The 50th birthday is a jubilee celebration throwing us back to youth period and summing up what we have achieved during those unforgettable years. There are little words and many reasons to describe and say what is in our hearts.
The room has been booked, welcome drink have been prepared, the balloons are inflated, and birthday tickets are almost sold out. Speakers and lecturers are revising their notes while the ink goes down lightly. Meanwhile, DJ is mixing the latest hits and the clock winds the last hour. The time has finally arrived and the guests are coming in, taking their places leaving no room for more people to come and eventually, everything is ready to celebrate the best birthday in the city. 50 th birthday celebrated by both young and old, friends and parents, members of the alumni community, and all those who were or will soon become members of one of the ROTARACT Clubs.
During its 50 years of existence, the Rotaract club as a non-profit organization has not only become the indisputable part of the whole Rotary International family but has initially grown to the largest international organization and network of young and prospective people who advocate for community service, friendship, professional contacts, and generally fostering understanding in the world we are living in. One Rotaract club involves many different profiles of individuals, but at the end of the day we all aim to the same, common goal. Providing long-term benefits to the environment among us, where we operate on daily basis. In every step of our work, the focus is always put on the same four questions in order to apply and preserve the ethical principles in interpersonal relationships followed by the Rotary: Is it the truth?, Is it fair to all concerned?, Will it build goodwill and better friendship?, Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Looking back at some historical data, the 1 st Rotaract club in the world, the Rotaract Charlotte Club, North Carolina (USA), was chartered on March 13, 1968 becoming a part of the entire Rotary community. Shortly afterwards, Rotaract clubs started to be established in countries around the world, and almost a year later, nearly 300 clubs officially operated. Today, Rotaract community counts around 10,904 clubs with over 250,000 Rotaracters in 184 countries worldwide! This year (2018), clubs across the globe celebrate 50 th birthday of our little family, so we decided to organize such festivity ourselves – organizing the venue exactly on March 13, 2018 at the Zagreb Culture Factory.
In the late 60s of last century, the Rotary International Committee recognized the need to set up a club that brought together young proactive people aged 18 to 30 who would jointly serve and assist their local communities through socializing and improving their own professional skills. Rotaract, whose name was created as a combination of Rotary in Action, was a logical continuation of the already existing Interact club. In 1968 Rotaract was approved as an official Rotary club program.
Croatia joined the Rotaract family in 1994 when a small group of enthusiasts held their first meeting sponsored by Rotary club Zagreb. On December 9, 1995 Rotaract Club Zagreb, having received a charter status, officially became a member of the Rotary and Rotaract family and the first Rotaract club in Croatia. During 20 year period, 17 clubs had been founded in 9 cities throughout our region, and our home-based Rotaract family currently involves more than 260 members. We are proud of the numerous projects we had conducted, the international events we had been organizing such as the 2015 Rotaract European Meeting held in the city of Zagreb, the 2017 Mediterranean Convention held in the city of Makarska, and we were also extremely active in the presence of international events, conferences and camps around Europe as well as on other continents. We listened and learned from our friends from other countries, exchanged ideas and experiences, worked out many projects outside our borders and with some clubs even made a twinning venture. Regardless of the uniqueness of each club and the various projects we organize, we all have something in common. We are being related to the same values that our dear Rotarians have adopted into us, who nurture friendship and charity through serving others in harmony with the main Rotary motif (Service above Self). So..how good is it to know that you have friends on every side of the world? How good is it to just make others feel as good with your friends? How much of a wonderful things are waiting for us in the next 50 years? There is nothing left to do but putting our hands together, developing new and creative ideas and continuing to make changes for each individual out in the world. Just as the words of current President of Rotary International, Mr. Iana H.S. Riseley say: Rotary – Making Differences!
In the week of March 12 to 18, 2018 here (in Croatia) as well as dear friends around the globe, celebrate the 50 th anniversary of our favorite club. 50 years of socializing and making friends through acting and helping the community. 50 years where we have been thinking globally, acting locally, and step by step trying to make things better – as for ourselves, for the world as well.
Our esteemed lecturers Nenad Bakić, Boris Šavorić, and Ivica Puljak, with their inspirational lectures, made a significant impact on every of 300 guests and confirmed what exactly we are trying to do in the existence of the Rotaract club.
In the end, we would like to thank all those who had responded to participate in our birthday celebration, to all who have taken part in this not rather simple organization, and especially to our District Rotaract Representative 17/18 Miss. Sabina Ulovec, leader of the Rotaract Committee, Mrs. Mirni Bačić, and our current governor, Mr. Dubravko Kušeta.
As it usually works in the end, it is never too late in wishing well to the others. Therefore, our dear Rotaract, although the years fly away, there is eternal youth in our hearts. Happy belated 50 th birthday!