Greeting & The history of Sapporo South Rotary Club

A greeting at the start of the 2016-2017 Rotary year

This year will be a very special year for our club. The year when Governor Minoru Takebe will lead our District RI-2510. This is the reason why the first object for our Rotary Club of Sapporo South is to ensure that we, as the club where Governor Minoru Takebe hails from, make every effort to ensure his success by providing every possible support in making the fulfillment of the activities of Rotary successful. This will involve all members of the club acting as one in the support of Governor Minoru Takebe and the activities of the District. As succinctly expressed by the President of Rotary International, John F. Germ, in this world of today there are places where women have to walk for an hour with water containers on their heads to fetch even not very clean river water, and there are places where children live in fear of contracting polio making it urgently necessary for us to expend every effort for the eradication of polio also this year, these are the roles where Rotary can make a difference, within our main theme of "Rotary Serving Humanity." With this in mind District governor Minoru Takebe has posited two goals, first bearing in mind the need for an organization that reflects its size to ensure activation of the district organization, and in concert with the local community not just respond to challenges but to be an active partner in what is being pursued as the purpose of Rotary, and in this way to make Rotary better known. In response to these aims of global Rotary activity the Rotary Club of Sapporo South will pursue the following goals in the coming year: First of all to make the District Conference a success. Here we will provide complete support for Chief District Secretary Kouji Hashimoto and Conference Executive Kunio Imai as well as to other members of the Conference Organizing committees, acting as the host club. I strongly urge everybody to ensure that this is a priority in your activities. Next, we will work to ensure a fulfilling life as Rotarians through our meetings and socializing. In our interactions at the meetings and by showing active interest and participation in the talks and events at the meetings we will work to create an atmosphere of enjoyment. This, to me, is of the utmost importance. Again I urge every member to cooperate in realizing this. The third goal is to increase our membership. We must actively use whatever opportunity there may be to increase the numbers of our members. First through participation in the regular meetings and through other activities we engage in, enjoyably urge others to join our club and its activities. Our club activity is based on the unique principle of "nagoyaki no seishin" (a spirit of harmony and amiability). Here, with our extraordinary 60 years of existence all members of the club, not just the committee assigned to introduce new members, are urged to play active roles in increasing our membership. We start the year with 84 members, and we will aim to fulfill the 3% increase that the District has assigned for the membership this year. For the fourth aim we will build on the community activities sponsored by us, like the Christmas Party for children with single parents which we have now been a part of for seven years. The Community Service Committee is already planning for this event in December. Internationally we have for many years joined with the RI District committee and Thai Rotary clubs in supporting the provision of clean water facilities to elementary schools in Nongkhai Province of Thailand. We will make every effort to continue this activity, so far ably pursued by immediate past president Ryouji Homma. We align ourselves closely to the "Rotary Serving Humanity" theme with the themes for the coming year, but there is much we have to do that our club will not be able to accomplish alone. Here, creating close cooperation with and building strong relationships in the district administration will play the central role. With the close cooperation fostered with the district leadership this becomes a very special year. Here we must endeavor to keep a long perspective in mind. I have been the head of the committee organizing the annual Soran Festival for nearly ten years now, and in June this year we marked a quarter century of the Soran Festival, celebrating its 25th anniversary. We had a Hokkaido team at the Taiwan Soran Festival in February, and in June the Soran Festival here had the 14th year of consecutive Taiwan participation continuing our long unbroken record of exchanges. With activities like this the Hokkaido-Sapporo and Taiwan tourist organizations have steadily strengthened, in June of 2016 leading to the establishment of an official "Friendship Treaty." This is truly the establishment of a community of friendship where Japan and the rest of the world is involved. I have felt this strongly through the cultural exchanges that the Yosakoi Soran activities have made possible. Rotary International, an enormous organization as seen from our district, is firmly based in the activities of each of its many Rotary clubs, and our contributions spring from the exchanges among the members made possible through our Rotary Club of Sapporo South. In this coming year, I urge that the bonds between members be strengthened through cooperation and in amiable harmony. I sincerely wish that we all together will spend a year in good health and with fulfilling Rotary activity, let this wish conclude my start-of-the-year message.

After receiving permission from Rotary International the Rotary Club of Sapporo South was created with the Rotary Club of Sapporo as the sponsor, it was the first 'additional club' in Hokkaido and the fourth in Japan. The founding assembly took place on June 22, 1956 at Sapporo Grand Hotel with 34 members in attendance. On June 29 of the same year RC Sapporo South was approved by and admitted to Rotary International. From that initial step and until today the wisdom and the constant, untiring efforts of our predececessors have guided the club in its service to the community, firmly base based in the spirit of amiability and harmony .