What do camping, whiskey, jazz, lawyers and rare books have in common? Rotary of course. Getting together to build friendships and lifelong links while doing the things that make you happy - that is why we have Rotary Fellowships. These Fellowships are international groups that share a common interest. Being part of a fellowship is a fun way to make friends around the world, explore a hobby or profession and enhance your Rotary experience.
The month of June is designated as “Rotary Fellowships Month” by the Rotary International Board. This is done to recognise the importance of international fellowship and good will amongst Rotarians who have similar recreational interests. June – or “Juno” - is the patron goddess of Rome. She is also the goddess of marriage and childbirth – thus also a link to family – which in essence is Rotary – ie a large, cosmopolitan, family, from around the globe.
There are 79 different Fellowships listed on the Rotary International Website. Interests range from amateur radio to marathon running, from quilting to rowing, skiing and surfing, yoga to yachting and from cricket, curling and cycling to chess, music and photography. There are groups for Doctor, Lawyers, Police, Educators, Genealogists, Magicians, Doll Lovers, Scouts and Shooters. As for food and drink, besides the Whiskey group, there are beer, wine and gourmet cooking groups. Cultural study groups include Russian, Latin and Italian. All the Fellowship groups have their own By-Laws and follow Rotary requirements for recordkeeping, membership and financial management. The 79 groups include:
The Wine Appreciation Fellowship’s whose objective is to learn more about wine, wine and food pairings and any other topics related to the appreciation of wine, thus enhancing their own appreciation of good wine. This objective is accomplished through sharing knowledge and experiences and by learning from the many wine experts and knowledgeable Rotarians throughout the world. The group have a very informative Website. We all know that wine can help in times of stress. I well remember a friend telling me he was dreaming of a “white” Christmas – but if that ran out, he’d drink the “red”.
The Singles Fellowship who network with fellow Rotarian Singles and friends, in order to share ideas, make travel easier and more economical by sharing room expenses, provide support for Rotary service activities, make lasting friendships and practice the ideals of Rotary. They specify that they are not a dating service.
The Recreational Vehicle (RV) Fellowship who visited our Bribie Club in April and joined in the fun of our our Trivia night. They are a group of like minded Rotarians who enjoy participating in recreational pursuits including Caravanning and 4WD driving. The Australian Group meet socially several times a year at local "zone" gatherings, or sometimes interstate. They have an annual National gathering which includes their Annual General meeting. Like many of the Fellowships, the RV held pre and post meetings at the Rotary International Convention in Hamburg Germany which was held between 1-5 June 2019.
The International Fellowship of Rotarian Educators who are dedicated to promoting quality education (both public and private) as well as other types of training and development such as Continuing Education (CE), Further Education, Adult Education, Lifelong Learning and other forms of instruction as an opportunity for fellowship. The goal of this Fellowship is to enhance the literacy skills of English language learners of all ages. They provide a free reading program to help improve English reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary and much more! 60,000 + students are currently using the program.
The Home Exchange Fellowship’s whose purpose is to encourage home exchange by Rotarians. When you trade the use of your home with a family from another country you are participating in marvellous cultural exchange program. The Fellowship has partnered with an independent home exchange agency www.HomeExchange50plus.com, who have website for facilitating house swaps. When you join the Rotarian Home Exchange fellowship your home is listed with other Rotary homes for exchange. You can exchange with Rotary families or widen the choice by saying you are willing to exchange with non-Rotarian families listed on the agency’s site.
From tipples to tents – music to magic – we cover camping, whiskey, jazz, lawyers and rare books et al. But these are just some of the 79 Fellowship groups available to all Rotarians. From these interest groups you can see that Rotary truely does connect the world. Anyone wishing to join the Rotary Club of Bribie Island and thus have access to all these groups should contact our Membership Director, Greg Whymark on phone 0418 158 701 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.