Hundreds attend Rotary District Conference

More than 300 Rotarians from 10 territories or countries throughout the Caribbean region enjoyed the three-day District Conference last week.

The 7020 Rotary District includes Cayman, Jamaica, Haiti, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barths, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas. It consists of 67 clubs on 14 different islands.

Rotary District Conference

From left, Grand Cayman Rotarians Julie High, left, of Rotary Sunrise, Nick Freeland and Lori McRae of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, and Ben LeSueur of Rotary Central at the District Governors Gala. Photo: Alan Markoff

‘Generally speaking, I think the conference was a great success,’ said District Governor Alastair Paterson. ‘The training was good. The conference was good. The visiting Rotarians loved the opening ceremony and the District Governor’s Ball.’

Rotarians started arriving from last Monday and many stayed through Sunday.

This year’s conference coincided with the Batabano festivities, which many of the visiting Rotarians took the opportunity to enjoy.

Some of the events during the week included a cocktail party at the Governor’s house on Wednesday and the opening ceremony in the Orchid Ballroom at the Marriott Beach Resort on Thursday.

Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts welcomed all of the Rotarians at the opening ceremony.

‘I recognise the outstanding contribution Cayman’s four Rotary clubs have made to our islands,’ he said, adding that Rotary has been making a contribution in Cayman for more than 40 years.

‘It is organisations such as Rotary that encourage ordinary individuals from all walks of life to get involved and share their energy and skills through community service, thus becoming extraordinary citizens,’ he said.

One Friday, dozens of Rotarians from all three of Grand Cayman’s clubs hosted a home hospitality event, where the visiting Rotarians went to the houses of local Rotarians for dinner.

The formal proceedings ended on Saturday night with the District Governor’s Gala at the Marriott.

At that gala, Mr. Paterson ceremoniously handed over the governorship to incoming DG Dick McCombe from The Bahamas, where next year’s District Conference will take place. However, Mr. Paterson’s year as District Governor does not officially end until 30 June.

In making his farewell speech, Mr. Paterson urged Rotarians to continue making a difference in their community, but to always remember the fifth part of a Rotarian’s four-way test: to have fun.