Dear valued fellows, friends and guests.


Welcome to today’s lunch and welcome to the new Rotary Year.

At the start of this first lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Curaçao, over which I am honored to preside, I want to share a few thoughts with you.

We join each other today as we do every week, for a joyful lunch in good company and with good intentions. For me, however, this specific day is a very special day, we have a new Rotary year ahead of us and you have given me your trust to lead this highly regarded club for the next 12 months. It is my objective to honor that trust and to lead the club energetically to meet the objectives and guidelines of Rotary International as well as the prevailing expectations of the members as a group. Although Rotary as a club may not always be central in our busy work schedules and daily family lives, I am convinced that the overall objective of Rotary prevails as an underlying principle in everything we do as Rotarians.              


are the underlying motivation to be in Rotary, especially when combined with the following additional five words:

                       “HAVE FUN WHILE DOING IT”

To me, those 10 words are what Rotary is about, and I am proud to be a Rotarian.

These ten words and our ambition as members to be ethical leaders in our vocation and in our community are the only creeds of our Rotary. Our club has no religious preference and there are no other doctrines that distinguish us as group from others. To be -or to become- a member there are no requirements or preference for any lifestyle, culture, race, gender, or sexual orientation from the side of Rotary International or our Club.

Fellows, we are a privileged group of people. Not because of who we are or what we have, but because of what we can do with who we are and what we have. What we can do together for others, in an organized and transparent way.


We are individually privileged because of one or more of the following:

* our health (both financially and physically)

* our education

* our vocational skills

* our network

* our intellectual orientation

* and…., as Rotarians, we are a privileged group belonging international organization with a united approach in doing good in the world.

Fellows, a few words:
About “Change”.

There is not much I have say about change. Except that there is one constant about the word “change”: namely, that there is more talking about it than doing it. Talking about change (both in and outside Rotary) has become rhetoric; it is cliché and honestly, it bores me. Let’s not talk about change. Let’s BE change and let’s DO change during this Rotary year, rather than talk about it. As you can see, we will not have a board table arrangement this year. All board members will sit at different tables; so pick the table at which you want to sit if you want to talk about a specific avenue. Let’s have lunch and communicate! I already announced that I have picked a theme song for this coming year: “Are you with me?” We will have fun with it and dance to it.


About "Protocol"

Yes, a few words protocol. There are discussions about protocol in our club. They surface during our firesides and are a continuing buzz during lunches. My opinion? I am a strong proponent of protocol. But…. of the protocol that means something to me. Likewise, there are others who favor other protocol that means something to them, and so forth and so on. If we satisfy the protocol wishes of us all, and include those that RI suggests, we will be too involved with meeting all kinds of protocol, and in my opinion, too much of that will only get in our way.


So, I am happy to clarify what the protocols are during my presidential year, as far as I am concerned.

1. Never wear your pin because of protocol. Wear it whenever you feel you want to express your pride to be part of Rotary (every day is fine!). Wear it because you want to show that you are part of a fun and highly respected organization whose objective is to do good in the world.

2. The overriding dress code for our lunch meetings is to never miss a meeting for not being properly dressed. Let’s stick to your business attire, not casual, and please avoid jeans. I personally prefer a coat without tie, but I will be wearing the rotary chain proudly. A tighter dress code will be specified if certain special guests are expected, or when we visit certain locations.

3. Let’s do what we do in accordance with the guidelines of RI, and beyond that, let’s do things because they make sense, because they are fun, and -last but not least- because they are instrumental towards meeting our overall objective to do good in the world. Let’s never do things just because “we have always done it that way”.

4. Above all, I ask you to adhere to the all-overriding protocol: have respect for and tolerance to your fellow Rotarians, cherish what we have and avoid behavior that is self centered or is not to the overall benefit to the atmosphere in the club. We are looking for new members and good club atmosphere attracts good members!

Enough about protocol.


Dear fellows, thanks for coming to lunch and in closing I repeat as I asked before:


“Are you with me”?


A ship is sailing today and, as skipper, I invite you all to get on board soon. It will be a one-year journey departing from the Rotary Club of Curaçao with a rewarding destination: “to do good in the world”.


Thank you, enjoy your lunch, and remember to

“Be a Gift to the World”,

not because of who you are or what you have, but because of what you do for the community.


Niko Kluyver,

President, 2015-2016

Rotary Club of Curaçao