Geoffrey Pike 1993 – 2002
His contact with Raja Saboo (Past RI president) lead to a mutual admiration of cricket and after a few inter country visits, they formed IFCR at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during the RI Convention in 1993. Geoffrey became the first Chairman.
He continued in that post and attended the first World Festival in Fordingbridge in 1997 and the second one in Chennai in 1999 but felt the long trip to Christchurch in 2002 was too far to go and decided to stand down as Chairman.
Between the first meeting with Raj Saboo in 1988 and 2002 Geoffrey either organised or took an active part in all the IFCR events which GB&I were involved in.
His vast knowledge and list of contacts helped smooth many paths and the strength of the organisation owes much to his foresight and enthusiasm.
He was an international Rotarian and, like all good Rotarians, placed a lot of importance on family links. This is reflected in the fact that his son David and daughter-in-law Mary have both been District Governors and active members of IFCR.
Michael Jackson 2002 – 2010
He also then offered to run the first world Rotary cricket festival as a follow up to the 1997 RI Convention in Glasgow. At that Festival in Fordingbridge he handed over the role of treasurer to Gerald Anderson and took on the secretary’s role which Geoffrey Pike had undertaken as well as chairman.
Mike then succeeded Geoffrey as chairman in 2002 at the Christchurch Festival continuing that role until the Durban festival in 2010 when he passed the baton to David Horsley from Australia.
As a result of holding this job Mike was asked to serve on the RI Fellowship Committee and did two terms 2006/2009 and 2011/2014.
Mike has been to the first eight IFCR world festivals and still counts his IFCR activities as one of the most rewarding parts of his Rotary life.
David Horsley 2010-2012
He was elected as World Chairman of IFCR at the IFCR World Festival in Durban, South Africa in March 2010 (taking over from long serving chairman Michael Jackson).
In March 2011 as IFCR World Chairman, David and his wife Jan along with Norman and Liz Brown (Chairman IFCR GB&I) journeyed to Vapi, India to discuss arrangements and view facilities with Vipul Patel and his organising committee.
David held the role of Chairman until the IFCR World Festival in Vapi, India in February 2012 where he handed over to ‘Kittu’ Krishnaswami.
While at the festival in Vapi, David initiated the move to vote on a new World Chairman at each IFCR World Festival and suggested to Kittu that he would be the ideal man to take over as IFCR World Chairman.
In October 2010 while IFCR World Chairman, David organised the Australian IFCR Festival at Lilac Hill in Western Australia. The festival was attended by a team from New Zealand along with Ravi Raman and Shobana from India and Norman and Liz Brown and Stan and Ruth Broomfield from England.
David and his wife Jan are the only couple to have attended every IFCR World Festival of Cricket to date, commencing in Fordingbridge, England in 1997 to Christchurch in New Zealand in 2017.
David was elected to the role of president IFCR Australia in 2008 after serving on the IFCR Board from 1997. His term as IFCR Australia president concluded at Lilac Hill in 2010.
David has attended every IFCR Australian Festival since inception, with the exception of Young in NSW in 2006.
David has hosted a number of visiting IFCR teams to Perth and Western Australia, from the UK in 2002, South Africa in 2004 and two visits from IFCR New Zealand. One of these was in March 2005 as the Kiwis were enroute to South Africa and the second was a two week tour in 2008 to the south west of Western Australia, playing cricket at Bunbury, Busselton, Albany, Esperance and Kalgoorlie. David also hosted an IFCR team from Eastern Australia in 2007 to the south west of WA in an attempt to promote IFCR in Western Australia.
Kittu has been an active member of IFCR since 1997. He was one of the driving forces behind mobilising a team from Chennai, India, to participate in the first IFCR Festival at Fordingbridge in July 1997. He was instrumental in convincing all the IFCR members that the second IFCR Festival could be hosted by Chennai and was the Chairman of the IFCR Chennai Festival, successfully conducted in Feb 1999.
Kittu (and his charming Ann Nandini) were active participants in all the IFCR Festivals – at Christchurch (2002), Hunter Valley (2004), Colombo (2007), Durban (2010), Vapi (2012) and Nottingham (2014). He had also participated in many interim cricket events like at Fiji (May 2007). More active at the bar then on the cricket field, his effervescent presence always added to the cheer of any gathering.
Kittu never lost focus on his role as a Rotarian and reached out to his IFCR friends worldwide to muster support for Rotary projects – he spearheaded the relief work to respond to the tsunami disaster that affected Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka in 2004 and garnered spontaneous support from IFCR members (and their clubs) from other countries.
During his term as the chairman of IFCR (2012-2014), Kittu brought focus to membership development as well as to bring in more chapters into IFCR. At every opportunity, he promoted the IFCR fellowship with international Rotarians and urged them to start a chapter. The highlights during his term are listed below:
• IFCR Membership grew to 1016 Rotarians from 11 countries.
