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Perspectives about Rotary Clubs

As we are aware, Rotary is a philanthropic and humanitarian organisation that focuses on self-sacrifice from members who should be gainfully engaged in at least a profession. Rotary is indeed built on connection and networking as per the slogan for each Rotary year.

The Rotary Club of Makurdi Bay, for instance, was chartered in 2016 with Rotn Chris Akaa as the 1st President; followed by Rotn Richard Agwa, PHF; Rotn Engr. Ezra Nyiyongo, President, Rotn Engr. Paul Bija, Rotn Dr Terris Damsa PHF and the current 6th President, Rotn Comfort Mlumun Aernyi.

Membership in a Rotary Club is the personal membership of the individual and not of the corporation that employs the individual. Every club strives to have a well-balanced membership in which no one business, profession, or type of community service predominates. This principle also applies to gender and age groups represented within the club. A club should review its area of demographics and aim for membership that is representative of the community. Clubs facilitate discussion of ideas and action by leaders. Members are people who are committed to improving their communities, have leadership characteristics, and apply their expertise to social problems in their local communities.

Clubs also focus on attracting young professionals, including Rotary International (RI) and Rotary Foundation programme alumni, such as former Rotaractors, Rotary Peace Fellows, Interactors, and others from the family of Rotary who are qualified for membership.

No club, regardless of the date of its admission to membership in RI, may by provisions in its constitution or otherwise limit membership in the club on the basis of gender, race, colour, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or impose any condition of membership not specifically prescribed by the RI Constitution or RI Bye Laws.

The classification principle helps clubs achieve a more diverse representation of their communities. Each active member of a Rotary Club is classified by his or her current or former business, profession, or type of community service. Each club strives for diverse membership and looks to the current business, professional, and community service environment for new classifications. The classification of a former member of a club or a Rotary Foundation alumnus does not preclude election to active membership. However, if a member changes classification, the club may continue the member’s membership under the new classification; a list of classifications helps a club determine areas for growth. Clubs use classification surveys that reflect professions in their area. Each active member of the club must be or have been personally and actively engaged in the business, profession, or community service in which he or she is classified in the club. Except as otherwise provided, this person must have a place of business or residence in the club’s locality or the surrounding area.

An active member who moves away from the club may retain membership in the club or be granted a leave of absence as much as one year by the club’s Board if he or she continues to meet all conditions of club membership.

Rotarians cannot belong to similar community or service clubs that would substantially reduce the member’s opportunity to comply with the obligations of membership. A person being considered for membership in a Rotary Club is expected to disclose membership in other service organisations. Rotarians who wish to join a similar community or service organisation should seek prior approval from the Rotary Club Board of Directors.

The club’s Board may terminate the membership of any member for any good cause. This could include not fulfilling the obligations of Rotary club membership because of continued membership in another service club.

Members cannot simultaneously hold active honorary memberships in the same club. However, a person may be an active member of one club and an honorary member of another club.

Clubs hold induction ceremonies to welcome new members. Each club develops its own procedures for a meaningful induction ceremony. Clubs are also encouraged to develop a strong membership information programme that educates the prospective Rotarian on the benefits and responsibilities of being a Rotarian before induction.

Every member of the Club is expected to pay an admission fee of about (Five Thousand Naira) and annual dues of about fifty (Thirty Five Thousand Naira) as prescribed in the clubs byelaw. In addition, the Club is expected to pay district dues and Rotary International per capita dues.

As captured in the club’s Byelaw, there are four categories of meetings thus: Annual Meeting, Regular Weekly Club Meetings, Regular Board meetings and Club Assemblies. Members are expected to participate actively in these meetings, where applicable; 60% attendance is a requirement for all members within a Rotary year. Which is from July to June, for example, July 2021 to June, 2022

Rotary is about self-sacrifice and humanitarian gestures through projects and programmes. Existing and potential members must bear these in mind. Members are particularly expected to participate in all projects of the clubs including meetings and must serve in at least a standing committee.

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