From John Hewko's speech to Convention
Part of the beauty of Rotary service is that every club and every Rotarian can choose where and how they wish to serve. And I think all of us here have had the experience of feeling a project resonate especially deeply — of standing for a moment in the shoes of the people that Rotary has helped, and knowing just how much their lives have been changed.
Because Rotary’s strength is in its members. When our membership is growing — both in size and strength — our clubs are more vibrant, we have more to show the world, and we have more resources with which to help Rotary flourish. All of Rotary spirals in a positive direction. Look at what we have achieved over the past decade with 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs. Now think what we could do with 40, 50, 60 thousand clubs — with 2 or 3 million top-quality members. We’d be able to attract more partners, take on even more ambitious projects, leverage our abilities and our resources to have an even greater impact in our communities and in the world.
But the truth is that we aren’t growing in many parts of the world, and our global membership number has been flat for the last dozen years. And our average member is older than ever before.It’s time to try something different. Because, to put it bluntly, Rotary’s long-term survival depends on our willingness to let in some fresh air.
This is an extract from his speech the full version can be found by clicking here.