Global leader to visit city

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 15, 2001

Richard D. King and his wife, Cherie Kay King, will make history in Natchez this week when they become the first Rotary International president and first lady to visit Natchez and the first to visit Mississippi in 35 years.

The Kings also will visit Aberdeen, Tupelo and Jackson during their Mississippi stay, which is part of a sweeping &uot;Southern tour,&uot; the first organized club visits for the newly inaugurated president.

The tour will include stops in South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana.

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King, an attorney who lives in California, has chosen &uot;Mankind is our Business&uot; for the theme during the year of his presidency.

He heads an organization formed in 1905 by attorney Paul P. Harris and three friends – a merchant, a coal dealer and a mining engineer. Rotary has grown to include 1.2 million members working in about 29,600 clubs in 163 countries and 35 geographical regions worldwide.

&uot;It’s a great privilege to be a member of the world’s oldest and most distinguished service club,&uot; King said in a written statement. &uot;Rotary has been a gift in my life – an opportunity for doing good that I want to share with others. As the needs of communities change, Rotary will work to meet those needs.&uot;

Originally from Litchfield, Ill., King is a graduate of the University of California at Berkley, where he received a bachelor’s degree as well as his law degree. He taught law at Brigham Young University in Utah and has served in the U.S. Army as an intelligence officer.

King has been a member of Rotary since 1968. His home club is the Rotary Club of Niles-Fremont, Calif. He has received numerous awards for his Rotary activities, including the Rotary Citation for Meritorious Service, the Distinguished Service Award and the PolioPlus Pioneer Award.

King is a popular speaker who has made presentations at Rotary clubs in almost every U.S. state and in 75 other countries.

He is an elder in the Mormon church and an active fundraiser for the Boy Scouts. His active participation in civic affairs has led to honors bestowed by some 50 charity and community service organizations.

Some facts about Rotary King will publicize during his term includes:

Rotary members are professional men and women who work as volunteers to improve the quality of life in their home and world community.

Club membership represents a cross-section of local business and professional leaders.

The world’s Rotary clubs meet weekly and are non-political, non-religious and open to all cultures, races and creeds.

The main objective of Rotary is service in the community, in the workplace and throughout the world.

Rotary volunteers build goodwill and peace, provide humanitarian service and encourage high ethical standards in all vocations.

The Rotary motto is &uot;Service above self.&uot;

The Rotary Four-Way Test: Is it the truth, is it fair to all concerned, will it build good will and better friendship and will it be beneficial to all concerned?

The Rotary Foundation’s educational programs include Ambassadorial Scholarships, the world’s largest privately funded source of international scholarships. Nearly 1,300 scholarships are awarded annually for study in another land.