President`s New Year Message

Club President James Phiri writes:

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, a year in which we sadly lost Tim Quallington and Peter Farrell.

Michael Hart

We ended the year with the terrible loss of Michael Hart, another long serving and exemplary Rotarian who, in my experience, always had a smile and time for everyone. As a new member to the club, Michael always looked out for me at every meeting to check that I was not overwhelmed. I remember wondering how he managed his punishing District level schedule and yet still appear relaxed and enthusiastic for every one of our meetings. We missed him dearly at our club meetings and will miss him even more now that he is gone, but will always appreciate and remain grateful for his immeasurable contribution to our club and Rotary at large.

Regrettably, our Christmas collection was reduced to just one day. The second day was cancelled for health reasons. This was subsequently vindicated by the measures that were later taken by the government. It was not an easy decision for David Barrett and his team after all their hard work and time invested in researching and planning for the event. However, we must all take heed of the health guidelines and continue to avoid and mitigate risks to safeguard our members and the public.

Difficult as it has been, the year 2020 has also seen some unpredictable and notable successes. We moved from long held reservations around the use of WhatsApp and dropping our reliance on cheques to using Zoom online conferencing and signing up to contactless payment processing.
Also launched in October was the Club’s Monthly Newsletter, which this month has increased in circulation to Corporate and Business Members. Youth, ComVoc and Programmes committees, as well as Jane Briggs and Peter Bond in publicity, have all served up incredible achievements under difficult COVID-19 related constraints. Indeed, John Menlove’s walk was a landmark success that also underpinned much of our successful media exposure efforts. Thank you to all members who made this possible, too many to mention here.

We can be rightly proud of the achievements of our members and especially proud of the support we continue to offer each other in times of need and stress. This has been a very punishing year for many of us and our generosity and love towards each other has become increasingly important.

As we look forward to the New Year, I am certain that we will continue to see the cohesion, innovation, and support for each other that has sustained our club during 2020. Indeed, I am grateful, as President, for all the support, mentoring and guidance that I have been lucky enough to receive from several of you. 

I am particularly grateful for the dedication and commitment of our Club Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer who have all been readily available for my never-ending questions and requests for support. Thank you all.

I wish everyone a very happy, safe, and healthy passage into the New Year and look forward to seeing you all as soon as is safe and practical.
James Phiri head

Best wishes, James.