Cayman helps ring in Rotary Centennial

Members of all four Rotary clubs in the Cayman Islands celebrated the Centennial of the establishment of the first Rotary Club last Wednesday with an event hosted by Governor Bruce Dinwiddy and his wife Emma.

The centrepiece of the event was the Rotary Centennial Bell, one of five in existence making their ways across to Rotary Clubs across the globe.

It was notable to have one of the five bells here for the actual Centennial date.

‘That took quite some planning to arrange,’ said Ray Whittaker, president of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, the first Rotary Club formed in the Cayman Islands.

The Rotary Club was first chartered in 1905 by Chicago attorney Paul Harris.

In the 100 years since, Rotary has grown to have more than 1.2 million members in more than 31,000 clubs in 166 countries.

The bell was only supposed to go to the first Rotary club formed in any particular country, but Mr. Whittaker said he is sharing the bell with all of Cayman’s clubs.

‘It was in Cayman Brac yesterday,’ he said on Tuesday. ‘Now I’m getting it to (Rotary Central president) John Elliott for their meeting tonight.’

Rotary Sunrise will then have the bell for its Wednesday morning meeting.

After the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman has the bell for a second meeting on Thursday, Mr. Whittaker said he will send the bell back to Rotary International in Chicago.

Mr. and Mrs. Dinwiddy have been made honorary Rotarians in Cayman and have been active in attending Club events. They had expressed an interest in hosting a Rotary event, the Centennial celebration worked well because it involved members of all four Cayman Islands clubs.

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