A Presidential Week
This has been a busy week for Rotarians in Shanghai and China thanks to the special visit of Rotary International President Elect Barry Rassin and spouse Esther. Accompanied by RIPP Gary Huang, SR Frank Yih and SRE Richiard Zi he visited several Clubs during his trip to China so that more Rotarians and friends could have the occasion to meet him.
Personally I had the most incredible experience and I would like to share it with all of you.
My experience started on Sunday, 13th May with the welcome celebration hosted by SR Frank Yih and spouse Nancy at their place. As RIPE Barry Rassin is very careful about Youth and future generations we firstly had short presentation about Rotaract and Interact activities in China (our Diane Russell did a great job) followed by his own speech. After that we all went on rooftop where we enjoyed a Friendship Tree Planting activity and great moments of fellowship among all Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors joining the event, fellowship that continued later at lunch time.
On Tuesday, 15th May RIPE Barry attending our Club regular dinner meeting and was our special speaker for the night. The evening went on under a great spirit of friendship and fellowship, so much to receive and share in terms of feelings and ideas with the leader of 1,2millions Rotarians in the world.
On the day after RIPE Barry Rassin invited all China Clubs PEs to a private meeting. Unfortunately our PE Linnet was not in town such as our VP elect Tracy and they asked me to represent our Club at this special meeting. What an honor! I will never stop thanking Linnet for this great opportunity.
After the meeting we all attended Rotary Club of Shanghai West dinner meeting, not before a special surprise: a flashmob to welcome RIPE Barry and spouse with Rotary songs. Special mention goes to the powerful voice of our PP Andrew Hill who opened the singing.
Rotary Club of Shanghai West meeting then started. Different Clubs, different traditions. The one that mostly attracts our attention is physical exercise before dinner, exercise performed by everyone, no one excluded, VIP guests included. The meeting went on with busy schedule until RIPE Barry had his speech. Another great inspirational speech. Before closing the meeting, Special Representative Elect Richard Zi officially invited his China Team to meet Barry on stage. Our Club was well represented in terms of number of Officers: PP Andrew will be Assistant Governor for Area 2, President Motosan will be Legal Affair Deputy Chair, Frank Mulligan who unfortunately was not present that night will be Youth Service Chair and Training Deputy Chair and myself, Public Image Deputy Chair.
It has been an intensive and meaningful experience of mine, one of those you cannot forget. Meeting such a charismatic leader gives you values you hardly can express by words but they are left into your heart. It makes you proud of being Rotarian, it makes you understand Rotarians are not dreamers only: we are people of action and we do sustainable projects where others don’t even dare to start. We are a big family all over the world, we can count on each other. RIPE Barry Rassin’s visit to China is also important for Rotary China future. It shows we are doing a great work to support the community we live in and we have to keep on going for everyone’s better and brighter future.