Campbell River’s Craig Gillis (left) is shown here with Barry Rassin, president of Rotary International, at the group’s International Assembly in San Diego, Calif. in January.

Campbell River’s Craig Gillis leads Rotarians as district governor

District includes entirety of Vancouver Island and part of Washington State

A Rotarian from Campbell River is at the helm of dozens of Rotary clubs across the region, and he’s advancing a message of service that’s global in scope.

Craig Gillis is district governor for Rotary District 5020, an area that encompasses Vancouver Island and western Washington State.

“What you’re responsible for is visiting all 90 clubs, meeting with their leadership teams, their boards, playing a role in many of their service activities, and primarily promoting what is the worldwide theme for Rotary this year: be the inspiration,” he said.

Since Gillis began his work as district governor in July, he has visited 43 of the 90 clubs.

At the local level, Campbell River’s two Rotary clubs have spearheaded such projects as the Seawalk and the suspension bridge at Elk Falls.

But the efforts of its 1.22 million members worldwide also make significant contributions globally, Gillis said.

READ MORE: Rotary sells books by the bag

READ MORE: Elk Falls suspension bridge opens Saturday

“We work with a lot of vulnerable countries to bring clean water, latrines,” he said.

He noted that Rotary’s international efforts focus on six areas: basic literacy, clean water and sanitation, economic development, maternal and children’s health and welfare, medical care and peace.

“Our Rotary clubs look at opportunities to basically bring funds together so that we can reinvest those in the well-being of our communities and our world,” he said.

The organization has also been the primary driver in the nearly complete eradication of polio worldwide, he said.

“We’ve gone from hundreds of thousands of cases of polio to just a handful.”

The organization manages to contribute to social causes worldwide by raising money while keeping administration costs low and soliciting matching funds from governments, he said.

Craig Gillis is Rotary’s district governor for the area including Vancouver Island and the western part of Washington State. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror 

On a local level, Gillis underlined that he wants to see Rotary grow and increase its diversity.

“More hands, more hearts kinda give us more opportunity to reach out and do the work that we’re trying to do,” he said.

His appointment to the office is a one-year volunteer commitment that follows nomination by the local club, a panel interview and more than two years of training.

Gillis said he’s the fifth Rotarian from Campbell River to play the role of district governor.

There are 529 districts worldwide, and their governors assembled in San Diego, Calif. in January for an International Assembly, the last portion of training.

As part of the work, he’s been heavily involved in training Rotary presidents in the district.

Gillis, whose background is in the public education system, has lived in Campbell River for over 40 years.

He stressed that he wants to see Rotary live out its motto: service above self.

“What we do as a world organization is we work within our local communities and within the larger world,” he said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

North Island emergency and safety organizations get government funding

Seven not-for-profit emergency and safety organizations in the North Island received $219,500… Continue reading

Campbell River Killer Whales divide and conquer meets on opposite sides of the country

Eight athletes competed in Montreal, while 15 made a splash in Victoria over the weekend

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Campbell River Amnesty International chapter to host Write for Rights events

Opportunity to take action on human rights cases focussing on youth Dec. 10 at the library

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Most Read