District Change over speech

Speech outgoing DG Bruce Cowen gave at change over
Rotary is an
  • amazing organisation
  • full of amazing people
  • doing amazing things – and truly “Making a difference”
It has been a real privilege to have been District Governor for the past year
  • Jill and I have been places we would never have gone
  • done things we would never have done
  • met people we would never have met
In short, it has been an amazing experience! We have been made to feel welcome, and special, everywhere we have been – thank you all!
We have seen first-hand the contribution that individuals and clubs have made, and are making, to improving the lives of other people – locally, nationally, internationally.
  1. Plant a Tree for each member – Rotary International President Ian Riseley challenged us to plant trees, and we did - about 12000 trees in our District!!
  2. Foundation – giving to our “charity of choice” has been maintained at a high level – some clubs have had a specific fundraising event, many individuals have been very generous.
  3. Polio – the number of new cases continues to fall, 10 cases in 2 countries with the occasional scare from Venezuela and Papua NG (not wild polio virus). At the Rotary International Convention in Toronto, District 9980 was named 2nd in world for per capita giving to End Polio Now (helped by the former government and a generous bequest from Cliff Broad).
  4. Projects, large and small, raising money, building, landscaping, painting, cooking, delivering, selling etc – all achieving so much, involving so many and looking like so much fun!
There are of course some challenges facing us:
Membership
  • below 1200 members this year
  • most Clubs did not gain in size – stayed same or declined.
  • encourage as many as possible to come to the Membership seminar on August 26th – there are things we should and need to do to keep Rotary healthy, and there are lots of ideas that we can share (from within and outside our District)
Redistricting
  • Let’s forget that word – Rotary does not need to Redistrict (that is doing the same things in the same way with different boundaries– it needs to “Restructure”
  • We need to have an organisation that is cohesive, efficient, provides the necessary resources and framework, and most of all gives us an identity that people can relate to and want to be part of.
  • I am looking forward to seeing what happens – exciting times!
I am grateful to so many people for their support during the past year:
  • Karen Purdue gave lots of helpful information and advice
  • The Club Presidents, who together were the best cohort of Presidents Rotary has ever seen
  • The Assistant Governors, all of whom gave invaluable support to the Clubs in their cluster
  • The Committee Chairs and members of the various District Committees who work so hard behind the scenes
  • Murray Kennedy (District Treasurer) and Jean Morgan (District Administrator) for their hard work and organisation skills
  • Bruce Collier, the District Newsletter editor -what an outstanding job he did!
  • The Rotary Club of Dunedin, and particularly the members of the Conference Committee – wow, what a Conference!!!!!
  • The “G-Train” – what a TEAM!!! - Andrew and Barbara, Tania and Phil, Dylan and Rebecca
  • Jill, who travelled with me when she could (and survived without me when she couldn’t) and shared a fairly full-on Rotary year without a grumble, giving lots of support and encouragement at all times
Thank you for the privilege of being your DG, thank you for the amazing adventure, and best wishes for the exciting year ahead!
Bruce