Rotary Club of Algoa Bay
Information Booklet for Members
Introduction“Congratulations on your decision to become a Rotarian.” We are excited to welcome you to the Rotary Club of Algoa Bay.
This booklet is designed to answer the questions you may have about the club you have just joined. This is information regarding most aspects of being a Rotarian as well as the background history and some general information.
General information about Rotary and the Rotary Club of Algoa Bay
Rotary International is an association of Rotary clubs worldwide. It’s made up of more than 32,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. The members of these autonomous clubs are called Rotarians, and they form a global network of 1.22 million business and professional leaders, all volunteering their time and talents to serve their communities and the world. Individual Rotary clubs, in turn, belong to the global association called Rotary International.
The Rotary Club of Algoa Bay was chartered in 1958, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Port Elizabeth which was the first club in our city. For administration and representation purposes, the Rotary world is divided into Zones. We are in Zone 20 (South). The Zones are in turn divided into Districts. Our District, D9320, encompasses the Eastern Cape, Lesotho, Free State and parts of North West Province. Within this area there are 52 clubs with a total membership of about 1200 Rotarians. Our neighbouring districts are D9350 being Western Cape, Namibia and Angola, D9270 being KwaZulu Natal and Eastern part of E. Cape and D9400 being Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Mozambique and Botswana.
Who is the DG, DGE, DGN, DGNN and what are district meetings?
The District Governor (DG) serves for a period of one year, like all other Rotary Officers. He/she is appointed 3 years ahead of this year as the District Governor Nominee Nominee (DGNN), becoming the District Governor Nominee (DGN) the next year and then District Governor Elect (DGE) the following year.
The DGE undergoes two levels of training. One is called Governors’ Elect Training Seminar (GETS) held somewhere in the Zone for all Zone DGEs. The final session is at the International Assembly held in the USA and presently at San Diego. All costs are born by RI.
The DGE arranges the Presidents’ Elect Training Seminar (PETS) in February/March for all incoming presidents in the district.
During the year of office, the DG visits all clubs in the district and holds a Club Assembly with the club. He/she must also plan and arrange the annual District Conference . This is attended by the R.I. President or his/her representative (Rotary International President’s Personal Representative RIPPR). All Rotarians are encouraged to attend the District Conference. The DG is also required to have regional information meetings for Rotarians during the year.
After the year the DG hands over to the next DG and becomes known, with all other former DGs, as a Past District Governor (PDG). We have four in our club, namely Fred Roberts (93-94), Bev Radue (95-96), Trevor Long (98-99) and Des Willis (04-05). The body of Past Governors form the District Governor’s Advisory Council with Assistant Governors (ADG) being invited to some of the Council’s meetings. The PDGs serve on a District Committee as an advisor.
PDGs can be called upon to serve on RI international committees, as RI Regional Representatives or as a RIPPR.
What is PRLS?- Pronounced “Pearls”
To ensure that Rotarians and district officers are adequately trained to hold various offices, districts conduct training programmes to equip members to handle the various portfolios. One of these programmes is Potential Rotary Leadership Seminars (PRLS) which consists of 6 modules of in-depth training and covers public speaking, how to manage and facilitate meetings, dispute resolution and ensure personal development for members of the Family of Rotary to lead office in higher levels of responsibility.
Overview of being a member
Being a member of Rotary is, in essence, a commitment to service whereby the Rotarian undertakes to use his/her vocation and skills in applying the Object of Rotary. The Rotary Club has a constitution, which specifies requirements of the Club, to which all members are required to comply.
Members must have been at the club for one year before introducing another new member, although they are welcome to bring guests at any time.
Being of Service to the community and having the opportunity to be able to share ones’ skills and resources world-wide is a wonderful opportunity and experience open to all who are committed to service.
Paul Harris was a lawyer who started Rotary in 1905. His idea was to form a group of business professional men who would band together for social purposes and be of material help to each other . Each member would have a classification indicating his business or profession. Members would be obligedto support the businesses and professions of each other.This reciprocal system would enable each member to enjoy the benefit of every other’s expertise. . It was expected that members would enjoy friendship as well as business dealings.
The first group to meet had 4 members- Paul Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Hiram Shorey and Sylvester Schiele. So successful was the meeting that it soon attracted more members until finally they formed the first Rotary club in Chicago. The club was given the name of Rotary because meetings were held in rotation at the members’ offices.
Paul Harris died in 1947 and to encourage donations to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) it, in recognition of the Founder, established the Paul Harris Fellow Recognition given to any person (Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) or body donating $1000 to TRF. Clubs have used their PHF credits to acknowledge remarkable service to the community by Rotarians and Non-Rotarians by conferring Paul Harris Fellowship on them. Subsequent acknowledgement towards to the same person are called PHF Sapphires, up to 5 Sapphires, and then 5 Rubies. PHF acknowledgements are made at the discretion of the President, Past President, Secretary and Foundation Chairman of the club.
