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.

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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

Ten years of changing lives in Honduras

A woman in Chaguiton, Honduras, pulls the string to turn on her new ceiling light. Photo courtesy Neal Beard

A woman in Chaguiton, Honduras, pulls the string to turn on her new ceiling light. Photo courtesy Neal Beard

By Neal Beard, past president of the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA

Rotary members from District 6760 returned from Central America on 5 Feburary, after completing a 59-home electrification project in Chaguiton, Honduras. This was the tenth leg of a journey that began in 2006 for my club.

Over the course of the last ten years, the most exciting and rewarding moments of our lives took place not in the office, or on the shop floor, or while sitting in front of a computer screen, but in the remote mountain villages of southern Honduras.

Those moments have been filled with pure emotion. Like the time when a mother and her children looked on as we built a water storage tank and laundry table that would eliminate their Continue reading

Incoming district governors excited to ‘be a gift’

150119_themeBy Ryan Hyland, Rotary editorial staff

Incoming district governors enthusiastically greeted the presidential theme for 2015-16, Be a Gift to the World, during a dinner 18 January at the International Assembly, Rotary’s annual training event for future district leaders. RI President-elect K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran is asking Rotary members to use their talents, expertise, and leadership in the coming year to transform the lives of others.

We caught up with incoming district governors after the theme was announced to get their thoughts. Continue reading

Wildlife runs revive South African club

Peter Watson runs in the Savannah Africa wildlife park.

Peter Watson runs in the Savannah Africa wildlife park.

By Judy Brown, a member of the Rotary Club of Parys, South Africa

Raising funds is crucial when you are faced with rebuilding a club. I am an avid runner and enjoy a holiday home in a beautiful area of South Africa, so I decided organizing a race would be a perfect fit.

My partner, Peter Watson, has been a Rotarian for many years. I never joined Rotary in the United Kingdom, where we live. But when we bought our second home in Parys, South Africa, Continue reading

Economist explains why it’s worth giving to The Rotary Foundation

The Muso pilot, a project supported by Rotarians in Washington D.C., has significantly reduced deaths from malaria. Photo courtesy of Muso

The Muso pilot, a project supported by Rotarians in Washington D.C., has significantly reduced deaths from malaria. Photo courtesy of Muso

By Quentin Wodon, a member of the Rotary Club of Washington D.C.

This is November — Foundation month for Rotary. As the co-chair of my club’s Rotary Foundation committee, together with my other co-chairs Nancy Riker and Kenneth Kimbrough, I have been asking members to donate. As an economist, I had to give clear reasons why. So here are my top five reasons to donate: Continue reading

Why not spice up your next installation dinner?

Participants pack sack lunches during the event at Harvesters, a Kansas City area food bank.

Participants pack sack lunches during the event at Harvesters, a Kansas City area food bank.

By Jerry Venters, a  member of the Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza

I’ve been a member of Rotary since 1989, and I have never heard of or participated in a changing of the guard ceremony like the one held in District 6040, Missouri, USA, this year. It had more energy and enthusiasm, participation, and fun than any I’ve attended!

The district governor for 2014-15, Cassy Venters (full disclosure here: my wife) began thinking two years earlier about how she could make the event different and uphold the Rotary ideal of Service Above Self. She chose to make it a service project with our local food bank, Harvesters – The Community Food Network. Continue reading