Posted by Franz Huber
When I joined Rotary well over 30 years ago (yes, I had more hair then…), there used to be just four principal ‘Avenues of Service: Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service and International Service. Later on, Youth Service was assigned Number 5. January has been designated by Rotary International as Vocational Service Month.
Admittedly, Surfers Sunrise Rotary gives overwhelming emphasis on International Service (think Wheelchair Project and various building projects such as the current Vanuatu X-Ray Unit) and Youth Service (RYTS, RYPEN, RYLA, Lutzy Award, National Youth Science Forum etc). Consequently, in our club Vocational Service is just quietly bubbling along.
Yet, no aspect of Rotary is more closely related to individual Rotarians. When we join Rotary, we are assigned a vocational classification. We make a commitment to represent our vocation, our profession, with high ethical standards. We commit to offering guidance and mentoring services to youth. We pledge to be the very example of good work and professionalism when dealing with clients, suppliers and fellow workers.
In the “good ol days”, vocations were relatively simple and straightforward, as in Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker. Most people had the same vocation all their working life. Today, it is not uncommon for careers to change multiple times. And if they don’t change in name, they certainly change in the way things are done: just think of an engineer or architect: There isn’t much plan drafting by hand anymore, eh..?  Yet, the concept remains the same: Vocational Service is the banner by which Rotarians "recognize the worthiness of all useful occupations" and demonstrate a commitment to "high ethical standards in all businesses and professions."