Life as a Rotarian of the Rotary Club Of Algoa Bay!
The Meetings (lunches)
There are several aspects involved in ensuring that our meetings run smoothly and they are:
Fellowship: The Rotarians handling this aspect of the meeting need to ensure that they are at the venue well before the check-in time of 13h00, thus making sure that both Rotarians and guests are welcomed timeously and in a friendly manner. This is also when they clip the name badges on Rotarians as they arrive. The Fellowship Group is the frontline of our Rotary Club and creates the first impression for guests and Rotarians from other Clubs, who are visiting us to do a make-up, so this group is of vital importance in the grand scheme of things!
Check-in:Once members have been welcomed they proceed to the table to pay for their Lunch and mention any make-ups they themselves have done in the past week and/or any apologies. Accompanying guests are also introduced here.
Payment is, of course, equally important to cover the overall costs of the lunch and to ensure that the figures balance.
Attendance is extremely important to the running of the meeting and for the statistics that we are required to submit to Rotary International. If you are unable to attend a weekly meeting you must PLEASE tender your apologies per e-mail or ’phone. “Silent” denotes no word of apology and is detrimental to the overall status of the meeting.
Grace: Each week, one of our members is asked to say Grace before the start of our meal. We are aware that there are different religions within our membership and we welcome the various forms of Grace followed. There is, however, a standard Grace printed at the back of the membership book (known as the Gold Book).
Guest Speaker: There is always someone allocated to introduce and one to thank our Speaker and this is conveyed to the said people prior to the meeting.
Sergeant at Arms: The Roster for the Sergeant’s Duties is drawn up at the start of the year and involves that person mentioning members’ birthdays/anniversaries – that fall within the week after that meeting and prior to the following meeting, and who holds the Fellowship Box. The Sergeant should give some interesting information on any topic and may then introduce a touch of humour which is acceptable to all present. The sergeant is then expected to choose a fellow member to go around the seated members to collect their contribution for the week.
Vocational Reading: The Rotarian who is asked to read the ‘thought for the day’ is in essence ending off the proceedings of the meeting.
It is worth noting here that, if for any reason, you are unable to perform your duty (From Fellowship to Vocational Reading), it is up to YOU to find a replacement or swop duties for the following week. It is unacceptable simply to leave it and hope that someone will fill in for you. Rotary is all about fellowship and this is very much part of the package!
Rules of Attendance
Minimum attendance required Whereas a 100% attendance at the lunches should be your aim, 50% attendance per month is the minimum. If you miss four lunches in a row with no apologies you can lose your membership.
Whom to give Apologies to: Give your apologies to the club secretary or to the attendance officer via email or a telephone call. If you are on duty (e.g., Fellowship or Grace), please get someone to do your duty for you.
Leave of Absence and how to obtain it: Leave of absence may be granted to Rotarians, excusing them from attending Rotary meetings and events for a period of 3 months to 6 months, due to ill health, overseas travel, temporary periods of business or professional pressure, etc. If a member needs to apply for extension of leave of absence, this can be arranged up to a maximum of 1 year..
Procedure to obtain Leave of Absence: –Submit a letter of request and motivation for leave of absence to the secretary of the Rotary Club. Your request will then be considered by the Board.
How to do a make-up if you missing a meeting: You have a month to do a make-up, two weeks before and two weeks after missing the meeting. A make-up can be done at any other Rotary Club by attending their meeting. A make-up can also be done when a member attends an official Rotary function: (e.g. a committee meeting, a fellowship event or a project). A make-up can also be done through the club website via an e-club. It is the member’s duty to report the make-up to the attendance officer at the next meeting. A make-up only counts for attendance if you have missed or will miss a meeting within 2 weeks before or after the make-up date.
The Algoa Bay Fellowship Box
The box with accompanying register was originally presented to the Club by DG Dr Baikie Miller of Cape Town in 1967. At that stage we fell under one large district of 935. In 1970 this District was split and our District of 932 was formed. Later RI decreed that all districts must have 4 digit numbers and so the zero was added, becoming 9320.
Algoa Bay Club had their meetings and formal Quarterly Dinners at the old Springbok Hotel for the first 29 years. The hotel was owned by Raymond Alexander, President in 1967/1968 of our blub and a great fellowship man. He died suddenly in 1983 so the club decided to rename the Fellowship Box in honor of all the great fellowship events that were held at his hotel and home in Mill Park. He personally supervised everything; hence Fellowship became the ethos of our successful Club. At the time of his death the Club consisted of approximately 35 members.
