Rotary celebrates its 41st year

The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman recently celebrated its 41st anniversary with a dinner at the Wharf Restaurant.

Cayman’s original Rotary organisation received its charter on 28 January 1966.

Four of its charter members are still active in the club, including Harry McCoy, Vernon Jackson, James ‘Sonny Boy’ Bodden and Benson Ebanks. The latter three were all in attendance for the Charter Night Dinner.

One of the highlights of the evening was the induction of Chi Chi Foster as an honorary Rotarian. Mrs. Foster is the widow of long-time Rotarian David Foster, who had more than 25 years of perfect attendance at Rotary meetings before he died.

Rotary District Governor Alastair Paterson, who presided over the induction of Mrs. Foster, said it was appropriate for the Foster name to remain involved with the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman.

‘David Foster’s name goes far and wide throughout the Caribbean,’ he said. ‘David Foster’s name epitomises the Rotary motto of service above self.’

The evening’s guest speaker was University of the Cayman Islands President Hassan Syed, who spoke of the changes made at the school.

‘The system of education at UCCI is now about including the excluded,’ he said. ‘Higher education is the key to human development.’

Over its 41 years, the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman has been responsible for many major projects, including the construction of the Bonaventure Boys Home and Frances Bodden Home for Girls; the organisation of the Batabano Carnival; the annual Christmas tree lighting and senior citizens’ Christmas party; the Meals on Wheels programme; the gun amnesty programme; and many other programmes and fundraising efforts.

The club has sponsored three other clubs in the Cayman Islands, including the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac in 1981; Rotary Grand Cayman Central in 1986; and Rotary Sunrise Club in 2002.

In addition, the club has provided four district governors, not including Mr. Paterson, who although originally a member of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, is now a member of Rotary Sunrise.