The power of connection. These are the dominant words that come to my mind as I write this reflective piece on the “3 generations of Rotary Club” joint meeting held in Area 2 in the RI District 3450.
The Rotary Club of Hong Kong, The Rotary Club of Metropolitan Hong Kong, and The Rotary Club of Smart Hong Kong joined forces to mark the first meeting of October 2018. The family tree of the three generations of clubs is made up of a granddaughter club (2 years young), a mother club (13 years young) and a grandmother club (88 years and going strong).
In the Rotary Year 2018 ~ 2019, all presidents of the said three clubs are female. Given Rotary International only accepted female members from 1987, this 30+ years on, three clubs being led by female presidents is quite an innovation, and shows Rotary demonstrating inclusiveness. As Rotary Club evolves and reinvents itself, it was a showcase of seeing clubs’ expansion, generating daughter and granddaughter clubs. And so it happens, that Rotary DNA was evident in three working mother presidents and their Boards determined to make this work, united in the same mission of fellowship through service.
Leading up to the joint meeting involved some of us organising the event a thousand miles apart, as we juggle professional lives with international travels, and local charity engagement as we look to help restore storm-hit Hong Kong in September.
The significance of the joint meeting was more about Rotary connecting likeminded people that made this possible. Past President of Rotary Club of Hong Kong PP Frankie Lam was the common denominator of connecting these likeminded people. A long time Rotarian, PP Frankie’s Rotary journey spans over 30 years - an interactor, a recipient of a John Marden (PDG) scholarship, a past president, a past AG, a Rotarian of the Year and a major donor, and an inaugural member of the Paul Harris Society - if you’re a Rotarian, you do want to know how he did it, what keeps him going and why.
PP Frankie’s personal story was about The Rotary Foundation, its relevance to the community and to us. The story of his childhood friend who suffered from Polio, the story of his mother and illness, life’s challenges and how Rotary found him, inspired the room full of Rotarians. I, for one, never felt this connected with a room full of Rotarians before. Cynics may say, that the initial causes that lead us becoming a Rotarian may not last beyond a honeymoon period. That may be true, but the sense of belonging to likeminded people with good heart was evident in PP Frankie’s story. After multiple decades of being associated with Rotary, there must be this undying hook that keep us being Rotarians.
“Fellowship helps us to know each other, services bind us together.
“Why Rotary? Because through life’s ups and downs, we need each other’s support”.
The best things in life are free - togetherness, friendship and goodwill. It’s up to us Rotarians to make use of these best things in life and be part of the 1.2m strong family of Rotarians to make a difference, eradicating Polio, providing education and investing in sustainability.
Yours in Rotary,
Rotary Club of Hong Kong
Rotary Club of Metropolitan Hong Kong
Rotary Club of Smart Hong Kong