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Rotary 'facing time of change' Governor's message.

Thornhill Rotary Club The club welcomed its new district governor - Agnes Ritchie, from Bathgate Rotary Club.

Agnes joined Thornhill's weekly meeting as part of a whistle-stop tour visiting more than 50 clubs in Scotland recently.

As someone with a long career in nursing in the NHS, an organisation that is seeing great change, she observed that Rotary was also facing a period of considerable challenge.

From its beginnings in the early 20th century, Rotary had grown into a worldwide membership of some 11 million people.

Nearly 1,500 of them belong to clubs in the district for which Agnes has become responsible, with just 31 of these being members of the Rotary Club of Thornhill and District.

Agnes described the mission in Rotary as one of helping to bring about positive change in lasting and significant ways, whether locally or wider afield, and all the while enabling members to gain more life experience through involvement as well as a greater sense of overall achievement.

She said: "We are building on a foundation that's been built over many years, and which will continue for years to come. "Create something which will live beyond us all ... give thought to how you will do that."

She was under no illusion that there would be many challenges to achieve what was wanted; courage would be needed, as would a plan.

While recently attending a Rotary International conference in San Diego, California, she heard many speakers powerfully relate the difficulties that they faced, often confronted with racial and religious opposition.

Social division and lack of respect within communities contributed yet more challenges.

Delegates described how the "magic" of Rotary had enabled them to accomplish extraordinary tasks.

Emphasising the importance of the Rotary Young Leadership Award camps in helping younger people achieve aims that might otherwise have been considered impossible, and the support given by this part of Scotland, Agnes added: "In Rotary we all have dreams, we all want to make a difference; we all want to serve, and we all want to inspire, to give hope - especially where perhaps there is none."

Create something that will live beyond us all - District Governor Agnes Ritchie

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Publication:Dumfries and Galloway Standard (Dumfriesshire, Scotland)
Date:Aug 28, 2018
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