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Retention NO! Engagement YES!

by John Borst, PP Rotary Club of Dryden

When is Rotary going to learn that the concept of “Retention” is just old school? Today the buzz word is “Engagement”.

And mark my word this is not just a matter of semantics or of time and place. Continue reading “Retention NO! Engagement YES!”


The Struggle for Peace: A Rotary Challenge

A Remembrance Day Memorial: Recalling the Rwanda Genocide of 1994 in Song “Kilgali”

By John Borst, PP  Rotary Club of Dryden

Today is Remembrance Day. In the US it is called Veteran’s Day.

It is appropriate on such days to remind all Rotarians that “Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever.” Continue reading “The Struggle for Peace: A Rotary Challenge”


by John Borst, Past President Rotary Club of Dryden, ON

Two Dryden High School students, Abbey Taylor and Sarah Becker were the first Dryden students to take part in a new Rotary District 5550 program called “Rotary Adventures in Human Rights” (RAHR). Continue reading “NEW ‘ROTARY ADVENTURES IN HUMAN RIGHTS’ PROGRAM PROVES POPULAR WITH STUDENTS”

Rotary needs more of “the sweet lechery of an inquiring mind.”

By John Borst, Past President Rotary Club of Dryden

Sweet lechery is the title of Canadian intellectual, Jeet Heer’s latest book. According to reviewer Michael Hingston, Heer drew the title from a line in the works of American author, art and literary critic, and illustrator, Guy Davenport.

Lechery, of course, is an “unrestrained or excessive indulgence of sexual desire”. Indeed, many Rotarians do have a very deep love for Rotary because of what it stands for and accomplishes. What many often lack, however, is the ‘inquiring mind’. Continue reading “Rotary needs more of “the sweet lechery of an inquiring mind.””

Rotary Youth Exchange: a wonderful program that needs expansion

by John Borst, Past President, Rotary Club of Dryden

Rotary’s commitment to youth is a long-standing tradition. Local clubs express this in many ways. Youth scholarships, RYLA, InterAct clubs, The “Adventures in “series, MUNA, Public Speaking contests, and book buying programs are all common activities.

The program that excites me the most, however, is the long-term Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE). This is a program organized by the District, in my case 5550. The exchange is at the high school level as the students are between 16-18 years of age. Continue reading “Rotary Youth Exchange: a wonderful program that needs expansion”

America’s new reality: Land of the Living Dead

By John Borst, Past President Rotary Club of Dryden

Note: I have taken the literary liberty of imagining myself in the shoes of an American.

Welcome to America, land of the living dead. It is a fact we woke up to on the morning of Oct 2, 2017. Another mass murder had taken place at about 10:05 pm local time when shots rang out on Route 91, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This time the number of dead set another modern-day record of 59 with another 500+ injured.

This time, however, a new reality has set in. Continue reading “America’s new reality: Land of the Living Dead”


by John Borst, PP Rotary Club of Dryden, ON

This June has seen another round of flooding in Dhaka, Bangladesh as the above photo from the Dhaka Daily Star of June 17th, 2017 will attest.

The slums of Dhaka are also home to a Rotary sponsored literacy and education initiative. In 2009 The Rotary Club of Belleville, Ontario learned of a unique low-cost literacy experiment being tried by a Canadian charity, The Amarok Society. It was the brain-child of Tanyss and GEM Munro. Continue reading “AGONY AND RELIEF IN DHAKA’S AMAROK SCHOOLS”



Are we afraid to track and share our diversity metrics?

by John Borst, Past President, Rotary Club of Dryden, ON

Sometimes ideas unexpectedly, seem to converge. This is what happened with the topic of diversity within Rotary this past week.

I was in Toronto and while there visited the East York Rotary Club. The speaker, a member of the club gave a brief slide presentation on their draft Strategic Plan. The first priority identified was titled  “Diversity and Inclusion”.

Later the same week,  while looking through the PowerPoint presentations at the Atlanta convention, I read through one titled “The Future of Rotary” and discovered it had a slide, titled  “Importance of Diversity by Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Alumni”. Continue reading “THE IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSITY WITHIN ROTARY’S FUTURE”

The long struggle to bring women into Rotary

Editor’s note: the following is an edited excerpt from “Rotary News” in a May 7th article. I have long known of the struggle of the Duarte Club, however, I had no idea the issue dated as far back as 1950. 

Grafton Rotary Club (Australia, District 9640) member Brenda Thompson, gave a brief history of the long process that took place before women were allowed to join Rotary Clubs.

According to Thompson, it was in 1950 that the first step was taken by a Rotary Club in India, who made a proposal that the word “male” be deleted from the Standard Rotary Club Constitution. Continue reading “The long struggle to bring women into Rotary”

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