Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman turns 5

A member of the Rotary family

The Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman celebrated its fifth birthday on 15 December and no one was happier than Rotary Sunrise President Andrea Bryan.  

“Rotary Clubs around the world celebrate families in December and with RCGC turning 5, it is a perfect opportunity to celebrate a member of our family,” Ms Bryan said. “Watching the Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman grow over the last five years has been very fulfilling. Rotary Sunrise will be celebrating their birthday (Wednesday, 14 December) at our weekly meeting, when RCGC will be our honoured guests. They will be treated to a birthday cake and some lovely surprises”. 


Original charter 

Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman was chartered on 15 December, 2006, with Rotary Sunrise as the official sponsor. However, the process began a few years earlier, said Dorothy Crumbley, the first president of the organisation.  

The seed was planted when Rotary Sunrise member Franz Manderson (now an honorary member) invited her to Rotary Sunrise meetings. Then in 2005, Woody Foster and a few other Rotarians interviewed and selected Ms. Crumbley to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference in St. Maarten. She was chosen to be a representative at the RYLA conference for Rotary District 7020, this time in Sweden in 2005. However, the process didn’t end with Ms. Crumbley’s attendance at these conferences.  

It was Sunrise Rotarians like Director Deborah Chambers and Club President Hendrik–Jan van Genderen who ensured the organisation was chartered in 2006.  

Good idea 

Mr. van Genderen, who sanctioned the group during his presidency, said even though Sunrise was also a young club when RCGC was established, everyone agreed that sponsoring a Rotaract Club was a good idea. 

“My thoughts at the time were how we can get more young Caymanians involved in promoting Rotary’s motto of “service above self’,” Ms. Chambers said. “I remember five years back looking at our Sunrise Club and not seeing many Caymanians. Given our transient society, we needed to have more Caymanians buying into Rotary’s motto and eventually becoming the lifeblood of the Rotary clubs.”  

Mr. van Genderen praised the RCGC and Rotary Sunrise members for seeing the process through. 

“Now what we see is a very vibrant group from the very beginning, which has continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Rotary Sunrise was very happy to sponsor the club and we have continued to be involved,” he said.  

Leslie Ann Wilson, current president of RCGC said there are 30 active Rotaract members that meet at Icoa Fine Foods in the Seven Mile Shops on Thursday at 6.45am for a 7am start.  

She said the importance of having a Rotaract Club is that it helps young people to grow and provides an excellent opportunity to develop leadership skills.  

“Rotaractors will be very effective Rotarians. That is what our community needs, because the more motivated and talented people you have, the better the club will be in providing community service,” she said. 

Rotary Club members are typically age 30 and above; Rotaract targets the 18 to 30 age group. The clubs are open to all residents and membership is by invitation. 

Rotaract club photo

From left, International Service Director Jamaal Anderson; Community Service Director Andrea Balderamos; Vice President Derrick Vermont; President Leslie Ann Wilson; Secretary Lauren Langlois; Club Service Director Stephanie Rattan; Sergeant at Arms, Glenn Duran Jr.; and Professional Development Director Danielle Japal. In front: Immediate Past President Adrean Russell. – Photo: File

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