We meet on every wednesday 6.30 PM at Rotary Balbhavan in Panampilly Nagar

The Footprint of Cochin Rotary Club

No history of the Club, however brief it is, can be completed without mention of certain major events where the entire human resources of the Club were involved for weeks, nay months. Some of the very important events organised by the Club in the last quarter of the century was Rotary District Conference in 1977 when Rtn. Hassan Koya was the District Governor. Our member Rtn. Joseph Chackola was elected as the Governor of our District and he opted out of office due to ill health. Rotary International appointed Rtn. PDG Hassan Koya on a second term since it was not feasible to conduct one more election. Even at the time of assuming office he had promised the Cochin Clubs that the privilege of organising the District Conference will be accorded to Rotary Club of Cochin but should have done it in any case. It was a District Conference. A colourful, impressive and dignified affair and Rtn. PDG Venugopal C. Govind was the Conference Chairman. The venue was the TDM Hall and Sri C. Subramaniam who was then a Minister in the Centre inaugurated the conference.

Next conference we organised was during the period of Rtn. PDG Venugopal C. Govind, which was the 75th Anniversary of Rotary in February 1980. It was held at the Kerala Fine Arts Hall with the adjoining Fisheries Institute facility done up for serving food and holding the fellowship activities. The crowd was unexpectedly large and Rotarians went away highly impressed with the Conference and its peripherals. Rtn. PDG A.K. Azad was the Conference Chairman. Prof. H.R. Mills , Charter Secretary of the Cochin Club now settled in England, inaugurated the District Conference and Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao then Minister at the Central Government delivered the keynote address. The next conference organized by the Club was during the Governorship Rtn. PDG A.K. Azad in 1987 was also held at the Fine Arts Society Hall and Rtn. PP G.K. Pillay was the Conference Chairman. Dr. Shirish S. Sheth was the R.I. President’s representative. The Conference was inaugurated by Sri P. Ramachandran, Governor of Kerala. The Registration was over whelmingly high, the food arrangement was excellent and the entertainments were highly talked about. More recently in 1997 when Rtn. PDG L Vishnudas was the District Governor the conference was again organised by our Club. It was also held at the same venue and Rtn. S. Gopakumar of Rotary Club of Cochin Central was the Conference Chairman. Mr. Justice Sukhdevsingh Kang, Governor of Kerala inaugurated the conference. Rtn. PDG P. Sukumaran from Trivandrum was the R.I. President’s representative. It so happened that a Past District Governor from Islamabad was nominated as the R.I. President’s representative. In the last minute due to diplomatic hassles he could not get visa to come to India. Frantic telephone calls were made three days before the conference to Rotary Head Quarters and in a few minutes time Rotary International arranged an alternative in PDG Sukumaran. I had the privilege of doing a minor role and was present during the sequence of events and was highly impressed with the quickness with which Rotary International made decisions and implemented them. The few hours preceding this arrangement was hours of intense anxiety for all of us.

The visit of Rotary International President MAT Caparas and Nita during the Governorship of Rtn. A.K. Azad has already been described in detail, hence for fear of repetition I am not going in detail again. Many Rotary International Directors visited the Club. The earliest recorded is the visit of Soli S. Pavri in 1977 when the Club celebrated its 40th Charter Anniversary. The Club also released a commemoration volume during that year. Rtn. R.I. Director M. K. Panduranga Shetty from Bangalore visited the Club in 1990 when we gave a reception to him at the Rotary Balbhavan on his being elected as a Director for Asia Zone II. R.I. Director Kalyan Banerjee, familiar to many of us in the club, addressed us during the 60th Charter Anniversary Celebration in 1997 during the Presidentship of Rtn. PP A.P. Mathew. As soon as Rtn. P.C. Thomas of Ootacamund was elected as Rotary International Director in 2000 Rotary Club of Cochin organised a joint meeting with Rotary Club of Cochin Harbour and Rotary Club of Cochin West to facilitate him at the Rotary Balbhavan.

A very major event in organising of which many of our members were fully involved and those totally linked to the history of Rotary Club of Cochin is the Rotary Institute 1996 held at Cochin in December, 1996. Past District Governors and Serving Governors from 30 Districts in India Sri Lanka and Malaysia converged to Cochin to attend this impressive Institute where Rotary International President Elect Glen W. Kinross R.II. President for 1977-’98 addressed the 300 delegates on various policy matters concerning Rotary. It was a unique event and some of us got a clear insight in the working of Rotary International and opportunity for interacting closely with Directors and officials of Rotary International. Rotary International Director Kalyan Banerjee was Convenor and Rtn. PDG Venugopal C. Govind was the Institute Chairman, Rtn. PDG A.K. Azad was the Vice Chairman and Rtn. PDG B.R. Ajit was the Institute Secretary. Eventhough the number of delegates was only around 300 the organising of such a massive Institute where every single session was rehearsed to the last minute was really an experience as to how International Institutes are organised. Many members of our club had also the privilege of getting to know Past District Governors and Past Directors of Rotary International closely and working with them. The organising of this Institute was on a totally different plane from that of organising a District Conference. I had the privilege of functioning as the Institute Co-ordinator and this was a great experience. I still cherish with that.

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  • Title: Weekly Meeting

    Subject: The role of individuals in rethinking society

    Venue: Online

    Date : 28-10-2020

    Speaker : Mr Anshu Gupta

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