The Norman Transcript

Headlines

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
Headlines
  • Coaches Luncheon Mixon question off-limits at coaches luncheon

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived Wednesday at Journey Church....

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mixon will not participate in practice

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today. Freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there. The school announced the decision Wednesday night....

    July 31, 2014

  • Nova Pettigrew Music community bands together to raise money for 2-year-old’s battle with rare form of cancer

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deputies cleared, return to work

    Two deputies involved in a deadly shooting earlier this month are expected to return to work today after being cleared by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. “They (the Sheriff’s Office) gave me their investigation, I ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Sales tax-free weekend set to begin this weekend

    When stores open Friday morning, shoppers may be waiting. Oklahoma’s annual sales tax holiday is slated to run this weekend with the special exemption beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday....

    July 31, 2014

  • India landslide kills 21

    NEW DELHI — Rescuers worked in rain today to dig through a remote village in western India where at least 21 people died as a landslide swept away scores of houses, possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said....

    July 31, 2014

  • Israeli strike hits UN school

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel’s stepped up campaign against ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Busted water main dumps 20 million gallons of water into UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and adjacent garage

    LOS ANGELES — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities ...

    July 31, 2014

  • GOP-led House gives go-ahead for suit

    WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Just a day before ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Randall Lee Sherrill, 34, possession of juvenile pornography · Dewey Leon Kinsey, 37, possession of controlled dangerous ...

    July 31, 2014