Posted by Bruce Smith


August is Membership Month for Rotary International.
Last week we held a Membership Meeting at the Club in order to stimulate thought within our existing Membership on attracting new and younger members to join us.
Rotary membership is gained through invitation so we must all remember to consider various vacant Classifications within the Club when meeting new people but also give thought to the suitability of fellow employees at work, competitors, suppliers, family members, their friends, neighbors, tradesmen visiting our property and people we do business with ie. Travel Agents, Bank Managers, Restaurateurs, the Clergy and the like.
Our night featured four diverse members who were asked to give their thoughts, good and bad, about their experiences with Rotary membership.
Kellie Binyon spoke first as our newest Rotarian with no previous Rotary experience, followed by Brian Mynott, a Rotarian with ten years membership, then Chris Sims spoke who was a charter member of this Club 30 years ago, a Past President and a District Governor. Our Final contributor was Rhonda Anchen who in her short time as a Club member has made an outstanding contribution with the introduction of our Annual Book Fair.
Each member emphasized a number of positive aspects which in summary included valuable Friendships, worthwhile contributions to the community and Rotary projects as a whole, the opportunity to make a difference and to do things and meet people that they would never have had the opportunity to without Rotary Membership.
We must remember to ASK THE QUESTION!
Bruce Smith
The Opportunity to Serve
Rotarians provide service at both the Community and International levels. Service programs address health care needs, hunger, poverty, illiteracy, disaster relief and environment issues to name a few. Members experience fulfilment that comes from giving back to the Community.  Members bring forward ideas and projects to be considered for support and development at Club level.  Also, regular speakers provide information and ideas for the Club to consider and support.
Professional Networking
A founding principle of Rotary was to provide a forum for professional and business leaders. As the workplace has evolved members now come from many fields including Health and Welfare, small and large business owners, Employees of large and small organisations, Retired persons, Education sector, in fact any field that has developed in this fast changing world!  It’s a good feeling when one can “pick the brains” of a fellow Rotarian for their experience and advice about a business or workplace issue.
Personal Growth and Development
Membership in Rotary allows for continuing personal and professional development.  Leadership, Public speaking and communication, organisation and planning, team building, fundraising and teaching are skills that can be developed and strengthened through your involvement in Rotary, particular in projects in which you can feel passionate about and wish to develop.
Fellowship is an old-fashioned word, but it is where Rotary started in 1905.  Today we call it friendship, social capital and just glad to see a group of local friends and acquaintances on a regular basis. Further afield, there are over 3000 Rotary Clubs in 160 countries in the world, and each is welcoming to the Rotary traveller.  The Cultural diversity is wonderful as each Club and each Country has its own way of delivering and enjoying the Rotary Experience.
Good Citizenship
Membership of Rotary makes one a better Citizen.  The Club programs keep members informed about what is taking place in the local and broader communities, nation and worldwide.  Rotary’s expansive network of Clubs provide for opportunities for service, exchange of ideas and meeting new people.
World Understanding
Rotary members gain an understanding of humanitarian issues and have a significant impact on these issues through the International Service projects and exchange programmes of Rotary International (RI) and the Rotary Foundation (the charitable arm of Rotary). Through the International services and the Rotary Peace Scholarships, the Promotion of Peace is one of Rotary’s highest objectives.
Every Rotary Club hosts regular parties, social get-togethers, events and activities that offer diversion from day to day business, and provide more informal interaction. Within the Rotary District structure there are Conferences, Conventions, Assemblies, Special Interest Groups and Education.  There’s something for everyone within Rotary.
Family Foundations
Rotary sponsors the world’s largest and secure Youth exchange, Adult group exchanges and Scholarship programmes.  Participants are offered innovative training opportunities and mentoring for future leadership.  They involve family members in a wide range of social and service activities. Again and again, participants report that their exchange was a major experience and turning point in their lives.
Ethical Environment
Rotarians practice The 4-Way Test which measures our words and actions by their truthfulness, fairness, goodwill and benefit to all.  There are no political, cultural, gender, sexual or religious imperatives within Rotary.