We were honoured to have DG Bob Palmateer as our speaker. Bob has graciously sent a copy of his speech for your editor to include in this Bulletin.
 

It seems like a long time ago when I was interviewed to be your District Governor. For those that don't know the process, an interview team of 3 past district governors and 2 past presidents interview the District Governor candidates and in some years their spouses. One of the questions I was asked, "What was my vision of the future of Rotary?" It could not have been more fitting that then President Elect John Kenny announced at the San Diego International Assembly in January, 2009 that his theme
for 2009/10 would be "The Future of Rotary is in Your Hands". So I will start with a history lesson and will borrow from a speech presented at the Los Angeles convention in June, 2008. "To have a vision for the future we need to look to the past".

104 years ago Paul Harris brought together three friends to a meeting that would change the face of history. Nobody could ever have imagined that what was started in Chicago that night in Madame Galley's restaurant could have grown to influence human rights, peace between nations, ethical codes of conduct in entire professions and the world wide relief of poverty, illiteracy and disease.

Rotary has become what it is today not because of powerful people but because of ordinary people, people like you and me, with a passion to make a difference. Paul Harris was certainly one such person. He was neither wealthy nor well known and was far from being one of Chicago's top lawyers. He was a lonely, small town boy from a broken home whose grandparents raised him with simple family values. We often put those four first Rotarians up on a pedestal perhaps taking pride in being able to recite to our Club members the names of the founders of Rotary. Paul Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Hiram Shorey and Silvester Schiele

The fact is that two of the first four, Shorey and Loehr, dropped out almost immediately. Throughout Rotary's history we have kept them on the pedestal while in truth two of them didn't do a thing to build Rotary. Let's look away from the pedestal and focus on the Rotarians whose names you might not recognize. Did you ever wonder who Rotarian number five was? He was a young printer named Harry Ruggles. Harry was the one who introduced singing to the Rotary fellowship tradition. He was the one to initiate weekly club bulletins and membership directories. Two of the first four members dropped out within weeks and yet Harry Ruggles became a dynamic Rotarian who brought in dozens of new members and maintained perfect attendance for 54 years.

Three years passed and there was still only the one Rotary Club. When Paul wanted to expand Rotary beyond Chicago he ran into a wall of opposition that split the club. So when member Manuel Munoz told Paul that his company was transferring him to San Francisco in 1908, Paul quietly asked him to explore the possibility of starting a second club there. On the day after he arrived in San Francisco Manuel met a young lawyer
named Homer Wood and told him about the Chicago Rotary club. Within weeks Homer had corresponded with Paul and had gathered enough friends to begin the Rotary Club of San Francisco, which was chartered in 1908.


But that wasn't enough. Even before the San Francisco club received its charter, Homer and his friend, Arthur Holman, had commenced to form another club in Oakland, Oakland receiving its charter in 1909. They told business associates in other cities about Rotary and within months Rotary clubs were started in Seattle, Los Angeles and Portland. Without Manuel Munoz, Homer Wood and Arthur Holman none of this would have
happened. Like all of you I honour those first four Rotarians but I suggest that Rotary could ultimately have died right there in Chicago if it hadn't been for the men whose names we didn't even know who spread Rotary around the world.


100 years ago this Rotary year, the National Association of Rotary Clubs crossed an international boundary to then become an international organization. The 2005 celebration in Chicago was the 100th anniversary of Rotary. The 2010 celebration to take place in Montreal next June will be the 100th anniversary of Rotary International.
The Winnipeg Manitoba Rotary Club has the distinction of being the Club that made Rotary international in 1910. Walter Clubb, President of the Winnipeg Club in 1911-1912 was given the honour to propose the change of name of our organization from the National Association of Rotary Clubs to the International Association of Rotary Clubs at the Duluth Convention in 1912.

Throughout the history of Rotary Canada has been the home of 5 RI Presidents. The Winnipeg club also gave Rotary its first non American International President, Leslie Pidgeon in 1917-1918, to be followed by Fort William's Crawford McCullough in 1921-22, Montreal's John Nelson in 1933-34, Arthur Lagueux in 1950-51 and then 56 years later Wilf Wilkinson in 2007-08. No country in the world other than the U.S. has given Rotary
more Presidents than Canada. Not England, not Japan, not India.

We can all be proud that, not only did Canada make Rotary international, Canadians were instrumental in spreading Rotary around the world. Two Canadians Layton Ralston and Jim Davidson did just that. Together they sailed to Australia to start Rotary clubs in Australia and then in New Zealand. Later Jim Davidson embarked on a 2 1/2 year round the world trip and successfully started new Rotary clubs. 23 Rotary clubs in every major city from Turkey across the middle east, India, Southeast Asia, China and Korea making Rotary a truly global organization with an unbroken chain of clubs from Europe to Asia.

And Rotary expanded again in April 2009 with the chartering of the Rotary Club of Mississauga-Dixie on April 8, 2009, celebrating the charter night on April 18th. I apologize that I wasn't able to attend. I was in Guatemala on our District water project in Gualan. At breakfast, lunch or dinner this week, how many of you reached for a bottle of ketchup? If you picked up a bottle of Heinz ketchup you might have noticed the label. What do Heinz and Rotary have in common? "100 years in Canada." And these bottles are for all of you, the Charter members of the Club. I would like each of you to take a bottle of 100 Years in Canada ketchup home.

To build peace and goodwill among nations is an on-going objective of Rotary. In 1989 in recognition of the leadership of District 7080's Jim James, Past Rotary International President Hugh Archer stated that "the last Russian resistance to Rotary's expansion in Russia evaporated with the success and fellowship generated by the District 7080 Moscow Limb Camp." Concern about Rotary in Russia further evaporated through an Ambassadorial Scholarship and Group Study Exchange led by District 7080 Past District Governor Roy Cooper followed by delivery of medical equipment and supplies championed by District 7080 Past District Governor Bert Grapes. We can be justifiably proud of Canadian accomplishments in Rotary.


