District VIII Governance – Discussion Paper (by Alan Pentney, District VIII Governor)

The Gyro District VIII Constitution requires a specific slate of Officers but recruitment of a Lieutenant Governor on an annual basis has become increasingly difficult to achieve.

The Constitution identifies that the Officers for District VIII includes the Governor, First Lieutenant Governor, Immediate Past Governor and the Secretary Treasurer. At the 2014 District Convention in Wallace the decision of the Executive Council (District Officers and Club Delegates) was that the Second Lieutenant Governor position not be filled. The primary reason was reducing the time commitment for recruiting Governor candidates.
The current Constitution identifies that decisions on managing the District are accomplished by an Executive Council, which is made up of District Officers and Club Delegates to the Annual Meeting.
The International Constitution requires that a District have an Advisory Committee led by the Immediate Past Governor and made up of representatives of each club. This District has not had this committee in place, although task forces or standing committees have been established to make recommendations on issues.

Over the past 10 years the nominating committee has had difficulty attracting candidates to be an Officer. Reasons cited usually centered on a lack of time or their partner is not comfortable being expected to be actively involved in Gyro and also traveling throughout the District. Potential candidates usually have been leaders in their club. They also have taken an interest in the welfare of Gyro as a whole beyond club activities. Persons with these characteristics are becoming harder to come by as Gyros are finding family and business activities are increasing in this technology and diverse activity world we live in now.

On occasion persons are interested at the time but are passed over for another candidate. This can lead to that person not putting their name forward later.

Importance of the Role of District Officers
It is rare in District VIII but reports from other Districts identify officers in some clubs question the purpose of Gyro International primarily because of the $60 per person dues. There is a trend that this occurs in larger clubs where the size of cheque for the dues is large, especially when District dues are added in. It appears that some clubs forget that these dues were collected from members who gave money to the club with full knowledge that it was to support the organization and they took an oath to support Gyro International when installed.
District Officer’s play an important role in visiting clubs, especially at installations, to pass on advice on how to be a better club and to provide the requisite decorum for bringing club officials into office. They ensure District fun events occur so clubs can interact and keep the fun in Gyro.

On the International stage, District Officials help the other 9 Districts and the International Officers make decisions on the future of Gyro. Granted the future is not that complicated but like any organization there needs to be structure and accountability and a desire to promote an organization that you and your partner enjoy. If that role is carried out well then two things can happen. One is that the long-term sustainability of Gyro is promoted and second; the District Officer is seen as a candidate to lead Gyro at the International Level. Otherwise Gyro at that level would collapse. It is possible to not participate in Gyro international activities and meetings but it would be a violation of the International Constitution, which we pledged to uphold, and it would not be the Gyro way.

Options for Ensuring District VIII has Ongoing District Governance
1. Continue the current practice of calling for candidates and personal inquiries.
2. Convene an ongoing advisory group (as per International Constitution) to identify a list of all interested candidates with a process established to identify which year the candidates could be available. This would become a negotiation process with the good of Gyro in mind and with full transparency.
3. Set up a system where each club annually designates a person to be on the Executive Council and then that Council votes on who will be in the District Officer Positions. This could be different each year – no automatic progression from Lt. Governor to Governor – unless the person wished to do that. The term would be from May to May and then there is a 10-person committee running the District affairs.
4. Eliminate the First Lieutenant Governor Position and make the Governor position a two-year term.
5. Eliminate the First Lieutenant Governor position and keep the Governor position at a one-year term.
6. Some combination of options 2-5 or other means of assuring that Club activities in the District are encouraged and that representation at Gyro International events occurs.

It is proposed that a District VIII committee be established to produce a review of whether the District Governance should change, and if so, provide a recommendation to amend the Gyro District VIII Constitution at the 2017 annual meeting.

Alan Pentney
District VIII Governor

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2 Responses to District VIII Governance – Discussion Paper (by Alan Pentney, District VIII Governor)

  1. Ian Greig says:


    Good job. I will be forwarding my comments to you and the other members of the executive soon.

  2. Alan —
    I think that the Fairmont District VIII location should be a default location for when there is NOT a Club option for hosting the District VIII annual convention and meeting. As THE location, it tends to trump VIII Clubs that could host from offering. Hosting a VIII convention is a Club opportunity to engage the building process of the Club and over time engages more VIII members among the Clubs. I suspect enthusiasm for traveling to the same location will wane, and the challenge/opportunity of VIII Clubs will fall off the radar. Several VIII Clubs are fully capable of Convention hosting – – an opportunity missed to help fulfill GYRO objectives. That includes our Club (Edmonton). __ Allan Warrack

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