February is Peace and conflict resolution month.

Updates from Clubs: Club Culture is key!

Interesting that February is Peace and Conflict Resolution month and what do we have to read in our bathroom, the Rotary magazine of course, but specifically the article by Jean Best of Scotland, on ‘Lowering the Temperature’. Absolutely, spot on!  How many times have you overheard a comment, or seen behaviour from a fellow Rotarian which puts the hair up on the back of your neck?  I would guess many have. And, how many have taken the next very important step to diffuse the situation?  This is our job.  It’s our responsibility to take a stand, and model an inclusive, accommodating, diverse and equitable club culture. If we don’t we stand alone, and wonder where everybody went? So, next time it’s time to pay a visit, take your Rotary magazine, and flip to page 14, and think about your club culture. Is it as warm, welcoming and inclusive as it could be? Now is the time to take your own club temperature, and perhaps make an adjustment. Tough conversation; your Assistant Governor is here to help.

Updates from District: Club Leadership Training

February 20, 27, (Saturday mornings) or March 10, 17, (Wednesday evenings) or a combo of your choice.
This training is for all executives and members interested in leadership in Rotary.  Come and learn from knowledgeable leaders who will provide interactive sessions, resources, and opportunities to meet other Rotarians in your roles.  Two Saturday morning sessions and two Wednesday evening sessions are planned to provide you with choices as to when to attend Part 1 and when to attend Part 2.  Register on the District website for your link to the session.

Our District Conference is May 1st

Save the date, invite your partner, invite an Earlyacter, an Interacter, and Rotaracter to attend too!  It is open to everyone, so please let’s open the opportunity to bring others to the conference where we will navigate a new world together, learn from interactive sessions, gather as Rotary family members and celebrate our achievements!

Updates from RI: She said Yes! And so did he!

Congratulations to our own RI Director Valarie Wafer who said yes to her recent appointment as Rotary International Vice President to Rotary International President-Elect Shekhar Mehta.  Valarie takes on this new position on July 1, 2021, and we couldn’t be more proud of this fine Canadian Rotarian.  Our very sincere congratulations from all of us in District 5360!
Congratulations to Kamil Kanji, Rotaracter, on being asked to serve as an Alumni member and Chair of the Interact Advisory Council of Rotary International commencing July 1 for a one year term.  Kamil resides in our District and is a member of the Rotaract club at the University of British Columbia.  Our sincere congratulations on this brand new role in this new venture for Rotary International from all of us in our District. 

And now a thought for the day…

How a backwards shirt led to a lesson in kindness.
Substitute Teacher Marie McGaugh witnessed a remarkable act of kindness recently in an unnamed Kindergarten class.
It happened during the morning ‘circle time’ when students were gathered at her feet on a round carpet decorated with the ABCs.  McGaugh said one little child in the circle looked at another and, meaning no harm, said “Your shirt is on backwards.”  Everyone turned to look at the little girl with the backwards shirt.  Some kids started to laugh.  The little girl put her head down and turned red with embarrassment. McGaugh said she decided to use the moment to gently talk to the kids about how embarrassing someone could hurt their feelings. 
As she spoke, she saw one little child in the circle quietly took her arms out of her sleeves and turned her own shirt around.  Then one by one, more children did the same.  Within minutes, almost every child in the class was sitting with their own shirt on backwards.  “I just thought it was so caring, and just so pure-hearted, they didn’t want her to feel bad, “ McGaugh said.  “And not a word was spoken.  It was their actions that were just so powerful.”  The little girl who had made the comment in the first place was one of the first kids to twist her own shirt around to be supportive of her friend.
The little girl was initially singled out for having her shirt on backwards, said she was touched by her friend’s kindness: “I felt happy and good.”
Isn’t that what we all want to feel when we leave our Rotary club meeting?  What is your club culture like?  Is it time to pivot to ensure that we all feel happy and good?
Yours in Rotary Service,
Mary Turner, DG
Russell Hampton
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