Let The Force Awaken Your Rotary Club

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I don’t want anyone to think that I’ve been caught up in last weekend’s Star Wars mania.  I haven’t.  However, I do think someone needs to point out that Leia, Luke, Han, and Chewy, were actually Rotarians in a Galaxy Far Far Away.  Yes, it’s true.  And I have the video to prove it. I present to you the final scene of Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope, where Luke and Han receive their Paul Harris medallion from District Governor Leia.  It’s notable that even though Chewy gave enough to the Foundation to qualify for his Paul Harris, Director, George Lucas, did not include his award in the final cut.  Many Star Wars fans have been puzzled (well…pissed off is a better term) by this for years.

Most of us could learn a few lessons from Princess Leia in regards to the awards ceremony itself.  I’ve been to countless awards ceremonies in Rotary clubs in our District, and I’ve yet to hear a John Williams score, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, while pinning a Paul Harris pin, or a new member pin, or any other pin, on one of our members. Why not?   The least we could do is crank up some sounds as background music from someone’s smart phone.

Also notable is the fact that the Paul Harris pendant awarded to Luke and Han Solow….er Han Solo, is attached to a ribbon that she gracefully puts over the head of the recipients who slightly bow to receive their medal.  This is much preferred to the awkward fumbling that almost always occurs when affixing pins to men and women’s clothing.  Virtually all male District Governor’s live in abject fear of having to affix a Paul Harris pin, or new member pin, on a female Rotarian wearing any kind of a low cut dress.  For me, wisdom and self preservation require simply handing the pin to the woman and letting her put the pin on by herself.  I recently had the misfortune of putting a Paul Harris pin on a man’s suit coat only to have him whisper to me that I owed him for a new coat because I did not put the pin in the suit’s lapel slot.  Oy!

Check out this ceremony.  Awesome.

I might add that if you go to see Episode VII, The Force Awakens, don’t expect to see these characters looking anything like the characters in this clip.  Instead you will see these characters after they’ve aged enough to be…..in your Rotary Club!  That’s right!  Luke, Han, and Leia have aged to be the exact demographic of our average Rotarian.  As you watch them on screen it will occur to you why all Rotary clubs need to be thinking about their next generation of Rotarians.  It’s not that we can’t get it done any more, but one look at this bunch will confirm that their club definitely needs to “awaken.”  In fact, new members are “THE FORCE” that can awaken a Rotary Club.

So, If you haven’t already seen it, (you probably have), check out the newest Star Wars movie about aging Paul Harris Fellows and how they need a new generation of Rotarians to awaken the Force.  Too much fun!!!

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