Past world Rotary president Ron D. Burton will be the World President’s representative at the four-day Yarrawonga/Mulwala hosted Rotary District 9790 Conference from March 22 to 25 and will be accompanied by his wife Jetta.
“It’s a real feather in our cap that District 9790 has been able to gain the services of someone who’s been a world president, to come to a little country town like Yarrawonga. It’s like the Duke of Edinburgh coming,” Chair of the 2018 Rotary District Conference, Ross Lloyd, told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
“The majority of time world presidents are going to capital cities like London or New York - places with very high volumes of people with some of the Rotary clubs having 500 or 600 members.
“It speaks volumes for our District 9790 that we’ve managed to get hold of the 2013-14 world president.”
For several years, Ron has virtually dedicated his life to Rotary and is one of the most senior and influential persons in the Rotary world.
He has served as Rotary International President (3013-14), Rotary International Director (1998-2000), and Rotary International Foundation Vice-Chair (2008-09) and Trustee (2006-10); in 2018-19 will assume the position of Rotary Foundation Chair.
In 2014, at the World Rotary Convention in Sydney, he said: “I cannot even imagine how different my life would be, if I had not made the choice to put Rotary front and centre.
“I can’t even count the friends I wouldn’t have made, the places I wouldn’t have gone, the experiences I wouldn’t have had.
“No matter how much I do for Rotary, I can never repay Rotary for how much it’s done for me - for how much it’s changed my life. I chose to engage Rotary. I set out to change lives - and the life I changed most was my very own.”
Ron and Jetta are Paul Harris Fellows, benefactors, major donors and members of the Paul Harris Bequest and Arch C. Klump Societies.
Ron said while Rotary can’t be everything for everybody, there are so many opportunities for Rotarians to “really get behind”.
For him, it was The Rotary Foundation and other Rotarians may choose water projects or literacy or youth exchanges.
“It’s that little bit of magic that’s waiting for each one of us - the thing that makes your heart warm and makes you say to yourself: ‘Yes! This is why I’m in Rotary, this is why I’m a Rotarian’,” the past world president said.
The Rotary Club of Yarrawonga/Mulwala has 43 members and District 9790 comprises 64 Rotary clubs.
An estimated 600 people are expected to attend the big District 9790 Rotary Conference in Yarrawonga/Mulwala in March 2018, based at ClubMulwala.