First Rotary district governor from Jefferson County takes office

PORT TOWNSEND — For the second time since he joined the Port Townsend Rotary Club in 1992, Erik Frederickson wore a tie to a club meeting.

The first time, he said, he dressed up to introduce a visiting officer.

On Tuesday, he was the visiting officer, the new district governor of all Rotary Clubs from the top of Vancouver Island down the coast to the Columbia River.

His tie — a shiny pattern of silky blue and gray swirls — was chosen by new Rotary International President William B. Boyd of New Zealand.

“This is my attire for the year,” Frederickson said of the tie and navy blazer.

“The incoming president of Rotary International gets to choose the outfit for the 530 district governors. The [tie] pattern represents the inner shell of the seashell we call abalone.”

On July 1, Frederickson took office as Rotary District 5020 governor, the first person from East Jefferson County to hold that post and the first from any of the seven North Olympic Peninsula clubs in that position since Leo White of Port Angeles Rotary in 1984-85.

Passing of the banner

At Tuesday’s Port Townsend Rotary Club meeting at the Fort Worden State Park Commons, his club observed another colorful tradition that goes with the job — the passing of the Home Club District Governor banner.

“We are here because we are passing a symbol of peace and service between our clubs,” said Tav McPherson, president of the Rotary Club of Oak Bay, British Columbia, home of immediate past governor Joan Firkins.

“Hang this proudly.”

“Rotary Serves Peace” is the theme Frederickson has chosen for his year as governor of District 5020, the sixth largest of the 530 Rotary districts in the world, Frederickson said.

The district totals 5,200 members in 87 clubs, including Port Townsend, Port Townsend Sunrise and East Jefferson County clubs in Jefferson County, and Port Angeles, Port Angeles Nor’wester, Sequim and Sequim Sunrise clubs in Clallam County.

“Our district is unique because it spans the border between the United States and Canada,” Frederickson said.

“It gives us a head start working on international partnerships.”

The largest service organization in the world –1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 32,000 clubs in more than 200 nations — the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self,” extends beyond the local community to encompass projects that improve the health and well-being of people throughout the world, Frederickson said.

That’s why he chose peace as his theme for the year, he added.

“Peace is broader than the lack of conflict,” Frederickson said. “It is measured by an absence of suffering.

“We know there can be no peace while hunger, sickness and illiteracy continue to exist.”

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