I had the great opportunity to see how an ‘old fashioned’ not ‘proper’ Rotary meeting happens today.  I attended the Gloucester Quays group, which interestingly for me, happens almost at the end of my road – if you go in an almost straight direction for 5 mins!  It was very illuminating.  i met lots of really nice people, felt very young and very un business like, in the room full of smartly dressed professionals.  Was glad that seeing as it is a breakfast club i did not get a ham salad, even though the breakfast wasn’t up to much.

I was sitting at a table with Tim, still couldn’t escape him, and 3 others.  2 of them were relatively new to Rotary but were already talking about the amount of weeks that they had to miss due to being busy and trips away with their business.  I chirped in that they should have joined the egroup, but as i have been reflecting on my ‘old fashioned’ visit, it made me appreciate how much i am glad i joined the eClub.

As a working mother of 7 with so many other things that i have to fit into my already stupidly packed days, there is no way i could commit to monthly meetings let alone weekly, at the same time every week.  Unless of course i did a breakfast meeting – and as my wife will point out, that is definitley sleeping time for me!  The reason i joined this group rather than an ‘old fashioned’ one was because i am a busy woman, i dont have time to attend meetings for this, then council meetings, fund raising meetings and then a meeting to decide which gong we are going to bash!

On my other thread, you will see that I have confirmed the day for going to the City Farm.  We could have repeatedly changed the date to make as many as possible attend, however,  as in life, we will never be able to accommodate everyone.  It does not matter whether there is 1, 5 or all of us at a function, we all do the best of what we can.  Some things wont interest us even remotely, other things we might go the extra mile to make sure we can be involved.  Some may go for an extended period and be unable to join in, maybe due to illness, having a baby or moving away from the area.  That does not make us anyless involved.  We are an eClub and the majority of what we do, should be available to us all via the internet.  There are always tasks to complete from the comfort of our home – or my case the office – at whatever time we choose to look.  That is what makes us radical Rotary.  There is a place for everyone in Rotary, ‘old fashioned’ or ‘radical’ and even those who fancy a bit of both.

It was ‘interesting’ to hear Tim witter on about eClubs around the World.  i knew that Janice had been a member of an Indian group, but hadnt realised that we are one of the only area based eClubs.  People around the World don’t think of things like distance being an issue.  It could take several days to get from one end of the Country to the next or several hours to visit your neighbour. being on such a small island, I think makes us worry about going on adventures.  One day I hope to visit all the areas that are covered by our Club, but til then I am happy to visit and interact with people cyberly!  I am not an ‘old fashioned’ person, but I respect the learning that tradition has taught us.

Being in that room this morning with about 15, mainly male, middle aged business people, made me appreciate my eClub.  Where else in Rotary could I meet up with so many diverse people, of varying age, background, experience and future hopes.  If we had to meet up regularly I am sure that this random group of people would never have been brought together in the first place and Rotary would be a lot worse off for that!

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0 thoughts on “How our eClub works differently.

  1. Katharine says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    I am also a working mother and for most of the time an unsupported single parent. I couldn’t go to Breakfast meetings since I had to get my kids fed and dressed and out of the house at breakfast time. I also couldn’t do lunchtime meetings since I was supposed to be at work. So the e.club sounded right for me !

    Most of my work colleagues are women so I usually enjoy the opportunity to meet with professional men. It’s a bit of a novelty ! I actually think its good for THEM to meet with people from other professions…especially Caring, Public Sector and charities.

  2. Shelley says:

    So true Katharine! i often feel that as i work in the public sector i am looked down upon and not really seen as a business person, or someone who has business skills to pass on. But groups need all kinds of different people to make things progress and move on. That is why I am really not sure about single sex groups, unless for a particular reason.

  3. David Brown says:

    Very interesting observations; agree with all but I come at it from the other direction in that I do meet with professional business men and women every working day and therefore I find it such a buzz to meet with people who have a different outlook. That’s why the eclub works.

  4. Mary says:

    Shelley thanks for being active. I have just been to Madrid and found I had no idea how to find out if there was a friendly english speaking Rotary Club to meet what is it called in that funny rotary way ‘wash up’? I need a lesson on Rotary ways, there has been a lot of talk of zones why do you need these as well as districts?

  5. admin says:

    Mary it is good to see you back the UK, you gave me and Janice a laugh this morning with your term ‘wash up’ (or even make up), we think your term is much better.

    • Martyn Harwood says:

      Mary – Zones are important as in the rest of the world Districts are much bigger than in the UK. Rotary International recommends Zones are made up of 6 – 8 clubs. This allows joint working on projects and allows the AG to get to know and help and work with clubs. Have you come across the app that allows you to find details of clubs across the world. Your eclub is listed. Very useful if you want to visit a club if you travel.

  6. Martyn Harwood says:

    Shelly good that you visited Glos Quays. Like you I worked in the public sector. All clubs are different but all have members who share the same ideals, service above self . This is why D1100 are really pleased that the eClub is formed and working. As Tim says the next 12 months are important that everyone consolidates. City Farm projects are great and provide kids with opportunites . Hope your visit goes well.

  7. Heather says:

    “We are an eClub and the majority of what we do, should be available to us all via the internet.”

    Wholly agree Shelley. I’m going to start another thread to explain this more fully, but I think that point is absolutely vital to the success of this eclub.

    I go to all sorts of different groups for work and on a personal level and like the endless sea of middle-aged male businessmen type the very least. If you think people don’t take you seriously because you’re a public sector worker, try being a woman in IT! For networking I tend to go to all female groups, but for leisure and the voluntary work we do, mixed rocks 😀

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