District Governor makes initial visit to Bainbridge Rotary

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A new year for Rotary began this week with newly installed president, Melinda Taylor welcoming the new district governor, Alec Smythe.

New Rotary District 6900 Governor Alec Smythe began his visits to clubs in the district by making his initial visit to Bainbridge on Tuesday.

He spoke of Rotary International’s mission to make communities a better place to live and work, saying it is more important now than ever. He cited the extreme polarization that exists in the country, and how many of our institutions are designed to drive us apart.

On the other hand, Smythe claims Rotary is one organization designed for bringing people together to make the world a better place. “It is energized for a common purpose,” he explained.

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Worldwide, the goal of Rotary is the elimination of polio. “We are poised to drive it off the planet,” he explains, “We are excruciatingly close, but cannot stop now.” There are currently six confirmed cases, all in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rotary commits $50 million dollars a year toward the cause, and there is a time period of three years without a new reporting before they can consider the goal met, meaning $150,000,000 is needed over the next three years.

Smythe encouraged every one to support the effort ,

Elimination of polio is only one-half of what the Foundation supports. Among the other projects is providing access to clean water in third-world countries and educational projects.

The second goal of Rotary was described as building Social Capital, or community building. He cited studies that show people and nations have a slowly declining degree of trust in each other and related it to a slowly decline of participation in community and social organizations, including churches.

Watching television has been called a number one cause, as it uses up a lot of time that people used to put into volunteering and socializing with others. “Don’t live your life watching TV,” he recommends; but join an organization, preferably Rotary. It is helpful to just show up and work with those you know who don’t agree with you on everything; yet you can all still work together through Rotary. He guarantees people who are involved in the community are happier and live longer.

Smythe encouraged members to build relationships with people who are people of action in all walks of life— people who are willing to do something, and invite them to join Rotary.

Best of all, Smythe encouraged the club to try some new things—new activities that will attract attention to the club and create an interest for people to join. He doesn’t think any of the clubs in the district are doing enough locally to attract and keep new members. He then stressed the importance of having good weekly programs that make members want to attend meetings.

A joint reception between the Cairo and Bainbridge Rotary clubs was held Tuesday evening in honor of the governor’s visit.