District Governor Narek Bido

Narek Bido, governor of Rotary’s new District 1320, which covers the south of Scotland, spoke to members of Ayr and Alloway Rotary Clubs on Tuesday.

Mr Bido spoke about the importance of boosting Rotary membership and developing the organisation’s work on the international stage, and said it was important that regional clubs targeted a wider range of possible membership opportunities including attracting younger people. He said: “The youth of today are the Rotarians of tomorrow, and therefore it is important that we engage with them through schools, youth clubs and organisations such as the Scouts and the Boys’ Brigade by promoting the bigger picture of what we do not just in our communities, but across the world.

“We have an amazing story to tell and one which will encourage membership of Rotary. Once it is simply explained more young people will see the benefits of membership. As a potent example of excellent marketing, Narek highlighted Ayr Rotary’s web site as a model which other clubs could copy.

“I know that both Ayr and Alloway Rotarians already have active programmes supporting young people but it is important that we expand the awareness of Rotary’s range of diverse activities around the globe.”

Narek also encouraged members to promote a corporate membership of Rotary whereby business entrepreneurs can be encouraged to join. He continued: “In these uncertain times it is essential we create hope for the future in our country and worldwide and Rotary is certainly one organisation that is well able to do so. When we have one in three people in this country suffering from mental health problems, we must continue to promote a carrying attitude towards each other”.

A Rotarian for more than 12 years, Narek shared examples of how members have to think “out the box”, and that with a combined 117 years of expertise and commitment in Rotary, the Ayr and Alloway members have much to offer.

He added: “Working in active partnership we can design and deliver new opportunities to grow our membership though learning and engagement between Rotary clubs”.

“Inter-club pairing and cooperation, to nurture fellowship, improve close working relationship, foster learning from each other as well as building working partnership with other non-Rotary organisations to increase our productivity and impact in areas of health, well-being, environment, community development and education.”

Narek, who also encouraged clubs to develop and include “associate membership programmes” and introduce a “try before you buy” approach to encourage more people into Rotary, praised the work already undertaken by both Ayr and Alloway in supporting their local communities and therefore the impact of Rotary internationally.

Past District Governor Bill Campbell gave a worthy vote of thanks