Posted by Jim Fitzgerald
One of the most time-demanding jobs in a Rotary club is that of club secretary, which, for the most part, occurs behind the scenes, and alone, carefully inscribing the events of a meeting or project in the record books. 
More than that, the secretary is the friendly, smiling face that greets each and everyone to the meeting each week and diligently recording their all-important attendance and makeups for the week and greeting the guests and visiting Rotarians.
Beyond the spotlight, the mundane tasks are innumerable and varied depending on the wishes and dictates of the club president and demands of various coordinators and committee chairmen.  Trips to the post office, and bank; writing letters of thanks, to speakers, visiting dignitaries, and others, answering mail and ordering supplies, consume more of a club secretary’s time.
Like NFL linemen, their distinction is mostly remembered by their mistakes rather than their contributions, so the job is not one of the most sought-after ones in the club.  On the other hand, there seems to be an attraction to the job for some unexplainable reason, which compels them to serve when asked, to ask to serve, and in some cases to serve several years, and, in some cases,
There may be many other stories like mine, but I would like to relate my experience as club president, with my club secretary, Paul Auchter.   
At the time I was nominated to be the incoming president of the Rotary club in 1987-88, a fellow member of the club, Paul Auchter approached me and asked if he could be my secretary.  Being relatively new in the club and not all that familiar with the history of the club or its members, I didn’t question his motives or qualifications, I just said yes. 
My first decision as club president turned out to be my best.  Paul and I became more than friends; we became a team.  He was a trusted confident, and tireless worker.  We crafted a detailed plan and budget for the year and, in all modesty, thanks to him, executed it to perfection. 
When Paul said the club need a better typewriter, I scrounged one up, a file cabinet to keep the club records, I found one and brought it to his house.  When I asked Paul to go with me to a district meeting, he said when do you want to pick me up. 
When I needed him to come up with a way to keep track of attendance for a weekly drawing  for a perfect attendance scheme of mine, he bought a roll of tickets, fixed up a shoe-box to drop them in and brought it to the meeting each week, so we could draw out the winning ticket and award the weekly prize, which he also brought with him.  This went on for the whole year and he never missed a week.
Did I mention, he had terminal emphysema? Or, that he mowed the lawn for his church every week as well?  Or, that he went on to serve as secretary for three other club presidents, Bill Burns, Rodney Gilstrap, and Chuck Williams?
I will remember Paul and what he did for me and Rotary that year, and honor his awesome spirit, and I will remember and honor the 36 other club secretaries, who served the other 99 club presidents, when we come together, “Celebrating a Century of Changing Lives In Marshall – And Beyond”, August 24, 2019, at the Marshall Convention Center.