Make your own free website on

Governor's Message 
May 2000

A new era for Rotary

DG Kenneth Chew

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

Once a year, at a District Assembly, an incoming District Governor will deliver his speech “Our Year Together”. Today, it is my singular pleasure and honour to stand before this august crowd to share with all of you my theme “Our Year Together”.

As we move into the New Millennium we will be experiencing a very exciting age, principally propelled by rapid changes and improvements in information technology, biotechnology and life science. The changing economic and social landscape will result in new challenges. Information technology has made the world more connected, borderless and timeless.

“Our Year Together” will be the eye-opener for the future direction of Rotary. We are indeed privileged to lead Rotary into this New Millennium. “Our Year Together” will be the year when every Rotarian in our district will be the torchbearer in unison for Rotary as we enter into an uncharted era.

I appeal to all Rotarians in our District, particularly those that are attending the 10th District Assembly, to work together as one big team and family, with shared purposes and commitment, to promote Rotary ideals and in furtherance of its object SERVICE ABOVE SELF. At the same time, we must never forget our other twin pillars, Fellowship, which is unique to Rotary. ESPIRIT DE CORPS – a shared purpose and fellowship of TOGETHER – will always be our underlying strength.

TOGETHER, we can act as catalyst to promote the impetus for change TOGETHER, we can energise our resources and strength, not only with our clubs and District but also Rotary world-wide, to undertake community service, educational and cultural projects for humanity.

TOGETHER, we shall adopt and put into practice, Incoming R.I. President Frank J Devlyn’s ‘CREATE AWARENESS and TAKE ACTION” in our club, our communities and our world.

The 2000/2001 theme calls upon Rotarians to be proactive, rather than reactive. It is only when we become proactive that we can create awareness on our strength, weakness, needs and problems. Only when we have created awareness, we can then move into the next step i.e. TAKE ACTION. TOGETHER, we can promote this proactive theme “CREATE AWARENESS and TAKE ACTION” and enhance the image of Rotary.

“OUR YEAR TOGETHER” will be a year of challenges. The economy of this part of the world has not fully recovered from the economic turmoil in the last three years. Against this backdrop, the world has also experienced human sufferings from drought, earthquakes, flood, in addition to continuing poverty particularly in under-developed countries. There is still a constant need to help the poor, the needy, the under-privileged and the disadvantaged within our communities and in our world. TOGETHER we must respond to the call for humanity.

Within our organisation, we will continue with the New Leadership Plan. I am extremely pleased to announce that I have the privileged to have the services of twelve able and senior Rotarians serving as Assistant Governors, supported by equally experienced and able District Officers and enthusiastic President Elects and their officers. They are the key members of my team.

In “OUR YEAR TOGETHER”, in response to the call from Rotary International, we have two new District positions, namely District Task Force Coordinator and District Internet Communication Coordinator. As many of you are aware, Rotary International has this year established eighteen (18) Task Forces to provide support to Rotary Clubs in various avenues of supports. A new committee, District Strategic Planning Committee, has been established comprising all Past District Governors. The underlying emphasis is to make Rotary information and support more accessible, more user friendly and our District and clubs more effective.

Let us TOGETHER, overcome any difference or disagreement that may arise from time to time, close rank and be united to serve Rotary and its ideal of service. Let us TOGETHER have a good year and open the door for many more good years to come.

This coming Rotary Year 2000/2001 will have two major events involving Rotary, namely:

(a)                The Polio Plus programme, where Rotary’s involvement has received worldwide coverage, is reaching a critical stage. If no polio case is reported within the next five years i.e. 2005, than the world will be declared “polio-free”.

(b)               The meeting of the next council on legislation which will be in the year 2001. Our District has nominated Dr Philbert Chin to be our delegate and we can look forward to useful contribution from our delegate to ensure that Rotary adapts to changing environment.

I must not forget my peers. They are the important core members of TOGETHER. They are the Rotary’s torchbearers. They are the leaders, the initiators, the doers and very importantly Rotary’s ambassadors of goodwill and hope.

In conclusion, I will like to quote Royce Abbey, R.I. President 1988-1989 who said

“I am convinced the future of our communities and our countries lies in what we do as individuals, as private citizens, and Rotary can provide a vehicle to enable our membership to play a major role by positive action-oriented programmes designed to make a difference.

The friendship formed during this process is the hallmark of Rotary”.

TOGETHER, my fellow Rotarians, we will serve humanity and enjoy the unique blend of Rotary fellowship.

Thank you.