By K.R. Ravindran, Rotary International President, 2015-16
On every July 1st, a page turns in Rotary. One Rotary year ends, and another begins; we do not lay down our pen but only lift it from the page, as we write the final lines of one chapter and consider the first lines of the next.
The story of the 2015-16 Rotary year has now been written and my friends, you have written it well. We end our year with a net gain of over 30,000 members, and global membership approaching all-time highs. Our convention was the second-largest in Rotary history, with extremely positive reviews. Rotary Global Rewards, launched only one year ago, now contains over 1,350 offers and is approaching 100,000 site visits. And we are closer than ever to our goal of eradicating polio, with only seventeen cases of polio caused by the wild poliovirus to date in 2016.
These are achievements that all of us can be proud of. But we all know that the true story of Rotary this year was written, not in Evanston by its officers, but in every one of Rotary’s clubs and districts, by each of you, and by the Rotarians you have led, motivated, and inspired. The story of this Rotary year is the work of your minds, your hands, and your hearts; the story of health, of education, and of hope that you have brought to countless people, in every corner of the Rotary world.
In the final days of this year, I found my mind returning to the words I spoke on the final day of our International Assembly: “Every story has an end. But in life, every end is a new beginning.” The story of our year together, in Rotary office, has now been written. Again, a fresh page awaits us, empty, waiting to be filled. The pen hovers above it. What will it write?
That, my friends, is up to every one of us. The opportunities of our offices may be over, but those of Rotary remain: opportunities to serve, to change lives, to be part of our business of miracles, and to Be A Gift to the World.
I thank you for your service, for your trust, and for your confidence in me, and I wish you all the best in many years of Rotary service ahead. You are, and you will remain, a gift to me, as you are A Gift to the World.