Secretary Caroline Murie
My story ...
I first came across Rotary back in the early 90s, when a friend invited me along to a newly formed club in Bradford – The Rotary Club of Bradford Bronte. Bronte was unusual for two reasons: it was a breakfast club, designed so that business people could attend meetings and be at their place of work before 9am, and it was also a mixed club, the first in the District. At the time, being new to Rotary, I didn’t realise the significance of having women in the club. All I knew was that it was great to meet dynamic business people over a wonderful breakfast and talk about things we could do to help the local community. Soon after, however, changes to my job responsibilities meant I couldn’t make the time needed for Rotary, so with great reluctance I left the club.
Fast forward 20 years, I was a widow, I had taken early retirement, and I was wondering what to do with my life to get back a feeling of purpose. Very fortuitously, I met one of my friends from the early Rotary days, who invited me to come along to a meeting and see if it would give me what I needed. I’m happy to say I felt very much at home very quickly. I was at the stage in my life where I wanted to give something back, and with Rotary I felt like I had an instant gang of friends to do that with.
After about 3 years I was asked to take on Club Presidency, which I loved. I quickly realised that the more involved you become in Rotary, the more you learn and the more you get out of it. In fact, I felt rather flat when my year as president came to an end, so when the opportunity came along a couple of years later to become Assistant Governor, I decided to give it a go. As has been said elsewhere, it’s the best job in Rotary. I have 9 clubs to look after in my area, as well as working alongside great people in the district, helping to set strategy and deliver change.
Rotary nowadays is a very interesting mix of tradition and modernity. We have wonderful clubs in the district, some of which have been chartered for more than 100 years, and the achievements all these clubs have made and are still making is amazing. At an individual level, Rotary has enabled me to work on some fantastic projects and meet some fantastic people. What I’m keen to do now is to take the Rotary message to a new audience. I know that there are lots of people who want to give back to their communities, but don’t realise Rotary is an option for them. In another fortuitous moment, discussing this issue with my Rotary friends Anne and Susan, we had one of those lightbulb moments where we realised we could do something about it. It was a wrench to leave my existing club, but the chance to set up something new which could appeal to a whole new generation of Rotarians was too good to miss, and so Adventurers was born. Come and talk to us – I hope you’ll like what you hear.