Friendship and networking: That’s why I stay in Rotary

Chris Offer, middle, during a recent service project for Rotary.

Chris Offer, middle, in Kassala, Sudan, representing Rotary on a World Health Organization polio surveillance project. 

By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada

One of the difficult decisions I made recently was to change Rotary clubs. I had moved from the city of Vancouver to the suburb of Ladner. I had continued commuting for a few years, 45 minutes each way, to my Rotary meeting. When I finally decided to join a club only 10 minutes from my home, I left friends of many years behind and was introduced to new friends. The network of friends in my old club and the new friends in my current club are why I stay in Rotary.

My network of Rotary friends goes far beyond my Rotary club. I have made Rotary friends from many countries. Rotary has taken me to every corner of the world. Rotary conventions and opportunities for volunteer service have extended my network of friends from Sudan to Russia to India to Australia. Social media keeps me connected to this extended network of Rotary friends.

I experienced firsthand at a recent Rotary meeting the opportunities offered by the Rotary network of friends. My local member of Parliament (MP) is a member of my club. Not surprisingly, Rotarians often have questions and advice for her.

Even after the bell rang to end the meeting, a table of eight members continued their discussion with our MP for another 20 minutes. I know that not everyone at the table will vote for the MP’s party. This was an open conversation on local and national issues. For our MP, it was an opportunity to hear from her constituents, and for members of my club, it was the chance to talk to their federal representative candidly as a Rotary member.

There is no better place than a Rotary club to meet people from diverse backgrounds who offer friendship and networking opportunities. Every Rotary club in the world, no matter how big or small, has one common trait — friendship.

To me, Rotary friendship means standing outside a grocery store in December selling calendars to raise funds for community projects. Friendship means attending club social events at a member’s home. It means supporting a club member who is ill. It means giving polio drops to children in India.

Local and global networking and friendship are the reasons I stay in Rotary. They are the reasons that being a Rotarian is such an exciting and gratifying experience.

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14 thoughts on “Friendship and networking: That’s why I stay in Rotary

  1. Dear Rtn. Chris,
    I would like to be in touch with you. With my Canadian Rotary friends I have done many, many projects.
    I was also the Chairman for India National PolioPlus Chairman. Helped the Rotary Club of Whitby-Canada to implement RI3H RED MEASLES programme. 3.2 million children were immunised.
    Hope to hear from you.
    Puru
    PDG. P.V. Purushothaman 

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  2. I started my career as a Rotaractor in 1973 and still enjoying with same energy and enthusiam as a Rotarian in Kolkata

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  3. Dear Chris, Lets The Young Rotarians Take Lession From You. I Started Rotary By Being A Rotaractor And I Am Proud Of Who I Am, I Have Been In Rotary For Over 28 Years.

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  4. Dear Rtn Chris, I am very happy over your experience and your is like i started rotary by being a rotaractor and attending many rotaract activities including RYLA.

    Like

  5. Rotary is First service organisation in the world
    Yet RI -the umbrella body of all the 34000 clubs& Rotary family are never complacent in their pioneering role as a humanitarian body Rotary is still gregarious in partnering with like minds to synergise and empower the world to show compassion on the downtrodden .
    Rotary loves .Rotary loves all and not buck passing! If you want this kind of boundlessly humane world-wide service clubs to function till utopia time if near at all-then join Rotary if only because Rotary is Ethical-gbemi tijani ,Rotarian RC OLUYOLE E STATE IbadanD9125,founder & leader of Unesco Youth Club in the 70s,Convenor:civicconcern

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  6. Reblogged this on Civicconcern's Blog and commented:
    Rotary is the 1ST service organisation in the world.
    Yet RI -the umbrella body of all the 34000 clubs& Rotary family are never complacent in their pioneering role as a humanitarian body Rotary is still gregarious in partnering with like minds to synergise and empower the world to show compassion on the downtrodden .
    Rotary loves .Rotary loves all and not buck passing! If you want this kind of boundlessly humane world-wide service clubs to function till utopia time if near at all-then join Rotary if only because Rotary is Ethical-gbemi tijani ,Rotarian RC OLUYOLE E STATE IbadanD9125,founder & leader of Unesco Youth Club in the 70s,Convenor:civicconcern

    Like

  7. I stay in Rotary – I ‘m buoyed b y the heroic lifestyle of some Rotarians rooted in deep sympathy for the victims of natural disasters. A retired marine guy like Tom Henderson who originated the Shelter Box that delivers classic comfort with his well groomed team in disaster zones of the world. Though it’s now entirely a Rotary project supported globally he ‘s relieved people of homelessness and frustration sequel to earthquakes,flood,Katrina and heat waves that have occurred without warning in Haiti,Nepal Africa,Philippines ,Thailand to mention a few.People that support this project are not only skilled staff like him a lot post their widow’ s mite to actualise the guagantual bill bankrolled by Rotary and numerous partners.

    In Rotary you will see or meet or shake hands with bigger and younger persons than yourself but you can play a role if you interact selflessly there s room for every body in Rotary .Though of course more global giving is needed to stamp out polio and allied diseases in Nigeria & the world as a whole all contributions other than the sensible dues are voluntary. Giving per se to The Rotary Foundation -the charity arm -you dont have to be a member to give or endow something towards making the world a better healthier and more literate society …we ACTUALLY NEED YOU more than your giving. We treasure and covet more human presence to Move Mountains Donating their time to improve their communities working in team with others IS WELCOME . Your joining decision means you re actually thoughtful and selfless.You re welcome.

    Gbemi Tijani aka MST
    Convenor:civiconcern

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  8. Pingback: Making the Most of Membership Month | Regional Leader Blog

  9. Yes Rotary truly offers an expanding experience especially if you key into the objects and goals of Rotary club and RI as a whole .This tacitly will always be a driving force behind what you do or give in Rotary.If you re involved in a project within the club or volunteer for out of town project as a health or vaccination or monitor officer you go places and have unique or enriched experience.You will also know that this world is full of the helpless and the marginalized and that you can only do little out of myriads of problems that imperil egalitarian development in the locals.Therefore you will consider attracting others like you or different from your own resources and talents to make Rotary volunteering better than hitherto …Rotary is a challenging yet delightful platform to help others and also benefit from older & peer friends globally.
    civicconcern 18815

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Friendship and networking: That’s why I stay in Rotary | The Rotary Club of Carteret

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