Posted by Carl Gerhardt on Jul 31, 2018
On 7/31/2018, George Ritcheske spoke to the membership of the Magnolia Rotary Club about the "Rotary Basics", including the history of the Rotary Club, what it stands for and some of its accomplishments. Pictured above is George Ritcheske of the Coppell, Texas Rotary Club.
George started his slide presentation out by asking which of 5 figures was different than all the others. Although everyone in our club choose the same answer, George pointed out that every figure was unique in its own way and therefore the correct answer was all of them! George pointed out that people have different points of view but if they are willing to step back and only focus on those elements of our lives where we find agreement, much good can be accomplished in those areas. That is why no common solution to anything can be found in different Rotary Clubs. The solution to any problem has to fit the members of a Rotary Club to work.
George than said that looking back on the 10 years he has been in Rotary, he has personally been enriched by the great people he has met. Therefore, we should look at potential Rotary members as helping them to enrich their lives.
George than show a graph showing a steady growth rate for membership in Rotary Clubs from 1905 until 1996. In 1996, membership has flat lined at about 1.2 million members worldwide. He also told us that innovation is the key to any healthy organization and told us about a statement from Pat Haggarty (the former CEO of TI) that states: "You can change without improving, but you cannot improve without changing". He also told us that in 1935, Paul Harris also made the following statement: "This is a changing world; we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again!". Therefore, it is time to rethink Rotary!
George then spoke about the History of Rotary telling the group that the Rotary Club was started in 1905 by the four founding Rotarians on the principals of fellowship, networking, and service to community. In 1912 Rotary went International, in 1945, 49 Rotarians helped to draft the United Nations Charter, and today there are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians world wide doing good things in every part of the world. George also spoke about the many documents available to members on the "" including a document called Rotary Basics.
George then spoke about how Rotary is organized as well as how the Rotary Foundation is organized. He then spoke to the Object of Rotary, the Avenues of Service, the 4-Way Test and doing good in the world. In addition he talked about the "Every Rotarian Every Year" program, Paul Harris Recognition, and the End Polio Program where in 2010 there were 1352 cases of Polio in the World and in 2018, there is only 13 cases left in three countries: Pakistan, Afganistan, and Nigeria. Nigeria has seen no new cases in the last two years and if they make three years with no new cases, they will be removed from the list.
George then spoke to the six areas of Rotary focus:
  1. Promoting Peace
  2. Fighting Disease
  3. Providing Clean Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
  4. Saving Mothers and Children
  5. Supporting Education
  6. Growing Local Economics
George than thanked everyone for their commitment to the principals of Rotary.