Rotary District 1020 is one of three Rotary districts in Scotland and covers 64 clubs in and around Edinburgh, the Borders and the South West. As their contribution to the Year of Homecoming District 1020 helped sponsor the Federation’s Burns Summer School and Conference in Dumfries during the summer. It was therefore very gratifying for me to link up with these fellow Rotarians at the District Conference in York over the weekend of 23-25th October and, in particular, to relay a message of goodwill from the Federation to the President of Rotary International, John Kenny, the first Scotsman ever to hold that prestigious appointment.
I conveyed our good wishes firstly through, Colin Mailer (see right), the President of John Kenny’s home Rotary Club of Grangemouth and secondly through Virginian, Eric Adamson (see left), the RI President’s representative at the Conference. During his address to the conference Eric highlighted the strong influence of Robert Burns on the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris and, in particular his ideas of our common humanity which resonated with the ideals of the Rotary movement.
The conference also provided an opportunity for me to do a bit of international promotion of Burns through the Group Study Exchange (GSE) and the Ambassadorial Scholar programmes. The photograph above shows me with the GSE team from South Africa which the Rotary Club of Kirkcudbright hosted for a few days. Earlier in the week the team had enjoyed a comprehensive tour of Dumfries conducted by Federation Past President, Wilson Ogilvie.