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The Making of a Rotarian

Josephine Borja Chan liked this post

Some years ago, a Rotarian got involved with what can easily be identified as a magnificent obsession. He seemed to have been engulfed into that kind of loneliness that can only find relief in a man’s success to pull out of himself, the imprisoned longing to be useful to others. So, he sought the association of fellows like him, but of different vocation, hoping that interaction with kind may present him the key to unlock the drive seeking expression. He got a pal, a friend and then another and very soon they got infected with the splendid malady he bore.

The wheel rolled on and the germ of Rotary spread to all corners of the globe. Men who are constitutionally disposed to contagion succumbed to the disease with ease and enthusiasm. Rotary was born and generations of Rotarians joined the burst of population explosion in it. Yes, some years ago a Rotarian conceived the birth of Rotary and today Rotary makes the Rotarian.

What factors and processes make a man a Rotarian? They say that without socialization, a man does not become human. And we say that a Rotarian is a more special kind of a human being. It is not enough for him to abide by rules and prohibitions to make social living go on smoothly. He would also go beyond requirements to further better living. Respect for fellowmen, love for the world, goodwill and understanding are traits he possesses that make him avid in his devotion to service. He reads about these in books and hears them in preachings, but they become part of him only through fellowship in Rotary inter-personal relations. So, Rotarians dine together, sing together and think together every week. In this way they continue to cultivate the traits that shape the Rotarians in the making. Then, the thoroughbred Rotarian takes to his home, to his wife and children the attitudes and values that have become part of his sinews. A Rotarian once made, continues to be made. To him, genesis is never ended. He does not remain a Rotarian alone. His whole family becoming Rotarian, continues to his ever becoming one.

In its ideal sense, Rotary is like a cult. Its influences on the man are as effective as the effects of one’s religion on attitudes and behavior. Thus the Rotarian is made as the making of a good man through beliefs and principles that he regards best in life. The Rotary wheel looks small but its roundness enables it to traverse the whole globe to make one Rotarian and one mankind.

The above article is from The Canao of 01 July 1966; published as an Editorial by then EIC Abe Abellera. My personal recollection of the man is a bit hazy. I am lucky to have personally encountered PP Abe because he was my personal doctor during my younger years. I can still remember his warm greeting whenever he sees me: “Hello, sonny!” as he stepped into my room, making his call to the sickly boy that I was in the late fifties. He will always be the Doctor Abellera who transitioned me into health during my tender years.

It should be noted that the article was written before women were officially accepted as members in Rotary.  Which explains why the article sounds sexist and might strike a wrong note for our lady Rotarians.

Thank you to Rtn. Angie Visperas for lending me a very old binding of our official club bulletin. I have learned a lot from this vintage compilation.

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