A Message from your International Commodore
Ahoy fellow mariners, in this Covid world I sincerely hope you are still able to enjoy some boating and perhaps can even hold IYFR events. In New Zealand, we are in our eighth week of lockdown restrictions as our Government tries to eliminate the Delta variant and we are all getting a bit frustrated with our restrictions. The rush is on to get almost everyone vaccinated so we can return to something a bit more normal. I am sure many of you have had similar experiences and I hope that you, your extended family and friends have not had to cope with a Covid death. If you have, my sincerest condolences.
In the months since becoming International Commodore I have attended the Charter Ceremony for two new Fleets, the Polaris Fleet in Taiwan and the Kharkiv Fleet in the Ukraine. With this has come the creation of two new regions, Taiwan and Ukraine and the welcoming of two new Regional Commodores – Yung-Shou [Paul] Yiu and Olha Paliychuk. We also have a new Fleet operating in Tokyo that has not had a Chartering ceremony thanks to Covid disruption, something I will be addressing. A big disappointment to me is that I cannot get to these events due to border controls and infrequent flights.
Alongside this the International Bridge has been working with the Area Commodores to get the existing website as up to date as is possible. A number of Fleets have been removed and we are working to ensure at least the Regional Commodores and Fleet Commodores are correctly recorded. Keeping the Fleet data up to date is the responsibility of the Fleet Bridge – I appeal to you to do this at least annually, no later than 30 June (before dues are invoiced). The wasted time that incorrect data causes is really discouraging to our Treasurers, who after all are volunteers like all of us and are doing their best. I appeal to you to make sure your fleet pays your annual dues promptly; they are due latest by 30 September. In my next newsletter, I will talk about what the dues are used for.
A major focus of the International Bridge is the creation of a new website. The current database was built in the early 2000’s and the rest was built about 2014. It has served us well but now falls well short of what is expected of a modern website and is hard to maintain. The new website is planned to include multi lingual navigation, a new data base, three Area Events Calendars and a Global Events Calendar, an online shop for regalia, the ability to handle credit card payments, regular financial data, a home page with click links through to Fleet websites, Rotafloat and the ability to selectively members as required. This is being built at as low a cost as possible, utilising internationally available software so future operation and maintenance is simple. We plan to have this exciting new website up and running by the end of this year.
Members will be wondering what the arrangements are for IYFR in conjunction with the Rotary International Convention in Houston from 4th to 8th of June 2022.
I have advised your Area Commodore:
Accommodation: For the Convention, members will need to book their own accommodation in Houston. Rotary, as usual has booked all the major hotels in the two downtown areas and it is too financially risky for IYFR to make a block booking because the room needs to be paid for with the booking. I suggest that groups of friends need to get together and book a block of rooms. Accommodation for the PCC will be handled with the PCC booking.
IYFR Events during Convention: The International Bridge will pick a suitable ‘meet and greet’ venue, book an AGM space and book for our Formal Dinner. Information on this will come in due course.
PCC: This is a challenge but I am getting help through the Mobile Fleet [nearest to Houston, only a 7 hour drive!] and friends in Atlanta. I do not have anything to tell you now but will burst into print as this comes together.
In the next Message I will talk about the Rules changes adopted at the AGM earlier this year and explain what lies behind some of these changes. I will also be able to up date you all on progress with the new website.
Until then fair winds and calm seas!