Our new District Governor, Blaine Johnson, came to the front of the room and described himself as a non-typical DG. First of all he is not 90 years old, he is the 2nd youngest DG from our district. He also reminded us that Rotary's founder, Paul Harris, was only 37 when he started Rotary in Chicago. He added that Rotary needs to attract younger leaders and it can be done. 
Secondly, he moved away from the front of the room and began moving around as he spoke, seeking audience input, unlike most DGs who stand at the podium and speak. He asked who had the longest Rotary membership in the room and it was Russ Smith with 36 years. He asked Russ why he joined Rotary, and Russ replied that he liked it and stayed with it because it was the best organization he belonged to, especially for helping other people. Blaine also asked our newest member, Dave Kauma, why he joined and Dave replied that he was invited to join and believes it is a great group, committed to the community and youth. Then Blaine said this has always been true since Rotary began in 1905, and gave us the story of our founder, Paul Harris. Blaine also gave us his own story, starting when he graduated from law school. After he practiced law for 6 months, an older attorney asked for his help to continue his 40 year old practice, which had been his father's 45 year old practice. As a 27 year old, Blaine feared that he was too inexperienced. But he got career advice to become a member of Rotary to succeed in the community. This was a wise move since he got to meet key people in the community every week, which developed into trust and friendship. Relationships are the key to success, he concluded. Next, Blaine spoke about how Rotary is still relevant, as he moved around to all sides of the room. Clubs need to be cognizant that they don't get in a rut and do the same old things, while the world is changing. He gave the example of Montgomery Ward's catalog that has now been replaced by Amazon online. Keep up with the times or fade away. He urged our club to keep the vision statement in mind, and wrapped up his talk with a quote from Walt Disney, "The best way to get started is to stop talking and start doing."
 
Excerpts taken from the Cloquet Rotary log, edited by Rachael Martin 
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