Fellowship / Friendship Exchange / Networking

One thing you will have noticed is that Rotarians are friendly people and as personal acquaintanceship and friendship are the cornerstones of Rotary it is natural that we are on a first-name basis with each other setting aside formal titles.
There is the ever present opportunity to meet and even work alongside good people from a diverse background of cultures, occupations and interests whether within Rotary, the local community or internationally.  The best opportunities to make your Rotary membership more meaningful come from :
  • Club and other Rotary meetings – as a Rotarian you will be welcomed at any Rotary meeting anywhere in the world as you travel and in addition to meeting new friends you will enjoy an experience most people would never have (the same can be said of your participation in some projects)
  • Projects and events you can participate in
  • District conferences – over a weekend meet Rotarians and their partners from throughout the district including from the 7 Pacific Island nations who are a part of our district (American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Samoa and Tonga).  Learn something of who they are and their diverse Rotary experiences during the several social activities while enjoying a lively programme of motivational and informational presentations. Typical numbers at a conference are 300 and a club team attending is usually around 16+
  • Rotary Conventions -by far the best way to experience the internationality of Rotary is to attend a Convention somewhere in the world.  The experience is “mind-blowing” and will be nothing like you have ever experienced before as you meet and socialise with Rotarians and their partners from every community in the world.  You could just as easily be sitting next to a past world president as meeting a new Rotarian from somewhere in Europe, Africa or Asia. This also serves as a showcase of Rotary and you will be almost overwhelmed to become aware of the achievements of Rotary and the opportunity that is open to you as a Rotarian. Indicative numbers at a Convention are 30,000 (the Centennial Convention was 45,000) and a team from the district attending is typically around 45+
This opportunity for networking can be both social and vocational resulting in a wider community, occupational and cultural awareness.  Rotary was founded on a need for business networking and many a business association has come as a natural result of the friendships developed in Rotary, but a Rotarian doing business with another should not expect preferential treatment just because they are a Rotarian.
Friendship was the foundation, the rock on which Rotary service was built and this includes Rotarians and members of Rotary’s extended family (spouses, children, and parents).  The belief that family is a vitally import part of Rotary is reinforced by first Object of Rotary, that is “to encourage and foster the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service.”
Rotary encourages spouses, children, and parents of Rotarians to participate in service projects and all Rotary meetings and programmes are open for them to participate in subject to any usual selection/participation criteria.  Also Rotary encourages spouses/partners and adult children of Rotarians to join Rotary which is why there is a rapidly increasing number of couples in Rotary (not necessarily in the same club).
In addition within Rotary there are a number of Rotary Fellowships that any Rotarian, and in many cases family and friends, can participate in.  Rotary Fellowships are independent groups of Rotarians, family members, program participants and alumni who share a common passion. Being part of a fellowship is a fun way to make friends from around the world. 
For more information and a list of Rotary Fellowships go to:  https://www.rotary.org/myrotary/en/rotary-fellowships  There are more being added all the time  such as the Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship (SURF) - pictured above.
In New Zealand the following Rotary Fellowships have local branches:
International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians
For Rotarians with an interest in aviation. You don’t need to own an aircraft or hold a pilot’s licence to be a member.
For further details see:  http://www.iffr.org.nz/
International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians
All Rotarians can join IYFR. The only requirement for joining is an active interest in boating (ownership of a boat is not required).
International Caravanning Fellowship of Rotarians
This is one of the largest Fellowships in New Zealand with about 150 members in New Zealand. Members get together about 7 times a year. Rotarians or past Rotarians are all welcome to join but they must have a caravan or campervan/motorhome, attend 2 rallies and be nominated before they are inducted.
For further details contact:  Gary Bates email: bates@xtra.co.nz
International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians 
Membership is open and inviting to Rotarian riders of every make and model machine.
Rotary Friendship Exchange
The Rotary Friendship Exchange Program provides a means through which Rotarians in one part of the world can experience life in another country or culture. Its goal is to advance international understanding and goodwill through person-to-person connections across national boundaries.There are two types of Friendship Exchanges. The first is the Visitor Program in which individual Rotarians, often accompanied by family members, spend a few days in a Rotarian home in another country. The second is the Team Program in which Rotarians, often couples, visit several communities in the host district for a period of time up to four weeks.
Rotary International Travel and Hosting Fellowship
This is one of the largest Fellowships with the aim to stimulate and facilitate connections and cultural sharing throughout the Rotary world by contact, hosting, visiting and travel.
For further details see:  https://www.ithf.org/ or contact David Garland david.beverley@paradise.net.nz
Rotary Wine Appreciation Fellowship
This claims to be one of the most enjoyable, wine related social groups in existence. The objective is to learn more about wine, wine and food pairings and any other topics related to the appreciation of wine so that our own appreciation of good wine will be enhanced. This is accomplish by sharing personal knowledge and experiences and by learning from the many wine experts and knowledgeable Rotarians throughout the world.
For further details see: http://www.rotarywine.net/
Inner Wheel
Founded in 1924 for the wives of Rotarians, Inner Wheel is now open to all women.  This is one of the worlds largest women's voluntary service organisations and has representation at the United Nations. 
Inner Wheel is active in over 100 countries and geographic locations with over one hundred thousand members. In New Zealand, there are 5 Districts and 64 clubs spanning the country from Whangarei to Invercargill and including clubs in Fiji and New Caledonia. Clubs meet monthly to enjoy friendship and participate in service to the community, at home and overseas.
Members enjoy friendship and participate in service projects in their local communities, across the country and internationally. Service projects focus on:
  • Sick and disadvantaged infants and children
  • At risk youth
  • Women’s health and welfare
  • The elderly and disabled
  • Children with special needs
For further details see: www.innerwheel.org.nz
This is Rotary's only programme for seniors. Probus clubs can only be formed by a Rotary club but thereafter are self-governing and autonomous from Rotary although most founding clubs retain some association. Probus is all about Friendship, Fellowship and Fun in retirement.  Probus provides those over 55yo with the opportunity to join together in clubs and to progress healthy minds and active bodies through social interaction and activities with retirees in their community opening the door to new experiences and friendships and enabling people to stay active by participating in a wide range of activities and explore their community, their country or the world.
Within the District there is a Fellowship Committee has the oversight of the following sub-committees:
  • Quiz - a single event quiz competition
  • International Convention - informing Rotarians about the annual Rotary International Convention, encouraging attendance and coordinating as needed Rotarians, partners and others in their arrangements to attend the Convention
  • International Friendship Exchanges - to encourage and assist the organisation of a friendship exchange between District 9920 and another Rotary district internationally.  Some guidance may also be given to club to club Friendship Exchanges.
  • ProBus - clubs for over 55yo professional and business people, usually retired
  • Inner Wheel - clubs for the women of Rotary