President's Message - 2016-17
 
The Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside is a strong and vibrant club that has a commendable 36-year history of “Service Above Self”. It is a great group of people who know how to get things done and have fun in the process. I am very proud and privileged to be the President of the Club for 2016-2017.
 
The Club goals for my Presidential year include supporting the global eradication of polio, increasing membership so that we can achieve more in our community and in the world and promoting “vocational service” whereby members can use their occupations to serve the community. We will continue to raise money to help people who need help, both locally in our Victoria community and internationally. Our major fundraisers involve selling 1000 dozen roses to lucky recipients in the Victoria area, baking and selling 1200 traditional Christmas cakes (second to none!), and hosting a “garage sale” that raises money and supports some of our local charities in the process. Our “gourmet dinner raffle” is also a great hit – some lucky person will get to host 8 friends in their home and be served a 5 course gourmet dinner!
Our Club and its Foundation donates about $100,000 annually to local charities. Our focus is on projects that help people at risk with an emphasis on youth at risk. We are very proud of that and look forward to continuing to work hard to give back.
 
We also draw on the generosity of our members to provide financial support to the Rotary International Foundation, and the work that it does in the world. In this centennial year of the Rotary Foundation, we celebrate the work that Rotary does around the world to improve lives, eradicate poverty and promote peace. The number one goal of Rotary International is the eradication of Polio. Since Rotary launched this effort in the 1980’s we have reduced the number of cases by 99.9%. Rotary is committed to getting to 100%. We have set ambitious but attainable goals for our Club members’ contribution to Rotary International this year.
 
One of Rotary’s six Areas of Focus is “peace and conflict prevention/resolution”. During the year, we will be hosting a Speaker Series called Peace and Conflict. We will explore human conflict from a global perspective down to our own community. Some of the questions we want to have discussions about include:
  • What are the causes of conflict? 

  • Why do we have a fear of the ‘other’? 

  • What causes war? 

  • How do we prevent it? 

  • Does religion play a part? 

We will hear from experts with differing, and sometimes conflicting, perspectives including those of an academic, soldier, police officer and street minister. We will discuss prejudice, violence and intolerance as it relates to homeless people, indigenous people and immigrants. Most importantly, we will discuss what it will take to ‘inoculate against war’. These special meetings are the second Wednesday of the month, from September, 2016 to April, 2017.
 
We extend a warm welcome to guests to come to our meetings, every Wednesday morning at 7 am, and learn more about Rotary and our Club. We are always looking for like-minded people, for whom helping others and giving back is an essential part of who they are, to join us as members of Rotary.
 
We will continue to have fun as we go on our Rotary journey. Guests who attend our meetings often remark about the great camaraderie there is in the Club. We genuinely enjoy each other and working together to make a difference in the world.
 
I am looking forward to my year as President of the Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside and I thank its members for this wonderful opportunity to serve.
 
Murray Tough