We will hear the same sentiment expressed many times over coming weeks, as we speed toward 2021…what a year 2020 has been!

Whilst no one has been spared the impact of COVID-19 and the economic decline, I feel so proud of the way Rotarians have supported one another and our communities despite the difficulties. We have been reminded that Rotarians are one family; we have seen the resilience of clubs; and, we have embraced new ways of staying connected. Even though many projects have had to be postponed, especially youth and international, many others at a local level have come into sharp focus, particularly in the areas of mental health, homelessness and the environment. Rotarians have shown amazing creativity in seeking safe ways of addressing these issues, providing the support to those in need, or undertaking home-based projects such as creating bee-friendly gardens. It is only when you reflect on these things in the context of a pandemic, that you realise the special nature of Rotarians.

Some of the highlights over the last six months for me have been the wonderful participation in the Morning Teas, the Rotary in Harmony Concerts and the Business Leaders Breakfasts. Our District has continued to grow; we have chartered new satellite clubs; and, launched new projects and events. I have had the privilege of working alongside an incredibly dedicated District Leadership Team and Board, not to mention many individuals who have upheld the values and spirit of Rotary’s Four-Way Test during challenging times. Through club Zoom meetings and Networker articles, I have met and read about so many remarkable Rotarians, whose dedication to service above self is humbling. How lucky we are to be part of such a wonderful and inspiring organisation that introduces us to extraordinary individuals! We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.

As we head into the Festive Season, I want to thank each of you for all that you have done, and continue to do for Rotary and your communities. Both Tricia and I extend our very best wishes to you for a peaceful and happy holiday, and a fantastic year ahead that will be safe for everyone.

Merry Christmas!                                                   

Rotary District 9800 Governor Philip Archer