Rotary International President Elect Tours Prince George
Prince George, B.C. – Service clubs are as relevant as ever.
That was the message from Ian Riseley, the incoming president of Rotary International and a member of the Rotary Club of Sandringham in Victoria Australia, on the final day of his short visit to Prince George this morning.
“Yes, it is and the demand or the need for Rotary is as great as ever,” he said. “There’s a lot of community activity needed and Rotary fills that bridge.”
So why visit Prince George?
“The desire to see a bit of what is being done in the name of Rotary outside the capital cities,” said Riseley. “We’ve visited many of the large places where Rotary is active and Prince George is a good example of somewhere a little away from the mainstream where great work is being done.”
He said some of that local work includes Rotary’s contributions to the Rotary Soccer Fields, Rotary Hospice House and the new skateboard park at Darren Fitzpatrick Bravery Park. Internationally it’s helped with polio eradication efforts.
And with 1.2 million members’ around the world (including three clubs in Prince George), Riseley dismissed the idea young people aren’t interested in giving back to their communities.
“It’s very easy for people to say young people don’t care, to me that’s absolute nonsense. Young people care probably more than I did when I was their age,” he said.
“We have significant activity in all sorts of areas and young people are joining in community activities. They might not necessarily join the club, but they take part in Rotary activities and that’s important.”
Before departing Prince George for Vancouver later today, Riseley will be the guest speaker at a Rotary luncheon this afternoon.
He will succeed current Rotary International president John Germ on July 1, 2017.