Posted by Scott Plakun on Mar 26, 2019
About 120 Rotarians, Consular Corps members, and friends brought great energy into the room for Worldwide Rotary Day. Special guests included District Governor Jayne Hulbert, District Governor-Elect Sue Rokaw, DGE, District Governor-Elect Nominee Mary Bates, and Mary's Chief of Staff Gary Chow, as well as Pablo Castro and Mary Steiner from the UN Association, and visiting Rotarians from other nearby Rotary Clubs and from Switzerland.
President Rhonda Poppen (Grant Writing; GRANTdog) began the meeting with a summary of the history of Worldwide Rotary Day, which took its present form in 1997. Worldwide Rotary Day was created to “increase the Club’s awareness of its wider fellowship, which spans the globe and crosses the international dateline”. President Rhonda also reviewed the six areas of focus of The Rotary Foundation:
  • Water and Sanitation.
  • Maternal and Child Health.
  • Basic Education and Literacy.
  • Peace & Conflict Prevention/Resolution.
  • Disease Prevention & Treatment.
  • Economic & Community Development.
Immediate Past President John Mathers (Management Consulting; eVo Associates) introduced the members of the Consular Corps and showed a video about the work of Rotary International.
Daniel Ellsberg, our guest speaker for the day, presented some surprising and unsettling facts about nuclear weapon deployment, including:
  • The President is not the only person in the US who can launch a nuclear attack. Every President since Eisenhower has delegated that power to a number of key military leaders.
  • US policy defines several situations where the US can launch a first strike of nuclear weapons.
  • The military leaders of several of our NATO allies have access to US aircraft loaded with nuclear weapons so that they can launch an attack should the US military leadership become incapacitated by an attack.
  • An exchange of nuclear weapons would likely kill virtually nearly every human being.
  • Dr. Ellsberg suggested that each of us must take some action to reduce the threats of nuclear war.
President Rhonda honored Dr. Ellsberg and each of the members of the Consular Corps in the room with certificates acknowledging that 100 children were inoculated against Polio in their name. She then invited all of our guests to join us at any of these upcoming events:
  • Private tour of Haas-Lilienthal House: March 26.
  • A needle pick-up walk for all San Francisco Rotary Clubs on March 30.
  • Club Assembly at our April 2 luncheon meeting, where President-Elect Casey Blair (Foreign Equity Trading; Feis Options) will lead a discussion of goals and projects for the 2019-2020 year.
  • People of Action Impact Series: April 4.
She also reminded us that grant applications for 2019-2020 service projects must be submitted by April 15 before closing the meeting.
Photos by Paul Vazquez
Edited by Dora Dye (Education; City College)