Monica Robertson the 101st District Governor of Rotary Ireland believes that Rotary can “Be The Inspiration”.
She told Bangor Rotary; “The cumulative effect of humanitarian work is limitless. It not only gives to the people in need, but it can bring you so much personally and professionally.”
This is the basis upon which today’s Rotary Clubs still exist, with over 100 years in Ireland the organisation consists of 74 clubs across the country, north, south, east and west, made up of determined individuals from all walks of life who are pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved.
Monica goes on to explain; “As Rotarians, we follow a set of ethical guidelines that are designed for use in both our personal and professional relationships. Known as the Four Way Test Rotarians consistently ask the following questions; Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned?
“Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? These guiding principles provide the foundation for everything that we do and ensure a strong ethical belief that our motto Service Above Self brings good to both our charitable and humanitarian actions and that these principles also guarantee good business practice outside of the clubs. I believe involvement can bring enormous benefits to all.”
Rotary has an astounding list of achievements with projects ongoing around the world, not least of all the imminent eradication of Polio, a feat in which virtually all of the 1.2 million of the world’s Rotarians can claim to have played a part.
Local and international causes are championed by each club at their discretion, giving clubs the opportunity to address the issues that are important to its local community.
At the core of the Rotary organisation lies its own charity known as the Rotary Foundation. This year sees the 101st anniversary of the Rotary Foundation, celebrating 100 years of investing $4 billion to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.
While fundraising forms an important part of what Rotary does, it is far from the whole picture.
Monica explains; “Projects need people, they need physical help and I have seen fellow Rotarians, who in their day job work in accounting or finance, roll up their sleeves and paint walls to help a project.
I have seen Rotarians who work in administration or logistics travel to third world countries to help administer important life-saving drugs and I have seen Rotarians who are more acquainted with the boardroom help rehabilitate prisoners back into society. The list is truly endless, but can it benefit you? Absolutely, we operate in a world that must be more than the bottom line and I truly believe that Rotary provides life changing and inspiring opportunities for us all.”