July ……. Quota goes Global
Following the first Quota convention held off of mainland North America, in Hawaii in 1975, and the election of Joan May, the first Australian to serve as International President, Quota gained maturity outside North America. As a result, rapid expansion in the South Pacific and Asia followed. Fiji became the fifth country to join Quota in 1975 with the charter of clubs in Nadi and Lautoka.
During a hectic period of club organization between 1976 and 1978, Joyce Fren, later to become Quota’s 1982-1984 President, became known as the “Mother of Quota’s International Image”. She was the driving force behind Quota’s extension to parts of the Pacific and Asia, having a hand in the survey and charter of 15 clubs in those two short years! This period took place after her term as South Pacific Area Director and before she was elected back onto the Board in 1980 as Second Vice President.
Quota Expands to the Philippines
Early in 1976, Executive Director Dora Lee Haynes spent part of a vacation in the Philippines. She realized the great potential for Quota clubs in this country, compiled a list of 555 possible prospective members and notified International President Joan May. Joyce Fren was authorized to begin extension in the Philippines and arrived in Manila on May 31, 1976, after having written to 55 contacts with details about Quota membership and service.
The first Philippine meeting was held in the Manila Hilton Hotel on June 7, with 29 women present, 12 of whom accepted membership. Frances Parsons, a staff member from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., was visiting to promote a greater understanding of the deaf and was the guest speaker at the organizational meeting on June 23. Twenty-one financial members were in attendance at that meeting where club officers were elected and the bylaws adopted. Rose Sobrepena, who had been very active in recruiting new members, became Charter President with Emilia Garcia and Carminda Bonoan as Club Secretaries. The charter was presented by International President Joan May on July 14, in the Turf Room at the Manila Polo Club – a most glamorous and beautiful function. (This writer was fortunate enough to be entertained by the Manila Club at this same location for my 50th birthday when I was International President!) The club had already made a firm commitment to support Quota’s Hearing and Speech program and also became involved with S.A.I.D. (Southeast Asian Institute for the Deaf). Rose Sobrepena served two years as President and was followed by Elsie Familiaran, who had transferred to Manila from the Bacolod Club.
Joyce Fren was invited to a meeting of 18 interested ladies in Bacolod on June 11, 1976, and a charter date was set for June 23 – just two weeks later! Charter President Elsie Familiaran reported the event as fabulous with the local Governor as the VIP Guest and keynote speaker, despite being held in the midst of a typhoon! The ceremony was impressive despite having no charter, no pins, and using candlelight and roses as the charter trimmings.
Elsie Familiaran then took Joyce for a ferry ride to Iloilo, and after discussions with President Joan May, Iloilo Quota was chartered on August 8. Two ladies from the Bacolod Club spread the interest in Quota to Dumaguette and a Charter was presented to that club by South Pacific Area Director Vera Garland in January 1977. Meanwhile, Elsie Familiaran and Joyce Fren interviewed prospective members in Cebu, organized meetings, and then presented a charter to the Cebu Club on January 12, 1977, with Lygia Ibanez as the Charter President. Lygia remained a dedicated member until her death many years later.
Quota Roots Take Hold in India
Joyce Fren, officially known as “The South East Asia Organizer” also traveled to India and Sri Lanka in 1976. Quota’s Bombay club was chartered in September 1976 – the first in India, but others soon followed. Because annual dues were equivalent to one week’s salary in India, the Board of Directors was faced with a dilemma in regard to exchange rates and the remittance of foreign currency. The establishment of the Club-to Club Program (later renamed the Hand-in-Hand Program) five years later helped to resolve this financial situation.
An inaugural meeting was also held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on September 8, 1976, with 15 prospective members present. Following the election of a Protem Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, the club started to organize its service work. Top priority was given to providing for the education of deaf children. However, it was not until January 27, 1978, that the charter party was held with 25 members initiated at the Sapphire Hotel – a glittering affair with the room decorated in traditional Celonese style and a government film crew sent to record the entire function. This club was extremely active but, unfortunately, had to disband when curfews were implemented during the civil unrest in 1989. Also in 1978, a meeting was also held by Joyce in Bangalore, India, on January 17 wherein was planned the charter of the Madras Club on February 5. However, this did not happen at that time.
Joyce returned to India for a meeting in Madras on June 17, 1977. Fourteen prospective members decided on their first project and set a charter date for September 2. In Bangalore, 14 ladies received the “Quota story” enthusiastically at a meeting on June 25 and were keen to establish a club. It was decided to attempt completion by the end of August. Potential service projects decided upon included support of a senior citizens’ day center and the provision of a workshop for developmentally disabled people.
