Rotary International is a service organisation which helps those in need, internationally and in local communities. Its motto is “Service Above Self.”
It began in Chicago in 1905, but its HQ are now in Evanston, Illinois, USA. The administration area for this country is called Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, or RiGB&I. Its HQ is in Alcester, Warwicks.
RiGB&I is responsible for looking after 25 Districts with 48,000 Rotarians in 1750 clubs. Our club is in District 1070, presided over by a District Governor (DG) who currently has 83 clubs divided into 10 Areas each having an Assistant Governor (AG). We are in Area 2, along with Sleaford Kesteven, our daughter club, and Bailgate Lincoln, Lincoln, Lincoln Colonia, Lindum Lincoln and the E-club of 1070.
Within our club, we have a Club Council consisting of up to 12 members which meets once every 2 months to discuss ongoing projects, future events and general administration of the club.
There are 6 Officers in the Council, and 6 ‘Ordinary’ members who are voted in anew every year and who may serve for only 3 consecutive years. The Officers are:
President:In post for 1 year.
Immediate Past President: Last year’s President. Cannot serve on Council the following year.
President Elect: The elected President for next year.
President Nominee:The elected President for the year after that.
Secretary:Cannot serve for more than 5 consecutive years.
Treasurer:Cannot serve for more than 5 consecutive years.
Executive Secretary: *Not a voting member of Council. Experienced ex-Secretary giving guidance
on procedures. Title allows full access to District, RiGB&I and RI websites.
Election for Club Council
The Officers are elected at the Special General Meeting (SGM) held in December, and ‘Ordinary’ members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in May. All members are given the opportunity to be selected to serve, but may opt out if they wish. Committee Chairs are invited to attend Council but are unable to vote. Minutes are taken, circulated to members and a Business Meeting is held soon after to resolve any issues.
Incoming Presidents ask for volunteers to chair the committees which help run the club. They are:
Community: Offering and providing our service to the community.
Vocational: Using members expertise to help local people develop their skills.
Foundation: This is a charity run by Rotary International, funded by Rotarians.
International: Works closely with Foundation for overseas projects funded by obtaining Grants.
Youth: Helping develop young adults, running youth competitions and giving awards to both
Primary School children for their efforts (Rotary Stars) and to those who have shown
bravery, resilience and selflessness (Children of Courage Awards).
Fund Raising: Organising events to raise funds to support the club’s projects.
Membership: Ensure the club retains its members and attracts new ones.
Environment: Help to give the community, and the world, a healthier climate.
HS Protection: Risk assessments for events, protection of vulnerable people in projects.
Minor Sports: Co-ordinating involvement in District Minor Sports Competitions.
Coms/PR: Promoting Rotary in general and the club though papers, magazines etc.
Social Media: Promoting the club and its efforts through all media platforms.
AGM: In addition to electing the ‘Ordinary’ members for the Club Council, the AGM is also when the Honorary Members are elected, or re-elected. The Treasurer will confirm the subscription for the following year and detail the club’s accounts: the Club Account and the Charity Trust Account. An Independent Assessor of the accounts will also be elected.
SGM: As well as electing the Officers for Club Council (President Nominee, Secretary and Treasurer) the voting delegates and deputies to the RiGB&I Conference (usually the President and President Elect), the members need to vote on accepting the accounts for the previous year.
Club Assembly: This is scheduled for a non-speaker meeting where the incoming Presidents out line their aims and plan for their Presidential, i.e. Rotary Year (RY) which starts on 1 July. The members will have seen beforehand the reports from the committee chairs outlaying their plans and will have had an opportunity to raise any queries. The AG will also have been given a copy of the incoming President’s plan at least a week in advance of the Assembly which he will attend. He will be offered the opportunity to comment.
Charter: This is the anniversary of the club’s Charter and a celebration of some sort is usual. Formal events
would take place as close to the initial Charter date on 30 April 1956. In recent years, a more relaxed event has been planned, such as a garden party. To take advantage of more likely fair weather, the date has been moved into late June. The format and date are the President’s choice.
Handover: This is the official handing over from one President to another, normally held on the last Tuesday of the Rotary Year. As this now often clashes with a late Charter, both events can be combined.
District Assembly: Like the Club Assembly, this is the opportunity for the Incoming DG to lay out his plan and chosen charities for his year. After a short plenary session, those attending disperse to the groups which will be of the greatest interest and value them. All of the incoming Officers should attend, along with as many of the Committee Chairs as possible. It is also worthwhile for any member new to Rotary to go along and sit in one of the groups. All are welcome. As it’s an early start to reach Loughborough University in time to grab a bacon buttie, car pooling is recommended. The Assembly finishes at around 1pm, and although lunch is available (at around £25 or more) this club usually misses that and stops off at a pub on the return journey. The registration fee of £5/member is funded through the Club Account.
District Conference: The venue for this Conference, which usually takes place in September, changes from year to year. Furthest away to date has been Torquay! The President is expected to attend are as many members with their partners as possible to engage in fellowship with fellow Rotarians from all over the District who they are unlikely to meet elsewhere. The programme is usually packed with quality speakers covering not only subjects on interest to Rotary, but often about their own endeavours and experiences – such as rowing across the Atlantic with their mother (girl’s night out?) and raising £250,000 for charity. The event usually begins on a Friday night with a casual, musical theme. Saturday morning is full of presentations: the afternoon is free – for golf, shopping, German wine/cheese tasting or even Welsh Whisky tasting! There is a normally a dinner/dance evening on the Saturday. There are further presentations on the Sunday morning followed by a quick wash-up from the DG and then it’s off home.
Active: A full, active Rotarian with ID number, access to ‘My Rotary’ website, paying full annual fees.
Honorary: Usually retired ex-members or worthy locals. No fee, can ask to attend events, pay own way.
Corporate: A business allowing 4 members, 1 being Active and paying full fees. Others visit on rotation.
Associate: A ‘taster’ for Rotary. Pays 25% of fee, can attend ¼ of meetings. Assess after 1 year. Can extend to 2 years. Then join or leave.