The aim of the Fellowship Box is to encourage members, especially new ones, to get to know the other Club members, as well as the Anns, on a more personal level. The get-togethers can be at home for a dinner, a cup of coffee or even a cocktail hour. The box is passed onto another member enjoying the good fellowship and should be held for no longer than 2 weeks.
The Rotary Foundation (TRF)
The headquarters of R.I. is in Evanston just outside Chicago, USA. The laws of the USA do not allow an organisation like RI to also be a charitable organisation. For this reason The Rotary Foundation was established and is run financially independently. Its only income is from donations. It is run by a Board of Trustees nominated by RI and answerable to RI. The chairman, by tradition, is the RI president of three years before.
TRF has 2 main funds called the World Fund and the Permanent Fund. All unrestricted donations are paid into the World Fund and 100% of all donations are spent on projects and support of club and district projects three years later. Half the money donated by Clubs in a district in a year is returned to the district as District Designated Funds, three years after being received. Donations to the Permanent Fund are thus specified and the money is never spent. The income from this money is spent to maintain the activities of the World Fund in bad times and for any other special project decided by the Trustees. The Permanent Fund income comes mainly from Benefactors (who donate or bequeath $1000), Bequest Society Members (who bequeath at least $10 000) and Major Donors (who donate at least $10 000). Paul Harris recognition is not given for donations to the Permanent Fund. Bequests are pegged at the exchange rate on the day the donation is made.
The major project of TRF has been the eradication of polio from the world, an aim close to being achieved,
The major support of clubs by TRF comes through the program called Matching Grants. They support any humanitarian project in the fields of Disease Prevention/Treatment, Education and Basic Literacy, Peace and Conflict Resolution/Prevention, Water and Sanitation, Maternal and Child Health, Economic and Community Development.
For every R1.00 contributed to a project by any club to its own or another club’s project, TRF donates 50c. For every R1.00 contributed by the District Designated Fund to a club project, TRF donates R1.00. This sponsorship comes from the World Fund.
Club contribution to a project R2
TRF contributes R1
District gives R2
DDF TRF contributes R2
So for its contribution of R2, the club can do a project for R7
Council on Legislation (COL)
Rotary is a totally democratic organisation. Laws and regulations can only be made by the COL which meets for a week every 3 years and is composed of a representative from each Rotary District. At the past 4 Councils the Rotarian representing our district is a member of our club (Bev Radue (3) and Trevor Long (1). Trevor has been re-elected the rep for the 2013 COL in Chicago).
Avenues of Service
All Rotary clubs are organised around what is called the 5 Avenues of Service; These are Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service, International Service and New Generations. Each has a Director and these Rotarians form the basis of the club’s main committee
The Committees of the Rotary Club of Algoa Bay
- Membership Development- Fireside Chat
- Membership Retention and Recruitment
- Public Relations
- Club Website
- Service Projects- Community, Education, Environmental, Medical
- Group Study Exchange
- Vocational Service
- Fund Raising
- Weekly Programme
- Family Matters
- New Generations
Members are encouraged to find out where their interests lie and get involved in a committee of their choice.
In the beginning, members are included on Attendance and the Fellowship Committees.
After being inducted into the club, a new member will be asked to introduce him/herself to the club.
This is so that the other Rotarians will learn more about the new member.
This ‘Talk’ should be about 10 minutes long and although could feel very daunting, it really is just to introduce yourself. J
Some suggestions could be; the following;
- Family Life-Where you grew up, Where you studied, About your ‘job’
- Talk about your hobbies, your interests, your pets, bout your travels
- Anything of interest to you , will be interesting to the clubJ
The wives of Rotarian members are call ‘Anns’. They have their own club and their own projects. All wives are invited to joini the Anns
Rotary takes ordinary men and women and gives them extra-ordinary opportunities to do more with their lives than they had ever dreamed possible
Costs involved (for 2011/2012)
Annual subscription Rotarians R1000 (includes fees to district and RI)
Annual subscription Anns R65
Invoicing is done on the 1st of July each year and is due in full by the 31st December of the same year. This fee covers all levies and dues due to Rotary International.
Weekly lunch R45 We expect ideally a 100% attendance but accept overall a 50% attendance. That said, if one is to join Rotary one must subscribe fully and be committed.
The rest are additional extras;
Visiting DG Dinner R100 This is held when our DG visits the Club.
Induction Dinner R100 Induction of the new President and Board Members.
Quarterly Dinner R100 An evening function.
Christmas Party R120 Held at the end of the year in place of the Quarterly Dinner.
Charter Dinner R100 Celebration of the birthday of our club, which is April 16th.
District Conference +/-R500 This can also require local travel, and accommodation.
Please note that the above costs are estimates.