During this trip, Joyce also went back to Bombay (now Mumbai) and visited Bandra, but it was a difficult time to be in India – hot and wet during the monsoonal season thus resulting in poor attendance by prospective members. It was decided that the ladies in Bandra should join the Bombay city club. Additionally, the payment of dues continued to be a challenge due to government restrictions.
Positive results were achieved in New Delhi from meetings held on June 21 and 22, 1977. The offer of an acting chairman came immediately as well as offers of assistance from the President of the National Council of Women, Mr. G. C. Mathur, a Government Official; Mr. Ghat and Dr. Kandy, from the All Institute of the Deaf; and from a Rotary Past President, Mr. K. Kripalani, whose wife Rekha is still an active charter member of the New Delhi club. More meetings were held after Joyce left, and the Quota Club of New Delhi received its charter on March 3, 1978, with Deep Dugal as the Charter President. Deep remained a strong leadership presence in the club until her death in 2004. A charter was presented to Quota International of Sainik Farm in February 2000 by this writer and to Quota International of DLF City in December 2000 by President Dolores Brosky. Unfortunately, by this time, the clubs in Bombay, Bangalore, and Madras had dissolved. Quota also had a presence for a short time in Calcutta (now Kolkata), with a club organized there by the New Delhi club.
Quota’s Asian Presence Expands Again
Past President Joan May presented a charter to Quota International of Singapore on March 2, 1980, at a glittering function attended by 186 overseas visitors. However, this number was far surpassed when Singapore hosted Quota’s 72nd Annual Convention in 1993 – the first to be held in Asia. Canadian Ilse Mitchell was elected International President and returned to Asia in January 1994 to present a charter to Quota International of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, a club organized by Dixie Tan, Singapore club’s charter president.
Quota Takes Hold in the Caribbean and Europe
Meanwhile, there was also plenty of organizational activity occurring on the Atlantic Ocean. Quota International of Curacao was the first club to be chartered in the Caribbean on August 15, 1987, followed closely by Quota International of Aruba on September 16, with the charter presented by International President Janet Popyach. Through their connections in the Netherlands, it didn’t take long for these clubs to introduce Quota International to Europe, with the first club being chartered in Rotterdam on April 23, 1994. Clubs in Zeist, Zutphen, and Amsterdam followed. March 14, 1997, brought the creation of Quota International of Suriname, which has been an active participant in the Hand-in-Hand World Service program since its inception. Finally, since 2000, Quota has also spread in the Caribbean to the islands of Sint Eustatius (in 2008) and Trinidad-Tobago (2018).
The Board’s decision in 1980 to establish Quota’s own Club-to-Club Program, now known as our World Service Hand-in-Hand Program, has provided the link necessary to make Quota International truly global through our clubs’ collaborative efforts in running local service programs in developing countries – some clubs giving funds and others giving time and hands-on service on location. Additionally, tour groups, which started in the 1950’s between the U.S.A. and Australia, have more recently offered members the opportunity to visit Quota countries across the globe to experience Quota fellowship and service on a global level.
August ……. Quota’s valued Mentors
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Dear Quota Members,
We Quotarians are a diverse group. We live in different countries, we sometimes eat very different foods, and our clothing and traditions vary widely from country to country. When President-elect/Treasurer Carol Patin, an obstetrician-gynecologist, leaves her Louisiana home in the United States early in the morning to deliver a baby, I am planning my evening dinner in Manila, Philippines. How can 4,100 Quotarians who live different lives, on different schedules, in different locations, choose to serve one organization – namely, Quota International? The answer lies in the word, SERVE. Our commitment to serving our communities in Quota’s name unites us all, no matter which time zone guides our comings and goings.
Because service is the heart of Quota International, I am beginning this message – a status report on QI’s programs and communications – by sharing the latest news on two international service initiatives that will change lives in the coming year.
