Meeting on Monday 9 November 2015
This week we were able to extend a warm welcome to our District Governor, Hazel Haas.
Hazel is the first woman to become DG of District 1040, and we were proud to be able to tell her that at the Rotary Club of Roundhay we currently have our second female President, and that out of our complement of ten women members, seven of them have joined our club in the last four years. When Hazel warned us that the average age of Rotarians according to the Rotary Club Central Database was 72, Past President Paul Nickson reassured her that our age profile is considerably improved by the fact that all our lady members are aged 21!
Hazel had a career in catering and accountancy, latterly working as a software consultant. She is a member of the Knaresborough Rotary Club and has a distinguished record of service at District level. She was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship in 2008 for her outstanding contribution to Rotary, and in that same year became District 1040 Vocational Chairman, where she has vigorously supported projects including Kids Out and ABF, the soldier’s charity. She has served on the District as a committee chair and assistant governor, organising last year’s excellent District conference in Scarborough, and recently presided over this year’s conference, which fulfilled its aim to ‘entertain, educate and inspire’ and was very much enjoyed by nine of our own members who attended along with our partners.
Hazel told us of her training in San Diego to become DG, which she attended along with every other incoming DG from 212 countries around the world. She delivered to us the message from the RI President this year, ‘Be a gift to the world’, which emphasises the Rotarian commitment to service to communities. Good advice was dispensed on the topic of communication about what we do. On that topic, Hazel urged us to communicate with District not just the amounts of money we raise for projects, but also the hours of unpaid service which we contribute. Another topic on which Hazel touched was the imminent expansion of District 1040 to take in 24 clubs from District 1270 with effect from 1 July 2016.
Even before the proposed expansion of 1040, our District Governor has 79 clubs to get round in her year of office. Hazel had warm words of encouragement for what we are doing at Roundhay, and her visit was much appreciated. One of our newest members was heard to remark that she had learned more about Rotary from Hazel at this meeting, than she had in all previous meetings she had attended.
We were also visited by Rtn Chari, former District Governor of District 3220 in India, Past President of the Rotary Club of Meenabakkam, and currently Inter Country Contact And District Trainer. Mr Chari is to oversee a water project to provide drinking water and toilet facilities for 500 girls at a school in Meenabakkam, for which our club has pledged £1000 raised at our Bollywood evening. Mr Chari emphasised that the facility has a vital part to play in keeping the girls at the school, and thanked us for the proposed donation. He also offered to collaborate with us on future projects both overseas and at home.