There was once a strong young man who was offered a job as a woodcutter. He set about his task with energy: The first week, he turned 18 trees into firewood. The second week, he worked just as hard, but was surprised to find he had chopped only 11 trees. The third week, despite working nonstop from morning till night, the number was six, and he went despairingly to the foreman to offer his resignation. “I am losing my strength. I can no longer cut as many trees as I once could.”
The foreman looked at the young man, who seemed to him in fine health. “Have you thought of sharpening your ax?” he asked.
“Sharpen my ax? Who has time to sharpen an ax?” the young man asked indignantly. “I have been too busy chopping wood!”
When we aren’t making the kind of progress we feel we should be making, the natural response is to redouble our efforts. Sometimes, though, the better response is not to work harder, but to work smarter. Look at your tools. Analyze your processes. Are you directing your resources in the most effective ways? Or are you pouring all your strength into chopping wood with a dull ax?
For the last 20 years, we have relentlessly beaten the drum of membership in Rotary. We set goals and launch campaigns, all focused on bringing in more and more members. And yet, our overall numbers remain the same.
It is time to sharpen our tools. Instead of focusing on the question, “How can we bring more members into Rotary?” we should be asking ourselves, “How can we add more value to Rotary membership, so that more will join and fewer will leave?”
One way we are doing that is with the new Rotary Global Rewards program, which launched in July. This innovative program allows Rotarians to connect with, and receive discounts and concessions from, businesses and service providers around the world. Individual Rotarians may submit their own business to be included alongside those with which Rotary has already negotiated relationships; the most appropriate offers will be added to the listings. We have also created the option of allowing businesses to return a percentage of their profit on each transaction to our Rotary Foundation, and several companies have already been locked into this part of the scheme. Each month we will update the list with additional offers that we may receive. I urge all of you to try it out by signing up on My Rotary at Rotary.org now. The more Rotarians participate, the stronger, and more beneficial, the program will be.
Much more than another loyalty program, Rotary Global Rewards is a new way to benefit from being a Rotarian, and being part of the Rotary network. It is another way to combine business and service. And it is yet another way to add value to Rotary membership. We cannot forget that our potential members will be asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” We need to demonstrate the value of Rotary by showing that becoming a Rotarian will enrich their lives, as it has ours.
2015-16 President, Rotary International
Greetings to my fellow Rotarian friends and Friends of Rotary.
A big thank you to members of RC Kuching Central for putting their confidence in yours truly to lead a most vibrant Rotary Club for Rotary Year 2015-2016. It is my fervent wish to continue the good work that had been carried out by my predecessors and ensure the Club is on same or even better footing at the end of my tenor.
RCKC will carry on with our signature projects of providing clean portable water and basic solar lighting to enhance the living standards of our Sarawak rural indigenous residents through Global Grant and Yayasan Rakyat 1 Malaysia funding. Community based projects to improve the lives of the less fortunate in our Society will continue to be carried out. District events and projects will be fully supported as numerous RCKC members are serving in District Chairs and District Committee member posts. Worked with other Clubs on joint projects to build inter-club relationships. Maintained our Club’s well established fellowship and family of Rotary tradition. Our Youths will not be neglected with advanced plans to hold the inaugural iQuiz Sarawak regional competition, a RYLA camp in Kuching and a cultural exchange between our two Rotaract Clubs and a South Korean one.
We will coordinate with AG Frankie Ong (Group 14) to achieve DG Philip District membership growth and Rotary Foundation fund raising goals. Target a 20% membership growth from the current 41 members, focusing on inducting our first female members. We continue our commitment to Rotary Foundation with 3 of our members pledging to join our current list of 6 Major Donors, maintain our Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) status and will strive to be a 100% PHF Club.
RCKC & its members will “Be a Gift to the World” by doing good in the world we all share
Ng Yaw Hua
Rotary Club of Kuching Central
My dear committed and dedicated Rotarians
Today marks the first day in office for me as District 3310 Governor for the Rotary year 2014-15.
I want to thank IPDG Chew Ghim Bok for having led this district so superbly especially in driving the contributions to the Rotary Foundation to exceed US$1million – the first time in the history of District 3310. What an inspiring journey it has been for all of us.
As we enter the new Rotary year, please allow me to welcome all club leaders, club officers, assistant governors and district committee members who have accepted me to work with them for the Rotary year 2014-15.
I have never felt so connected and united because I can feel the strong bond of unity among many club presidents, assistant governors and district officers.
This is exemplified when many presidents-elect, assistant governors and district committee members attended the installation ceremonies of the presidents-elect of Rotary clubs across the regions. This is in addition to the constant interactions among the different chat groups in WhatsApp as far back as November 2013.
Now that all preparatory works have been completed, it is time to execute the plans that are attached with clearly defined objectives and goals.
Let us continue to do good in the world because as Rotarians, we would rather light a single candle than to sit and curse the darkness.
To the world, we are just a bunch of ordinary people. But to some people, we mean the world to them.
