RGHF at Salt Lake City

Rotary Odyssey: 2007 RI Convention in Salt Lake City


-2007年6月25日 (25 June 2007)
作者:喬•凱格 / 2007-2008年度扶輪全球歷史聯誼會會長
By Joe Kagle, President/Chairman, RGHF, 2007-2008
翻譯:2005~08年度第4B地帶地域扶輪基金協調人邵偉靈RRFC Dens
Translated by Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator , Zones 4B, 2005-08

Joe Kagle
President/Chairman, RGHF, 2007-2008
Member: Rotary eClub of the SW. USA
Professor of Art and Art History, Kingwood College, Texas




When Odysseus left Ithaca to fight the Trojans, he entrusted Mentor, a good friend, with his home, lands and wealth. His son was but a boy who had to grow up without the wisdom of his father (but at least he received the love of his mother and the oversight of Athena). On the way home, Odysseus put out the one eye of the Cyclops who was the son of Poseidon and that doomed him to twenty years of roaming the seas before he could make land again in Greece.  Athena used the disguise of Mentor to advise and stand beside her beloved Odysseus.  When this gray-eyed goddess wished the Athenians to know that their king was again with them, she sent Rumor around to disperse the information.


Anyone who journeyed to Salt Lake City for the Rotary International Convention must have felt that they were returning home with their own kind.  Fellowship was the norm, not the exception, at this convention.  Also, anyone looking around knew that this was truly a global community that had journeyed here and assembled. Odysseus has many forms and colors; Mentor was present and Rumor was running around telling tales and the "truth" disguised as rumor.


For me and Anne, it was but an instant of recognition that passed between our assembly when we first encountered old friends that we had never met face to face.  We laughed, drank, ate, conversed, and worked together but also we traded adventure stories, bits and pieces of our lives that overlapped with theirs and shared a closeness that is not just rare, but empowering. Of course, we all worked, babysitting the meeting place, "the booth," and telling the world that strolled by about our "virtual, real Club," Rotary history and "fellowship" of Rotarians.  It was a gathering of adventurers and pioneers of all ages who knew how to work and play and share and serve.  Of course, we discussed those services that we gave, thought a lot about how they might grow and expand, and spun tales about the different journeys of life that lead us all to this point in space and time.  The Rotary International programs were wonderfully constructed and instructive but it was the comradeship, the fellowship and the goodwill that shone from each face, each spirit. Instead of leaving Mentor in charge of what we left behind, mentors were all around us and within each of us.  One night one lead the way; another it was another comrade, even when the journey was to dark beer, light conversation and heavy thoughts.  Time was filled with laughter and togetherness.  Like Odysseus, we felt at some special moment that we were home.


On returning, we all, I am sure, left the tiredness fall away in the comfort of our "homes" but the memory of friends newly regained was still clear and close.


We had magically journeyed from our "home" to a "new home" back to our original "home". We found how life is a circle in our Odyssey, our travels.  Next time, we meet the new adventures will be told and shared and fellowship will shine as brightly as it did in Salt Lake City.  Of that, I am sure.


For those who we all know over the internet (our 21st century way of letter writing) who did not make this odyssey, there is always a new adventure (Los Angeles in 2008).  I would not miss it. Will you?