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Just the basics: service and fellowship

Mar 22, 2014

The Fort Phillip Kiwanis Club has earned a reputation for collecting items for local food pantries.


If you ask President Tony Gunn to name the one determining factor in his Port Phillips, Australia, Kiwanis Club’s recent membership success, his answers is a bit unconventional.

Informality.

"We have two informal meetings per month, dinner and business,” he explains. “But mostly, fellowship.”

The club does not use other familiar Kiwanis tools and rituals: no banner, table decorations, recitations, pledges, invocations or anthems.

"We have a flexible approach to meeting attendance,” Gunn adds. “We don’t keep attendance records or honor perfect attendance. The majority of potential members who attend our meetings join. The format of our meetings is friendly, and the low level of formality appeals to many people.”

Consider:
  • Members are not concerned about over commitment. “We’re happy to accept what each member can put into the club.”
  • The club will subsidize a member’s dues, if the cost is a deterrent to joining and remaining in the club.
  • All members receive club correspondence so they always feel “included”—even if they are unable to attend meetings. “Our members live locally,” Gunn says, “as well as 50 to 1,000 kilometers from the meeting venue."
Despite all the informality, the club retains strong district and division representation. Five members, for example, attended the 2013 Australia District convention in Adelaide, which is more than 700 kilometers northwest of Port Phillip.
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