Wildfires can’t stop this Rotary cycling event

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By Geraldine Nicol, Governor of District 9350 (Angola, Namibia, and South Africa)

Despite raging wildfires on its outskirts, which at times came within yards of the city, the City of Cape Town, South Africa, proudly carried on with its planned cycle race earlier this year. The Cape Town Cycle Tour is organized and managed by Rotary clubs in District 9350 in partnership with local riding clubs of the Pedal Power Association. About 37,000 cyclists from around the world registered for what is the world’s largest timed cycle race in its 38th year.

The cycle race had been in major jeopardy, as the mountains of the beautiful Cape Peninsula had suffered from devastating fires in the 10 days preceding the race. Although the wildfires forced the race to be reduced from 103 kilometers to 47 kilometers, and the route to be altered to keep roads open for fire engines, everyone got into the spirit of the event. Continue reading

New action group unites leaders to protect endangered species

Jane Goodall joins the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species’ “Say No!” campaign to promote animal conservation. Photo courtesy of RAGES

Jane Goodall joins the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species’ “Say No!” campaign to promote animal conservation. Photo courtesy of RAGES

By Philip Merritt, vice chair of the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species and a member of the Rotary Club of Mabalacat Clark, Pampanga, Philippines

About three years ago, Rotary member John Glassford sent a message to the Rotarians on the Internet (ROTI) Fellowship’s discussion list asking if anyone had any ideas on how we could help stop the poaching of elephants. I responded: “Why don’t we start a Rotarian Action Group (RAG)?”, and from that point forward, it was a long journey to finally get the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species (RAGES) recognized by the RI Board in January. Continue reading

Rotary Day winning video

By Rotary Voices staff

From the time he took office, RI President Gary C.K. Huang invited Rotary clubs and districts to hold a special Rotary Day during 2014-15 to introduce community members to Rotary. He also encouraged them to submit short videos of these events for a chance to receive special recognition. Congratulations to District 2430 (Turkey), whose video — included here — was the winning entry. Twelve other videos were chosen as finalists.

See the other finalists

Perhaps a fifth test: Is it fun?

David Postic, left, and other members of the Rotaract and Interact Committee had fun posing for this photo in December at Rotary’s headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Rotary International/Alyce Henson

David Postic, left, and other members of the Rotaract and Interact Committee had fun posing for this photo in December at Rotary’s headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Rotary International/Alyce Henson

By David Postic, a member of the Rotaract and Interact Committee and a past president of the Rotaract Club of Norman, Oklahoma, USA

We all know and love The Four-Way Test. In many ways, it’s an improvement on the age-old golden rule that you should treat others the way you wish to be treated. It’s a guide for living, a tool for decision making, a moral code. While Rotary has been served well by these four questions, they may not be enough in an era in which Rotary is trying to appeal to more people and have a broader impact.

There is another crucial question that we as Rotary members must always ask ourselves, and it is this: Is it fun? Continue reading

Skin donation in short supply in India

Club members get ready for the walkathon in Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Club members get ready for a walkathon in Sanjay Gandhi National Park to raise awareness for the need for skin donations.

By Rajesh Kumar Modi, Rotary Club of Mumbai Borivali East, Maharashtra, India

In Mumbai, our deputy fire chief recently died after suffering major burns rescuing people from a residential building fire. Two other officers also died in the fire. The media covered the tragedy, and how a shortage of natural skin in our skin banks complicates the efforts to save brave individuals like these.   Continue reading

Rotary club meets on a train

Members of the Rotary Club of Pune Deccan Queen meet on the passenger train between Pune and Mumbai.

Members of the Rotary Club of Pune Deccan Queen meet on the passenger train between Pune and Mumbai.

By Deepak Shikarpur, past district governor

On the Deccan Queen Express, an Indian passenger train that connects Mumbai with Pune, members of the Rotary Club of Pune Deccan Queen conduct their weekly meeting. It may very well be the only Rotary club in the world that meets on a train.

The Deccan Queen is one of the most popular trains in the sector and a daily means of transportation for thousands commuting between the two cities. The idea was first proposed in 2012, but since the route crosses through two Rotary districts, it took a while to reach agreement the club would be considered to meet in District 3131 (which includes Pune).

Every Thursday, members get together in a special car for pass holders. There are 25 members at the moment, and prominent citizens traveling on the train are invited as speakers. We have conducted community service projects including health checkup camps for train porters and railway staff, and made infrastructure improvements to the station in Pune. We are planning to begin monthly fellowship meetings in the city so members can bring their family and they, too, can experience the joy of Rotary.

Find a Rotary club near you

Pakistan picnic benefits blind children

Children gather in the park for a Rotary-sponsored picnic in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Children gather in the park for a Rotary-sponsored picnic in Islamabad, Pakistan.

By Nosherwan Khalil Khan, president of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

My club recently arranged a picnic for children who have visual impairments or learning delays at the Lake View Park in Islamabad. We were able to partner with True Site, an organization dedicated to the welfare of blind children, through our Rotary member Shehzad Javed, who is secretary general of the organization.

The children enjoyed rides in the park, a visit to a bird aviary, and a healthy lunch provided by the Rotary club. It was a great picnic, enjoyed by the children to the fullest. What better example to the community of the power of Rotary!

Experiencing more flavors of Rotary

150505_huddlestonBy Mark Huddleston, a member of the Rotary Club of Edwardstown, South Australia, Australia, and District 9520 Membership Chair

My son can be a particularly picky eater. One of his favorite meals is ham and pineapple pizza. We occasionally make pizza at home, and I wouldn’t ever bother putting anything on his pizza but ham and pineapple, because he would just pick it off. If we order a pizza when we’re out, that’s exactly what he does.

So, what’s this got to do with Rotary? Many members approach Rotary like my son approaches his pizza. Continue reading

Rotary values translate into any culture

Renée Riley-Adams exchanges club banners with a member of the Rotary Club of Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil.

Renée Riley-Adams exchanges club banners with a member of the Rotary Club of Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil.

By Renée Riley-Adams, Rotary Club of Ashland, Oregon, USA

My husband and I recently traveled to Brazil on vacation to visit my brother. The one-hour Rotary meeting I went to while there remains one of my most  treasured memories from the trip.

Though I understood perhaps only ten percent of what was being said, it was the welcome I received that made the experience so worthwhile. There is a magic in knowing that I share the same values as the people I met. The hearty handshakes I Continue reading

Paul Harris on the need for Rotary

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

By Rotary Heritage Communications staff

In My Road to Rotary, Paul Harris recalled how his longing for friendship like that he had known in Vermont was one of his inspirations for founding Rotary in 1905. But in 1935, in This Rotarian Age, he wrote of the need for Rotary, from a wider perspective:

“It is conceivable that Rotary might have been born under sunnier skies, in a climate more equable, and in a city of mental composure; but many will contend that there could have been no more favorable birthplace for Rotary than paradoxical Chicago, where the battle for civic righteousness was being so fiercely waged.” Continue reading