John Kenny elected as 2009-10 RI president
John Kenny, elected as the 2009-10 RI president, told Rotarians at the convention that it was special honor to be the first Rotarian from Scotland to be president in the history of Rotary.
Rotary Images/Monika Lee
John Kenny, a member of the Rotary Club of Grangemouth, Central, Scotland, was elected as the 2009-10 president of Rotary International at the fourth plenary session of the RI Convention in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
In his acceptance remarks, Kenny expressed his gratitude for the support and encouragement that he and his wife, June, have received.
"We have come from a small country of five million people with three Rotary districts," he said, "and it is therefore a special honor to be the first Rotarian from Scotland to be president in the history of Rotary -- and only the fifth from the British Isles."
Kenny reminded the audience that Rotary’s connections with Scotland go back to the start, noting that Rotary founder Paul Harris’s wife, Jean, was from Edinburgh, which in 1921 was also the location of the first Rotary convention to be held outside North America.
"I am conscious of the tradition of Rotary and that I am following in the footsteps of illustrious predecessors in the office of president," Kenny said in his remarks, "and I shall endeavor to uphold the dignity of the office to the best of my ability."
Rotarians responded with applause as he said, "I believe that high ethical standards in our business and private life are as important today as they were in the early days of Rotary.
"I am here today because someone invited me to become a member of the Rotary Club of Grangemouth, a club whose membership I have enjoyed for 37 years," he said. "Indeed, one of the things I shall miss these next two years is attending the meetings of my club each Thursday at lunchtime."
"Communications may make our world seem a smaller place, but there are still too many who are vulnerable, homeless, starving, even without hope," Kenny concluded. "With your help and dedication, I am sure we can try to help alleviate their plight. Do not let us fail to try."
The RI directors for 2009-11 were also elected during the session. They are: John T. Blount, of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol, California, USA; Frederick W. Hahn Jr., Independence, Missouri, USA; Antonio Hallage, Curitiba-Leste, Paraná, Brazil; Masahiro Kuroda, Hachinohe South, Aomori, Japan; Kyu-Hang Lee, Anyang East, Gyeonggi, Korea; David C.J. Liddiatt, Clifton, Bristol, Avon, England; Ekkehart Pandel, Buckeburg, Germany; K.R. Ravindran, Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka; and Thomas M. Thorfinnson, Eden Prairie Noon, Minnesota, USA.
Read Kenny's full remarks