Friday, 26 October 2012

Rotary Club of Boston

 There are the photographs of the prestigious 125 years old Boston Park Plaza Hotel, which houses the office of the Rotary Club of Boston. Members of the Club generally meet over lunch at the McCormick and Schmick's Seafood Restaurant or at times at the Melting Pod Restaurant, which are both part of the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. This is also where they meet all guests and invites. The Rotary Club of Boston Office is in the hotel building next their luncheon meeting location. This office is located in one of the suites in the hotel and open by appointment and it is where the Board of Directors meets. Its address is 20 Park Plaza, Suite 633, Boston, MA 02116.
Shri Nathji was given a welcome by the Rotary Club of Boston, over lunch in the same restaurant in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Here Shri Nathji met the President of the Rotary Club and two other members of the club, a building contractor and an Iranian dentist, settled in America. The building contractor would not leave Shri Nathji that day and took him to his house.
Many Americans still thought that Indians worshiped a plethora of gods and goddesses in idol form as a substitute for God. The very concept of idol worship was difficult for them to understand. At the house of the Iranian dentist, Shri Nathji’s explanations thrilled them. His description of idol-worship was also very convincing, and new:
"An idol merely serves as a reminder of God, the spirit. It is like having a picture of your friend in the house. Each time you look at the picture, you are reminded of your friend.
“When you talk through a telephone, it is not the telephone you are talking to, but rather the person on the other end of the line. An idol serves a similar purpose for many. The worship they offer to it is directed towards God. Upon setting eyes on the image they are reminded only of God and no one else. To that extent, the image serves a useful purpose. God, who is everywhere, and in everything, even in the smallest of atoms, can also exist within an idol of stone. He understands the intention of man, regardless of his mode of worship.”
“He can give to a worshipper the fruits of his devotion through any medium He chooses–even through the medium of an idol. The one who answers prayers is God alone. The idol serves as a useful medium for concentration.”
“When man has advanced further spiritually, he can visualise God within himself. God shall then speak to him from within!"
  Shri Nathji gave a beautiful discourse at the house of the building contractor.
Later over dinner, when Shri Nathji was speaking, the President of Rotary Club, who was also there at the house of the building contractor, said that what you say is very similar to our Rotarian principles. 
The next day the Iranian doctor also invited Shri Nathji and Priya Nathji to his home in the US, over dinner and HH Shri Mahaprabhuji began quoting from Rumi repeatedly and the man said he was amazed as Rumi was his favorite poet and he showed us his library of books on Rumi and he also said that his father used to say the same things that HH Shri Mahaprabhuji was saying!!
The Rotary Club Boston was the 7th club formed worldwide, out of more than 32,000 Rotary Clubs, around the world currently. The Club celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009. There is a special role for the First 10 and the First 100 clubs within Rotary, and Rotary Boston is proud members of both groups! Formed in 1909, the Rotary Club of Boston was founded only four years after Rotary's first club in Chicago, IL.  A very rare photo of the foundation day of the club in 1909 is given here. They were even formed before there was an organized "National Association of Rotary Clubs." Their members have been instrumental in founding other Rotary Clubs worldwide, including Paris, Glasgow, Melbourne, and Sydney, and their club is very popular with international visitors. They are very selective about their membership and choose the best quality of members, from all walks of life.
This Club was so well known that a stamp of the First Day Cover was issued by United States Postal Service on the 75th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Boston in 1984. On the left is the rare photograph of that stamp.

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