Vocational Service Month


In a Rotary context, October is “Vocational Service Month”, a time for Rotarians to focus on their vocation and its importance to their local community and society at large.  In recent times however, as the world seems to be spinning faster and faster, becoming more and more complex through the technology explosion; sadly, the essence of vocational service seems to be lost to many Rotarians.

In an article printed in the National Rotarian of January 1912, Paul Harris stated:

“Of all the hundred and one ways in which men can make themselves useful to society, undoubtedly the most available and often the most effective are within the spheres of their own occupations.”

The article continued with words to the effect that when we offer service thru our respective occupation or business we cannot offer better service to our customers or our community as we are “professional” in our own particular field of endeavour. 

About the same time when Paul Harris enlisted the help of other business colleagues and friends to become new Rotarians, to simply do good in the world, one’s vocations was the window to the world of Rotary; so fundamental to offering service above self it was enshrined as Rotary’s Second Avenue of Service. 

Fast-forward to the year 2012, Vocational Service still remains the Second Avenue of Rotary Service, but we need to really examine it, perhaps by peeling back the layers of the original ideal to realise the latent power contained within our various vocations.

Rotary International fosters and supports the application of the ideal of service in the pursuit of all vocations inherent in the Vocational Service ideal, namely the:

  • Adherence to and promotion of the highest ethical standards in all occupations.
  • Recognition of the worthiness to society of all useful occupations;
  • Contribution of one’s vocational talents to the problems and needs of society;

It is in this framework that latter point of contributing one’s vocational talents to solving the problems and needs of society that Vocational Service at Club level has the power to make a difference through member’s exercising their vocational muscle and providing a renewed focus on actions in this area of Service.  Your District Vocational Service Committee exists only to help Clubs and to facilitate finding vocational solutions to society’s identified problems and needs by the application of the ideal of service through our collective vocations.  It is but one of your many resources, when asked it is willing to assist Clubs or Clusters by facilitating discussion, identifying, planning and implementing realistic, achievable Club driven programs with specific actions to help solve some societal problems and needs.   To quote AFL Coaching Legend John Kennedy Senior exercising his vocational muscle.…..don’t just think; don’t just hope, but do;  do something!! 

So Vocationally lets honour the past, live in the present and importantly envisage the future together.

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