Nominee 2002-2003 are now open. Clubs have up to 13 November 2000 to propose candidates for consideration by the 2002-2003 DGN Nomination Committee. Club Presidents can call me for the forms and other details. The Committee will meet on 1 December.
Your Governor John Wan