Fellow Rotarians and Guests,

Rotary Year 2010-11 was a productive and award-winning year for the Rotary Club of East Nassau as we did our best to fulfill the mandate of RI President Ray Klinginsmith to help Build Communities and Bridge Continents. Our efforts were recognised with the Club of the Month Award for November from the Rotary Foundation, and a District Governor Platinum Award as a finale. We also received a Presidential Citation with Distinction from Rotary International.

Last July, Public Relations Director Kahlil Parker and I toured local media companies to tell them about our club’s community service projects. These contacts paid dividends throughout the year in the form of generous press coverage.

Our projects were numerous:

We supported  our affiliated Rotaract Club in their efforts to help the Ranfurly Home for Children with a jumble sale in July

In August we welcomed our US Virgin Islands-based District Governor, Diana White, for the first time. At our monthly board meeting she led discussions on the goals set by her office and the challenges of the District-wide Club of the Month programme.

We continued our regular donations to the Bahamas Sailing Association, the Salvation Army, the Ebenezer Soup Kitchen, the BAPD Christmas Party and Project Read.

We continued our 30-plus year tradition of supporting needy families in the Fox Hill area every two weeks was continued under the able leadership of Corinne Laville, Gary Sweeting and Pierre Dupuch. New Rotarians who have joined these bi-weekly expeditions are always inspired by the people we meet and the struggles they endure.

Our joint International Service project in association with a club in Joplin, Missouri enabled us to fund 100 wheelchairs for the Bahamas Association for Physically Disabled.

In conjunction with a Georgia club we were able to provide free eye tests and eye-glasses to students in four public schools as well as a community centre. We also donated school supplies to the children.

Our club donated reading material to children at TG Glover Primary School to assist with their classes.

We worked with fellow Rotarians on two significant projects. The first was a Bed Race for Polio held in January which netted $9,000 for the EPN campaign as well as a great deal of goodwill and publicity. The second was the hosting of a RYLA event on Abaco in February.

The RYLA event was well-received by our Interact clubs, who all felt rewarded by the experience. It was an excellent way to mark our fifth avenue of service - youth.

For the environment, our club made a $2,000 donation to the Bahamas National Trust to help publish their Treasures of the Sea teacher’s guide.

We embarked on our major community service project of the year in February at Thelma Gibson Primary School in Elizabeth Estates, where we renovated the kindergarten playground over a period of several months under the eagle eye of Paul Cartwright. Generous donations of time and efforts from a large number of Rotarians, some Interactors, Rotaractors and members of District 6930 helped us to complete this project on June 4. The only remaining job, is a greenhouse for the school’s kitchen garden.

Our club continues to support the efforts of Rotary International by meeting and exceeding our pledges to the Foundation for the 2010-2011 year.

The various fund raising committees have raised enough money to give the incoming board the resources they need to continue our community service projects.

Our fellowship Halloween and Sandy Toes events this year were also able to contribute to fundraising, and hopefully will be on the agenda in the upcoming year. The Hamburger Van was also in constant demand and was a great way to help our community and enjoy fellowship with one another.

I want to thank the club for giving me this opportunity to serve as your president. I appreciate the privilege of being asked to lead what I regard as one of best Rotary clubs there is.

In closing, I wish to extend my personal thanks to my family and co-workers. But none of this could have been achieved without the support of the Board. And to those persons who encouraged, contributed to, and supported me, I thank you for making this year a pleasure and a most memorable experience.

Thank you all.