• IFCR Bangladesh (RI Dist. 3280) was inducted in June 2013 – Kittu, Sarathy & Vipul graced the launch function at Dhaka. 50 Rotarians from Bangladesh became IFCR members.
• IFCR Greece (RI Dist. 2484) was inducted in Sep 2013 – Kittu, Sarathy, Vipul & Ravi along with Richard from Australia participated in the launch function at Corfu island, Greece.
• Kittu addressed a meeting at Singapore in Feb 2014 and urged them to form a chapter (this could be pursued to bring Singapore into the IFCR fold).
• New chapters were launched in India (IFCR Kochi, RI 3201, Kerala)
• Each member country conducted local IFCR Festivals that brought Rotarians from many other chapters to participate.
• Adelaide Festival held in Oct 2012 – attended by 9 IFCR members from India, 3 from New Zealand and 1 from UK. Four teams played 35 over games on 3 days.
• Cricket at Cawkers Well in Nov 2012 – 200 Rotarians participated – Unique program where the pitch was laid exclusively for playing matches in a vast estate.
• Australian Team toured UK, 8 players and 4 partners met at Singapore and visited U.K in July 2013 – played 7 matches at various centers in U.K.
• North South Weekend festival was held in March 2013 and March 2014.
• IFCR Hyderabad (RI 3150) organised an All India IFCR tournament in Nov 2012. Apart from teams from all the chapters in India, IFCR Sri Lanka participated and Richard from Australia umpired. RI President Sakuji Tanaka graced the occasion, met all the IFCR members and was presented with a USD35,000 cheque for the Polio Plus campaign on behalf of district 3150 .
• IFCR Chennai organised a festival during Feb 2013; well attended by all IFCR members of India.
• South Asia Cricket Festival in May 2013 at Munnar, India. Bangladesh participated); the hosts, Kochi were enrolled as a chapter of IFCR India.
• Pune chapter organized Rotary Premier League during Nov 2013, well attended by India chapters.
• The finale was the World Festival at Nottingham in July 2014, orchestrated by the maestro Norman Brown, that saw a record 200+ Rotarians and their families from 7 countries participate.
Though Kittu handed over to Rtn. John Dean during the Nottingham Festival, he was requested to act as an interim chairman (when Rtn. John Dean ceased to be a Rotarian) till a new chairman was identified. It was indeed sad that Kittu passed away in December 2014 in the midst of another pioneering project of his – Games Bond 15, a unique festival of sports and games for Rotarians from across the world to be conducted in Chennai in Feb 2015.
Ravi Raman 2014-2016
You cannot separate Ravi from cricket. Whenever you think of him, it is always an image of Ravi in his whites, with his pads on, wielding his bat like a mace. When he is not playing cricket he is talking about it, discussing some aspects of a recent match, or planning for the next one. We have heard that he runs his varied business interests in a manner similar to his cricket teams – aggressive fast bowlers to go after customers, wicket keepers in support operations, spinners as corporate planners/strategists, while he continuously changes his field placements depending on the needs of the business.
Ravi joined the Rotary club of Coromandel in Chennai in 1996. He and his brother, Rajashekar, another active member of IFCR, were part of the team from Chennai that participated in the first IFCR Festival at Fordingbridge, UK in 1997. Ravi took to IFCR like the proverbial fish to water. This heady combination of cricket and Rotary together with a large and growing list of international Rotary friends increased his involvement in Rotary as well as in IFCR.
Ravi and his charming wife Shobana have been active members of IFCR Chennai and have hosted many visiting international IFCR members at their house. They have visited all the member countries to participate in IFCR festivals and Australian festivals. Ravi has the distinction of having participated in all the 9 World IFCR festivals that have taken place between 1997 and 2017.
Ravi started the yahoogroups for IFCR in 2004 to facilitate easy communication between its global members. He has been the moderator of this group right from inception.
Ravi has shouldered various Rotary and IFCR responsibilities – he was the President of his club twice, once in 2000-01 and a second term in 2013-14. He has been actively involved in the International Service team in RI District 3230 and was the Director – International Service during 2016-17.
Ravi was the chairman of the IFCR Tamil Nadu chapter for over 10 years. He was elected as the chairman of IFCR India in 2010 and held this position till 2012. During this period, Ravi inducted over 10 new chapters in India. He later visited Bangladesh and Greece (along with past chairman Kittu) to induct them into IFCR. He also actively organised many IFCR tournaments and festivals within India.
It was but natural that Ravi was unanimously elected as the chairman of IFCR International in 2014 and served in this position till the Christchurch festival in Feb 2017. Ravi continued to work towards the growth of IFCR and its activities in India and globally. During his tenure IFCR membership in India grew from 500 to 2000; IFCR Bangladesh became more active and new initiatives were discussed to bring younger members into IFCR in UK, Australia and New Zealand. Ravi visited all the IFCR member countries and addressed Rotary clubs on the activities of IFCR to create awareness and encourage new members to join.
There is no doubt that Ravi’s active involvement with IFCR will continue and his vast experience and inputs will be available to succeeding chairmen.