The role of President of the Rotary Club Calvià International is only a year long position, but the incoming president, Gerdi Edstatdtley-Pietsch is full of beans to get going. Only one week into her new role I met her just before the weekly lunch meeting in Hotel Bendinat for a quick coffee.
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million people who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change: across the globe, in their communities, and themselves.The mission of the Rotary Club is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through their fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. They aim to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, save mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies. Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. For more than 110 years, Rotary's members have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health,they are always working to better the world.
The new president of the Calvia branch, Gerdi, is Austrian, works as a professional translator, turning English language into German. She works in the medicine sector, and largely in the world of the veterinarian textbooks.”When I attend conferences I am often asked if I am a vet, so I did eventually study and qualify as a vet as well. But my main work is as a translator”. Gerdi first came to the Balearics in the Sixties when she would holiday in Ibiza and remembers the fun, carefree times of that era very fondly. But when she and her husband Peter decided to move to live on the islands they chose Majorca for its year round activities and social opportunities. “As well”,she said, “We aren’t so into going to discos until 8am in the morning any longer!” They bought a house in Llucmajor in 2002 and have been living there happily ever since.
Gerdi became involved as a member of the Rotary Club only three years ago after her friend Elke Helbig encouraged her to join. “It is all Elke’s fault!” we joke, although given Gerdi’s obvious joie de vivre and energy,it is not a surprise to me that she joined the Rotarians. Gerdi’s year of tenure as the President of the club is going to see a couple of new events and a slightly wider focus. “Up until now we have very much been working on supporting the youth of the community on the island. This year we also want to make sure that we are supporting environmental work and to this end we are planning to organise beach cleans in the Autumn. But you don’t have to wait until then, you can start a campaign in your own family to reduce your use of plastic and recycle more”. Other plans include Jazz nights at the Saratoga Hotel, and the charity walk which will now be in April 2021. The new president has a gentle determination which I hope will see her and her projects coming to a successful fruition.
How did the quarantine affect the group? I ask.“We had our meetings on Zoom every week, we quickly adapted to that, and as soon as we were able to meet in person again we went back to that”. The club, which is made up of English speaking people from all over the world, normally meets every Monday afternoon at the Hotel Bendinat in Calvia. They have lunch together, listen to guest speakers and welcome people interested to join as a Rotarian as well. “Anyone is welcome, but you must tell us in advance that you are coming so that we can let the restaurant know”. The club is always open to new members, but the prospective members must hold dear the mission of the Rotary itself with the motto “Service over self”. It takes energy and time to be a member of the group, “It is not a surprise that the people we get applying to join are mainly older, we understand that younger people have families to bring up, work to do. A lot of the people who are Rotarians are retired and have some time to commit to our projects”. What is the ideal quality in a Rotarian? “Someone who does not think of themself, but of others”, Gerdi tells me without hesitation and a twinkle in her eye.
If you feel that you can be part of the Rotary Club and add quality, commitment and enthusiasm to their upcoming projects, then you can find more information about the club on their website http://rotarycalvia.com/