New face at Rotary Club’s helm

Ethel Charles marked her landmark 100th birthday in 2019 (Photo contributed)
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The Rotary Club of Antigua has installed its 49th Board of Directors under the presidency of Joanna Spencer, CEO of Digicel Antigua and Barbuda, and Monserrat.

Under the theme ‘we are more impactful with more hands,’ the club will continue its almost five decades of service to the community of Antigua and Barbuda, building on a formidable year of service led by immediate past president Kevin Silston.

Silston, in his outgoing remarks at the club’s recent handing-over ceremony, expressed heartfelt gratitude to local donors who stepped forward in support of the club’s ambitious undertakings for 2020-2021. Thanks to this support, the club was able to surpass its projected impact on the community – despite the challenges of Covid-19 and its impact on global health and economics.

Health, education, and social services took the front burner in the last Rotary year.

“Thank you very much to all Rotarians for the work that we have continued to do under challenging circumstances. Thank you, our corporate sponsors and social partners, who were able to join with us despite your own setbacks. 

“I believe that the convenient strength of Rotary was amply demonstrated this past year and our community is better for it,” Silston said.

He cited critical projects that were added to Rotary’s list of landmark and life-altering undertakings that were successfully implemented over the past 12 months and will continue into years ahead.

“I’m happy that at the end of this Rotary year, we are going to have some critical projects moving into the new year and onwards including those dealing with child obesity, chronic kidney disease, and the recently renovated and fully equipped School for the Deaf.

“Thank you very much Rotarians. Thank you for your support. We now look forward to throwing our full support behind the new board and its direction for the club in the year ahead,” Silston said as he handed the baton of leadership over to Spencer.

Aside from its domestic waves, the Rotary Club of Antigua stood out significantly within the organisation’s District 7030.

It received the ‘District Governor’s 5 Star Award’ in honour of its “outstanding contribution” to the district’s goals and objectives. Individual awards were also presented to Silston for outstanding service, and returning Assistant Governor Evangeline Allen who received the ‘Rotary Hero’ district pin for outstanding service.

Armed and ready to continue with the momentum, new President Joanna Spencer said, “As we close off a successful Rotary year and begin a new one, we are proud to be moving forward on a solid foundation reinforced annually with commitment to service and partnerships.”

Spencer thanked the outgoing president for “paving the way” for her and for putting in place long-term strategic plans that will add to the successes of the year of service ahead.

“Fellow Rotarians, thank you for endorsing me as your president for 2021-2022. I am honoured to have been given this opportunity to continue to serve. 

“I commit to the giving of my time in service to the community and doing all needed to keep our club and its values together,” Spencer added. Her term in office runs until June 30 next year.

Spencer began her Rotary journey at 21 years old at the Rotaract Club of Antigua, where she served in several leadership roles including that of president. She later transitioned into the Rotary Club of Antigua where she has previously served as its treasurer and secretary.

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