By Jill Baldwin Walker, 2014-15 governor of District 6060 (Missouri, USA)
At the age of 13, I attended my first Rotary International Convention, in Dallas, Texas. I remember walking through the halls of the event fascinated by the clothing worn by some of the women — women of Africa in their head wraps and ornate dresses and women from India in beautiful wraps of silk.
Although I don’t remember all of the Rotary occasions I have attended as a child, I am blessed that my grandfather joined Rotary, which led to my father becoming a Rotarian. I grew up in the halls of Rotary meetings, district conferences, and fundraisers. I joined Rotary at the age of 29.
When I’m asked when I became a Rotarian, my answer is, “I don’t really know.” Rotary has always been a way of life for me, it’s part of what defines me. Rotary has offered me opportunities that I would not have had in a single career path in a typical workplace. It has given me connections and friendships that I never could have dreamed up.
And just this week I was reviewing my grandmother’s scrapbooks of my grandfather’s Rotary career (she compiled wonderful scrapbooks before we knew to call it “scrapbooking”). In the pages, I found something else that I never could’ve dreamed up. Thirty-five years ago, my grandfather was starting his year as a district governor with the RI theme “Let Service Light the Way.” Now I start the year as district governor to “Light Up Rotary.”
Read other “Rotary Moments”