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Rotary remembers Sam Owori for his ‘quiet confidence,’ integrity, and friendship


Sam F. Owori, Rotary's president-elect, was always optimistic and brought an unyielding sense of right and wrong to his work. Owori died 13 July.

Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

“I call it the ‘Sam Smile,’” says Tadria. “It made him very approachable and easy to talk to. I think his smile is one of the things Rotary and his friends will miss most.”

Sam, who had been elected to serve as president of Rotary International in 2018-19, would have been the second African Rotary member, and the first Ugandan, to hold that office. He joined Rotary in 1978 and was a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala, Uganda.

“No matter the situation, Sam was always upbeat, always joking around and putting everyone else in a good mood,” says Tadria.

One of the admirable things about Sam, Tadria says, was his love and devotion to his wife. They met in primary school in Tororo, Uganda. Sam described Norah Owori as beautiful, well-educated, and full of character. 

“He adored Norah and always put her first.” Tadria says. “They were best friends and partners for life. It was very sweet to see them together. They never left each other’s side.”

Sam was highly respected in Uganda, Tadria says, for his high integrity and consistent ethical standards. Those qualities, she says, are important in a Rotary president. “He was a man everyone could trust.” 

She adds, “He preferred listening to speaking. It’s one reason he was so well-liked.” 

Our Guest Speaker being Recognized!
Rotarian Serene Hope gets her Blue Badge! Congratulations!
This coming Thursday, the meeting at the Rotary Club of San Jose East/Evergreen will be one you do not want to miss. There will be an interesting variety of topics that make Rotary meetings the place to be for lunch. It is packed with a greater variety than most Rotary meetings have.

August 10 the speaker is Dave Cortese, President of the Board of Supervisors of Santa Clara County. He will be discussing the state of the county and related major issues involving homelessness and immigration.

We will have 7 Rotarians from Okayama-East Rotary Club in Japan visiting. It is part of their celebrating 60 years of Sister City with San Jose. They invited me to attend a concert today which included members of the Okayama Junior Orchestra and San Jose Youth Orchestra. Okayama-East Rotarians were one of the sponsors to bring the orchestra from Japan. That is incredible Rotarian spirit.

In addition there will be a young man (soon to be high school senior) who just returned from a 10 month stay in Japan to address our visiting Rotarians. He was sent as a Rotary Youth Exchange student by our own Rotary District 5170. 

We will also have an overview of a Rotary grant we are writing to fund a robotics competition in East Side Union High School District schools. The grant will end up between $30,000 and $50,000. The competition will be held on the Evergreen Valley College campus. The competition and the college setting will raise the self-confidence of the students. This will help give students from an economically challenged area of Silicon Valley a chance at leveling the playing field.

From my perspective as a dyed in the wool Rotarian, I am very much looking forward to this meeting.

Rotary Club of San Jose East/Evergreen meets at the Ranch Golf Club, 4601 Hill Top View Ln, San Jose, CA 95138. People start to arrive at 12:00 noon. I will be starting the meeting by 12:15 pm. The speaker begins 1:00 pm.  There will be a $20.00 cost for lunch. If you do not wish lunch, the cost is $10.00.

Hope to see you there………

Barry Rassin, of the Rotary Club of East Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International for 2018-19. He will be declared the president-elect on 1 September if no challenging candidates have been suggested.

As president, Rassin aims to strengthen our public image and our use of digital tools to maximize Rotary’s reach.

“Those who know what good Rotary clubs do will want to be a part of it, and we must find new models for membership that allow all interested in our mission to participate,” he says. “With Rotary more in the public eye, we will attract more individuals who want to be part of and support a membership organization that accomplishes so much good around the world.”

Rassin earned an MBA in health and hospital administration from the University of Florida and is the first fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives in the Bahamas. He recently retired after 37 years as president of Doctors Hospital Health System, where he continues to serve as an adviser. He is a lifetime member of the American Hospital Association and has served on several boards, including the Quality Council of the Bahamas, Health Education Council, and Employer’s Confederation.

A Rotarian since 1980, Rassin has served Rotary as director and is vice chair of The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees. He was an RI training leader and the aide to 2015-16 RI President K.R. Ravindran.

Rassin received Rotary's highest honor, the Service Above Self Award, as well as other humanitarian awards for his work leading Rotary’s relief efforts in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake there. He and his wife, Esther, are Major Donors and Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation.

Rassin’s nomination follows Sam F. Owori’s death in July, just two weeks into his term as Rotary International president-elect.


We must dissent from the fear, the hatred, and the mistrust.
We must dissent from a nation that buried its head in the sand waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away.
We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education, or hope.
We must dissent from the poverty of vision and timeless absence of moral leadership.
We must dissent, because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.
-Thurgood Marshall, US Supreme Court Justice (1908-1993)

National Night Out

Emma Prusch Farm Park is all spruced and waiting for you on Tuesday for national night out. They'll be a ZIP LINE on Tuesday. And there are popsicles, chickens, goats, horses and peacocks throughout the summer..
We'll be grilling and serving the hamburgers!
Club Project in India
August 2017
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