This speech was presented at the instalation of Patrick Obath as the Governor of Rotary District 9212
Seven years ago, PDG Eric Kimani told me two things; one – that there could be three Rotary clubs in Lavington; and two – that I could be District Governor. Eric you must be a prophet or something because your words have come to pass. As I prepare to transfer the instruments of authority to incoming District Governor Patrick Obath, we are also proud to announce the third club in Lavington, chartered as the first environment club in Africa, the Lavington Rotary Eco Club, and the brainchild of Rotarian Jane Maonga.
Mike Eldon espoused the virtues of emotional intelligence and spoke of the concept of the ‘leader-as-coach’. With that in mind, I would like to use the lens of a coach to present to you, all the members of this district, or as I call you Team 9212, your performance statistics for the year. These results have happened because you brought only your best to the field, and ‘elevated your game’.
These are the goals from the Strategic Planning Committee headed by Sandeep Mistry, and overseen by the Executive Committee headed by Leonard Ithau. It took them eight months to craft these targets; all of them were goals to stretch your imagination and capacity.
- Offer world-class training to Rotarians
- Grow membership by 50%
- Raise $1 million for polio eradication
- Sign six partnership agreements with influential organizations
- Open the district conference to non-Rotarians
- Establish non-linear forms of content distribution
Team 9212, here are your results.
1,349 Rotarians were trained in 19 world-class events; that is one in every two members, and the best that you’ve ever done. The highlight was PETS Nairobi 2019, where Trustee Julia Phelps, RI Chief Communication Officer David Alexander and internationally renowned motivational speaker Hisham El Bakry supported the training team led by Antoinette Absaloms and a host of the most accomplished executives in personnel management in East Africa.
You have chartered 66 new Rotary, Rotaract and Interact clubs this year, putting more hands to work at supporting vulnerable communities. You have welcomed 673 new Rotarians through membership recruitment, club extension and new types of clubs including a corporate club and an environment club. Dr. Joe Kamau led the charge and has established you as the 5th in membership growth out of 529 districts worldwide.
You have raised Kes.54 million for Rotary service. When COVID-19 sat on our happiness, money destined for The Rotary Foundation and more was directed towards the emergency response, which was led by Dr. Joe Kamau, Trustee Dr. Geeta Manek, District Treasurer George Mathenge, Henry Ndirangu and Martha Githui. (By the way, Martha is an embodiment of the future of our district leadership, in age and gender). You have Kes.1 billion of global grants currently running and 100 first time PHF’s were matched. You encouraged first time givers because Rotarians that support the foundation tend to stay. The Foundation initiatives are led by PDG Peter Mbui who has been a great mentor, a supporter and a good friend.
You established The Timeline, the world’s first ever fully online Rotary district newsletter, and provided 255 high quality articles for readers in our district and abroad. The bulk of the work has been done by outstanding Rotaractors, who are truly the future of Rotary and feature prominently in my phone’s speed-dial; they are Emmanuel Mbungu, Betty Mbaya and Steve Maina.
Social media, TV channels, radio stations and newspapers are now full of stories about the wonderful work that you are doing for the underprivileged communities, especially in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. You have established six partnership that enhance the scale of our projects and improves our public image by association. These are with UNEP, Global Partnership for Education, Toastmasters, Davis & Shirtliff, Getrude’s Children’s Hospital and WWF-Kenya. The public image team is led by Catherine Ngengi and the Partnerships Chairman is Amos Oluoch-Olunya who has done a spectacular job.
Conference Chairman James Mwangi planned the perfect conference that never was, thanks to COVID-19. He and his team of energetic Rotarians have spent the last part of the year ensuring that the refund from the cancelled event was successfully done. The silver lining is this new reality, a virtual Rotary experience that has connected the world, now more than ever. So, you have ultimately staged the district conference that is open to non-Rotarians to build goodwill and understanding.
Let me be the first to congratulate you, Team 9212, for elevating your game and delivering a Rotary year that has touched many lives; a year which will occupy their hearts for years to come.
Now, any messages of congratulations should go to you, Team 9212, because these are your achievements; I was just lucky enough to have a court-side view of the action. If you wish to send a message to me, please send stirring verses from the Holy Books of your faith or from influential men and women who have made meaningful contributions to humanity.
Share words that are uplifting, so that this simple soul, weary from the journey, may continue to drink from the fountain of wisdom. And for the philosophical refreshment that I have sipped from your cup this year, I will forever be grateful.