The Norman Transcript

Business

February 9, 2013

President identifies with the people he joined Rotary to help

NORMAN — Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka learned many valuable things during his youth.

“I come from a large family, he said. “I am one of eight children. One of the things you learn is that you have to eat fast.”

Tanaka joked that this quality served him well as Rotary President because he can quickly eat his meals before he speaks at events like the Bi-district Rotary Foundation Banquet in Norman Friday night.

Tanaka, whose slogan during his year in office is “Peace Through Service,” is dedicated to helping the poor and the hungry of the world — children who eat fast because they are starving.

“We do not think about the ground beneath our feet,” Tanaka told the packed house of Oklahoma Rotarians gathered at the NCED Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. “We do not think twice about the walls that hold up our house.”

But almost two years ago come March, many Japanese did think about those things. The tsunami and the nuclear disaster at Fukushima killed 15,000 people and injured nearly 6,000 people. Four thousand are still missing.

“There are no numbers to measure what happened to so many people in a number of hours,” he said.

“Our building standards are the highest in the world,” he said. “We thought we were ready for anything.”

But Japan was not ready. Life for many changed dramatically. Those traumatic events made Tanaka take note. He realized that he is no different than the people he helps through Rotary.

“We do not know what it is like to have no water, no sanitation, no education,” he said.

Often, Rotarians like himself are benefactors from far away, seeing people in poverty from a distance. The tsunami brought home to him that human suffering is human suffering. That those in poverty feel hunger, pain and loss as acutely as those who were flourishing before the disaster wiped it all away.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business
  • Ideal Homes to dedicate Oklahoma’s first Home for HOPE

    Ideal Homes dedicated the company’s first Home for HOPE on Wednesday at 13209 SW 5th in Yukon....

    July 27, 2014

  • Todd Lamb to keynote luncheon

    Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb will provide the keynote address at the Norman Chamber of Commerce’s annual Legislative Lunch at 11:45 a.m. Aug. 6 at the National Weather Center. Lamb will speak on state issues that may impact local business and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma learns about storm water proposal

    The Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma invited Norman Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary to talk about the new storm water fee proposal at its luncheon Thursday....

    July 27, 2014

  • Backing up everything, everywhere, not as easy as it should be

    Though we may wish or believe otherwise, computing devices are still somewhat of a hassle to use. Some devices, like Apple’s iPad, come close to being fully realized machines, but even iPads have their clunky side....

    July 27, 2014

  • Is using E10 or ‘pure’ gasoline more economical?

    An analysis by AAA Oklahoma shows that at today’s prices, E10 motor fuel is cheaper to use than 100 percent gasoline, despite the fewer miles per gallon produced by E10, which is a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline....

    July 27, 2014

  • Appellate judge retiring

    The Honorable Charles A. Johnson retired from the Court of Criminal Appeals after 25 years on the bench. Johnson was appointed to the court on Oct. 31, 1989, by Gov. Henry Bellmon to fill the unexpired term of Hez J. Bussey. After 59 ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Candy Basket celebrates 25 years

    Perhaps it’s the chocolate covered blueberries whose deliciousness still lingers. Or maybe it’s the blood orange and wild honey white chocolate ganache that won’t soon be forgotten by your taste buds. At The Candy Basket there is decadence ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Bramlett & Associates adopts new name reflective of business

    Bramlett & Associates Multimedia LLC (Bramlett Multimedia), 215 W. Main St., announced this month that the company will change its name after 12 years in business and will do business as BOLD-Multimedia. The announcement, made first to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Toothpick holders convention coming to Norman

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collection in 1936,” Ryan said. Ryan was born in 1940, and she grew up crawling around toothpick holders, as have ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Protect your online banking, shopping with encryption

    In my free, one-night class called “Fight the Internet Bad Guys and Win,” I teach everyday computer users how to stay out of trouble on the Internet. How to avoid virus infections, how to discern between the genuine and counterfeit, and ...

    July 20, 2014