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
  • Bridge Businesses try to survive while bridge is closed

    Ray Cole wonders every day if his business will have to close. Cole is one of many Lexington and Purcell business owners struggling financially since the 76-year-old James C. Nance Memorial Bridge closed Jan. 31. The Oklahoma Department ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm scavengers now could face felony charges

    OKLAHOMA CITY— It wasn’t long after a devastating tornado hit Moore last year that scavengers were circling the wreckage. Already reeling, Moore residents had a new concern — fending off looters....

    April 15, 2014

  • Norman teachers excited about professional development

    Norman Public Schools’ teachers are focused on students and want to take advantage of professional development, Beth Spears, director of Staff Development and Student Achievement, said was the overall response teachers had to a recent ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Social justice dialogue part of University of Oklahoma program

    The University of Oklahoma kicked off Justice Week with a public forum Monday titled “Luis Rodriguez: No en Vano.” Critically acclaimed author, Esmeralda Santiago discussed the “Transformative Power of Art,” while joining five panelists ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Oklahoma’s 8-month streak without tornado falls

    TULSA — After Oklahoma’s eight-month streak without a tornado was snapped this weekend by a pair of suspected twisters, the state’s wild weather jag continued into Monday, with blowing snow from the Panhandle to Tulsa and freezing ...

    April 15, 2014

  • County hears presentation on employment opportunities

    The Cleveland County Board of Commissioners listened to a presentation Monday to consider partnering with a nonprofit that provides employment opportunities for prison inmates re-entering the community. Patrick Viklund, Center for ...

    April 15, 2014

  • 4 now charged in college player’s death

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A fourth person was charged Monday in the death of an Australian baseball player who was fatally shot as he jogged in a southern Oklahoma neighborhood last summer....

    April 15, 2014

  • Questions linger year after bombs

    BOSTON — A surveillance video shows a man prosecutors say is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev placing a bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, just yards from where an 8-year-old boy was killed when it exploded....

    April 15, 2014

  • Fallin signs minimum wage increase ban

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities across Oklahoma are now prohibited from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day requirements under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin....

    April 15, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Sunday: · 12:03 a.m. vandalism, 100 block of 12th Avenue Southeast · 6:42 a.m. burglary report, 300 block of 12th Avenue Southeast · 9:21 a.m. vandalism, 1500 block of North ...

    April 15, 2014