Posted by DG Gerry Lambert
It has been quite a year and we're not finished yet.
 
As we approach the District changeover, which will occur on Saturday the 27th of June at 11:00 am, I am thinking about how significantly our world has changed.  To say we are living in unprecedented times is a bit of an understatement.  Who would have believed a year ago that this changeover ceremony would find us living in the midst of a pandemic that has swept the world?  This pandemic that has resulted in the closure of the U.S./Canada border; forced us to meet online because of the significant restrictions with meeting in person; and resulted in the cancellation of the Rotary International Convention, District Assembly, and Foundation Dinner.
While this situation has stressed all of us, it also encouraged Rotarians to find creative solutions to keep programs like PETS, RYLA, fundraising and even weekly meetings going.  Further, 39 clubs applied for and received a new District COVID-19 Grant and received matching funds to assist with much needed projects within their local communities which were connected to the crisis.  Finally, we now have 12 Presidents’ Councils established and operating which helps clubs handle the coronavirus situation, fosters teamwork, and has led to joint membership committees, fundraisers, and service projects.
 
I am very happy to say that our District Governor-Elect, Hadi Mortada, has been working extremely hard with me all year.  He has helped create policies and procedures in preparation for his new position.  Hadi is more than ready to become our District Governor and I know I leave all of you in good hands.  Hadi possesses great leadership skills and abilities and will continue to guide the District through the COVID-19 maze.  I send him my profound thanks for all the help he has given so generously to myself and others and all the best wishes that his year will be a great success.  We are very lucky to have him.
 
I am so proud of each and every Rotarian with whom I have worked.  You have proven to me over and over again that together we can get through most anything thrown our way.  The Rotarians of District 7040 are shining examples of the expression “Many Hands Make Labor Light.”  Words seem inadequate when I try to thank everyone who stepped up to help. 
 
I owe a special thanks to so many, but especially DGE Hadi and Theresa Mortada for their hospitality and support, all our dedicated Area Governors, Vice-Governor/Conference/Foundation Chair Bonnie Black, all 75 Rotary and Rotaract Club Presidents and officers, District Treasurers PDG Edmond Lanthier/Mike Moore, Webmaster Peter Labelle, District Bulletin Editor/ Interact Chair Ariane Carriere, new Committee Chairs Michele Herblin (also Chef extraordinaire) & PDG Katie Burke (Co-chairs new Club Support Committee), PDG Rene Melchers (new Indigenous Peoples Committee), District Committee Chairs-PDG Sue Bellor, PDG Bette Miller, Gayle Oudeh, Cora Beking, Paul Elsley, Mary Zovistoski, Anna Rochon, PDG Peter Bashaw, PDG Nabil Oudeh, Patrick Mahaffy, Oliver Frasson, Julia Cugalj, Riley Weymann, Ron Patnode, Dale Kramer, DGN Fay Campbell, Past District Governors (especially PDG John Murray) and Rotarians who have answered questions and guided my path, my wife Susan who supports me (and puts up with a lot) on a daily basis, Canton, my home Rotary Club and so many, many more.
 
In closing, I wish all of you the best of luck and I hope that our paths will cross often in future years.  It has been an honor to serve you this year as District Governor.  Always remember that Rotary does indeed connect the world!! 
 
I remain Sincerely Yours in Rotary,
 
Gerry Lambert 
DG