Dear Fellowship Members:
June marks the first anniversary of my role of Rotary Heritage and History International Fellowship President. After the International Convention meeting in New Orleans, my dear friends and Rotarians Bill and Louise Mixon and dear husband Jerry Young accepted leadership roles. It has been an inspiring event as I follow my father Norman F. Kloker, founder of the fellowship's passion for Rotary history.
We have welcomed new members to the fellowship and enjoyed presenting our story and Hall of Fame plaques to others. It was a joy to share the 50 years of Rotary membership to two Rotarians in the Rotary Club of Kingston Tennessee. After telling my father's role in the fellowship formation and my pride in his service, both gentlemen shared that they were son's of Rotarians.
It was humbling to accept into fellowship membership Oak Ridge Rotary Club member Bill Wilcox as he is known as a famous historian of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Sometimes I hear folks say, "Its just history" but for me it means so much to be a member of a service organization that believes its history is important and treasures its founders and their vision. I was especially fortunate to be the child of Norman and experience Chicago Rotary meetings as a guest and have fellowship with his friends. I am often asked if growing up West of Chicago was overwhelming. I respond with stories of significant people I know through Chicago Rotary events and the weekly speakers. Often I believe they were life changing in my education and my life.
Hearing Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt speak and get her autograph instilled in me a passion for advocacy that has guided my life. Riding Mr. Chuck Wallgreen's yacht on the boating fellowship's day on Lake Michigan and dining in my dad's Rotarian friend's restaurant in China Town are memories of the real meaning of fellowship to only mention a few. I was sincerely humbled when giving the five minute family speech about our father before his installation as President of Rotary One. To calm my nerves the speaker, Chicago's Cardinal Bernadine sitting next to me said, "You can do it" I think of this every time I present.
Our goal in the Fellowship is to increase our role in preserving founder Paul Harris’ home,
Comely Bank, to become active in the restoration of the Roosevelt Warm Springs Heritage Center, induct more 50 year members into our Hall of Fame membership, educate Rotarians on our history and expand the Heritage and History Fellowship.
The highlight of my year was to attend my father, Norman F. Kloker's Blue Ridge Mountain Rotary Club in Charlottesville, Virginia for the viewing of a video of his 71 years of service in Rotary. We celebrate his 95th birthday this December 25, 2012 and were overjoyed as a family to have his club honor him in this way. He was given a letter of recognition by Rotary International's president and the video was shown to the Council of Governors at their Conference. A champagne color 1941 Packard limo brought us to Charlottesville’s historic Boars Head Inn where Dad was seated at the table as a past Governor, adorned with his Paul Harris Fellow medallion.
Every Wednesday at 6:30 am he is taken to his Rotary meeting at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville and lives for this event. It reminds me of the opportunity all of us Rotarians have to honor those who have served before us and see that their historical efforts are recognized. Please let us know if you have a 50 year member in your club so we can help you honor them.
Christina Kloker Young