This has been a year like no other! Soon I will be joining the PDG Line. Our DG class has an ongoing joke as we are the Pandemic District Governors hence “PDG”. We have overcome many challenges and we continue doing so. I did not get the chance to visit our clubs in the normal way where Governors visit clubs in person and attend their functions. However, this year has opened to us new opportunities to communicate with clubs in different ways.
The last two Rotary International Conventions have been cancelled due to the pandemic. The Canada/US border has been closed since last year and I was forced to make my visits virtually. The health restrictions have forced us to pivot and meet virtually. In a way this opened the opportunity for me to meet with clubs on many different occasions. Many clubs were and continue to be creative in running their fundraisers online and made the best of it. In Rotary we became creative and discovered many ways to do our fundraisers. From anniversaries to foundations, you name it. We discovered how to do Rotary in different ways to accommodate the restrictions.
We have proven that we can accomplish many tasks virtually. Our training has shifted to online along with PETS, RYLA, AIC, Foundation fundraising, district councils, etc. In the last report on membership growth, our district shows a growth of a net of 52 new members. That is a growth of 3,23%, this is the second highest in Zone 28. Congratulations to all and thank you for growing your clubs in your communities.
We will likely be doing our District Change Over online again this year due to border closure, gathering and travelling restrictions that are still in place.
I want to express my sincere thanks to PDG Gerry Lambert for working with me in the last Rotary year to continue the great work we have been doing since the start of the pandemic. I also want to recognize our District’s Bulletin Editor PDG Ariane Carriere for organizing this newsletter every month.
I want to thank all of our Past Governors, Committee Chairs, Area Governors, Club Presidents and Members for their continuous support to me during this past year.
I am glad that our Presidents’ Councils continue to be successful and club presidents find it beneficial and most convenient ever since we pivoted to online. Many ideas are shared, and club presidents can attend and work around their work schedules. I want to command our AGs for the great work they have been doing to keep this ongoing connection with clubs and I recommend that it continues online as it makes it convenient for all club presidents and officers to attend.
In addition, I am pleased that we successfully created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that includes Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors from across the district. I am pleased with the creation of the Environment Committee that is committed to keeping our environment and waters clean. I have asked PDG Nabil Oudeh to create a Peace Committee of which he is working on getting off the ground.
Let’s not to forget the creation of our Social Media Committee which is managed by our extremely talented Rotaractor Dârini Vedarattiname who helped us bring our social media exposure to a different level. Dârini has kept our social media exposure on different platforms in English and French.
RYLA took place the last weekend in May, I am happy to say that this event was extremely successful as usual. What is unique this year is, it was completely organized and ran by members of our Rotaract clubs. It brought a different flavour to it. Many thanks to everyone who participated in planning and executing it, special thanks to Paul Elsley, a former chair who continued to be an advisor to the planning committee throughout the whole process. I also want to congratulate our Rotaractors on a job well-done planning and running the Adventures In Citizenship program.
I am committed to continuing to be involved in Rotary as I value the work that we Rotarians do. I look forward to continuing serving the district in different capacities. I am pleased to announce that I accepted the position to serve as an Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator (ARRFC). I will be serving districts 7790 and 7040. I also accepted to be part of the training team for 2021-22 GNTS (Governor Nominee Training Seminar) and GETS (Governor-Elect Training Seminar). I am looking forward to these opportunities.
Special thanks to my Rotarian Friends in our district who facilitated my job. With the advice and support of many of you, I was able to complete this year despite its challenges. This Pandemic has proven to us that we are resilient, and we always land on our feet no matter what the challenge is. Rotary Opens Opportunities, and it sure did.
Finally, I want to say thank you to my wife Teresa for all of the help and support that she offered me, and she would be happy that I would be spending more time in the kitchen and the yard!
I wish you all the best of luck in the coming Rotary Year, DGE Fay, it is all yours. I look forward to working with you and helping you in any way I can.
It has been an honour and pleasure serving as your District Governor.
Don’t forget, Rotary Opens Opportunities.
Stay Well and Stay Safe!
Hadi Mortada, Governor 2020-21