Table Speech


President’s Address at the Last Meeting of Rotary Year 2011
Address by the Secretary

June 27, 2012

Mr. Akira Gemma
President, The Rotary Club of Tokyo
Mr. Seibun Ohta
Secretary, The Rotary Club of Tokyo
 

President’s Address at the Last Meeting of Rotary Year 2011

 Let me make a brief speech for our last regular meeting for Rotary Year 2011.
I served as the 92nd President and have completed my term of one year. Thanks to all your cooperation, I am happy to hand over the Presidency to Mr. Okazaki today.

 We undertook various activities under the theme of “Practice the ideal of service for fresh joy and love.” “Joy” reflects my wish to make the joy of others your own and “love” means to “giving to others” without expecting to “take from others.”

 Based on this theme, we identified the four priority areas:
1) Challenge 100 projects towards our centennial anniversary
2) Assist District Governor Mizuno
3) Membership development
4) Strengthen assistance to Yoneyama Memorial Foundation

 If I highlight our major achievements, firstly, the Challenge 100 Committee put utmost priority on assisting reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The “Tohoku Sukusuku Project” was implemented to provide assistance to mothers and children at disaster affected areas. As its first initiative, the Child Care House was constructed at Rikuzentakata City, a play space for children and a place for parents to exchange their experiences with others. We are happy to receive many words of gratitude.

 We supported District Governor Mizuno by attending various District meetings. In November 2011, 50 members chartered a bus and attended the Inter City Meeting. In February 2012, 121 members attended the District Conference. As all the members registered for the Conference, we were able to achieve 100% attendance rate on February 8th. 37 members and families attended the RI Convention in Bangkok to assist Governor Mizuno and give strong support to our coming RI President Mr. Sakuji Tanaka.

 As for membership development, we succeeded in welcoming 25 new members this year, a record high achievement since 1998. Unfortunately 23 members left for various reasons, but we are fortunate to close this year with net increase of 2 members. I sincerely hope to hand over this good momentum to the coming years.

 Reporting on the Yoneyama Memorial Foundation, financial contributions keep decreasing in recent years, so does the number of foreign scholars from over 1,000 to around 800 today. Tokyo RC is the host club for scholars and we are committed to make generous contributions. We contributed 10 million yen this year, and I would also like to hand over this achievement to the coming years.

 I believe we made remarkable achievements thanks to the following 5 factors: 1) members with diversified skills, 2) comprehensive organizational skills, 3) inherent cultural power, 4) superior technical skills, and 5) abundant financial resources.

 Lessons I learnt through our activities were:
1) Incessant innovation fosters history, tradition, culture, mentality and morality.
2) An organization becomes stronger when we unify diversity
3) Making challenge for a bigger dream brings growth, development and evolution to an organization.

 I would like to hand over three values to the coming Rotary Year: 1) originality, 2) diversity and 3) internationality.

 I am afraid it will take longer than we had originally hoped to overcome the current political, economic and social instability in Japan. In this context, there are rising expectations for service activities by Rotary Clubs. I am sure your active involvement gives you greater satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment.

 Let me close my speech by expressing my sincere gratitude, once again, and wishing for fruitful activities in the coming Rotary Years.

Address by the Secretary

 As President Gemma just mentioned, we undertook two major assignments this year, which were to give full support to Governor Mizuno and to launch the 10-year-project towards our centennial anniversary. I feel honored to have served as a Secretary for such a major Rotary Year 2011.

 Let me express my sincere gratitude to President Gemma, all the Directors and Committee Chairmen and member Rotarians for your dedicated cooperation. I extend my gratitude to the Secretariat staff for diligent services and the Imperial Hotel staff for the meticulous services.

 Let me wrap up the activities of Tokyo RC for this year. Our greatest assignment was to support the Governor. Under Mr. Koichi Takenaka’s leadership three committees were established: Challenge 100, District Conference and RI Convention. The activity report of the Challenge 100 Committee and its 10-year-project will be distributed to you shortly. Thanks to the efforts by the PR Committee, the handover ceremony of Child Care House was reported by 7 newspapers and 2 TV stations. I myself was a newspaper reporter, and I reassured the importance of PR and the great impact of media.

 The District Conference Committee encouraged Rotarians to attend the Intercity Meeting in November and the District Conference in February. Active participation produced a larger surplus compared with last year.

 26 Rotarians and 11 family members attended the RI Convention in Bangkok this May amidst sweltering temperature. We all enjoyed a superb tour and deepened our friendships among members and with other clubs.

 Tokyo RC members have wide-ranging backgrounds and were requested to make table speech at other clubs by Governor Mizuno. 56 members came forward for registration and 10 of them have already made table speeches.

 We must not forget that 19 members worked for the District and rendered great support to Governor Mizuno who concurrently became Secretary General of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Bid Committee. I do appreciate all the efforts made by District Secretary Mr. Yamamoto and 9 District Assistant Secretaries, other District officers and committee members for your full-fledged support.

 I would also like to highlight that our twin club, the Washington RC celebrated its centennial anniversary during the cherry blossom festival in April, and our Twin Club Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman attended the event.

 We are planning to apply Tohoku Sukusuku Project for the Global Grants of the Rotary Foundation, together with the Washington RC. I am relieved to get positive response on collaboration from the new President of the Washington RC.

 Thanks to your generous contribution, we succeeded for the fourth consecutive year in raising 10 million yen for the Yoneyama scholarship program.

 We worked towards an enjoyable Club life, including various programs, table speeches and traditional four events that we celebrate with our families: the 91st Anniversary of Tokyo RC in October, the Christmas Party in December, our traditional New Year’s first meeting and the 107th Anniversary Meeting of RI in February.

 As for our long-standing issues, membership development and attendance rate, thanks to all the efforts by Membership Development Committee in streamlining the registration procedures, we welcomed many new members during the first half year and produced an abundant surplus this year. We had 322 members at the start, and as of today, we have 324 members. I am relieved to achieve our target of a net increase of 2 members. Average attendance rate stayed around 68% throughout the year. Although we failed to meet our goal of 70%, I would like to encourage your attendance at make-up meetings.

 The new Rotary Year 2012 will start next week, under the presidency of Mr. Okazaki. Mr. Okazaki has achieved the 10-year-project of Clear Land in Cambodia. Secretary Kojima wearing posh glasses has a sharp eye for everything. I wish all the best for the new Rotary Year, as we move forward towards our centennial anniversary. Let me close my speech by expressing once again my sincere gratitude to you all.