R. I. President Message

RI President 2018-19 Barry Rassin - Jan. 2019

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

Vocational service can be hard to define, but it is easy to describe: It is simply the point where our Rotary lives and our professional lives intersect. When we put our Rotary ideals to work through our work, that is vocational service.

When I returned to the Bahamas after many years working in health care administration abroad, I realized that my country badly needed a modern health care facility. The resources we had at the time were out of date and inadequate, and people who were unable to travel abroad for care often did not receive the care they needed. Without the experience I had gained in the United States, I could have done nothing to change the status quo. But since I did have that experience, I was in a unique position to have an impact. I knew I could turn my professional path to good and make a career out of improving Bahamian health care.

As Rotary became part of my journey, I discovered that the words of Paul Harris that became the basis of Rotary — that shared effort knows no limitations — were also true for my vocation. I could not bring modern health care to the Bahamas alone. But through partnership, both with the doctors who eventually became my partners in Doctors Hospital and with all the dedicated staff members who worked in the hospital over the years, we could change everything. My goal became a shared goal — and then it became reality.

Rotary emphasizes the dignity of every vocation and the worth of every calling. Remember that the four founding members included no doctors or peacemakers — just an attorney, a mining engineer, a coal dealer, and a printer. From the beginning, the diversity of those vocations gave Rotary a special strength. And that diversity is reflected in our classification system, which aims to ensure that each club represents the full range of businesses and professions that serve each community.

Paul Harris put it this way: "Each Rotarian is the connecting link between the idealism of Rotary and his trade or profession." It was true when he said it and should be equally true now. We only spend an hour or two a week at our Rotary meetings, but most of us spend most of our waking time at work. Through Rotary, those hours are also an opportunity for service: a chance to Be the Inspiration to those we work with, those who work for us, and the communities we serve.

Barry Rassin
President 2018-19


Trustee Chair's Message - Jan. 2019

Ron D. Burton, Trustee Chair 2018-19

Trustee chair's message

I would be willing to bet that most Rotarians remember the person who sponsored them into their Rotary club. It's a person we will never forget and to whom we will always be grateful for sharing with us such a life-changing opportunity. Having said that, I'm not really sure most of us can pinpoint exactly when our Foundation became so important to us. It's not quite as simple as someone inviting you to a meeting. But I have to think there was some seminal event, project, or happening — whether in your club or district, or internationally — that turned on that light for you.

Since 1905, Rotary clubs have provided the outlet that allows Rotarians to be people of action in their communities. Our local clubs are where we live, work, and make lifelong friends, and where and how we have the most direct, visible impact on the place we call home. I firmly believe that when most Rotarians hear "Rotary International," they think of their Rotary club.

On the other hand, when Rotarians hear "The Rotary Foundation," they think of the myriad humanitarian and educational projects and programs that have made the Foundation the premier foundation in our world today. It is truly the magic that brings Rotary to life for them, makes their community the world, and allows them to be global people of action.

As we begin the new calendar year and think about the many things we would like to get done, many of us make New Year's resolutions. I hope one of yours is greater involvement and participation in our Rotary Foundation. Let's each make our Foundation our charity of choice. If we do that, we can make this Rotary year the very best in our incredible history. Please join me and make Rotary's legacy your promise!

Ron D. Burton
Trustee Chair 2018-19

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