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THE ROTARIAN AGE Part of chapter 253.


by Paul Harris


‘Thirty years have passed since the first small gathering in the name of Rotary. Within that period the blue spruce tree which stands in my garden of friendship, bowing gracefully in gentle breezes to friendly visitors from distant countries, has gained appreciably in stature, but the twin oaks looking condescendingly down on all ephemeral things, are as they were.


Within that period, children have passed through the various stages from infancy to manhood and womanhood. Sons have begun their business careers; daughters have married, and now have families of their own; but to Mother and Dad the happiest days of all their lives, the days when childish laughter rang throughout the house, seem but yesterday. Thirty years is nothing to undying love.


Those who have Rotary’s interests at heart, trust that we may always continue to view it and its children, the other so-called service clubs, as contributions merely to social progress within our chosen sphere; that we may view ourselves and our work in proper perspective; that we may never become complacent; that we may stand ready to face adversity or prosperity, war or peace; that our thoughts may never become crystallized; that we may ever continue to grow. This is a changing world; we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again’.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Editors comment :


Expecting to find this manuscript hard going, I was surprised to find myself engrossed. Paul Harris was clearly a very intelligent and articulate man, with vision and a compassionate understanding of Life. I strongly recommend this book to newer members of Rotary and to anyone who has not read it. Freely available online and no doubt obtainable from the Library.


I know that one can pull out certain verses of the Bible to help persuade others of your point of view or interpretation, (something I have done myself when once a youth leader at my local chapel) I believe religious leaders have done this over many centuries, and continue to do so today, and I admit that this part of Paul Harris’s book was selected, to give me and the PRMC committee some encouragement, amid the negative response to the Social Media received from some members. Let me quickly add that those members to whom I refer, I hold in the highest esteem and fully respect their point of view, in fact I have much empathy for their argument.


I wonder how Paul Harris would have viewed the invention of the Internet? I doubt very much that he would have imagined anything like it in his wildest dreams. Alas, we will never know, but those few words


“that our thoughts may never become crystallized; that we may ever continue to grow. This is a changing world; we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again”.


I found rather inspirational. I will in all future editions of our Newsletter, add a piece from THE ROTARIAN AGE by Paul Harris.


John Nightingale


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