Table Speech

President’s Address

July 1, 2015

Mr. Kiyotaka Moroto
President, Rotary Club of Tokyo

 Tokyo RC will be celebrating its Centennial Anniversary in five years. I am honored to serve as the 95th President. Today, let me start by sharing with you what I found in the brochure “History of Our Club” that summarizes our activities between 1920 and 1955.

 Tokyo RC was founded in 1920 by Mr. Umekichi Yoneyama, who joined a financial delegation sent to the US in 1919. He was spending his winter in Dallas, Texas, where he was introduced to Rotary by a member of Dallas RC, Mr. Kisanji Fukushima of Mitsui trading company. Mr. Yoneyama was deeply impressed by various activities conducted by RCs and after returning home, he established Tokyo RC on 20 October, 1920, with 24 charter members.

 Tokyo RC received donations worth 89,000 yen from 503 RCs around the world in the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, which was spent on school equipment for 188 elementary schools, building a two-story orphanage in Tokyo and donations to bereaved families of policemen who died on duty. It is recorded that through these contributions, Tokyo RC acquired mastery of the Rotary spirit and became instrumental in enhancing the Rotary movement across Japan.

 RCs were established in Osaka (1922), Kobe and Nagoya (1924). The founder of Rotary, Mr. Paul Harris visited Japan with his wife in 1935. The outbreak of the Pacific War obliged RCs in Japan to withdraw from Rotary International, but the spirit of Rotary did not disappear and members organized “Wednesday Club” until Tokyo RC officially rejoined in 1949.

 Thanks to the efforts made by our dedicated senior Rotarians, I recognized anew that our footing has been fortified through the long history that will come to celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2020.

 The new RI President Mr. K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran from Colombo, Sri Lanka, has set the theme for this RY as “Be a gift to the world” by rendering one’s talent, knowledge, competence, efforts, dedication and enthusiasm to bring about real change to the world. Our life becomes meaningful not by what we get but by what we give to society. .

 The new Governor for District 2580 emphasizes “friendship and service” and to “go back to the basics of Rotary.” Let me base our Club activities on the same principle to further enrich our service activities. I must say membership development is essential to invigorate our activities and I encourage you all to sponsor your friends to join our Club.

 The Centennial Anniversary of our Club also marks the 100th Anniversary of the Rotary movement in Japan. We currently engage in extensive discussions on various proposals that celebrate this occasion. The Challenge 100 Committee will continue implementing the “Tohoku Sukusuku Project” that is scheduled to conclude by fall 2020.

 As I close my speech, let me ask for your active participation in our Regular Meetings, birthday parties, family parties and other gatherings to “Enjoy Rotary” with you family and friends.

Secretary’s Address

July 1, 2015

Mr. Heiemon Kimura
Secretary, Rotary Club of Tokyo

 I joined Tokyo RC 24 years ago in June 1991 under the vocational classification of “home furniture sales”. I am the 4th generation Rotarian in my family. I recall how excited I was as a preschooler to participate in the Rotary Christmas Party held at Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Department Store back then.

 Tokyo Rotaract, a community service group of young adults aged between 18 and 30, was established in March 1973 and I joined the group right after I became a university student. I spent 4 years with Rotaract and at the age of 30, I joined this Club with a long history and dignity. I have learnt extensively from different Committee activities. Let me express my sincere gratitude to all my respectful senior Rotarians for their warm advice and guidance.

 I have also undertaken several duties for District 2580, including the Rotaract Committee in 1995, the “Clear Land (elimination of landmines) in Cambodia” Committee from 2001-2010, the Rotary Information Committee from 2011-2014 as well as District Assistant Secretary. I also assisted to organize Tokyo Night and Japan Night at International Conventions held in Bangkok (2012), Lisbon (2013), Sydney (2014) and Sao Paulo (2015). I was fortunate to get many friends in this and other Districts.

 As President Moroto just shared in his speech, we will base our activities on the theme “Be a Gift to the World” throughout this RY. It goes without saying that “friendship building” and “various service activities” are made possible with your active participation. I am determined to work closely with Committees in charge to make our regular meetings, family parties, birthday parties and other gatherings enjoyable and fruitful. Let me also encourage your active participation in the Intercity Meeting, District Conference as well as the International Convention in Seoul to deepen your friendship with Rotarians from around the world.

 I must say every Club faces the challenge of membership development. Our club starts this RY with a membership of 324 and we aim to achieve a net increase of 2. I understand the best way to attract new members as well as to retain our members is to make our service activities enjoyable, attractive and rewarding. I will commit myself to this end.

 As I close my speech, let me ask you all for your support throughout this RY. I will strive to make this year fulfilling, with your cooperation and understanding.