Dear fellow Rotarians and Rotaractors,
The Rotary theme for the month of December is Disease Prevention and Treatment; one of the Seven Areas of Focus. Polio eradication remains Rotary’s number one health initiative, but Rotarians also unite to stop the spread of other life-threatening diseases, focusing on health education and bringing people routine hearing, vision, and dental care. Rotarians also take action to set up clinics, blood donation centres and training facilities in underserved communities struggling with outbreaks and health care access. Through the Global Grants, Rotarians, doctors, patients and governments are able to come together to build and utilise infrastructure. In line with the above, some of our Rotary clubs are participating in the Global Grants aligned with this Rotary Area of Focus.
It goes without saying that this Rotary Year will be remembered for many years to come as one that has seen significant change and adaptation. As the COVID-19 pandemic remains prevalent, it is critical that we reach out to those who are feeling lonely or overwhelmed, both within our Rotary family and beyond. Above all, recognising and showing concern for club members who may be facing difficulties during this time will prevent clubs from losing valuable members from neglect, disenchantment or financial difficulties due to the pandemic.
To date, I have completed 58 of my club visits. There are 10 clubs remaining in Singapore, 1 in Johor and 2 in Malacca. I have formed bonds with the Club Presidents and the members that I could never have dreamed possible through the virtual platforms that have become a substantial part of my Rotary life. I must say that I have learned a lot during the club official visits as they gave me great opportunity to know the key officers of the club and how the clubs operate. I am so proud of our District as I have seen the things that our members are made of and stand in awe of them. There is quiet resilience as we have quickly adapted in order to continue carrying out projects and take care of the less fortunate.
Membership in the District has grown by over a nett of 4% or 82 members totalling 2156 since the commencement of the year. We have also chartered one Rotaract e-club and two Interact clubs. There were plans to charter few Rotary clubs in Sabah and Johor but unfortunately due to the lockdown, it is not possible to meet and initiate the interest meetings. Hopefully in the next calendar year, there will be opportunities to follow up with these potential members. I appeal to all clubs to continue to do their best to retain existing members who have been our friends in service.
Our Rotaractors have been extraordinarily active under the guidance of the dynamic District Joint Rotaract Committee. The Elevate Rotaract Task Force comprising Rotarians and Rotaractors has completed the Elevate Rotaract Action Plan which will be disseminated to all clubs. Please look out and participate in the forum on 14 December to further seek clarification and understand the Action Plan.
Through the efforts of our Step Up to End Polio fund raising and the overwhelming support from our clubs and individuals, we gave our support to Rotary’s quest to End Polio Now and we made contributions to our Rotary Foundation amounting to US$79,512 up to the end of November. I trust there will be more efforts from clubs and individual Rotarians to continue donating to Polio Fund. I now urge all Rotarians to make contributions to the Annual Fund so that your contributions will help to strengthen peace efforts, provide clean water and sanitation, support education, grow local economies, save mothers and children, and fight disease.
For the second half of the year, our efforts should be towards achieving all our great goals this year. Therefore, Presidents, Committee Chairs and members, I encourage you to rally together to execute our plans to create those lasting changes and touch lives in meaningful ways as people of action.
Looking to the future, we can now confirm that the District Conference will take place virtually over the weekend of May 22 and 23. While we will provide a “hybrid conference experience” that allows all club members in the District to attend online, the opportunity to attend the conference in-person is still a possibility, but this will depend on the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the likelihood of a vaccine, I remain positive. But rest assured, your conference team is already working hard to ensure that the conference experience will be a memorable one either way!
My wife Nica and I bring you holiday greetings this festive season. We wish each of you a happy, healthy, safe, and joyous season as you enjoy celebrations of special holidays, Christmas and the New Year, with your families and communities.
Yours in Rotary,
District Governor 2020-2021