Meeting in Review: August 29, 2012
Some were better than others, but it is a generally accepted fact that members read what I had to say. If for no other reason than to see what I had to say about them, or even better, about others. In the beginning I became scribe because no one else wanted to do it and my elders suggested that being a bright young lawyer and new member, I should do it. It is still not the most prized assignment in the club. Rotary has changed over the years and we are much more genteel than we were in the past. Now the gavel is sort of a desk toy. In years past the Invocation lasted one minute, new member introductions lasted three minutes, announcements lasted one minute each and the Sergeant-at-Arms was not shy about enforcing the time schedule. Actually I thought it was more fun. But in fairness I don’t think the new member orientations include discussions about historic meeting protocol and procedure.
“Moving right along,” as past president Gerry Murphy loved to say and president David Klaus is inclined to say. With his usual grace and efficiency, David called the meeting to order at 12:30 p.m. He gave his usual instruction for all electronic devices be placed in their vibrate mode and led all “American citizens” or those who wanted to join in, American or not, in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. New member Jim Adduci gave a rather extended soliloquy about folks in east Texas or maybe it was west Texas in lieu of the usual Words of Inspiration. But at least he invited us to sit down while he did so. Had he been there, Strong Legs Richardson would have been proud!
Secretary Lynn Holec introduced guests of members and visiting Rotarians. Guests included; Guartonex Ramirez, Biology Student, (Abraham Helal), Simon Quarrell (visiting Rotarian Ken Quarrell), Will Heishman (Sheldon Ray), Tia Hon (visiting Rotarian Shelton William), Jerry Woods, WGTS (David Treadwell), Diego Grajales, son of (Memo Grajales), Francisco Prado, Professor, Georgetown University (Clara Montanez), Dr. Bettye Yates (Ken Kimbrough), Chris Bramwell (Elena Tscherny), Jack Brown (Lisa McCurdy), Jim Whitener, DC Govt. (Jim Adduci), Diego Angel, World Bank (Quentin Wodon), Sophia and Donnie Shaw, children of (Donnie Shaw).
Seated at the exclusive and by invitation only press table were Past DG, Gus Gallagher, Past Presidents Jim Freemen and Gerry Murphy along with Chuck Bank, Violet Habwe, Dan Mullins, Quenton Wodon and his guest Diego Angel.
We also had a distinguished visiting Rotarians from Overseas: Ken Quarrell who is classified as construction management on a holiday with his wife Margaret from the Morialta club in Adelaide, Australia.
President David made a few announcements thanking members who participated in the DCPS Beautification Day at Stanton Elementary School where Don Messer and several other devoted members conduct a year around tutoring program. David presented new member “Red Badges” to Casey Mauldin, sponsored by Abe Helal and to Jessica Hancock, sponsored by Peggy Schoen and to Yoshiko Urakawa, sponsored by Nadia Saad. Jim Adduci has completed his required tasks and period of servitude and was presented his prized “Blue Badge.”
One of our persons around town, Davis Kennedy, has a knack for bringing distinguished speakers to our Wednesday meetings and today was no exception. Davis introduced the District of Columbia’s non–voting delegate to Congress, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Congresswoman Norton is a Yale law graduate, a tenured law professor at Georgetown Law Center and one of the strongest advocates of voting rights, states rights, and gun control for the District.
I’ve seen and heard Congresswoman Norton speak on a number of occasions, but today I thought she outdid herself in passionately explaining the dilemma and issues involving the working of the federal government, Congress, and our local government. She noted the recent polarization of Congress and said it was not just Republicans who were supporting budget cuts and home rule restrictions. She said it was a “bleak picture.” On the other hand, she complimented some of her colleagues in their support of our city. Surprisingly she told us that from time to time even House majority member Eric Cantor was supportive of her agenda.
David presented the customary “Tree Hugger” certificate to our speaker. And she received a standing ovation.
Gretchen Kearney maintained registration, hospitality was handled by Balraj Gupta, Ted Hamady, and Stu Shalloway and the Raffle was administered by JP Lacombe.
That’s it; see you next week.