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My First (and only?) Rotary Club of Paris Meeting

December 1, 2010

Back in 2008, when I came to Paris for three weeks, I planned to attend a Rotary club meeting.  I did not make it then, nor last April, when I came to run the Paris Marathon. But  today I made my first Rotary meeting.

The Rotary Club of Paris, founded in 1921 has 260 members.  Members meet every Wednesday, 12:30 at the Dauphine Pavillion in the 16th.

As I planned how I would get there, I felt that this venue was familiar.  When I made my way out of the Porte Dauphine Métro onto Avenue Foch, it came to me.  This was the street where the Paris Marathon ended.   Days after the race, I ran by the Dauphine Pavillion.

Before I left home, I noticed that I only had 3o euros (39 dollars). My intuition told me I would need a little more and hoped they took a credit card.  I arrived to find that the cost of lunch was 60 euros (78 dollars)! I was in shock for a few seconds.  Fortunately, they gladly took my credit card and off I went to find a place to sit.

Oh,  and there was the formality of the Rotarian taking the money who tried to put me in a category. Are you a Rotarian? Well, not really. I told him that I was a member of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis. I just moved to Paris and was visiting to see if I wanted to join this club. He gave me a visitor’s badge anyway, and I filled it out as if I was a member of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis.

I quietly asked one of the servers “where are the women?”  Out of the 100+ Rotarians, I counted five women.  It also appeared to me that most of the members were retired. I later found out from the club secretary that the average age of the club is 66.

The meeting started promptly and lunch was served. What was I getting for 60 euros?  A mâche salad with beets, a perfectly prepared ground chuck bourgeoise with steamed potatoes, carpaccios of pineapple and coffee.  Wines served were from Bordeaux.

The guest speaker was Hervé Mariton, French politician, deputy of Drôme and mayor of Crest. My listening comprehension has not developed enough for me to summarize his comments.

Rotarian Jean-Claude Amselle and me

The meeting ended at 2:30 and Mssr Amselle introduced me to Mme Catherine Beurton. She was eager to have me join so that I would lower the average age of the club.

First things first, I need to get a well paying position before I consider a weekly lunch at 60 euros.

Bonne journée,


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt permalink
    December 2, 2010 7:21 pm

    Christi – Your Rotary story is priceless. I will be sure to share it with the members of our Club at next Tuesday’s meeting. Since the Rotary Club of Indianapolis is the best in the world (humility be damned), it is nice to see how the other clubs function. I will give them credit for one item…wine! Do you think we could get away with serving wine at the Tuesday lunch meeting in Indy?

  2. December 2, 2010 7:42 pm

    I think if the Rotary Club of Indianapolis started serving wine at the Tuesday lunch you would see an increase in membership!

  3. Oma permalink
    January 3, 2011 11:43 pm

    You are priceless! We miss you! I wonder how much wine they have BEFORE they arrive? You know how old folk are, they get up early. Keep in touch!

    • January 4, 2011 9:46 am

      Hi Oma,

      Great to hear from you and thank you for following me on my blog. I plan to visit a couple more Rotary clubs and will plan to join one of them once I land a job. But before I go to anymore meetings, I will know how much the meal will cost BEFORE I arrive. My first experience was interesting and certainly memorable. I gave my contact information to one of the staff members to follow up and no contact thus far.

      I wish you and my fellow Indy Rotarians and healthy and peace-filled new year.

      Christi in her 10 x 10

  4. Helen Small permalink
    January 15, 2011 6:29 pm

    Hi, Christi:

    I am so proud of you! Congratulations on making this daring and exciting change in your life. I want to follow your blog and keep up with your journey. No need to write me directly, you probably have a lot of fans by now and you could spend all your time keep everyone up to date personally. But I will be especially interested in how you go about finding a job. And, do you notice that your speaking skills are improving? What a challenge! Again, congratulations and bon vive! (I think that might be right.)

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