From the President's Desk

President’s Message – 2011-12 Rotary Year Closes

June 2012

Dear Members,

I write to you as the 2011-12 Rotary year closes to thank you for your time in Rotary this past year.

As outgoing Club President I feel happy and proud to have brought the Rotary message to thousands of people in the Papua New Guinea. In many ways it’s been an amazing 12-month journey.

Reflecting briefly on the year, we started with a record breaking fund raiser at the Black Tie Ball which put the Club on a high financially and operationally. Another early accomplishment was the adoption of a well thought out three year club leadership plan.

To my Secretary Rob Schilt – my highest praise goes to you. Despite Rob’s return to Australia in October last year on medical grounds and while setting up and developing his own business down there he continued to work diligently behind the scenes to make this year a wonderful, active and memorable experience through secretarial and webmaster services – my gratitude.

This and other administrative work, including Mark Flewin’s wonderful stock database put structure and systems into our Club operations that will sustain the merged organization well into the future.

On the downside we lost most of our Board of Directors and some other members throughout the year due to work contracts etc. This has highlighted to me the great need to introduce more professional Papua New Guineans to the wonderful world of Rotary.

Despite the struggles, the Club achieved one of its most active years in terms of project delivery outcomes and making positive changes to people’s lives in the Lae community.

There have been 20 medical centres assisted which services tens of thousands of people, help to Angau Hospital, a dozen schools and countless aid-posts assisted. When the Labu people suffered real health stress due to contaminated Markham water, Rotary was immediately on hand to assist. When hundreds of people were displaced after riots in October and November around Lae, the Club was there to help those people. One of the reasons this has been possible is due to the Friends of Rotary network. I strongly recommend that the newly merged Club maintains and strengthens this group. But the main reason is the hard work and planning by you the members.

On another note, it so happens that I will be recorded as the last President of the Rotary Club of Lae. Remember, this Chapter ends but another begins and to put it in the words of my dear friend and Vice President Cesar DeWindt, “the Wheel of Rotary keeps on turning”.

I wish the merger of Lae and Huon Gulf Clubs well and I’m sure the concentration of effort will serve our community well.

To Incoming President Larry Hulo, I wish you and Corrie well with your year as the Inaugural President of the Rotary Club of Lae-Huon Gulf. I look forward to your principled leadership and ask members to give you their willing and active support.

Finally, I have had the privilege of seeing first-hand the countless and wonderful ways in which Rotary makes a difference in the world. And I have witnessed the tireless, selfless efforts, and dedication of the many Rotarians who are willing to help others in improving their lives. Rotary truly is “Humanity in Motion”. I trust that you might have experienced that too and “Reached within to Embrace (your) Humanity”.

Whatever we have done as a Club in 2011-12, has only been possible because we did it together. Thank you.


Your in Service,

Anthony Whitfield

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