‘Service Above Self’ more than motto for Tanaka

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When Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka of Japan visits Oak Ridge next week, Rotarians in the city’s three clubs will recognize him as a great role model.

Tanaka has demonstrated the Rotary motto “Service above Self” many times. He declared “Peace through Service” as his theme and is planning international peace forums in Berlin, Germany, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Hiroshima, Japan.

He agreed to speak March 9 at the Oak Ridge Peace Forum, the only scheduled peace forum sponsored by a Rotary district in the continental United States that the RI president will address.

Jack Bailey of Oak Ridge is district governor of District 6780, which includes Rotary Clubs in Harriman, Kingston and Rockwood.

In his working life, Tanaka served as chairman of Daika Co. and president of the National Household Papers Distribution Association of Japan.

He also was vice president of the Yashio City Chamber of Commerce.

A member of the Rotary Club of Yashio since its charter in 1975, he has served Rotary International as director, Rotary Foundation trustee, chairman of the 2009 Birmingham Convention Committee, regional Rotary Foundation coordinator, district governor and training leader.

Since Rotary International was founded 108 years ago, Tanaka will be the third sitting RI president to speak in Oak Ridge.

Rotary International District 6780’s Peace Forum will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 9 in Pollard Technology Conference Center on the Oak Ridge Associated Universities campus.

Tanaka will meet with corporate leaders from Tennessee offices of Japanese companies in Nashville on March 7.

When he arrives in Oak Ridge on March 8, he will visit Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the International Friendship Bell (designed in Oak Ridge, cast in Japan) and the Secret City Commemorative Walk in A. K. Bissell Park.

The forum registration fee is $50, which includes a box lunch and drink. The public is welcome to attend.

Rotary International is an organization of 1.2 million members of 34,000 nonprofit service clubs in more than 200 nations and territories.

Contact Fred Heitman at jfredd@aol.com for details. To register, visit www.rotaryor.org/peaceforum.html