Experience – Rotary Locally and Around the Globe
by PDG Will Beckman
From time to time I hear the question, what is Rotary? Not an easy answer, even for this fourth generation Rotarian! When In was a 10-year member of the Muskogee Rotary Club we were mostly concerned with mostly local issues and improvements. We had our activities from sponsoring the multistate annual speech and debate tournament, Rotary Park, Red Cross Blood drives, etc. It has now expanded to including international projects as well.
At the invitation of PDG Bob Looney In I987 I started doing Rotary makeups (Muskogee) at Club 29 after I purchased manufacturing facilities. Since that time and my now 30+ years of active membership in Club 29 I’ve discovered Oklahoma City Club 29 has about the best picture of the Rotary World there is. That’s seeing Rotary throughout the world with our personal travels combined with Rotary activities.
I would encourage all Club 29 members to engage in all aspects of Club activities and offerings. As a member – we see the surface. The great programs, good food, great fellowship along with great special events, local activities such as the Salvation Army Bell ringing, local projects, etc.
As a club officer and board member you begin to really see some of the International ties and activities. Understanding Rotary’s real quest. A better world in which we live.
Club 29 International activities are imminence! From our decades old Rotary Foreign Japanese exchange program, or our Affiliation with the UN-Rotary International sponsored Open World Program bringing in various Russian and Eastern European legal and business exchanges, our participation with the Bulgarian and Romanian Rotary Clubs for Medical equipment, the health and cancer prevention efforts in Panama, the on-site participation of Polio eradication efforts in India by one of our own who actually had a parent who had Polio, the literacy project in Turkey – wherein Rotary assisted in teaching older Moslems women to read and write ( I remember being part of a ceremony in Istanbul where yours truly was on stage wearing a full suit with a sampling of 150+ women in full burka.) this is just a sampling of Club 29 activities. Again, I would encourage all members to indulge I all our club offerings!
Our club size affords our membership a menu of benefits throughout the Rotary world. I remember doing a makeup at the Jerusalem Rotary club where I was afforded a special invite to the grand opening of the Menachem Begin museum.
Having visited Rotary clubs on five continents I can attest – makeups while traveling has some real educational and historical benefits. Try spending one breakfast, lunch or dinner during your next vacation anywhere in the world – with Rotary! Most clubs around the world have English speaking members or the whole program might be in English such as my last meeting in Prague (Czech Republic).
Enjoy your membership in Rotary! Reach out and participate in all its offerings – locally, nationally, and worldwide! Your life will be truly enriched if to so venture –
President Muskogee Club
and District Governor District 5750