Posted by John Farrow on Dec 04, 2018
President Rick introduced Arnold Lawrence for his retrospective on many years of Rotary service.  Arnold apologized for his non-matching Rotary tie – he felt he should wear it today as it symbolized 100,000 km of driving that he did as District Governor.  Arnold approached his speech with a sense of ambiguity – he doesn’t like to look backwards, claiming he’s forgotten half of what he’s done anyway (but not jumping out of an airplane for his 73rd birthday).  He could have reflected on 30 plus years as a teacher, or 5 years as a Civitan member, but settled on talking about how he was approached in 1999 to come to a Rotary meeting.  In July 1999 he became a member of the Petawawa Rotary Club and became its International Committee Director 2 days later (new members take note, we’re not quite so crazy).  The Petawawa club was and is hyper-involved in the community and had to go after good people.  By 2004 Arnold was President, then Assistant District Governor, and in 2007 started the 3-year process of becoming District Governor.  He was lucky to have PDG Bob French as a mentor.  During his tenure he met thousands of Rotarians and logged thousands of kilometres.  In 2012 Arnold was motivated to move to Kingston by a wonderful woman, and joining our club, the fun club as he calls it, was a natural fit.
Being a teacher, Arnold felt we needed a test of the top ten benefits of being a Rotarian.  See how many you can check of as a club member;
  1. Work with a wide variety of people
  2. Work with many community members and see the needs and potential of your community
  3. Broaden your professional scope and skills, especially the ability to listen
  4. Leadership opportunities.
  5. Engage in a variety of ways with others and find new challenges
  6. Learn new skills
  7. Travel, as Arnold has, not as a traditional tourist but to places less fortunate, like El Salvador and Costa Rica
  8. Attend International Conventions and District Conferences and find out what Rotary is really all about
  9. Develop a framework to appreciate our human condition and be less judgemental.Find out that solutions only come when the people affected are involved
  10. Enrichment of your life.
Arnold asked how many 10’s there were in the room?  Maybe there are some 15’s too.  And for those who are just starting out on the Rotary journey, Arnold hoped his words will help you on your path.
After a few questions, Arnold was thanked by President Rick and presented with his honourary Rotarian pin by President-Elect Ana.