In his profession as a funeral director, Jim Hahn regularly meets with customers to make arrangements for when his services are needed.
During one such meeting, a woman told him:
“Now, when you lay me out in a casket, I want a fork in my hand.”
“At all the church socials, they tell you, ‘Save your fork. Save your fork because something better is coming,’” she explained.
And so Hahn, in his new position as governor of a newly created Rotary International district, plans to distribute forks to members he meets. As he told a group gathered July 11 at St. Clair Country Club in Upper St. Clair, “7305 is here, and it’s going to be better for everyone.”
That’s the number assigned to the district that has been created by the merging of districts 7300 and 7330, effective as of the first of the month. District 7305 brings clubs in Allegheny, Washington and Greene counties, among others, under a common regional Rotary umbrella.
Held on his 11th day as governor, Hahn’s St. Clair meeting was the first of many he plans in the next few months as he covers an area that extends from the state line east to Cambria County. He threw his audience somewhat of a curveball by announcing that the Rotary’s Four-Way Test, a staple of the worldwide service organization for three-quarters of a century, was being canceled.
After a second or two of stunned silence, he continued.
“It’s going to be the Five-Way Test,” he said to sighs of relief, with the fifth item: “Is it fun?”
A guy who likes a good joke, including poking a bit of fun – “It’s better to be seen than viewed” – at his usually somber line of business, Hahn displayed his serious side in announcing what the first District 7305 special project will be for his 2019-20 term.
He wants Rotarians to help distribute placards, labeled “Please help me,” that can be attached to children’s car seats so that pertinent information is available in the event that adults in the vehicle are incapacitated.
Hahn, a Ross Township resident, also remarked on a change that has occurred in Rotary International since he first joined in 1980, prior to the organization permitting women as members.
“In our club in Ambridge right now, we’re 65 percent women, 35 percent men,” he said. “Our club would be dead if it weren’t for the women. They’re hard-working, good people. So I’m a firm believe in women in Rotary.”
That especially resonated with some of the Rotarians in attendance at St. Clair. For example, Heather Dieckmann of the Bethel-St. Clair club is serving as the first District 7305 treasurer, and Danielle Gosnell is 2019-20 president of the Rotary Club of Upper St Clair-Bethel Park (Breakfast).
Among those present from the McMurray Rotary Club in Peters Township were Sandra Castro, who served as the club’s first female president, and Kate Winter Cole, its president-elect. Another club member, Al DeLucia, is District 7305 governor-elect.
Also represented at the July 11 event were the Bethel Park and Bridgeville-South Fayette clubs.
Everyone was asked to affix his or her signature to a “Countdown to history” poster promoting Rotary International’s long-running campaign to eradicate polio. DeLucia plans to take it to the annual conference for Rotary Zones 33-34, extending from Pennsylvania to the coast of South America, in November.
“We’re all going to display our banners in Atlanta, and I want to make sure our district is well-represented with that banner being signed by as many people as possible.”