HIS first act as new president of the Rotary Club of St Augustine West was to dance and sing to Bob Marley’s immortal classic, War.
Curtis Gopie was in high spirits when he addressed the annual handing-over/installation ceremony of the club's new president and board, at the Rooftop Restaurant at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope.
The ceremony took place amidst the required covid19 protocols, as Gopie received his chain from immediate past president Patrick Godson Phillip on July 2, said a media release. Gopie told his audience, “Bob Marley was talking about intellectual war, and it applies today as it did back then.”
Speaking on the Rotary International theme for 2020, Rotary Opens Opportunities, Gopie said, “No one could have predicted the ravages, death and great sorrow that covid19 would bring to our world. But out of this disaster new opportunities can be derived. I believe through the grace and strength of God, much like the Phoenix, we shall rise out of the fires of this virus, and adapt to what might be a new and better way of life.”
The Rotary Opens Opportunities' logo consists of a picture of three open doors. Gopie asked his members to be the keys which open those doors of opportunities.
“Let us stand together keeping these doors open, open to a whole new world of friends and Rotary families. Forging innovative ways to learn leadership skills and most importantly, truly make a difference through service.”
He outlined several projects the club will undertake for this year, including enhancement work at the Wendy Fitzwilliams Paediatric Hospital.
In 2013, the Rotary Club of St Augustine West signed a memorandum of understanding with the North Central Regional Health Authority in which it adopted the Medical Paediatric Ward 2 at the hospital. Since then, the club has brought a level of cheer to both the children and staff during the Christmas season and for the country's observance of Independence, the release said.
The club will also adopt a park at the corner of Evans and Bell-Smythe Streets, St Augustine, and will carry out enhancement works on the walking track, exercise and children's play equipment and fencing.
In 1992, the club's late past-president Elton Nelson initiated the Joy Service Project, and this year the board will revive it with some differences.
The leadership of the Rotaract Club also changed on July 2 and Jamila Frank took over from Linda Ashby, while Khandace Yorke-Ventor was voted Rotarack of the Year.