Rotary Club Austria Supports Start Up In Europe’s Poorest Region

A Rotary Club set up in one of Europe’s poorest regions has been given a helping hand from the Austrian Rotary Club Telfs-Seefeld that paid for the all-important bell that is at the heart of all meetings.

The first ever record of Rotary clubs using a bell was when the Rotary club of New York City was given the bell from a local patrol boat that was placed on wood from Admiral Nelson’s vessel HMS Victory that fought in the Battle of Trafalgar.

Ever since then, the bells used in Rotary club meetings are used to represent the type of military discipline that would have been seen in the British Royal Navy, and as a sign of order and discipline and timing. The bell marks the start of the meeting, and 60 minutes later the final bell indicates the end of discussion and speeches and the close of the meeting.

It is therefore important part of Rotary life, and the donation of this bell will now play an important part in the newly founded Rotary Club in Gagauzia, which is one of the poorest regions in Europe’s poorest country, Moldova.

The bell was produced in Imst, a small municipality in the Austrian Tirol, and earlier this week was presented by the president of the RC Telfs-Seefeld, Heinz Hintner, and handed to fellow Austrian Christian Gessl, member of RC Telfs-Seefeld and sponsor of the Club in Gagauzia where he will be transporting it next week during a 2,000 kilometre journey.

Announcing the decision to fund and donate the bell the sponsor club said they wanted to assist the work of the new “start-up” Rotary club in a region with a lot of potential that would benefit enormously from the organisation the rotary club can bring.

The RC Gagauzia started working in May 2019 and is already realizing a couple of interesting projects.

One of these than the translation of handbooks for teachers from Romanian to Russian to make it easier to use in the autonomous territory of Gagauzia, where the majority of inhabitants use the Russian language as the official language.

In addition, by the end of this year three schools should receive the long awaited computers for their IT classrooms to teach and learn on modern equipment.

And there is also a project to support local people with special needs.

Receiving the bell, Kristian said: “The new bell will further motivate the club members to do an even greater effort to work for those in need under the Rotarian slogan: “Service above Self.”


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