By Deborah Carl
LDS Man Finds His Humanity Leading Rotary International
FREMONT, CALIFORNIA -- Attorney Richard King, Rotary International President
and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, treasures a
small, brass cup that sits in the corner of his Rotary office and reads "You
touched us." The cup is a reminder of when he served in Ethiopia a dozen
years ago, where, from a Rotary-sponsored well, every 48 hours he doled out
a half-cup of water to starving children. "I don't know what it is we gave
to them, but I will always know what they gave to me," said King, the new
president of Rotary International. "It makes me a more truly human man."
King, a Rotarian since 1968, has traveled to and spoken in more than 75
countries which has lead to some interesting adventures. Accompanied by his
wife, Cherie, he delivered a speech in the Philippines on the eve of the
overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos. "She said, 'I didn't think your
speech was that bad, but the square is filled with tanks,'" King said. In
Rome, he said, a Rotary function at the Excelsior Hotel was interrupted when
"two guys in tutus" blared French horns to announce the arrival of the club
president. "It turned out the president of the Rotary Club in Rome was
President of Italy -- that month," King joked.
King took office as president of Rotary International on July 1. He oversees
1.2 million Rotary volunteers and 30,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide. King said
the organization's mission to provide humanitarian services and to promote
goodwill has continued to inspire him after 33 years.
"I'm a Rotarian," he said, "because I believe we do God's work on earth."
King of the Rotary has world vision
Fremont CA Argus 3Aug01 B2
By Rob Dennis: Staff Writer