Greeting & The history of Sapporo South Rotary Club

Address at assuming the presidency of the Rotary Club of Sapporo South 
Keitaro Fukuyama

Warm greetings from the 2018-2019 incoming president of Sapporo South Rotary Club

It is with trepidation I assume the position as President of our Club with its history and traditions where so many illustrious office holders went before me.

The 2018-2019 theme for Rotary International that has been decided on by the president of Rotary International Barry Rassin of The Bahamas is “BE THE INSPIRATION” and in its Japanese rendering it tells us that this stands for us to “do great things that will inspire”.

In June of 2017 the Rotary International governing body adopted a vision statement (detailing what to plan and aim for, and our direction forwards), stating “We Rotarians must strive to effect change in the world and the local communities where we are active, change that is positive and lasting and that encourages the peoples of the world to join together in the effort”. This forms the background for the “BE THE INSPIRATION” theme that has been adopted.

Here there is one matter to give us pause for thought. It is about the country where President Rassin is from, The Bahamas, an archipelago between Florida in the USA on one side and Cuba and Haiti on the other. In The Bahamas the elevation of 80% of the nation is less than one meter above sea level, and by 2100 forecasts say that due to global warming sea levels will have risen two meters. Meaning that in 50 years The Bahamas and numerous other islands in Caribbean Sea will have disappeared.

President Rassin did not settle on our theme for this year just thinking of his own nation, its situation presents just one of the issues we have to be aware of, one issue to inspire us and be our INSPIRATION.

With the theme for Rotary International and the goals of our district, we in the Rotary Club of Sapporo South base our basic theme for the coming year on the guiding principle of our club: "nagoyagi no seishin" (a spirit of harmony and amiability).

The goals we will emphasize for the coming year:

1 With attractive and stimulating regular meetings our activities are to strengthen the bonds of trust and friendship among our members. Continuing with the goal also proclaimed by presidents of the past to ensure the participation of everybody in achieving meaningful and useful club meetings. Through this we will strengthen our exchanges and relations with and among new and old club members.

2 Increase our membership. Reach for the elusive membership number of 100. Let me stress that this includes increasing the number of female members all to be part of the circle of members of our club, something I wish us all to work towards.

3 With a spirit of unselfishness pursue social service activities for a sustainable society.
In our modern world, we are, generally speaking, left to fend for ourselves in a frantic pursuit for survival. Our basically humane flexible attitude and understanding is in danger of being overwhelmed by us losing sight of our basic human qualities of friendliness and empathy.
We Rotarians, in a friendly and flexible spirit, will unselfishly practice sustainable volunteer service (like in supporting the Sapporo Single Parent and other volunteer organizations) also in this Rotary year.

4 We will place stress on the work to train and cultivate youth to ensure their healthy and sound development. Also, in support of the spiritual and bodily health of youth to carry us into the future.

5 Maintaining and developing an attractive global environment.
This goal is at the heart of the example highlighted by President Rassin’s homeland, the Bahamas, that of climate and water shortages, global warming, and so many other issues. There are so very many matters that Rotary — the organization and individual members can contribute to. Let maintaining of the environment and sustainable development be the inspiration for us to realize and practice.

These are the five primary goals for us.

I wish to ask for the understanding, cooperation, and encouragement of all members.