By 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.
A.J. Range, Rotary Club of Oviedo, Florida, USA (District 6980): “I was touched by the theme. It made a lot of sense to me. The fact of the matter is, it’s about sharing. This is why we’re here and what we are asked to do. We’re all contributing to the growth and development of humanity. I’m just delighted and honored to be on this journey with such a great group of Rotarians.”
Jhulan Basu, Rotary Club of Kabitirtha-Calcutta, West Bengal, India (D-3291): “His theme was right on. We always like to receive gifts, yes, but we have an opportunity to give gifts to the people who need it most. That is the basic motivation of what we do.”
Antanas Cepys, Rotary Club of Silute, Lithuania (D-1462): “I was just talking to my colleagues and we’re all in agreement on how great it is that the theme is easy to translate in all languages of the world. Sometimes they are not. Being a gift is something everyone in the world can relate to.”
Susan Valenta, Rotary Club of Gilroy, California, USA (D-5170): “I like how President-elect Ravi captured the essence of Rotary with his theme. His logo is very contemporary. It’s going to be good for Rotary this year.”
Jahangir Moghul, Rotary Club of Karachi Darakhshan, Pakistan (D-3271): “If we can give a gift, really of anything that adds value to someone’s life, we are fulfilling what it means to be a Rotarian. We have 1.2 million Rotarians who are empowered to be gifts. What an impact that can make.”
Alex Wilkins, Rotary Club of Stuart, Virginia, USA (D-7570): “I think the theme will allow us to think about the future and not ourselves. It will invigorate us. I’m looking forward to it. It will be easy to support and easy to pass on to others.”