History #13 The 1990’s
By Ted Corcoran DTM, Past International President
In the three years following the setting up of the district in 1972, all the elected district officers came from England. This was followed by four years of Irish leaders, followed by four more of English. It should be noted that there were no divisions at this time and area governors were appointed. There were just two areas each in Ireland and England. From 1983/84 onwards, the senior team alternated annually, between Ireland and England. This management structure, although understandable from a cost, communication and travel point of view, meant a complete absence of senior leaders for that year in the alternate country. It also meant that the new DG every year had not been involved at a senior level the previous year. Add in the various challenges listed earlier and any success was a miracle. This was never likely to lead to exponential growth and success at international level. However, this problem was well recognised by district leaders and, in 1987/88, DG Harry Knox (DLS Waterford) proposed, and the District Council approved, a split District Executive to take effect from July 1st, 1991.
Then, decisions by TI presented an opportunity to introduce such an arrangement. The Board decided that all districts, from July 1991, would include a Public Relations Officer on their District Executive teams and, in the case of D71, approved a split executive between Ireland and England. At the 1990 Autumn District Council meeting the following three proposals were passed, almost unanimously.
“That with effect from the District administrative year 1991/92, the position of Public Relations Officer be subject to election, by the District 71 District Council and, subject to satisfactory performance, be in line for progression through higher Executive offices.”
“That the structure of the split District Executive be divided equally between England and Ireland in such a way as the District Governor and Lieutenant Governor Marketing be elected from the alternate country to the Educational/Training Lieutenant governor and Public Relations Officer, and that this will take effect from the District year 1991/92 as previously approved by the District 71 District Council in Spring 1987/88.”
Where, for any reason, an elected District Officer is unable to continue his/her term of office, his/her replacement shall be a qualified member, selected from the same country as the officer retiring, and be subject to the ratification of the District 71 District Council.”