District Governor Nick Drake Visits Banstead Rotary

“It is important at this time we continue to provide as many f e l l o w s h i p opportunities as possible, as it is fellowship. which is the glue that binds Rotary together and makes the service we provide possible”

Rotary District Governor Nick Drake, the new governor for Rotary South District 1145, visited the Rotary Club of Banstead 6 October via Zoom from his home.

District 1145 is the one of the  largest Rotary districts in the Rotary Great Britain and Ireland, Rotary RIBI District 1145 brings together 90 Rotary Clubs in 6 Greater London Boroughs, Surrey, East & West Sussex and neighbouring parts of Hampshire.

Nick Drake took office July 1. Ordinarily his duties would include visiting each District club in person, a travel commitment of up to six months, but COVID-19 restrictions have necessitated virtual meetings.

Although Zoom meetings do not provide the personal interaction that nurtures most service organizations, this has not dampened Nick Drake’s enthusiasm for his Rotary leadership role. In fact, Nick has created a theme for this challenging pandemic year: Fellowship. Now more than ever.

“It is important at this time we continue to provide as many f e l l o w s h i p opportunities as possible, as it is fellowship. which is the glue that binds Rotary together and makes the service we provide possible “Rotary is relevant and one of the world’s greatest hopes,” he reminded Rotarians.

At the start of his term of office he wrote “ we should not expect to see Rotary returning to anything like normal, whatever that is or will be, in the foreseeable future. The year ahead will be full of challenges for all of us. Rotary is coming through the crisis and in many ways has seized the opportunity to work in new ways. We are now all in E Clubs for the time being, we have advanced the use of technology in Rotary in so many ways in such a short period. We have increased our involvement in the communities we serve to help them through this time of crisis. Over a third of our clubs have had District Foundation Grants to help their communities deal with the Covid-19 crisis. We as a District have had well over £30,000 of Foundation grants. We have been able to fast track the payment of these grants by bridging the funds through the District reserves. This has meant that money has been got quickly to where it is needed. Whilst we are dealing with Covid-19 we must still remember our biggest goal, the eradication of Polio in the world. Although the mass immunisation programmes are paused the work of the polio teams has been refocused on working on Covid-19 using the skills of tracking and monitoring that have been developed during our work on Polio. We must be ready to return to Polio Eradication when the immunisation programmes are resumed. Clubs are finding innovative ways of holding club meetings and fund raising. New members are still joining us. It is important at this time we continue to provide as many fellowship opportunities as possible as it is fellowship which is the glue that binds Rotary together and makes the service we provide possible. “

As an outlook for the year, Kellerman encouraged Rotarians to:

Develop a “culture of kindness and respect” with extra care given to our own members who may be feeling isolated and without the deep sense of community they once felt;

Create a “culture of collaboration” as we celebrate Rotary successes and reach out to others to initiate projects; and

Embrace a “culture of innovation, adaptation and creativity”.

In that regard, District 1145 administrators have been inspired to develop a virtual E-Club for Rotary members because this year’s programme has been curtailed by COVID-19.

Nick also encouraged Rotarians to continue to support The Rotary Foundation, whose grants help fund projects, and, to explore Rotary International’s new alliance with Toastmasters as a way to enhance public speaking skills and confident leadership.

In addition to Rotary’s six areas of focus, categories of service activities supported by global grants, Nick announced that supporting the environment has become Rotary’s seventh area of focus. It joins peace building and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and community economic development.

Nick is a member of  Caterham Harestone Rotary, based in Surrey. We were also joined by some members of the E-Club1 Of Belgium which is also a Passport Club, and learned about their diverse and active membership.

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