By Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary Editorial staff
Sandra Fidalgo, a member of the Rotary Club of Setubal, Portugal, confided she was a bit nervous before singing, “Sing with me,” an original number she wrote and composed especially for the 2013 convention in Lisbon. She needn’t have been. She performed it beautifully, and the melody and lyrics provided a moving tribute to Rotary’s big gathering in Portugal as the House of Friendship officially opened Saturday.
Even before the opening ceremony, Rotarians began filling up pavilions one and two of the Feira Internacional de Lisboa, as small clusters gathered around and under the floral archway, service project booths, and displays. It is here — and during other chance encounters on the streets and in hotel lobbies — where much of the real essence of a convention happens. Rotarians meeting other Rotarians, making new friends, building connections, and sharing ideas. A special atmosphere is created when large numbers of club members assemble in one place, sharing their enthusiasm for Rotary.
This video captures some of the magic of opening day, as Rotarians explain what draws them to the convention. Check back throughout the week as we post additional videos and blog posts from Lisbon, a Harbor for Peace. If you’re at the convention, leave us a comment below about what you love about Rotary conventions, or share your favorite things to do in and around Lisbon (for example restaurants, shopping spots).