Posted by Jack Harig on Aug 06, 2019
Fellowship of Rotary around the World Connections
Rotary District 6630, Rotary RC Akron OH USA and
RC Freshwater Bay Australia

It is such a wonderful time when we see friends from close by Rotary Clubs and get reconnected with old friends we do not see often from other clubs in the District 6630 or 6650. The same is true when you get a call from someone “just to check” on how you are doing. I also get a warm feeling when I can call a Rotarian from another state or district for advice and council or to ask for help on a project. In late August I needed some contacts for a veteran’s project in Gainesville, Fla. How better to start than calling a Rotarian friend who served with you in the Army, now a retired Maj Gen living in Ft. Myers. After a chat Jim said he will work on some contacts, but why not just call some Rotary Clubs in Gainesville. “Brilliant!”

The next morning I received a link to an online Facebook Live meeting of the RC Freshwater Bay, Perth, Australia. Well, you who know me know I could not resist. Lady Vivian and I watched the RC Freshwater Bay meeting live, it was a great program “Sun Spots and how they affect our climate and climate change over the millennia”.Times like this remind Vivian and I of the wonderful stories told by Rotarians like PRIP Cliff Dochterman’s on “If I could be President again”, “Women in Rotary”, and so many other adventures in Rotary that have been shared by our many friends from so many close and faraway places. When I have my morning coffee in my 1 cup French Press I recall the good times with PDG Ricardo Bicaro, RC San de Bariloche, Argentina. Ricardo and I met when he was team leader of Group Study Exchange to District 6630 many years ago. Our bond is both Rotary and military, he was a retired Argentine Ordinance officer. After the team visit Ricardo and his wife hosted us for the 2000 RI convention.  PRIP Frank J. Devlyn was RI Pres. The theme was “Create Awareness – Why do I think of PDG Carlos, he carried a press with him and introduce how to make a fine cup of coffee his way, so, each morning I not only think of him, I thinks of all our friends there and “Frank Talk” by PRIP Frank, that makes me think of his short elevator talk each of you should have to share about your life in Rotary.

Visitors are asked to sign in, they had a meeting of their small club and a total at the meeting including online of 70. Wow! How many of us have 70 at our meetings? Later in the morning I was contacted by Rotary Club PP Di Collins, Rotarian and wife of PRID Ken Collins, also a member of RC Freshwater Bay. It turns out that the Collins are also leaders in Rotary’s effort to eradicate Polio, the RI Foundation, and are fellow Arch Klumph Society members.  I wrote back with links to the Akron club and Rotary camp, Di shared with the following:
 As I mentioned in my RCFB Facebook response to you, we have a majority of younger members, which is wonderful in theory.  However, unfortunately they are largely tied up with their work/studies (a number of younger doctors), two of our female members have young babies, and so it is. As the vast majority are prevented from attending meetings, we decided to stream meetings live some 2 ½ years ago so members could look in either at the time of the meeting or at a later date.  Look forward to hearing further from you and learning more about your District and Club.”
Some of Freshwater Bay’s club projects from the annual report to the RC Freshwater Bay...
"All projects and activities are well covered in our Annual Report however a few significant milestones should be mentioned:
  • The Microscopes in Schools project has surpassed 22,000 microscopes in almost 800
  • Support for Val Smith-Orr’s project in the Philippines where she predominantly treats burns has reached over A$100,000.
  • The Goodeve Foundation has provided almost US$100,000 to International projects.
  • PRID Ken Collins was presented with a RF PolioPlus Pioneer Award for his untiring work in the early days of the eradication of Polio, which he continues to this day.
  • I was totally overwhelmed and surprised to be awarded the third Annual Sylvia Whitlock Leadership Award at the RI Convention in Hamburg, Germany."
My take on all of the short dialogue is that Rotarians do what Rotarians do no matter where they are in the world, THEY DO GOOD. I share part of PP Di’s E-Mail so that you may see for yourself what other clubs are doing outside our district and country with refreshing new concepts. Chartered on 19th December 2008 with the aim of doing things a little differently, the RC Freshwater Bay in District 9455 was the first “cocktail club” in Western Australia. Link:
Proof that the Rotary world gets even smaller is when you learn that this year a young woman named Chloe Ferguson from  North Nowra, NSW Australia is a counselor at the Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs. We met Chloe at the Camp Thursday night cookout.  She is a lovely young lady preparing herself for a career in Australia and hopefully being a future Rotarian.
We are often known as the “Family of Rotary” and that is what we are, a family who works together, plays together, cries together, and plays together. This is why we stay together. Chloe is another example of how the family grows. In just a short time, we feel she is part of our Rotary Family. Make it your plan to call a friend today and ask how they are doing. Make your Rotary Family grow, extend your plan by offering the gift of Rotary to a like-minded person who may already be a Rotarian in action but not a member of a club.  
Jack and Vivian Harig       
Rotary Camp Makes the World What it Should Be
PDG 2003-04     Rotary District 6630
PH: 330-644-9862