Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Service before Self

Been speaking at Newtown Rotary Xmas Dinner tonight. Best laugh I got was when I said Rotarians and politicians had a lot in common - in that the Rotary motto is 'Service before self'. Always been very impressed with Rotary. Since Paul P Harris asked three of his business friends to come around for a chat on 23 Feb 1907, the movement has grown massively. Harris was brought up in a Vermont village before moving to Chicago and wanted to replicate in the city the sense of community that he had grown up with. They arranged to carry on meeting, rotating the meetings around their various premises - which is how the name 'Rotary' was born. Today, there are 1,210,000 members in approaching 200 countries. No projects are too small - or too big. I referred to the 200,000 million US dollars partnership between Rotary and Bill Gates to eradicate polio, which is still rife in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

I took questions. First up was a question about what I would do to return Welsh rugby to its glory days. I responded by saying that the WRU was paying Warren Gatland several million pounds to work it out - and I was being expected to come up with the answer for nothing! I was then asked if I thought the 'Special One' would save English football. Rather presciently, I said that I didn't think Jose wanted the job - and was only trying to draw out a Spanish club like Real Madrid or Barcelona. As driving home I heard that the 'Special One' had said No. What's the betting there will be a Spanish club in for him before the end of the year. I also said that my 'special one' was in the pram that I was pushing around in the Newtown Santa Run yesterday. You might think this a bit uncharacteristically 'soppy' but several Rotarians had been acting as stewards and thought that I'd been pushing an empty pram around as a stunt. I was shocked by the cynicism. Just goes to show how low politicians have sunk in the public esteem.


dowlais twp said...

nice comment about the Rotary clubs.
An ex rotarian/rotaractor

Glyn Davies said...

dt - I've never been involved in Rotary myself, but I encourage others to join. Its a very good organisation and I've spoken to them several times over the years.