Jamaica hosts RI President Barry Rassin The Rotary International President and his wife are in the Caribbean island for the installation of Dr Patrick Adizua as the Governor of RID 7020, the 10th Jamaican to rise to that position.

RI President Barry Rassin and his wife Esther.
RI President Barry Rassin and his wife Esther.

The RI President and his wife Esther Rassin are in Jamaica for the installation of Dr Patrick Adizua of the Rotary Club of Mandeville, who is to be installed as district governor of Rotary’s District 7020 — the 10th Jamaican to rise to that position in the history of District 7020.

District 7020 is home to more than 80 Rotary clubs from some 10 island states in the Caribbean, which include Jamaica, the Bahamas, Haiti, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The installation ceremony banquet will take place at Jamaica Pegasus hotel on July 7.

“Launching a new Rotary year is like launching a great ship,” the district governor and his wife, Lesline Paige, said in a message to members at the start of the Rotary Year on July 1.

“The sea is said to be a teacher of truth and in sailing we find the salt of reality. Rotarians, like-minded men and women of goodwill, can come to recognise that we are one people around the earth and that we can do much to bring harmony and understanding between friends who may dwell across expansive oceans or perhaps next door,” he said.

In support of the RI theme for the Rotary Year ‘Be the Inspiration’, District 7020 will focus its activities for the year on the motif ‘Share your Love for Rotary’, as it seeks to win youth and also encourage and strengthen diversity.

“The spirit of Rotary is not exclusive; it expands. It is not local, it is universal. It is the wish to understand and be understood, to see virtues rather than faults in others, to find what we have in common rather than what divides us,” Dr Adizua said.

It is that unity of desire and a unity of purpose to serve society and to serve mankind…a unity in diversity that binds us Rotarians together.”

Rotary, which has some 1.2 million members globally, is the world’s largest service organisation. It supports human development by implementing projects and initiatives that improve: water and sanitation; disease prevention and treatment; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and economic and community development.

Since 1979 Rotary International has been keenly focused on the eradication of poliomyelitis, which has been 99.9 per cent eradicated globally.

With the support of partners, such as the United Nations, some 2.5 billion children have been vaccinated in 122 countries against the debilitating and deadly disease, which has mainly affected youngsters. Polio was eradicated in Jamaica in the 1980s.

Under Rassin’s leadership, Rotary International will, this year, pay specific attention to water access in Haiti, through the Handwash project; while, at the same, seeking to bring an end to polio.

Water is the main vector through which polio is transmitted.

The disease remains a problem in war-torn Syria, Pakistan, and recently re-emerged in Papua New Guinea, Nigeria and Venezuela.

Because of inadequate sources of clean water in Haiti, Rassin said potable supplies are restricted in towns and cities across the country at specific hours of the day.

“At some point, through Rotary, I am going to ensure that every citizen of this country has water all day long,” the RI President pledged recently to Rotarians attending RI’s international convention in Toronto late June.

Rassin, a Bahamian, is the first RI President to emerge from District 7020 in the more than 100-year-old Rotary International.

Source: Jamaica Observer 

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