Join me to ‘Light Up Rotary’ with all our hearts so that together we can light up the flame of hope in the lives of the people whom we come across in our daily life.
Join me to Light Up Rotary
RI District 3310 Governor 2014-15
District Governor, 2013 – 2014
Chew Ghim Bok
Dear Incoming President……,
Each year at about this time, Rotary Clubs all around the world mark the changing of guards.
The outgoing officers give way to the incoming ones.
The Rotary year officially begins on July 1st with new aspirations and new dreams.
I would like to congratulate your outgoing team for a successful year. No doubt they have done well.
My best wishes are also extended to you as the Incoming President and your Board Members for the new Rotary year.
Rotary International President Ron Burton’s theme for this Rotary year is “Engage Rotary, Change Lives”
He wants us to make sure that every single Rotarian has the same feeling about Rotary. Each Rotarian should have a meaningful role to play. All members should be engaged in Rotary, inspired by
Rotary and use the power of Rotary to change lives.
Ensure that every one of your members has a meaningful role to play in your club, a role that actually makes a difference to their own life, life of the club and the community. When they do something meaningful in Rotary, Rotary becomes meaningful to them.
During the President Elects Training Seminar and District Assembly that was held in Johor Bahru in March, I asked the questions;
”What kind of legacy would you want to leave behind”?
“What would you like to be remembered for”?
Most people have only one chance in a life-time to be President of a Rotary Club. I urge you to make the best of it. Let your year as the leader of your club, be a meaningful one as you bring your club to the next level.
I wish you every success as we Engage Rotary, Change Lives.
Chew Ghim Bok
District Governor 2013-14
Rotary District 3310
The Rotary Club of Kuching Central is an active service club that has carried out a number of significant projects over the years that benefited the local communities. Some of the projects included the provision of free cataract operations, health screening, literacy projects, (relating to the donation of books and bicycles to rural schools), provision of clean water and other humanitarian projects. It is indeed an honour and priviledge to be elected as the 28th President of the Club. I accept this position with humility and pledge to serve my Rotary Year to the best of my ability.
Rotary International President Ron Burton has selected a simple but most meaningful theme for this Rotary Year – “Engage Rotary, Change Lives”. This theme eloquently captures the essence of Rotary Service. He wants to make sure every single Rotarian has a meaningful role to play and encourages us to be engaged in Rotary, to be inspired by Rotary and to use the power of Rotary to change lives.
To me, Rotary is a love story in which people come together in fellowship, and which results is doing good in the world. During my years in Rotary, I have witnessed over and over again how communities and individuals benefit because of Rotary activities. These activities, to a great extend, result from exchanges about community needs identified during our Club meetings.
My fellow Rotarians, let us work together and with our communities to actively seek out opportunities in which we Engage Rotary, and Change Lives.
To my guest, friends and supporters of Rotary, thanks very much for your support and kind attendance, and may I wish each and everyone a successful and healthy year ahead.
President 2013 – 2014
Dear fellow Rotarians,
This is an incredibly exciting time to be a Rotarian. This Rotary year can be one of the greatest years we have yet experienced in Rotary – but it is up to each one of us. We are now writing the last chapter in our fight against polio. While it has been a long, hard journey, we have learned many valuable lessons. We have learned that as a group we can move mountains, we can change people’s lives for the better, and we can honestly make a difference in our world. Perhaps the greatest lesson has been that the more we challenge ourselves, the more we can achieve.
We are also embarking on a new chapter in the storied history of our Rotary Foundation. We have the rare privilege of launching an entirely new grant structure we’ve come to know as Future Vision. It gives us the opportunity to challenge ourselves to do the absolute most we can, with all of our resources. Just think how much more we can do with a stronger Foundation, with stronger clubs filled with more Rotarians who are fully engaged in Rotary service.
It’s time for us to recognize that the real challenge we face isn’t just bringing new members into Rotary. It’s turning all members into true Rotarians. It’s helping members get engaged in Rotary – helping them realize the potential they have, and how their Rotary service can change lives. We need to make sure that every member is active and contributing, and making a real difference – because when you’re doing meaningful work in Rotary, Rotary is meaningful to you.
When we realize what we can achieve in Rotary – when we really engage Rotary – that’s when lives change. We change the lives of the people who need us. That is inevitable. And along the way, our lives are changed as well. That is also inevitable. That’s what our theme is all about in 2013-14: Engage Rotary, Change Lives.
It’s time to open our eyes to the potential each of us has through Rotary. Rotary lets us reach higher, do more, and be a part of something larger than ourselves. No matter how much we give to Rotary, we get more in return. And that, too, is inevitable.
In 2013-14, let’s turn all of our potential into reality. It’s up to us. We can do it by engaging in Rotary service, by getting involved, by staying inspired, and by remembering every day the gift we have in Rotary. Together, we will Engage Rotary, Change Lives
Ron D. Burton
President, Rotary International