Club Assembly 2019
President Karen at the meeting Monday 01 July led the presentation of Service Programmes for the 2019/20 Rotary year. She advised that the RI President is Mark Moloney and his theme for the year is Rotary Connects the World.
"In 2019-2020, it will be our challenge to strengthen the many ways that Rotary Connects the World, building the connections that allow talented, thoughtful, and generous people to unite and take meaningful action through Rotary service".
The RIBI President is Donna Wallbank (RC Brynmawr) and Rotary Ireland's District Governor is William Cross (RC Larne). She also advised the Club Executive, Council and Service Chairs.
Membership - PP Alan Rundle congratulated PP Maurice on his successful time as Membership Chair and stressed the need to keep up getting new members particularly targeting the Active Under 40 and recent retirees. He also stressed the need to get all new members and Corporate members more involved and invite people, particularly previous members, to become Friends of Rotary - who, he noted, could be particularly helpful as foot-soldiers with charity collections etc. He pointed out the necessity to highlight "the Product" and "audit" members feelings rather than target specific membership numbers.
Community - IPP Mark Davidson highlighted that the Club's interaction with Mitchell House would continue with a Christmas party and Kids Out Day in June but that other ways to help them would be considered such as providing funds for a play day as before. He noted that Lanyon Place had not proven to be a successful fundraising location but Tesco Newtownbreda had worked well and would be continued. He also indicated that further support for SOS Bus NI, the Children's Hospice and other avenues would be considered.
International - PP Adrian Kerr thanked members for so generously supporting the specific disaster appeals during the year which resulted in 9 ShelterBoxes and 2 tents being donated and noted that the Club will continue to respond to appeals and donate to ShelterBox. He affirmed the success of the lendwithcare scheme noting that its beauty was that it provided self-help at no extra cost to the Club as loans are paid back facilitating new loans to be made. He advised that a new loan had just been made - details on Club website here. PP Adrian highlighted some projects that would be looked at for support such as Operation Smile and Sightsavers and declared continuing support for End Polio Now quoting “Polio won’t be over, until... not one polio virus is found in a river, in a sewer, or in a paralysed child for at least three years”. He asked members to suggest novel ways to fundraise and highlighted the welcoming nature of the Club to visitors.
The Rotary Foundation - PP Ivan McMinn declared his aim is to have every member signed up as a Sustaining Member, which not only fulfils the Club's Foundation commitment but also reduces the continual drain on the Trust Fund. He pointed out that this is a minimal cost $100 or £84 which effectively is only £7 per month - this, he pointed out, is 'helped' by a £30 reduction in annual subscription. He thanked the 16 current subscribing members and urged the others to sign the form on the table (or available from him) and return to him or Hon. Treasurer Tim.
Youth - in Eric Rainey's absence President Karen highlighted his thanks to all who support the Club's youth activity and noted that the Club would continue to develop the partnership with YouthAction as well as District competitions and opportunities (camps etc.), there would be a visit to the City of Belfast Youth team in September, continued support for TABU and the John Savage Award and Bursary - researching, visiting and identifying suitable projects. President Karen highlighted that as Chris Warnock has stepped down Eric is looking for
TABU - PP David Boyd noted that it is anticipated that the 2020 outgoing team visit to Highland Park/Highwood Club would take place around 08 - 17 April and advised that schools would be contacted in September, selection in November/December with briefing students and parents and organising the visit early in the new year. He invited anybody interested in taking part in this process to contact him.
Interact/Rotaract - PP Alan Rundle noted that the newly founded Community Interact Club had been very successful and raised £1,500 but, not based in a single school, it had proven difficult to recruit new members and thereby sustain. He advised however that he hoped Club member Veja and 2 of the current Interactors (Theo Burton and Martyna Eron) would set up another Rotaract Club in QUB.
Communications - PP David Boyd advised that communication for members and the general public is effected through the Weekly Report, Website and Facebook and Twitter. He reminded all members to open the Weekly Report as soon as possible even if have been at meeting stressing whilst it covers a meeting report for those not there it frequently has updated information for all members not available on Monday. He pointed out that the Club website is the face of the Club showcasing it as being active, friendly, vibrant, forward-thinking and fun-loving, updated at least weekly with the news articles linked to Facebook and can be to Twitter. He revealed that it had generated several requests for membership this year. PP David also highlighted that a Membership List would be prepared in September and reminded all members to please ensure details are up to date. He extended particular thanks to Billy McCoubrey for his wonderful supply of excellent photographs always turned around so quickly after Club meetings but stressed that Billy is not always able to be at every event and it is really important the organiser takes the responsibility to take photos.
Pastoral Care - PP Rosemary Simpson highlighted the pastoral care undertaken is always strictly confidential and has 5 functions: healing, sustaining, guiding, reconciling and nurturing. She also advised things that members can do such as: pick up the phone, send a text, drop in, send an email, meet for a coffee and do some shopping etc… Thanking for members’ vital support she urged all members to keep her or President Karen informed.
Social - in Doris Houston's absence President Karen advised that Doris will be organising social events with consideration given to informal evenings to attract the Corporate members.
ADG Kevin O'Hara - advised that he was a member of the Lurgan Club and had now experienced first hand the "vibrant, welcoming and friendly" Belfast Club. He noted that had enjoyed listening to the wide-ranging, varied and successful programmes and revealed that this had been recognised at District particularly the Foundation contributions and the website. He stressed the problem in maintaining membership noting that District had a net loss of 164 even with 121 new members! He revealed that DG William has set Clubs a target of at least +1 over the year. He highlighted the increasing popularity of the successful lendwithcare programme and urged the Club to consider support for Sightsavers. He pointed out that DG William will visit the Club during the year potentially at a Club event. Advising that he had been encouraged and impressed he wished every success to President Karen.