Happy New Year…But When? By Frank Deaver

Posted By rotary

What is a year? A simple question, but with no simple answer. Basically, a year is a time span measured by the orbit of the earth around the sun. But beginning when? And ending when? And how sub-divided?

Years are defined by calendars, all sorts of calendars. Calendars are defined by the sun, the moon, the seasons, the equinox, or by some historical event or person. There are solar calendars, lunar calendars, and lunisolar calendars; Roman, Gregorian and Julian calendars; Christian, Hebrew, Hindu, Islamic and Zoroastrian calendars.

Although about forty calendars are used in the world today, the Gregorian is the most familiar, the most widely recognized. It is a solar calendar, an adaptation of the Julian calendar, Christianized by its numbering from before and after the time of Jesus. It begins with January, ends with December.

But there are still other kinds of calendars, defining arbitrary “years.” The academic year for education, the fiscal year for a business, and yes, the Rotary Year, bridging two calendar years. The Rotary Year, July 1 – June 30, was defined in 1913 at Buffalo, New York, by the fourth Rotary Convention.

Rotarians measure their year from the mid-point of the Gregorian calendar year.

Having recently exchanged New Years greetings, Rotarians should not overlook that this marks only the mid-point of the Rotary Year. It’s a time for club presidents, other officers, and committees, to determine if their annual

goals are even half accomplished. Mid-year in Rotary is a time for evaluation, and for scheduling the completion of Rotary tasks in the half-year remaining – because time is rapidly ticking away. How much time? From January 1 to the end of June, the half-year (a bit more in Leap Year) consists of:

• 6 months
• 26 weeks
• 181 days
• 4,344 hours
• 260,640 minutes
• 15,638,400 seconds

The Rotary Year, July 1 – June 30, is defined by those two dates, but notice that they are separated by a dash. The dash is of special importance, for it’s the accomplishment between the two dates, within the dash, that matters. And as of January 1, the dash is half-gone.

The Rotary Year has topped the hill. It’s sometimes said that from that point on it’s downhill to the end. Perhaps so, but on a downhill slope we gain speed. It’s time to pick up speed. It’s time to be sure we accomplish the Rotary Year goals! 



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