My Rotary Story – Dick MacPherson:

It was sometime in 1979, following a Town Council meeting, that fellow councillor George Ball invited me to a Rotary meeting. “To be honest” said George “we are looking for new members and especially younger members.” I explained that with two retail stores, Town Council, two council committees and my love of baseball, my time was well committed. “Rotary is looking for busy people” he said, “they make the best members; but I promise you that will be understood and you will not be pressured. Rotary International is a successful service organization and you will be proud to be a member. Through your membership alone, you will be making a valuable contribution. Your participation at our weekly meetings will both educate you regarding the objectives of Rotary and will provide you the type of fellowship you will enjoy.”

I took him up on it and it has been a joy! The membership fees were small. Most of the meetings were interesting and I have friends from Rotary that I would not likely have known.

I have been sorry to see some members leave after a few months or even years. Some had joined- I suspect – hoping for new business clients, but the most common reason given for leaving has been
“I couldn’t give it the time needed to make it meaningful.”

In the April 2016 issue of Rotarian magazine, Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran tells of a man arriving in Kolkata, India to see Mother Theresa. He was directed to the back of the building where he found her cleaning toilets. Mother Theresa assuming he was there to help handed him the tools saying she would be back. He finished the toilets before handing her the airline tickets he had come to deliver. The gentleman told that story many times and referred to the experience as being transforming in that he had put his hands to Mother Theresa’s work.

I thought that was the sense in which George Ball had been right. A very small number of Rotarians have had hands on experience in national or international Rotary projects yet the small contributions we make are part of the work of an effective organization.

I wish many of those who felt insignificant had stayed with us. We would be stronger for it.

Dick MacPherson