Table Speech

“Address to the 89th Anniversary Meeting and Family Party”

October 21, 2009

Mr. Yukiharu Kodama
President, the Rotary Club of Tokyo

 Rotary Club of Tokyo, the very first club founded in Japan, celebrates its 89th anniversary this year. Thanks to the wise guidance and innovative ideas given by members over many years, our club has been playing a leading role in the Rotary movement of Japan.

 President John Kenny of Rotary International set the theme of this year as “The Future of Rotary is in Your Hands.” His intention is probably to fortify the foundation of each club by getting back to the basics of Rotary spirit, and identify ways to further develop this huge organization spread over 200 regions and countries with 33,000 clubs and 1.2 million members. The theme of our club has been “friendship building” and “joy of service,” which represent exactly what Mr. Kenny wishes to achieve.

 When I became the President in July, I decided to further the course taken by my immediate predecessor Mr. Kurokawa and enhance support to the Yoneyama Memorial Foundation activities. Thanks to your unanimous approval, the scholarship projects are proving to be successful. At the first Club Forum held on 7th of October, Mr. Guang Ping Yang (former Yoneyama scholar and Associate Professor of Nankai University in Shanghai) attended as one of the panelists and we had a chance to share the enthusiasm expressed by the members of the newly-founded Yoneyama Alumni Association in China. Its inauguration party was held on 28th of March and a 4-hour-ceremony conducted all in Japanese was concluded with a thundering chorus of “Hands in Hands.” It is our sincere wish to deepen international partnership with the 3 alumni associations, in Taiwan, South Korea and China, to further enhance “friendship building” and to share the “joy of service.”

 I would also like to report on our initiatives for anti-personnel landmine clearance in Cambodia. Thanks to the wise decision made by our former Governor, the late Mr. Sumao Tokumasu, the initiative started as a district-wide project for District 2580. We are honored to have the presence of Mrs. Setsuko Tokumasu today. This 10-year-project has accomplished its initial objectives and is scheduled to complete in February 2010. We are delighted that many of you will participate in the Completion Ceremony. I hope we can all appreciate the significance of this project, once again, at the actual site in Cambodia.

 Let me conclude my speech by expressing my sincere gratitude to your hospitable services in organizing this Anniversary Meeting and Family Party.

Flute quartet by LINX