June is International Fellowships month across the Rotary world. Perhaps this is because in late May and June the World Conventions are held and this allows 30,000 or more committed Rotarians and partners to get together, with many diverse interests.
International Fellowships began in 1928 when a group of Rotarians formed to champion the use of Esperanto which is a language, formed from scratch as an international auxiliary language. The longest continuously running International Fellowship is the International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians, where Rotarians fly the Rotary flag on their boat at fellowship events.
There are over 70 International Fellowships which you can browse through at www.rotary.org/en/our-programs/more-fellowships and you can click through to the website of any that interest you. An example which is active in our District is Cricketing where Tony Plant (Bendigo South) organised a cricket match on the Friday before our Warrnambool Conference. So if you are interested in Golf, Beer, Wine, Cruising, Flying, Fishing, Travel and Hosting or whatever, have a look at the link. They are open to Rotarians, Rotoractors and Partners. The District contact for International Fellowships is Leon Lewi (Keilor).
Another little know international program is Rotarian Friendship Exchanges, where groups of Rotarians and partners have reciprocal visits to build goodwill and advance peace and international understanding. A group from D9800 are leaving soon for Scotland and exchanges are planned for Canada in 2019 and Colombia in 2020. If you are interested in finding out more, contact Jeanette Lynch (Keilor).
This year’s International Convention is in Toronto and over 70 Rotarians and partners from our District are attending. As we have an Australian World President in Ian Riseley, we expect a big group from Australia. Unfortunately the Convention is very late in the Rotary year this year on 23rd to 28th June, so Anne and I will not be able to be at Club Changeovers and say thank you in person. Let’s make the Club Changeovers this year a community event and encourage our community partners to attend and celebrate all the good things that Rotarians are doing in the world.