the holiday spirit in the air, December — Family Month on the Rotary
calendar — is a good time for the Rotary world to focus on the "Family
of Rotary" initiative launched at the start of 2003-04. Aimed at
encouraging clubs and districts to provide more opportunities for family
members to participate in service and fellowship, the initiative also
spotlights the many individual families that boast several generations
example is the Seegers family of Louisiana, USA, now in its fourth
generation of Rotary service. "That's fifth generation, if you count my
daughter Lauren, who was an Interactor when she was in high school,"
says Douglas A. Seegers, president of the 230-member Rotary Club of
Seegers joined the Monroe club in 1991, the same year his father, Sidney
A. Seegers, was club president. Sidney Seegers, who joined in 1958 at
the age of 29, says his own father, for whom he was named, was also a
Rotarian, but that it was his grandfather, Wardwell C. Flanders, a
member of several Louisiana clubs during his lifetime, who was his
primary Rotarian role model.
the ultimate gentleman and very concerned about others," recalls Sidney
Seegers, a past governor of District 6190. "In general, our family has
always embraced the concept of community and international service."
participant in Rotary's international programs, such as Youth Exchange,
Group Study Exchange (GSE), and Friendship Exchange, Sidney Seegers has
always made sure his children, and now his grandchildren, were exposed
to different cultures. "I wanted them to understand that Rotary is also
an arm of peace and understanding in the world because the boundaries of
race and culture disappear when people share their homes and get to know
one another," he explains.
Douglas says the highlight of his Rotary experience so far was leading a
GSE team to District 1040 (England) in 1999. "I loved it with a
passion," he says, adding that he has since become fast friends with the
leader of the British team from the same exchange, Ken Robertshaw, the
current president of the Rotary Club of Halifax.
Seeger's brother-in-law, Robert W. Rash, is also a Monroe Rotarian, and
even those in the extended Seegers clan who aren't members can claim
recognition as Paul Harris Fellows. They include Douglas Seegers'
sister, Emily Seegers Rash; his mother, Carolyn L. Seegers; and daughter
Lauren Seegers, now a student at Birmingham Southern College in Alabama.
Of course, the family's Rotarians are all Paul Harris Fellows as well.
Seegers looks forward to passing on the torch. "Knowing that my father,
grandfather, and great-grandfather also enjoyed Rotary makes my
membership even more special," he says. "And knowing that my daughter
enjoyed her service through Interact makes me hope that someday she,
too, will be a Rotarian, carrying our tradition on to the fifth