Joy and excitement are mixed into one as Rotarians put the final touches on the schedule for the visit of President of Rotary International Barry Rassin in a few days. All of the three Rotary Clubs in the BVI are working together to make this historic visit a success.
Details of the visit were shared with the media during a press conference on 26 July at The Moorings Mariner Inn. During that briefing it was explained that the visit is really special for two reasons. It is first and foremost being lauded because it is the first time that a Rotary International President will be setting foot on BVI shores. Secondly the Rotarians are excited because Rassin is the first Rotary International president to be selected from the BVI’s District 7020.
Co-chair of the Rotary International President Visit Committee Gerard St.C Farara Q,C., disclosed that a packed schedule awaits Rassin. He announced that the Rotary International President during his visit will make courtesy calls on His Excellency Governor, Augustus Jaspert and Premier, and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith.
Additionally, it was announced that Rassin will visit Peebles Hospital and meet Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Ronnie Skelton who is also a Rotarian. The Rotary International President is scheduled to address BVI youths. He is also expected to visit the home of Miss Yvonne McKetney who benefited from the Rotary roof replacement programme.
Assistant Rotary Governor, Elvis Harrigan announced that the visit of Rassin is a moment of reflection and celebration: “The excitement of Rotary is there, and the theme for this year is ‘be the inspiration’ and you don’t need more inspiration than seeing Rotarians work and the community benefit from the work that we do and they all smile.”
Meanwhile Linette Harrigan, President of the Rotary Club of Tortola said that she feels honored that Rotary International President was visiting now: “This is huge and as you hear President Barry is not just any international President, he is somebody that we know. Somebody that we have a relationship with. We are definitely going to make sure that this is a visit that the BVI, as well as the world, know that he was here.”
On the other hand, President of the Rotary Club Sunrise Rosemarie Flax said that she expected President Rassin to announce a visit to the BVI following his selection. “It didn’t surprise me one bit when President Barry chose for his theme ‘be the inspiration’ because as far back as I have known him he has been an inspiration to all of us, not in the BVI alone, not in the Caribbean but internationally and my club Sunrise is particularly excited about his coming and I definitely know that he would leave his footprint here in the BVI,” she said.
During the visit of the President of Rotary of International a fundraising gala will be held in aid of the Rotary Foundation which Rotarians announced contributed to the Territory over the years, especially following the passage of hurricane Irma.
Since the event is also a grand celebration, Past President Lorna Smith, who is also co-chair of the Rotary International President Visit Committee announced that the fundraising gala will be the “event of the year.”
Past President Smith said that the gala which will be held at The Moorings Mariner Inn on 10 August, is going to be exquisite. Smith disclosed that one of the Territory’s best decorators has been contracted to give the venue a magical appearance. It was noted that culinary aspects of the gala will be provided by the top chef of Charlie’s restaurant in partnership with the chef from another top restaurant.
However, it was District Governor Elect, Delma Maduro who announced that nothing is being spared in creating an unforgettable evening. “From the décor to the music, everything is being looked at in very small detail to ensure that it’s going to be a wonderful event.”
“This is going to be a historic time for us in the British Virgin Islands. The main reason for him coming is to continue the celebration of Rotary Club of Road Town’s 50th anniversary. The anniversary was in January, but Rotary International presidents are usually very busy to travel and of course there are several countries to visit,” Maduro added.
Rassin will be accompanied by his wife Esther, and district governor for District 7020 Dr. Patrick Adizua and his wife. The visit will span from August 9 -11.