Rotary International President-elect R. Gordon R. McInally called for members to capture the world’s attention and lead the way toward possibilities far beyond our current expectations.
McInally, a member of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry, West Lothian, Scotland, revealed the 2023-24 presidential theme, Create Hope in the World, during the Rotary International Assembly in Orlando, Florida, USA, on 9 January. He urged members to promote peace in troubled nations, help those affected by conflict, and maintain the momentum of initiatives begun by past leaders.
“The goal is to restore hope — to help the world heal from destructive conflicts and, in turn, to help us achieve lasting change for ourselves,” McInally said at Rotary’s annual training event for incoming district governors.
McInally spoke about a woman he met in Ban Taling Chan, Thailand, where Rotary members helped build houses, a meeting hall, and childcare and health care facilities following the tsunami that devastated South Asia in late 2004. The woman had lost her husband, her daughter, and her son in the tsunami, as well as her livelihood. But she still had a gift to offer McInally: a beautiful seashell.
“She went on to tell me that Rotary… had restored her optimism. We gave her hope,” McInally said.
“This is how Rotary brings lasting change to the world,” he added, “one restored or newly created hope at a time.”