Rotary International president praises good work of P.E.I. Rotarians


Rotary International chairman Ian Riseley, left, chats with Bob Moffatt, Centennial chairman for P.E.I. Rotarians, during a visit to the province.



Rotary clubs, says the international president, give members plenty more to sink their teeth into than a simple chicken dinner.

Ian Riseley  says that offering a hearty menu of meaningful activity is key to the movement thriving.

“People won’t just join to go to lunch,’’ he says.

“They want to make a difference – and the best clubs are those that are really busy because when someone joins that club, they join for a purpose.’’

Sure, people join Rotary clubs for friendship and to improve themselves and their business, Riseley notes.

Good on them.

“But the most important reason, I think, is because they want to help society both locally and globally, and Rotary is the best example of that,’’ he says.

The 70-year-old chartered accountant has served Rotary in numerous capacities since joining Rotary Club of Sandringham in Victoria, Australia, in 1978 at age 31 - the “youngest member by quite a bit’’ at the time.

People won’t just join to go to lunch. They want to make a difference – and the best clubs are those that are really busy because when someone joins that club, they join for a purpose.

As president, Riseley is able to see a lot of the good work being done by more than 1.2 million Rotarians globally; impactful work, for instance, like a rotary club in Sweden offering wonderful help to welcome and settle Syrian refugees.

“It is positively inspiring to see the work – hard work, but very rewarding work – that is being done in the name of rotary,’’ he says.

Riseley arrived in Prince Edward Island early Saturday for his first visit to the province, taking in some of the good work being done by Rotarians here.

He toured, among other areas, Camp Gencheff, the soup kitchen in Charlottetown and the Inspire Learning Centre in Summerside – all initiatives supported by local rotary clubs.

He is “encouraging Rotarians to continue to keep doing the wonderful work that they are doing.’’

Bob Moffatt, chairman of the Centennial Committee for Island Rotarians, says Riseley’s visit to P.E.I. is a reflection of the fact that Island Rotarians have contributed much to their communities and to communities around the world over the past 100 years.

Moffatt says the Rotary movement is strong on P.E.I. with about 300 members in six clubs.

“About three or four years ago when we started all this centennial celebration we went out to the community and we got younger people,’’ he says.

“We’ve got some great ladies in our club now and they are taking leadership roles which is really, really good to see.’’

Moffatt adds that offering valuable contributions to young people and seniors remains a high priority for rotary clubs.