My Rotary: The treasure of fellowship

My Rotary is a collection of stories about the Rotary experience, including the foundations of Rotary and our personal experiences of Rotary. If you have a story that you would like to contribute, email Dan Romanchik.

The treasure of fellowship

By Dan Romanchik

When I first joined our Rotary Club, I was actually kind of surprised at how friendly everyone was. I shouldn’t have been, though. Fellowship was one of the original three objects of Rotary, and Rotary still promotes fellowship among members of a club and among Rotarians worldwide. This sense of fellowship among Rotarians is one of our great strengths.

One of my earliest experiences with Rotary fellowship was at one of the first lunch meetings that I attended. Although it may not seem like it, I am—or at least I used to be—quite a reserved person. That afternoon, I arrived early, and after getting my lunch, I found a spot at an empty table. I wasn’t alone for long, though. Soon, another Rotarian joined me and introduced himself.

What surprised me most is that he sat down right next to me when there were six other seats around the table. In other social situations, sitting so close when there are other seats at a table can seem odd. Not at Rotary, though. Not only is it a friendly thing to do, sitting close allows you to converse more easily with your fellow Rotarians.

Sitting close to one another isn’t just something that we do at our club, either. This is a common practice at most Rotary meetings that I’ve attended.

Two weeks ago, I spotted a new member sitting alone at a table. Remembering my early experience, and being the friendly Rotarian that I now am, I sat down next to her, on her right. Not wanting her to feel as though I were crowding her, I explained this Rotary practice to her.

Just as I finished, as if on cue, another Rotarian joined us, sitting down to my immediate right. My new friend and I looked at one another and shared a laugh.

The fellowship that Rotarians share is truly one of the great things about Rotary. Let’s treasure it and keep it strong.