District Governor Frank Reitz hopes that Rotarians from District 5370 will take advantage of the proximity of the 2018 Rotary International Convention to attend it when it takes place June 23 to 27, in downtown Toronto.
“It’s not going to be any closer than in 2018 for several years,” District Governor Frank Reitz says. “It’s going to be more affordable because hotels and other expenses will be in Canadian dollars.”
Wait until next year to attend a RI Convention and you will face a transatlantic flight, including the requirement to make connections at two or more airports before arriving in the host city, Hamburg, Germany. In subsequent years, conventions are scheduled for Honolulu (2020) and Taipei, Taiwan (2021).
The RI Convention won’t be in North America (Houston, Texas) again until 2022 and won’t return to Canada until 2025, when it’s scheduled for Calgary.
“I think that a RI convention is a great event for any Rotarian to attend. You are able to getter a better sense of Rotary as a worldwide organization of which your club is part,” Frank says.
“When 25- to 30,000 Rotarians get together as a community, it’s a good opportunity to see Rotary from different perspectives and realize its potential to have a positive impact in so many ways, in so many places,” Frank says. “It’s a view of Rotary beyond the District.”
Other frequent convention attendees agree.
From her first convention in Buenos Aires, Brazil, in 2000, Past District Governor (2005-2006) Elly Contreras (Rotary E-Club of Canada One) was hooked.
“I was so immensely impressed and learned so much that I wanted to go back,” she said. And go back she did, attending the 2001 convention in San Antonio, Texas, prior to becoming president of the Rotary Club of Stony Plain. “It made everything so much easier,” she said. “I was motivated to lead my club.”
Since that convention, she has attended nine more.
Elly encourages others Rotarians to attend to develop “a better understanding of Rotary, beyond the club and District level.”
Past District Governor (2008-2009) Ross Tyson (RC of Edmonton Northeast) lists several reasons to attend conventions. “Knowledge, a lifetime list of friends in different countries, and the opportunity to meet so many like-minded people.
“Plus you get to see countries that you might not otherwise plan to visit,” which for Ross has included Korea, Thailand and Portugal. The first of the 12 conventions he attended was in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1995.
Ross feels there are several benefits for Rotarians who attend a RI convention. “They will be surprised, if it is their first convention, by all the Rotary information and the world of Rotary. It will change your mindset about Rotary,” he says. “Conventions are hands-down the best learning experience for Rotarians.”