District Governor’s Message – January
Wendy and I extend our best wishes to all Rotarians and their families for a happy and healthy New Year.
It is great to have a break at this time of year to relax and reinvigorate before returning to Rotary later this month.
January is  Vocational Service Month, one of the original Avenues of Service within Rotary. Founded as a business networking organisation, Rotary emphasises the importance of bringing together business and professional women and men for the purposes of exchanging ideas, developing relationships and improving communities. Nowadays, as Rotarians, we pursue our commitment to vocational service through our community and youth programmes. During my Club visits, I was inspired by the many ways in which our Club members put their own vocational skills to work as Rotary volunteers.
 This month the Rotary National Science and Technology Forum takes place in Auckland, laying the foundations for students planning university study that will lead to careers in science-related fields. In April the very successful RYLA programme returns to provide young people from our District with leadership knowledge and life skills. Many Clubs will also be organising career days during this year, for secondary school students. The Pride of Workmanship Awards not only acknowledge high standards in our local businesses but also improve the awareness of our organisation within the community. The vocational visits that we undertake as part of our Club meeting programmes expand our horizons as individual Rotarians. One Club that I visited has updated their strategic plan to focus on being a “business” Club, in order to attract new members from within their local business community.
So you can see that the ”forgotten” Avenue of Service is still very much the essence of Rotary, enabling us to make a difference in the lives of our young people, in our community and to promote our organisation to potential new members.