DG. Claude Laliberté

Posted By Omar Carcelen

DG Claude Laliberté  is a long time Rotarian and has four Paul Harris Fellowships and belongs to the e-club of Montreal.

DG Claude has visited Rotary Club of Nepean-Kanata twice. He spoke of the unsung heroes of clubs – the Secretary – so he has had special pins made for the District secretaries. The pins are gold, like Olympic medals! He presented one to Sue Kolar, our Secretary. Every year the club should take the time to thank the Secretary and Treasurer.


Sue H. – She was involved in Rotary Montreal 2010 and was told that monies raised would come back to the District. Did it come back?

DG Claude – Yes, the surplus came back to the District. He also mentioned that he got interested in the DG position after this convention. He wound up becoming the AG and then his club proposed him as DG and here he is. He’s loving the position, meeting new clubs and other Rotarians. Each club has its own personality and identity. He spoke about the changes in Rotary regarding weekly meetings and the idea of service, which was suffering because the focus was the meeting and not service. Some clubs now only meet monthly but have committee meetings in the other weeks. It is about what works for you club. He founded a club in Sherbrooke in 2007, where they met after work but didn’t have a meal and were home by 6:00pm.

Pia – What made you join Rotary?

DG Claude – A good friend of his invited him to join. He’s always worked along and his friend thought it would be good for him. DG Claude also thinks that he wanted him to join so he would write the newsletter as Claude used to be a journalist.

He recommended that we need to take what works for us and apply it. For example, look to your friends and look for someone you think will be a good Rotarian. Don’t try to sell Rotary to them but sit with them and talk about community and what about Rotary can do to help them it they’re involved in the community. They will want to join naturally when they see the power of the Rotary connection. As an example, he asked his friends to give him 15 names of leaders in the community and then invited them to a meeting. Nine showed up along with four Rotarians. He asked them what was the biggest problem in the community. Then he asked how they’d like it to be solved. His role was to identify the strongest leader and then offered to provide people to help with the problem. Out of this group, seven joined Rotary. So, take the time to listen to what new people are looking for.

John F. – How is the membership going for the District as a whole?

DG Claude – It’s been stable; we replace who we lose. But we also do not have good retention. Many new people join for just a couple of years. Retention is the biggest problem. Sue H. also mentioned it can be a challenge if people come in with expectations of being able to develop projects and then nothing happens. DG Claude – They need to be the ones responsible for the idea and the club needs to be open to new ideas. Also take the time to ‘pre-qualify’ members.

Linda N. – Is the District using Visioning to help clubs?

DG Claude – This District is not doing it but one club (Kanata Sunrise) hopes to try it. He is a big fan of it.

 Miriam – What have you been hearing about Youth Exchange in your travels? She’s surprised that some wealthy clubs do not

participate. DG Claude – We’re trying to better promote it but it is expensive for clubs. Next year he hopes to increase the number of clubs participating as he is working on this.

Youth programs – They should fund themselves and in future years they will need to present their needs within a budget. The intent is to encourage good financial practice. He also explained the District finance committee and why they want to move forward this way. A suggestion was made that perhaps clubs should all contribute to the Youth Exchange program as it is a great promotion for Rotary and the students are a ‘hit’ at District Conference/Assemblies. DG Claude – This should be put into a proposal to the District Council.

DG Claude thanked our club for welcoming him and engaging in a good, frank, discussion. Ed thanked DG Claude for his presentation and inspiring us. He had DG Claude sign a book for the local school library we support.

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