Perhaps it was the picturesque backdrop of Harrison’s Cave, or maybe it was the celebratory occasion, but as the Rotary Club of Barbados (RCoB) celebrated the start of the new Rotary year – they did so with a sense of accomplishment, a sober reflection on the past year and a determination to continue to serve the Barbadian communities in the year ahead.
Incoming President Shawn Franklin urged Rotarians to throw their support behind this year’s theme to Be the Inspiration and reminded Rotarians as well as their Partners in Service that Rotarians who make the most meaningful impact are not always the ones with the greatest resources, the most experience or the largest networks. But rather those Rotarians who are exemplary in their service lives are often those who are truly inspired.
In drawing on that inspiration, President Franklin proudly announced the Club’s latest project – the Modular Toilet Project. He opined that regrettably, many Barbadians still do not have access to indoor toilet facilities and unfortunately many are persons living with disabilities. With this project, it is envisioned that at least five disabled persons would have their pit toilets replaced with indoor facilities.
“The proposed Modular Toilet Project is a highly innovative approach driven by a desire to make an invaluable contribution to the quality of lives for some of the most vulnerable households in Barbados. Moreover, the project fits in with the Sustainable Development Policy for the improvement of wastewater treatment, the environment, and the quality of life for all Barbadians. Regionally and internationally, the project initiative is in accordance with Rotary International’s goals for Water and Sanitation, Fighting Diseases, Economic and Community Development and Community Service. The Rotary Club of Barbados will be implementing the project in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Urban and Rural Development Commissions and other strategic partners.”
In looking ahead, President Shawn Franklin reminded Rotarians to continue to support the Club’s signature projects which include the partnership with the Child Care Board, which will again see Certification and Training programmes for caregivers there, the development of the youth clubs, Interact and Rotaract, and a new thrust on Environmental Awareness through the Rotary Friend of the Environment project. The Rotary Club of Barbados also reaffirmed its commitment to the Heartbeat International programme where indigent persons would receive free pacemakers.
Outgoing President Paul Ashby echoed similar sentiments urging those present to take their approach to Rotary seriously, with precision and with their vocation in full view. He reminded the Club of the past year’s efforts such as the Sustainable Living Improving Lives project where six impoverished households received kits inclusive of guttering, a water tank with a pump and an instant kitchen garden so that they could have greater self-sufficiency.
This project also received a Rotary Global Grant to the tune of US$34,000.
And the night was not without its highlights as Rotarians past President Jedder Robinson and past Director Winston Warren, Partner in Service Gillian Applewhaite and past Bulletin Editor Fiona Hinds were the recipients of the Paul Harris Fellowship – Rotary’s highest service award.
The Rotary Club of Barbados Installation and Dinner ceremony was held on Saturday, July 7th, 2018 at Harrison’s Cave and was well attended by Rotarians, their partners in service and several special guests. (PR)