Pretoria Rotary duo makes waves at international assembly

Thabang Chiloane, Stephanie Urchick and George Senosha mingling with the Rotary International president-elect at the International Assembly in Orlando, Florida, USA.

Thabang Chiloane, Stephanie Urchick and George Senosha mingling with the Rotary International president-elect at the International Assembly in Orlando, Florida, USA.

Published Jan 15, 2024


In the heart of Orlando, Florida, USA from January 7 to 11, the vibrant spirit of Rotary took centre stage as the dynamic duo from Pretoria District 9400, represented their region at the prestigious Rotary International Assembly.

District governor-elect George Senosha and assistant governor-elect Thabang Chiloane stood proudly as ambassadors, bringing the rich tapestry of Rotary in their corner of the world to the global forefront.

District 9400 encompasses a vast territory spanning Botswana, Eswatini and the southern part of Mozambique. With a collective force of 63 clubs and 1044 members, this district is a powerhouse of Rotary impact in a region with diverse challenges and opportunities.

The International Assembly served as a melting pot for Rotary leaders, providing a platform for interaction among district governors-elect, their spouses, and aides from across the globe. This week-long event wasn't just a ceremonial gathering but a crucible for preparing the next cohort of district leaders poised to take the reins from July 2024 to June 2025.

Under the "Rotary Magic" theme, Rotary International president-elect Stephanie A. Urchick set the tone for the upcoming Rotary year. Her impassioned challenge echoed through the grand halls of the assembly, reverberating with a call to action for all district governors: increase membership and establish new clubs worldwide while championing the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Rotary.

“I challenge all districts to grow their membership by 100 members or more and establish at least four new clubs. If we are not growing, we are certainly dying,” proclaimed Urchick with an urgency that resonated with the essence of Rotary's global mission.

Urchick highlighted the organisation's instrumental role in nearly eradicating polio worldwide in a poignant reminder of Rotary’s impactful legacy. The disease, once rampant worldwide with over three thousand cases in the 1980s, now persists in only 12 cases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, thanks to Rotary's relentless efforts. Over $1.2 billion has been invested globally in various charitable causes by Rotary, showcasing the organisation's commitment to making a positive change in the world.

Rotary International's Seven Areas of Focus, including promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, supporting education, and protecting the environment, were reiterated as the guiding principles for clubs worldwide. These areas form the bedrock of Rotary's day-to-day activities, serving as a blueprint for transformative change.

Senosha expressed his enthusiasm for the Rotary Community Corp recognition by the Rotary International president-elect.

The Rotary Community Corp, a vital conduit for community engagement, plays a pivotal role in Rotary's quest to make a real difference in the world. The eagerness displayed by Urchick to reach remote and “hard to reach areas” such as Pakistan has enthused Senosha to do the same in his district as he starts his year as District Governor for D9400.

Chiloane, reflecting on the experience, remarked, “I learned a great deal about the vision of the incoming Rotary International president, and it will be easier for me to support the incoming district governor in his role in the coming year. I am thankful for attending the assembly and making many contacts worldwide.”

As the curtain falls on the International Assembly in Orlando, the Pretoria duo of Rotarians leaves an indelible mark, carrying the torch of Rotary's transformative magic with them. Their journey has just begun, but the echoes of their presence will undoubtedly resonate across District 9400 and beyond, inspiring a new wave of Rotary leaders to create lasting change in the world. | Pretoria News