Index for Part Four
The Rotary International board recognized the growing popularity of the banner exchange back in 1959 and suggested that those clubs which participate in such exchanges give careful thought to the design of their banners in order that they be distinctive and expressive of the community and country of which the club is a part. It is recommended that banners include pictures, slogans or designs which portray the territorial area of the club.
The board was also mindful of the financial burden such exchanges may impose upon some clubs, especially in popular areas where many visitors make up and request to exchange. In all instances, clubs are cautioned to exercise discretion and moderation in the exchange of banners in order that the financial obligations do not interfere with the basic service activities of the club.
Exchanging club banners is a very pleasant custom, especially when a creative and artistic banner tells an interesting story of community pride. The exchange of banners is a significant tradition of Rotary and serves as a tangible symbol of our international fellowship.
To some individuals, these rules may seem unusually rigid. However, being present at club meetings is one of the basic obligations a member accepts upon joining a Rotary club. The constitutional rules merely emphasize that Rotary is a participatory organization which highly values regular attendance. When a member is absent the entire club loses the personal association with that member. Being present at a club meeting is considered a vital part of the operation and success of every Rotary club.
For any Rotarian to miss four consecutive meetings, or disregard the other attendance requirements, should be considered tantamount to the submission of one's resignation from the club. When a club terminates a member for non-attendance, it is simply an acceptance of a resignation and not a punitive action by the club officers. All Rotarians know the consequences of non-attendance, so it clearly becomes a conscious decision by a Rotarian to withdraw from the club when he fails to fulfill the attendance requirements.
Of all the obligations a person accepts when joining a Rotary club, the one in which most Rotarians fail is "sharing Rotary." The policies of Rotary International clearly affirm that every individual Rotarian has an "obligation to share Rotary with others and to help extend Rotary through proposing qualified persons for Rotary club membership." It is estimated that less than 30 percent of the members of most Rotary clubs have ever made the effort to propose a new member. Thus, in every club, there are many Rotarians who readily accept the pleasures of being a Rotarian without ever sharing that privilege with another qualified individual.
The Rotary policy on club membership states: "In order for a Rotary club to be fully relevant to its community and responsive to the needs of those in the community, it is important and necessary that the club include in its membership all fully qualified prospective members located within its territory." One merely has to glance through the yellow pages of the local telephone directory to realize that most clubs have not invited qualified members of all businesses and professions into Rotary.
Only a Rotarian may propose a customer, neighbor, client, supplier, executive, relative, business associate, professional or other qualified person to join a Rotary club. Have you accepted your obligation to share Rotary? The procedures are very simple, and everyone must know at least one person who should belong to Rotary.
As members of an international organization dedicated to world understanding and peace, it behooves Rotarians to exercise restraint in judging our Rotary friends and citizens from other countries when their behavior seems unusual to us. A Rotary policy has existed for more than half a century relating to this dilemma of international relationships.
The statement, adopted in 1933, says that because it is recognized that some activities and local customs may be legal and customary in some countries and not in others, Rotarians should be guided by this admonition of tolerance:
"Rotarians in all countries should recognize these facts and there should be a thoughtful avoidance of criticism of the laws and customs of one country by the Rotarians of another country." The policy also cautions against "any effort on the part of Rotarians of one country to interfere with the laws or customs of another country."
As we strive to strengthen the bonds of understanding, goodwill and friendship, these policies still provide good advice and guidance.
Vocational Service is frequently demonstrated by offering young people career guidance, occupational information and assistance in making vocational choices. Some clubs sponsor high school career conferences. Many recognize the dignity of employment by honoring exemplary service of individuals working in their communities. The 4-Way Test and other ethical and laudable business philosophies are often promoted among young people entering the world of work. Vocational talks and discussion of business issues are also typical vocational service programs at most clubs.
Regardless of the ways that Vocational Service is expressed, it is the banner by which Rotarians "recognize the worthiness of all useful occupations" and demonstrate a commitment to "high ethical standards in all businesses and professions." That's why the Second Avenue of Service is fundamental to every Rotary club.
The year was 1914 when San Francisco Rotarians boarded a special train to attend the Rotary convention being held in Houston. In those days few wives attended Rotary events, and until the train stopped in Los Angeles, the only woman aboard was the wife of Rotarian Bru Brunnier. As the train picked up additional convention-bound delegates, Mrs. Ann Brunnier was introduced as the Rotarian's Ann. This title soon became "Rotary Ann." Since the clubs of the West were inviting the Rotarians to hold their next convention in San Francisco, a number of songs and stunts were organized which would be performed in Houston. One of the Rotarians wrote a "Rotary Ann" chant. On the train's arrival at the Houston depot, a delegation greeted the West Coast Rotarians. One of the greeters was Guy Gundaker of Philadelphia, whose wife was also named Ann. During the rousing demonstration, someone started the Rotary Ann chant. The two petite ladies, Ann Brunnier and Ann Gundaker, were hoisted to the men's shoulders and paraded about the hall. The group loved the title given to the two women named Ann. Immediately the same term of endearment was used for all of the wives in attendance, and the name "Rotary Ann" was here to stay.
Guy Gundaker became president of Rotary International in 1923 and Bru Brunnier was elected president in 1952. Thus, each of the two original Rotary Anns became the "first lady of Rotary International."