Rotary International is divided into around 535 Districts. That averages out to about 65 clubs per district. Each District has a four-digit number. Dryden is part of District 5550. Each District is managed by a person titled the District Governor. Each governor serves for only one year from July 1 to June 30. For the 2019-20 year our District Governor (DG) is Fred Wright from Kenora.
Each DG attempts to visit each club at least once a year. On October 3rd, Rtn. Fred visited the Dryden Club. In District 5550 this is a challenge because it covers clubs in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwestern Ontario.
 
Pres. Mardi & DG Fred Wright
Wright began his address by reminding us that this year’s Rotary Presidential theme is “Rotary Connects the World”.
 
Rotary International, Districts and Clubs all attempt to create three to five-year strategic plans. Each should build on the previous levels plan. Wright explained how the District has put emphasis on the “eradication of child poverty” in our District. This builds on three of RI’s areas of focus Maternal and child health, Basic education and literacy and Economic and community development.
 
District 5550’s strategic goal is to eradicate child poverty; in 2019 District 5550’s rates varied from about 20% to 35% depending on the area and community. Dryden’s Strategic Plan includes the statement “We will provide opportunities for youth in our community and around the world by …reducing the impact of poverty”. Currently our “Adventures” workshops and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards provide opportunities for develop skills which may one day take them award form poverty situations.
 
Another District is to get more young members as we are often seen as a club of seniors. This also means we must involve young people in “Interact”, a Rotary program for Intermediate and Senior Elementary and High School youth and at the college/university level “Rotaract”.
 
At the end of his speech Fred broke us into small groups and asked us to discuss what we are most proud of in our Rotary club - and what we would change if we could. An example of the former was the Funds by which we support community endeavours through our Rotary Radio Bingo, while the latter was our need to achieve a demographic mix of members more reflective of the demographic mix of our community.
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