One of President John Kenny's goals this year is an overall retention rate of 80% with a net increase of 1 member per Club. On average clubs lose about 10 to 20% of the members each year. With a current active roster of 17 members you are likely to lose 2 to 3 members over the next year. Greg has committed to an overall increase of 6, so you will need to induct 8 new members to help Greg with that commitment. Mississauga-Dixie is our newest Club. Some of you have come to this Club from other Clubs, but for
my next comments I consider all of you to be brand new Rotarians. The 17 new members are keys to help Greg meet his commitment. Each of you have a school of friends and business associates from which to draw qualified Rotarians. If each of you bring in 1 new member, this Club should be able to double in size by July 2010 when I hand over the District Governor reigns to Bernd Dinnert.


We are men and women with a passion for doing what we are doing . Every single program we have today began in the mind of a single Rotarian. When Don Carter was invited to join the Rotary club of Chicago in 1906 he asked to see the Club's objectives. There were only two. The promotion of business interests amongst the members and the promotion of fellowship. Carter refused to join suggesting that such a club should also embrace community service. And so Carter wrote proposed amendments to the bylaws. They were immediately accepted. Only then did he join Rotary. Shortly thereafter the Rotary Club of Chicago sponsored Rotary's first community service club project, public toilets.

Today 104 years later, the community service ideal launched by Don Carter is unanimously embraced by 1.2 million Rotarians in over 32000 Rotary clubs worldwide. No one had more a passion for his Rotary dream than Arch Klumph. Arch was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. As club president a year later and then as the International Rotary president in 1916, Arch dreamed of a fund that would do good in the world. As did Paul when he wanted to expand Rotary, he encountered opposition. For decades after he seeded the foundation with that now famous $26.50 it was not much more than an empty dream. As we all know the Rotary Foundation today is the
premier humanitarian foundation on the planet. All the water wells that would never have been dug. All the ambassadorial scholarships that would never have been awarded. All those corrective surgeries that would never been performed. All those millions of babies who would not have been given the promise of life free of polio without the passionate commitment of one man whose name is unknown on the world stage but who we know as Arch Klumph.


Much of this is past tense. In this centennial year of Rotary International, we are here asking how we may make our communities and our world better in the future. If somebody thrust a microphone at you as you left this meeting and asked "What does it mean to be a Rotarian?" What would be your spontaneous answer? I suggest your answer could be in our motto, Service above Self adding to it that "we add value to people's lives". And not just for the people receiving our service. For ourselves. I know that I am a better man for having joined Rotary in 1976 and having been involved as a Rotarian for almost 33 years. Service above self. No one should call himself a Rotarian if he does not make time to serve. In his July message to Rotarians, President John Kenny said "In Rotary, everything we are, and everything we aspire to become, lies in the hands of Rotarians in their clubs. If our clubs are congenial and our meetings well run, if our service is carefully planned and competently carried out, if our members are qualified, honest, and respected in their vocations and communities, then all of Rotary will thrive." The Mississauga-Dixie Club is the newest embodiment of that ideal club in District 7080.


Now 2 commercials. To help you celebrate being a Canadian Rotarian in the 100th anniversary year of Rotary International we have 2 events well underway:
1. The District 7080 Conference, October 23/24/25 will take place just up the road in Guelph at the Delta Guelph Hotel. Some details are on the cards on your tables. Our theme will be 100 years of Rotary in Canada. Come play golf with us on Friday afternoon and stay for the reception at the golf course after the golf. On Saturday, in addition to
sessions on foundation and membership you can elect various tours, Sunrise Therapeutic Riding Centre, the Mars project of the University of Guelph or Wellington County brewery. And come to hear outstanding speakers, Carl Hiebert, Gord Surgeoner, Andree Cazabon, Terry Hoddinott and Abid Virani. You may know Carl Hiebert. Carl broke his back in 1981 in a hang gliding accident and lost the use of both of his legs. In 1993 the Guelph Club sponsored Carl's 2 year ultra light flight above Canada to take pictures of our country from a different angle and with the publication of his book, Gift of Wings.
Carl will speak to us at the conference.

You might also know Gord Surgeoner. A University of Guelph alumni, retired Guelph professor and currently president of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies. Gord will be the Saturday lunch keynote speaker. The cost of the conference is only $150 for Saturday and Sunday or $175 for the 3 days. For that you will get the reception Friday evening, 3 meals on Saturday and brunch on Sunday in addition to Rotary inspiration and fellowship. Truly a bargain.
2. The International Convention in Montreal. June 20 to 23 in Montreal. I have committed to have 250 Rotarians and guests attend from 7080. Please help me to meet that commitment. Clubs are arranging Via Rail travel to Montreal. Kitchener Westmount has booked 3 cars, 2 for passengers and 1 for the partiers. There will be little room available on the party car. Barbara Fisk from the Trillium Club has organized a 7 day post convention Polio Plus cruise from Montreal to Boston. Get on board. All net proceeds, including Barbara's agency commission, will go to the Rotary Foundation for Polio Plus. Sherrin and I are already booked. Let me ask that you use the history of Rotary to inspire you to make the same commitment with passion as you carry the torch of Rotary from Guelph around the world saying thank you for giving me the privilege of being a Rotarian. Sponsor a new member and give to that person the same privilege. The Future of Rotary is in Your Hands.

Bob was thanked by club member and PDG, Janet Coates.