November 23, 2005

At the Rotary Club.

Today, I gave a lunchtime talk at the Madison Rotary Club. I was charmed by the wall hangings, with banners from chapters of the Rotary Club throughout the world. Some of the banners looked very old. The president of the Madison Rotary told me they had many, many banners, collected by members attending meetings around the world, but they kept the oldest ones on the hangings that covered the walls behind the podium.

Rotary Club banners

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Rotary Club banners

My talk was about the newly configured Supreme Court. I got to see, for the first time, the inner workings of a Rotary Club meeting. Everyone in the huge group seemed happy and friendly and devoted to Rotarian principles. Birthdays were announced, aphorisms were recited, and songs were sung. Today's singalong was "Georgia on My Mind."

13 comments:

chuck b. said...

I really enjoyed this post, Ann!


(not much of a comment, I know)

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Looks like a lot of Rotarians visit college towns--Chapel Hill, Charleston, College Park, and Princeton.

Did they ask you to save your fork for dessert?

Pancho said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
paulfrommpls said...

I had reason to address a Lion's Club meeting in Maplewood, Minnesota this summer. Not as ornate, or crowded, but the same kind of reaction of "these sure are nice people living nice decent lives."

But then I snapped out of it, reminding myself what I've been taught by M. Moore, that we Americans are the stupidest people on the planet. It was a close call, I can tell you.

sonicfrog said...

I must confess. I haven't a clue about the official, and otherwise unofficial, function and duties of a Rotisserie Club. They cook chickens, don't they?

Espella Humanzee said...

My Dad belonged to the Knights of Columbus. All I remember was the cases and cases of "holy water" that they all indulged in on a regular basis.

reader_iam said...

My dad had no use for any type of fraternal, service or business etc. type of organization, ever.

Then he retired.

And moved.

And now is a Rotarian, faithful to the point of attending meetings, as expected, almost everywhere he goes.

It's actually been a really good thing for him, I think.

And the Babbitt thing notwithstanding, these groups actually do provide an awful lot of service ... especially in smaller urban areas and, especially, more rural communities. They're often lifebloods.

(That doesn't mean, btw, that I don't get a small, wicked bit of satisfaction out of seeing him espouse so adamantly the value of Joining Mainstream Community Groups That Do Public Good, something he was so derisive of when I started doing the same thing as a teen.)

P. Froward said...

Hamas officially considers Rotary an arm of the Zionist conspiracy. Just so you know.

P. Froward said...

I mean, they didn't make you sign any Hebrew documents in blood, did they, while you were there? Or at least no legally binding ones?

EddieP said...

The Rotary is just one of many, many civic groups that do outstanding, if unpublicised work in their communities.

My son was an organ donor, and I joined the Lifelink of Georgia's speakers bureau. We give lots of talks to Rotary, Lions, Knights, Elks, etc. They are all wonderful organizations.

brylin said...

It's a good thing the Kossacks and Eschatonians haven't found this comment thread! I don't think I could stand any more of their humor or irony.

Full disclosure: I belong to the Loyal Order of Moose.

Janet Rae Montgomery said...

I joined a local Rotary club this year when a client invited me. I really enjoy it, but the principles that you linked to aren't the ones that we recite to close each meeting:

The Four Way Test of the Things we Think, Say or Do:

First: Is it the truth?
Second: Is it fair to all concerned.
Third: Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Fourth: Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

It is a golden rule way to live a life -- and it might be a good series of principles for all your commenters to keep in mind.

Will you speak to our club if you are near Chicago (Hinsdale Oak Brook Gateway Club)? We would love to have you.

Ann Althouse said...

Janet: Thanks for posting those principles. I was looking at the banner that said that when I was at the meeting, so that is what I was hoping to link to and couldn't find at the site. Those are great principles!

Thanks for inviting me down. Maybe some time I could.