Table Speech


“Inaugural Address at the Fiscal 2007 Initial Regular Meeting”

July 4, 2007

Mr. Kanbei Kokubu
President
Tokyo Rotary Club
Mr. Shinichi Yoshizawa
Secretary
Tokyo Rotary Club

Mr. Kanbei Kokubu
President
Tokyo Rotary Club

 40 years ago in 1967-68, my father Kanichi Kokubu served as the 48th president of The Rotary Club of Tokyo. He was 60 years old and had been a Rotarian for 31 years.

 I am 68 years old and it was in 1973 that I joined The Rotary Club of Tokyo, and this is my 34th year of being a Rotarian. I still feel that I have a lot to learn about the Rotary Club. I would appreciate your pointing out any short comings that I may have.

 The theme for this fiscal year for the Rotary International (RI) is “Rotary Shares” and the theme for the District 2580 is “Creating a fun and attractive club and serving together with good friends”. It is my idea to manage the club, sufficiently respecting the spirit of this theme.

 The Rotary Club of Tokyo was established in 1920. It was the first Rotary Club to be established in Japan and this year marks its 87th year. In its
long history, while experiencing many changes, it had impacted on the many Rotary Clubs in Japan and played a leadership role.

 The Rotary Club of Tokyo is a special entity from which unique thinking is demanded. It consists of representatives of Japanese leading companies, and it is a group of matured people. Its membership is also the largest in Japan.

 We have an obligation to share the capabilities that each one of us possess with those that desire and need them.

 Let us practice voluntary activities while maintaining our dignity, respecting the ideas of each committee, not being fettered and freely responding to the changing times.

 I will dedicate myself to making the club life enjoyable for you, the members. I want to carry on with the “creating circle of friends” and “joy of giving dedicated service” proposed by the former president, Mr. Yoshihiko Miyauchi last year.

 I want to create an atmosphere in which the members are free to converse with anyone. I want to share the joy of giving dedicated service with all. This is my goal.

 All members, members of each committee, officers, staff of the secretariat, let us all join together to create a happy club life.

Mr. Shinichi Yoshizawa
Secretary
Tokyo Rotary Club

 I joined The Rotary Club of Tokyo in 1995 at the age of 48. I was continuously nervous about the tradition and formality surrounding the Club, but I was fortunate to have the support of many good leaders and received guidance with a motto of “from an acquaintance to a friend”, and for that I am very grateful.

 Now, with my assumption of the post of the secretary of the club it is a sobering thought, but I intend to go back to the beginning and continue to learn about the Club.

 I intend to faithfully execute my duties as a secretary with the support of the directors and officers under the leadership of the President, Mr. Kokubu, respecting the history and traditions built up by my predecessors.

 The other day, there was a district conference for this year’s officers. In the training for the secretaries, a lecture like that cited below was given regarding the items to be taken to heart with respect to the post of secretary.
1. New members lack the information about Rotary, so we must ensure that information is provided.
2. There is a tendency to relax the rules to facilitate strengthening of membership, but just merely increasing membership is not good in itself. Making it easy for anyone to join will lead to anyone being able to leave.
3. At a regular meeting, it requires attendance for 60% or more of the meeting time. If the meeting is convened at 12:00, means that attendance will be required until at least 13:06. It would be rude to the speaker who began speaking at 13:00 for someone to leave the table while the speech is underway.
4. The secretary supports the President and has the responsibility to ensure smooth club operation.
5. Enrich the committee activities based on the 4 principle services (Vocational Service, Club Service, Community Service and International Service).

 The policy of the President is to make use of the special features of The Rotary Club of Tokyo and create an attractive and pleasant club. “Creating a circle of friends” means to not be shy, and to enjoy conversations with anyone, and the “joy of giving” is distilling an atmosphere of enjoying the act of service.

 I intend to be true to this guidance and fulfill my duties of operating The Rotary Club of Tokyo. I ask the cooperation of all members to actively enjoy conversations at the weekly regular meetings and to bring along your families in the family get-togethers and help us create a pleasant club.