We are a part of Rotary International – a humanitarian association that supports the clubs’ service efforts in their communities and around the world. The Rotary Club of Point Fortin servicing the Point Fortin community and environs, is the only one club of its kind here in the South West Peninsula, chartered in October 1986. This evening you have joined us to celebrate our 33rd Anniversary, and I truly appreciate the effort that all of you have made as Rotarians coming from the East, West, North and South of Trinidad to be with us.
It should not go unnoticed that this Club was sponsored by the Rotary Club of San Fernando under the then President Rtn Calvin Benjamin, who is unable to be present at this time, but has sent his congratulations.
33 years – how do we feel.
We have had some sad times having lost Past Presidents, members’ partners in service; close families and friends of Rotary. On the brighter side, more good times, as we continue to embrace the ideals of Rotary “Service Above Self” with our projects and fundraisers. This Rotary Club of Point Fortin even though small in numbers with a current membership of seventeen (17) and growing, of course, we carry with us big hearts and have been able over the years to maintain most of its programs and activities – such as our Health Clinics; Dental Clinics, food hampers for the underprivileged; assisting students with spectacles; distribution of school bags with stationary; our signature event - Poor Man’s Dinner fundraiser - to name a few. We have also introduced the game of chess in some of our Point Fortin Primary Schools. Through our Avenues of Service – Club, Vocational, Community, International and New Generations we have been able to achieve most of our service goals.
Our meetings and projects provide an opportunity for us to network, have fun and learn from each other. We have reached out to the Home Work Centre here, and have held sessions with students and parents on antibullying and dyslexia awareness, and have shown videos on Rotary’s goal to eradicate polio worldwide.
I remember that day in 2012, because of a global grant of $73,000.00 we were able to supply items to an Autistic Centre right here in Point Fortin. Games, utensils, instruments, a computer, boxes of goodies and items requested. Could you imagine the joy and happiness felt by all, more so the smiles on the faces of the autistic children and their caretakers. That is what Rotary is all about “Service Above Self” – to help improve the quality of life in one’s community and to make a difference in the world.
Training and advancement for young people are paramount for our club, and so we have sponsored the Rotaract Club of Point Fortin, the Interact Club of Holy Name Convent, Point Fortin, and soon to sponsor an EarlyAct Club.
We have always supported RYLA – Rotary Young Leaders Awards and we travel all over our District to attend Conferences. In April, four of us and partners in service were in Guadeloupe, and more of us will be traveling to St. Kitts next year. Some of our members also attended our RI Convention in Germany. This Convention is held in a different part of the world offering opportunities for international fellowship. Whether it is home here in Trinidad or abroad, one will always see a member from the Rotary Club of Point Fortin as we consider ourselves as proud Rotarians giving service and changing lives. Lately we have been incorporated as an NGO.
I must admit that it was quite challenging to record 33 years of Rotary service in two minutes. However, it gives me great pleasure to thank all the Past Presidents of the Rotary Club of Point Fortin, for their support and blessings that we could have made this journey of 33 years possible. We have all benefited from your past experiences and enthusiasm.
On behalf of our members I thank all of you for being a part of this special occasion. We truly appreciate that you have taken time during the middle of this week, and to have traveled from afar, to help us in making this 33rd Anniversary as a Rotary club, more memorable.
I thank you
President Patsy Ransome (2019-2020)