PLANS and THE FUTURE at WVRC on July 14th
You may have noticed that the last page of the Windmill still contains last year’s officers. That’s because we still have one unresolved office. It will be settled this week, I’m sure. Anyway, ABRAHAM CARONS led the Pledge. PP GORDON FELL provided the Invocation, “May we stay focused on the objectives we have for the world; Peace. Tranquility. A true brotherhood of Man. Freedom from hunger, from oppression, from sickness. The freedom to choose our own destinies. We reaffirm our commitment to our simple Rotary Four Way Test… We reaffirm our commitment to high ethics in all we do. And we give thanks for all the blessing, opportunities and responsibilities that befall us as Rotarians. We continue in this new Rotary year with optimism, renewed energy, and a commitment of service to our fellow men and women.” Well done, GORDON - thanks.
We had our usual guests - PEGGY came with her helper, and DAVID FRIEDMAN provided another explanation of their familial relationship, noting that his “Father’s wife’s youngest granddaughter and her youngest grandchild, Riva, were both present”. PP STEVE SCHERER introduced our two Special Guests, Mirabelle Segovia and Antoinette Mongelli - and Antoinette is being circularized today.
We were reminded of the upcoming District Breakfast on Tuesday July 26th at the LA Westin. The speaker will be John Vivey, the new Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District - 2nd largest in the U.S. We have a table of ten set aside - call DON NELSON. Prexy ED noted that we are moving along on bringing in the members of the WLA /Brentwood Rotary Club into WVRC, and there were some questions raised and answered. The final note here was a reminder to notify everyone when we vote on this important matter - and it will be done!
Prexy ED then began to outline some of his earlier Rotary activities. Along about this time my name came up, which caused a comment from PP ERIC LOBERG - which I didn’t hear completely - but I did respond by pointing out that one should “consider the source” in evaluating such comments… Anyway, ED noted that he had visited some local schools, telling them about Rotary, which led to his present intent for us to restart our Career Day at UniHi. This is an excellent program, and certainly a good way for us to become more involved at our local high school. And in that regard, Eric Davidson, their Principal, is interested in becoming a member of WVRC.
ED noted the way our Committees used to operate, meeting sometime in homes, or before lunch - this encouraged discussion, plus involving everyone on the Committee. Over time this has changed, and in the recent past the Committee Chair has essentially taken on the entire program for which he or she is responsible. This has the obvious disadvantage of narrowing the focus of the whole club on whatever the Committee program may be - thus some of these otherwise excellent programs are very narrowly supported. Many of us can remember when Committee meetings were held before lunch, and fifteen or twenty members showed up.
We all have copies of the Survey, and that, plus your letting ED know what committee you want to be on should change this, since henceforth every committee will have numerous members. In case you haven’t told ED your preference, he will be phoning you for your answer.
Mention was made that we needed a musician - someone who could play an instrument, to help with our songs. It was pointed out that if we added a piano, we would be charged extra - and ED stepped forward by saying he has a spare keyboard which he can easily bring to the meetings. This in turn led to DAVID FRIEDMAN offering his 1914 baby grand piano to the Club! When order was restored, Prexy ED proceeded to his first summation - This will be the best year EVER in Rotary!! (shades of PP JIM SUMNER, at least). But ED is well aware that he can’t achieve this without help from the whole team - every member, that is.
COLBY SMITH was summoned from his Head Table seat to talk about his Committee, New Generations (formerly called the Youth Committee). As a relatively new member, COLBY certainly would like advice from older members. One of his major responsibilities is interaction with Rotaract and Interact, and we have good programs already going there. They are looking at starting a new program at Marymount High School. They have some other ideas, and COLBY would like to provide “a Big Tent” - that is, gathering everyone who has an interest in Youth Activities. Please come aboard!
International Service is headed by ABRAHAM CARONS. As another new member, he would certainly appreciate help and advice from those who have handled International before. And YOE cannot resist pointing out that most of us cannot claim anywhere near the perspective that ABRAHAM brings to his committee - after all, he is from Nigeria, and that’s really international! He does have FOUR Committee members already which leads the list but hopes many more will join him. He is concerned about Polio, particularly in Nigeria (one of just four countries in the world where it still exists) - and will keep us updated on the progress of our Polio eradication effort. He wants to encourage members to share their own international experiences, and leverage our past successes. Someone asked about the status of the Japanese Student Exchange program, and from PP GORDON FELL came the answer it is ON for next year, for sure. Good news, certainly.
Before Prexy ED began to report for JOHN HEIDT, (Community Service) he announced that the aforementioned PP GORDON FELL is now an Assistant Governor, who will be watching over several nearby clubs! Our congratulations, and this also means that if you have a Rotary District question, GORDON is the one to ask.
We are planning to support everything our Rotaract Club does this year, which of course is under Community Service. Some sorehead insisted on asking if that meant we would be participating in their 72-hour Marathon Dance! While I’m not sure who the guilty party may be, once we have that known, he or she becomes the obvious designated candidate for the Dance! So be careful what you ask about, or wish for. We were reminded that, for the second year in a row, UCLA Rotaract was voted the best Rotaract Club in District 5280. Prexy ED then confessed that he wants WVRC to win scads of awards this year - we are the best, after all, so why not? We didn’t get chosen as a Pilot Club because of our Application, but because we are so well thought of throughout Rotary. Angel Flight comes under JOHN HEIDT’s Committee. Again, we will help in the annual cleanup of Westwood.
Last to be heard was our Vice President and Club Service Chair, DWIGHT HEIKKILA. DWIGHT began by suggesting that we think of him as our Concierge! This was greeted with some hilarity, but DWIGHT then pointed out that Service Above Self really fits that description. His main intent will be to increase participation, by everyone. He did tell the story of discovering ED JACKSON in a hole! During the recent cleanup of Westwood by the UCLA students, DWIGHT was walking around, feeling that he had just completed a particularly dirty job, and he spotted ED or at least half of him! The reason for his short stature was that ED was standing in a hole which was in preparation for planting a tree. Again, DWIGHT feels that his responsibility should provide a two-way street his contact with members and their input to him. Sounds good to YOE.