September 24, 2018: Dan Doherty, District 5360 Governor District 5360
John Fortunka, Assistant District Governor, introduced our very own Dan Doherty. John started off by thanking the board for allowing him to attend the pre-meeting and hear about all the good stuff our club is doing. John acknowledged that Dan has been a member of Calgary West for 36 years, having been introduced to Rotary by the late Ron Jones.
While Dan is well known to a number of us, John stated he has drank beer with Dan, slept with him in the same room (different beds!) and worked side by side building Homes for Hope in Mexico. Two things he learnt from Dan:
- Always get to know the family, and
- Building homes is not a “race” – it’s an opportunity to share and put your love and skill into what you do.
Dan started off by acknowledging the strong support he has received from his family. He couldn’t do what his passion directs him to do without the love and support he has received from his mother, wife and family. He recalled the time he was speaking in the debate club in high school, concluding his speech by pounding the podium and breaking the podium! “Mom, I promise not to use a podium today!” 36 years in Calgary West makes him part of our family.
WOW – Dan’s Presidential Theme 1999 – Look it up! It’s been 20 years but it’s still relevant today.
ill to change
He started off by asking the question – What do you do? What is your passion? Responses/Comments included:
- The Atrium, Stampede Breakfast, and building friends and strong relationships with people in Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. Tens of thousands have benefited from our support.
- Being part of the APU Malawi Girls School. Memory Mdyetseni from Malawi, will be speaking at the Globe Cinema on Thursday, October 4, at 6 PM. Be there to hear Memory tell how her dream is becoming reality for the girls of Malawi on their journey towards independence and self-reliance.
- Our involvement in Youth Exchange, RYLA, and RYPEN has changed lives.
- This year will be the 15th year we have built Homes of Hope for the poorest of the poor. Think of the ripple effect.
- In the community, we have worked the Food Bank, Feed the Hungry, and Cleaned up the Highway for over 20 years.
- And what about immunization of the children of the world? When Rotary started there were 1000 children a day contacting polio. This year there has been 18! We are this close….the District goal is to raise $100K on October 24th, End Polio Day, around the world and this will be matched 100% by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- Rotary supports Calgary Pride, which exists to promote equality and celebrate Calgary's diversity.
- Fellowship and camaraderie working on projects such as Strawberry Shortcakes, Christmas Wreaths and Cherry sales.
What would Calgary “look like” if we didn’t do all the things we do and are so passionate about?
- The District has fallen from 2200 members five years ago to 1700. To make matters worse, we have only taken in 1000 new members during that time frame - a real loss of 1500 members.
- Calgary West has lost 47 members in the last five years and 25 did not stay members for even five years.
- The District employed grad students from the U of C to conduct a survey to determine the reason for the fallout. 300 past Rotarians were contacted; and 100 responded within 24 hours!
- Did not feel they were respected. Their ideas were not appreciated. The club was governed by “cliques” or power groups who state, “We don’t do it that way”. Question: Do we know what every person in our club is passionate about? If not, why not?
- Cost of being a member. It depends, but it is estimated a Rotarian can spend between $1500 and $3000 a year. After retirement, a number of members are on fixed incomes.
- We have to figure out how to become “irresistible”. Dan was on a committee with RI President Barry Rasson who asked the group to “design a club” with no “yeah buts” Question: If you have not brought a new member to the club in the past two years, why not?
- Past members felt there is a disconnect with the community. There was no impact and they were not engaged. The club has become fund raiser and cheque writer.
Let’s be that warm, welcoming Rotary club we like to think we are. Identify what your current passion is and work towards realizing it. Let’s figure out our membership problem. Let’s 'shoot the puck' and all row in the same direction. Just do it!
Ted Valentine thanked Dan and Marlene for their great work in Rotary, and presented Dan with our Jubilee Boltman.
reported by Mike Carlin