Dear Fellow Rotarians,
In life, sometimes the experiences that matter the most are the briefest.  They pass in a blink of an eye; a few days, a few hours, a few moments.  They are the experiences that illuminate the landscape of our memory, shining brightly even years later.  They are the moments in which we see, suddenly, something we had not seen; we understand something we had not understood; we forge a connection we had not expected.
For me, this has been a Rotary year like no other.  I have been around Rotary for over 16 years, having traveled around the world, traversing countries and continents.  I have been to places I had never seen before.  As I prepared for my year as your District Governor, my calendar was full of visits to clubs not only around the district, but around the world.  I had Russia, Germany and Taiwan on my calendar.  But then things changed… this has been a Rotary year like no other.
I have still traveled this year… just in a different manner… a different conveyance.  I have traveled virtually into your homes, offices, and meeting locations. I have actually expanded my international reach this past year – visiting Rotary meetings on four continents and 7 different countries.  I can share without hesitation that the Rotary I have seen is strong, vibrant and full of energy!  On February 23, we will mark 116 years since the founding of Rotary.  It is incredible to think about how much has changed, in our world… in our organization, since the first Rotary club met in Chicago with Paul Harris as its president.
Some things are easy to compare between now and 1905.  Technology and medicine?  Certainly.  Society?  Not so easy but certainly “different.”  When one looks at a map of the world from 1905 and a map of the world today, we can see many things that are different.  What we can’t do is compare what is with what might have been.  There is no way to compare our world as it exists now with the world as it would have been without Rotary.
This year, like the 115 that preceeded it, has seen Rotary rise to its many challenges.  We’ve answered conflicts with peace, and poverty with education.  We’ve responded to a lack of basic health care with projects large and small, from equipping clinics in tiny villages to eradicating polio across the globe.
We will never know how different our world would have been if Rotary had never been founded; if any one Rotary club had never been chartered; or if any single Rotarian had declined the invitation to join a Rotary club.
But I will say, with absolute faith and complete confidence, that the world is a far,far better place now than it would have been without Rotary and that Rotary itself is stronger because of every one of you. 
The world needs Rotary more than ever.  It needs our courage, our optimism, and our idealism.  It needs the voice of tolerance, cooperation, and hope that we can offer.  It needs the example of an organization that has proven that the citizens of all countries can work together successfully, gladly, and in friendship.
None of us will ever know the full impact of our actions.  None of us knows the effects that will ripple out from the things that we do and say, the decisions we make, the opportunities we seize, and those we let pass.  But I think we all know that when we choose to do good, good will follow; and that when we choose Service Above Self as our life’s path, the direction it will take us will be a good one.

No one can see the future.  No one knows what changes lie ahead.  But I have faith in Rotary, and in you as a Rotarian, that with each passing year, you will make our world a better place. 
Bill Pritchard
6250 District Governor 2020-2021