Further to our story on 20 March here is the second and final instalment of David’s life in Rotary.
John: I understand you were an Assistent Governor in the States, how did you enjoy that.
Daniel: During the presidency I became very familiar with District members and was asked to AG the four clubs in my area. Gorham/White Mountains Club 32 miles north of me, my own Club, Ossippee Club 5 miles to the south and Wolfeboro Club 45 miles across the mountain to the South East. AGs are given mileage and it is insisted that they claim it to encourage people to be AGs. The clubs were all very different just like they are in England, but the friendship and warm welcome and projects were all very similar. Shelterbox has made it to the US and as my favourite I got them all to support it.
John: How does Rotary in America differ from the UK?
Daniel: The biggest difference between them is Paul Harris Awards. Club members are encouraged to purchase a Paul Harris Award for themselves, their loved ones, and special people for $1000. This is done quite often as a round table, you would sign up for 5 years at $200 per year and each year a name is pulled out until the 5 years are up, where of course the British treat it as a high honour preferring to wait until one is awarded to them. Two very different mindsets, both very noble but one resulting in a much greater giving to the Foundation. Giving within the community was quite staggering. North Conway population 8000 people supported our Club to the tune of $35000 worth of fundraising in addition to a Kiwanis Club, Elks Club and Masonic Lodge. The local High School was very big on our agenda from scholarships to trips away. Rotary Youth Exchange was a big thing as children from all over the world applied for the US placements, but I often chuckled with the European students as they were 18 they could not consume alcohol in the US until 21, and we know the Europeans have a very different attitude. Also the lack of public transport and no taxis was often a source of frustration for them. Spaghetti Suppers in the local Fire Station were fun – take the fire engines and park them in the road and you had a great banqueting hall for 400 of the community. The kids all loved climbing over the fire engines.
John: I know you are President this year how are you enjoying your year?
Daniel: 10 years on I find myself in the hot seat again and loving it. I have 100% attendance so far and feel I have command of the situation as I have experience behind me this time. The Club also feels somewhat robust and confident, two extra fundraisers and a couple of foundation grants, we’re all feeling that we’ve really made big headway this year. In seven months we’ve had seven inductions and I think a few more still to come. There’s a lot of happiness and the relaxation of formality seems to have upped everyone’s enthusiasm. However, I have been extremely lucky with the massive support from my wife, running the business in my absence whilst I play Rotary.
John:. Finally, If you could invite any politician or celebrity to dinner who would that be and why?
Daniel: Julia Childs (America’s Delia Smith). Incredible life story growing up as an Ambassador’s daughter and all her culinary experiences in Paris.
Thanks President Daniel and we wish you well in your final three months as President.
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