I don’t want readers of this blog to think it’s all about Rotary regalia – but it seems that since I wrote my last couple of posts on the wearing of presidential and governors chains have hit a few bullseyes. As, in the last few days I have received a few posts and emails regarding the general wearing of regalia.
My attention was drawn to a post sent to me titled “A reason to wear your Rotary pin“.
The piece was written by By Ron Nethercutt, past chair of the Rotarians on the Internet Fellowship and a member of the Rotary Club of Mabalacat, Pampanga, Philippines.
Ron retold a story of a visit to New Orleans when he was approached and thanked by a complete stranger. When he asked if they have met before – she explains that she thanks every Rotarian she meets for what Rotary has done for her.
It got me thinking about my thoughts on the Rotary pin versus my views on the Presidential chain.
I have to say, I am far more relaxed about the wearing of the pin and admit that on occasion I will wear one (well I now have a Past President’s one don’t you know). The reason I wear it on occasion is simply due to the fact that I only have one and have it on a certain jacket not tending to transfer it between my vast and regularly changing wardrobe.
That said, in nearly ten years of wearing my Rotary lapel badge I have never been approached by a stranger (Rotarian or otherwise) any time to thank me or ask me what it was all about. Which is interesting, because you’ll find at least half a dozen examples of people who’s pin has prompted some kind of positive reaction in the follow-up response to Ron’s own blog post.
I did some research on the wearing of pins and found an interesting article which explained that the first lapel pin in the history of the Rotary was designed and made by New York Rotary Club member, John Frick on October 14, 1909 and worn by the club’s first president Bradford Bullock from 1909 until his premature death in 1911.
There have been Rotary pins ever since following the style and design of the actual Rotary International emblem. (I understand from sources that the current pin will remain and won’t necessarily be changed to accommodate the new Rotary International branding. Has anyone told the marketeers that new badges become desirable to collectors ergo people source them ergo people buy them ergo more income for the organisation…? Yes probably…so just remember you saw it here first on RotaryBlogger.)
Another interesting comment I stumbled upon was that of Past RI President Bob Barth (1993-94, from the Rotary Club of Aarau, Switzerland) who felt that a Rotary pin says this about the wearer: “You can rely on me, I am dependable, I am reliable, I give more than I take, and I am available.”
I am sure many Rotarians wear their pins with pride. But I wonder how many Rotarian wearing their badges would agree with Bob and could honestly stand up, be counted and say without question they can be relied upon; were dependable; give more than they take and that they are ready, willing and able – whenever you wanted them…?
Maybe you should give this quote to your Club representative the next time the have to round-up a dozen volunteers from the Club to marshall the next big event in your town or city and they can go around and see how many of your members are wearing their pins that day.