Quota International Programs
- United in Service
In January I announced the launching of Quota’s new volunteer-led United in Service (UIS) global initiative to celebrate Quota’s second century of service. Its purpose is to resurrect our organization-wide conversation on the many ways we change and save lives, and to promote new service ideas for clubs. I am pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has enthusiastically approved the United in Service Committee’s recommendations for two new Quota International signature service club projects:
Speech and Hearing – Sound Amplification Systems
Disadvantaged Women and Children – Assistance to Abused Women and Children
Your Board of Directors challenges every club in Quota to adopt one or both of these projects in the coming year and to report your accomplishments back to QI prior to Convention 2020 where we will celebrate your participation in these special initiatives. Our goal is to unite all clubs worldwide through 100% participation in one or both projects. The UIS Committee is working on guidelines that clubs can use to implement these projects in their Quota community. We will announce their publication on Quota’s Web site via Quota Quick Update. We are not asking you to replace your current service projects, but to add one or both initiatives to the array of service offerings you are planning in the next 12 months. Many thanks go to Committee Chair Mary Pribich, Past Central Area Director and Member of QI of Massillon in Ohio, U.S., and her hard-working committee members who represent seven different Quota countries: Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Suriname, and the United States.
- Hand-in-Hand World Service
Additionally, your Board of Directors has just approved Hand-in-Hand World Service projects for operation in 2019 to 2020. I am very pleased to announce that 20 projects, located in five countries (Fiji, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Suriname) have been selected. Funded 100% by your donations – no Quota International or We Share Foundation monies will be used – these Hand-in-Hand projects are managed by Quota members in local communities who understand the needs therein. The first World Service Hand-in-Hand project was launched in 1983 when a need to help women in India was supported by Quotarians from around the world. Tens of thousands of lives have been touched since then in multiple developing countries as the result of annual Hand-in-Hand financial gifts donated by Quota members and clubs worldwide.
Quota International Communications
- New Quota International Web Site
We are finishing up work on a new Web site that we are creating in-house to replace our current Web site. We expect it to be complete within the next month or two. It’s a beautiful site and you will love it – especially since it will save U.S.$6,930 a year going forward because we will not be using our current costly platform that houses both our database and Web site. (Our database was replaced earlier this year – also an in-house project.)
Our new site will be easy to navigate. A new online Member Center will contain specific sections just for members, just for clubs and club presidents, and just for regions and regional directors. We are bringing back the Quota Express, too, our online e-publication which will contain links for all of our communications in one location: President’s Message, Team Quota Blog, Centennial Article Series, QI Facebook Page, In Memoriam, and our Quota Calendar. Our donors will appreciate our new donations page which will explain all Quota International and We Share Foundation gifting programs. Finally, our new Quota Store will offer one-stop shopping for all QI club supplies, jewelry, and specialty items. Our new site will be a wonderful resource for years to come.
- Member and Leader Communications
We continue to offer multiple member and leader communications on a monthly basis – President’s Message, Quota Quick Update, and Leadership e-Alert. In addition, we aim for weekly updates on our Quota Team Blog and almost daily postings on our Quota International Facebook Page. We are also active on Instagram, for those of you who have an account. And, we all have been enjoying the monthly Centennial Article Series, which is continuing through this year.
- Board/Club President/Regional Director Leadership Calls
In March we reinstituted our popular Leadership Calls with a twist. We now plan calls that include both Club Presidents and Regional Directors on all calls. Calls are offered multiple days and time periods so that there is a convenient call-in time no matter where you live in Quota’s world. All discussion points and ideas shared in calls are written and shared.
Convention 2020 Update
Executive Director Nancy Fitzpatrick completed a site visit to Grand Rapids, Michigan, earlier this month to kick off the start of our planning for next year’s international gathering of members in that city. Opening Ceremonies will open our Convention in the afternoon of Thursday, July 9. Our closing banquet will end our Convention on Saturday, July 11. The beautiful Amway Grand Plaza Hotel will be our host and home, and you will enjoy the myriad of shops, restaurants, and evening entertainment venues within walking distance.
Come early to enjoy some spectacular pre-convention tours. On Wednesday, July 8, enjoy a full day’s trip to Saugatuck, Michigan, noted as one of Conde Nast’s top 25 beaches in the world and is filled with wonderful shops, restaurants, and fun things to do. On Thursday, July 9, choose from two morning tours to sites you won’t want to miss in the Grand Rapids area. (Did someone say shopping will be involved?)
Convention registration rates will be set later in the year. Costs in Grand Rapids will be much less than what you found in Washington, D.C., at Convention 2018. Not only is the room rate about half of our 2018 rate (U.S.$139 plus taxes for a single, double, triple, or quad), but you will find beverages and meals to be less expensive as well.
After a rough financial start to our fiscal year, we are now in calmer waters. The Board of Directors and I wish to thank our hard-working staff and those caring volunteers who are assisting us with special projects. Finally, my thanks go to you, Quota’s members, for your generosity and support during this special year.