President of the Rotary Club Barbados West (RCOBW), Trevor Williams.

It has not been business as usual for the Rotary Club of Barbados West, which like other clubs and organisations in Barbados, has had to make adjustments to its schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President of the Rotary Club of Barbados West (RCOBW), Trevor Williams, who was recently elected to serve for a Rotary year, acknowledged the above as he delivered his acceptance address during a virtual installation ceremony held for members of the new board, who will be serving for the period July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

“As we are all aware, the COVID -19 pandemic has forced us to make changes that we had not imagined at the start of Year 2020. For the past three and a half months, we have been unable to assemble for in-person meetings and have had to adapt to a new format. Our installation ceremony this year is unique, but not exceptional in the Rotary World. During the past week, the Annual International Conference was held using digital platforms. Our PETS training this year was also virtual. It is true that online meetings might lack many of the benefits of an in person meeting such as conversations over dinner, face-to-face networking, fresh perspectives that can come from simply leaving one’s home, but there’s a lot to like about virtual meetings and conferences,” he later added.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a game changer for the majority of us. It has changed the way we behave, how we perceive things and how we do things. I cannot state with any degree of certainty when it will be over, but I can guarantee you that life will go on after COVID -19 and we must be prepared. In spite of all the good work that has been done in the past, I believe that Rotary is more relevant today than it ever was. Our commitment to service will not change, although we are now operating in a digital world. Now is the opportunity for us to be more innovative in our outreach to the communities that we serve. Now is the opportunity for us to create our greatest impact and show our society that Rotarians and Rotaractors are people of action,” Williams remarked.

“We must be prepared and the plan for the Year 2020/21, which the Board has approved, will ensure that our meetings and activities will be just as exciting as they were before. We will have at least one strategic plan this year, which will help us to chart our course over the next five years. I want to say that we cannot go through life simply remembering, we can’t keep looking back. We have to be forward thinking in our approach,” the Rotary President stressed.

He meanwhile told fellow Rotarians that he is committed to recommencing in person meetings as soon as possible, providing all the risk management protocols are in place and they are satisfactory.

He said, “COVID-19 is a time for taking on new challenges. The journey ahead of us is not an opportunity for personal glory, but for the good of Rotary. There is no limit to what we can achieve, even in these challenging times. We have started already with significant donations of tablets to schools. Cash donations have been given to the Salvation Army, the Red Cross Society as well as the Household Mitigation Unit. I shall work closely with my predecessor, as well as my successor, to effect the changes and improvements that are required.” (RSM)

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