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Friday 4th July 2014

Rotary International and its membership celebrated its New Year on July 1st, 2014. The theme selected by Rotary International (RI) Gary C.K. Huang for 2014-2015 is “Light up Rotary”. In his address Huang urged members to “Light up Rotary” by hosting a Rotary Day in their community, continuing the fight against polio, and increasing club membership. “Light up Rotary” is more than our theme he continued; It is how we make a difference – every day, in every club, and in every country we serve. “The Rotary way is the Confucius way. The Rotary way is to light a candle. I light one, you light one, 1.2 million Rotarians light one. Together, we light up the world."

Locally, the Rotary Club of Antigua joins with Rotary International in “Light up Rotary”, and as part of commencing the New Year, installed its new board.  Leading the helm is President Lorraine Josiah, along with Vice President Dr. Errol Samuel, Immediate Past President Ato Kentish, Secretary Sherrie-Ann Brazier, Treasurer Michael Spencer, and President Elect Sharon Cordner-Georges.  Other Directors include Past President/Public Relations Officer Paul Ryan, Ira Charles, Eric Joseph, Delbert Baptiste, and Adekunle Osoba.

(left to right) Sharon Cordner-Georges, President Elect; Past President Gordon Julien, Sargent at Arms; Past President Paul Ryan, Public Relations Officer; Director Ira Charles, New Generations; President Lorraine Josiah; Director Adekunle Osoba, Membership; Director Eric Joseph, Service Projects; Vice President Dr. Errol Samuel; Sherrie-Ann Brazier, Secretary.

In her speech, President Lorraine began by thanking the incoming Board for their willingness to serve. “By being honest about our hopes and barriers, we are even the more, inspired with an invigorating elegance to deliver on our objectives. I look forward to your dedication, commitment and support. Deep down inside I hear whispers that declare: when we work together forcibly, honestly and persistently, we will achieve our aims with commanding pride, during the next twelve (12) months.

I count it an honour to lead our great Club. Equally, I accept this special role to be your leader. With the competent, knowledgeable and enthusiastic leadership team that you have bestowed upon me, I will do justice to the confidence that you have placed in me. By aligning our goals and by building on the talent and effort of our Club leaders, we can make the kind of difference that improves Antigua and Barbuda and the world around us.

Secondly, since our people, strategy, theme and challenges are our greatest assets; I want to challenge and inspire us to realize the purpose for our existence:

•    I will focus on renewed efforts to bring equality, peace and justice to our country and to the world. This can be best achieved by building past achievements, and this applies to our Club. Continuity of direction and in the approaches we take, whilst at the same time changing to meet the needs of a fast moving world, is a constant message of Rotary International.
•    I am dedicated to the Strategic Action Plans of the past years. The review and updating of last year’s plan to meet current circumstances, and the development of new initiatives, forms the basis of this year’s Strategic Actions Plans, and provides the platform for succession planning and continuation of initiatives from this year to the next.

Here in Antigua and Barbuda, we will light up one person at a time – one family at a time – one village at a time – and ultimately our twin island state.

I have a passionate belief in Rotary’s neighbors, community leaders and global citizens. I know that we can unite for the common good. But the heart of Rotary is dedicated people, who share a passion for both community service and friendship. Rotary is committed to taking on some of the world's pressing challenges. One such challenge is Autism. As District Governor Elwin shared -- “Autism is one of the objectives I share with fellow Rotarians of District 7030 for the coming years. Let’s also ‘Light Up Rotary’ as well by focusing on Autism.”

Beyond our assets, our club is renowned for tangible deliverables that count, in terms of their impact on people’s lives. Locally, we will:

•    Undertake “Operation Rotary House”
•    Provide assistance to the Andrea Hughes project
•    Launch a new interact Club in one of the government primary schools, and
•    Establish an Autism project as mandated by District Governor Elwin.”

Of significant accomplishments in 2013/2014, under the stewardship of then President Ato Kentish, the Rotary Club of Antigua was successful in the building of the Potters Primary School Library and the furnishing of this school, as well as the Bethesda Primary School.

Immediate Past President Ato Kentish and President Lorraine Josiah

The Club will continue its monthly Meals on Wheels programme, where over 100+ food packages are distributed to persons with no or little financial means of taking care of themselves; its annual Christmas party for over 500 children in Antigua and Barbuda, its distribution of dictionaries to all Grade 3 students in both public and private schools; the continuation of the sewing machine programme within the Grace Green and Freetown communities, just to name a few projects.

These projects, among others would not be possible without the support of Corporate Antigua, supporters of the Rotary Club of Antigua fundraising activities, and patrons of the Rotary Club of Antigua annual Colours fete.

This year’s Colours Fete will be held at Barnacle Point on July 19, 2014. Tickets remain at $175.00 an available from any member of the Rotary Club of Antigua, Thomas John & Co and KPMG on Sir Sidney Walling Highway, FDICIC on Friars Hill Road, and Antigua Motors on Old Parham Road.

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