OCTOBER IS VOCATIONAL SERVICE MONTH.Rotary International has designated October as Vocational Service month. Our District Vocational Service Chair, Chip Ross, has done a great job summarizing what Vocational Service is all about: October is Vocational Service Month. Does your club do something special to emphasize Vocational Service during October?
Here are a few Ideas for Club Programs:
  • Classification talks from new and old members
  • Avocation Talks
  • Members talk about their hobbies
  • Focus on Future Business Trends
  • Old members give 5 minute "who am I" talks
  • Off-site visits at members' or other sites
  • A Recital of the 4 Way Test at each meeting
  • A full program on the 4 Way Test - its history and significance
  • A program on “What is Vocational Service?”
Remember the words of Past RI President Bhichai Rattakul:

"This little Rotary pin which we wear in our lapels is meaningless unless it stands for something. Vocational Service is our testing ground. It is personal, and it is private.

It is the conscience of Rotary and of Rotarians. Of all the Avenues of Service, Vocational Service is the most important aspect of Rotary. Whatever else we do in Rotary, others are doing the same and sometimes they might be doing it better. It is through Vocational Service that we do what others don’t. It is this Vocational Service that Rotary can pride itself on how it has weathered the storms with distinction in the many humanitarian and educational programs. And yet it is important to recognize that although we have made significant progress in the many areas of human activity, both in a material and spiritual sense, our business and professional lives continue to be plagued with scandals and corrupt practices. In a world where too many overlook the importance of integrity and ethics in business, politics, and their personal lives, the need to represent our vocation in Rotary, and Rotary in our vocation, is as strong as ever."

Peter Lawrie, president of Oak Bay, has some comments that may resound with you as well: “Vocational Service is an area of service I have had little engagement with. Your note was VERY helpful. It helped to contextualize Rotary’s distinction. Today we had an assembly and it was also the first day of Vocational Service month. I used the quote from Bhichai Rattakul you included as a way to start our meeting. It clearly struck an effective chord. Lots of new/prospective members and also seasoned veterans were nodding their heads like – Yea! We lose sight of that sometimes! There are lots of service clubs who do good work. Rotary is about doing good work and impacting the world in the club and at work!

RI is recognizing outstanding Vocational Service activities with a Leadership Award. Please consider applying for the award. With diligence, you can find the form on the RI web site (search “Vocational Service Award”). It was also contained in Chip’s September 12 E-mail to club presidents. For more information, communicate with Chip at chip.ross@shaw.ca .

ZONE INSTITUTE. DGE Michael Procter, DGN Rose Bowman, PDG Bob and Jan Martin and District Trainer Craig Gillis joined me at the Rotary Zone Institute in Phoenix, September 26-29. This is a grand gathering of past, present and future leaders in Zones 25 and 26. General Secretary John Hewko announced that his contract had been renewed for four years. He has done an excellent job running the organization the past two years, so this is good news. We collectively learned a lot; it will be applied over the next few months.

CLUB VISITS. 5020 First Lady Kristine has healed well from her fractured femur accident, and will be back on the trail with me this month. Thank you for all your good wishes. Also, thanks to all the clubs I have visited for your hospitality. I have been awed by the projects you have shared with me. Keep up the great work!

DG Pete