“Do’s and Don’ts” of the DG Club Visit

DG Bill Fine and First Lady, Kathlene Graves, in their official portrait.

DG Bill Fine and First Lady, Kathleen,  in their official Rotary portrait.

It is that time of year where Rotary Clubs must fulfill one of the few duties that is actually required by Rotary International, which is to host the District Governor for the official District Governor club visit.  This is a time of great anticipation for Rotary clubs, since hosting the District Governor is THE highlight of their Rotary year.   Truth be told, the DG visit often raises a certain level of anxiety in District 7620 because there are strict rules of protocol for the DG visit and the amount of pomp and circumstance required to properly pull off the meeting without a scandal can be daunting.

Never fear, my RFA readers, because I took a moment to discuss the “do’s and don’ts” of DG visits with 7620 DG Bill Fine.  Bill is about to embark on the journey of visiting all 64 Rotary clubs in the District.  I am happy to share Bill’s expectations for how he will be received in your club.  Notably, Bill says that these requirements were passed by resolution in the recent Council of Legislation for all Rotary clubs worldwide and can be found in the Rotary Manual of Procedure.  Pat Kasuda, who is our District’s COL representative, was an enthusiastic supporter.

Music:  There does not seem to be a detailed explanation of how many herald trumpets are required for the DG visit.  Apparently your club should provide at least four herald trumpets, but it is notable that bigger clubs often have as many as a ten musicians on hand.  Here is an example of the Peter Kyle’s greeting at the Rotary Club of Frederick last year:

Rose Petals:  Rotary specifically asks Rotary clubs not to throw rice at the DG while he or she is making a grand entrance on the red carpet that is required to be rolled out for the DG visit.  The rice can actually be dangerous if it hits the DG in the eye.   Instead, Bill suggests that your club throw rose petals.  If you would like to learn more ideas of what to throw at the DG when he arrives at your clubs, read “instead of throwing rice” on Pinterest.  The link is http://www.pinterest.com/cleverwedding/instead-of-throwing-rice/

Grapes on entry:  Again, the COL is not clear on this subject.  Apparently some clubs elect to feed the DG grapes while entering the club on the red carpet while being showered with rose petals.  Other clubs simply feed the DG grapes once he or she has arrived at the table.  DG’s are highly trained in the social graces as part of their DG training, and the proper etiquette for grape eating is actually a separate class for DG’s on their junket, er, I mean training trip, to San Diego.  Here is a DG demonstrating proper grape eating etiquette:

To put club’s at ease during this year’s visits, Bill has asked me to pass along to clubs that this year they don’t need to worry about providing nubile dancing girls for the grand entrance.  Also, he would like to skip waving palm fronds this year and dispense with the ritual “attachment of the robe of power” that often precedes the DG walk down the red carpet, while trumpets are blaring AND they are being showered with rose petals AND being fed grapes.

As you can see, DG Bill is a laid back kind of guy and we shouldn’t worry at all about meeting our club expectations for the DG visit.

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