Being President of Rotary Club Calvia International in this current year 2019/2020, has been a challenging experience personally. And the Corona Virus crisis in the last few weeks and the coming weeks will make it even more memorable. Not least because I am not sure that we will return to in-person meeting before my Presidency comes to an end at the end of June. So, I am taking this opportunity to reflect on my year as President.
First of all, I have enjoyed very much my time as President, and I am grateful for all the help and support the Board and members of Rotary Club Calvia International have provided to me in the last 9 months. I also want to pay tribute to my wife, Ulla, who as a member of the Club has supported the Club in everything it has done and has been a particular support to me as President, keeping me in line and providing helpful, common sense advice on what I should do in all situations. So, a big bouquet for her.
We had a fantastic handover dinner in June 2019 at the Lindner Hotel in Bendinat when we said thank you to Nidya Melone for her year as President and I took on the role of President, after 3 females had occupied the role. So no pressure on me then!
We continued to have our weekly meetings at the Hotel Bendinat and had the benefit of the standard of cuisine and service they provide. Not forgetting the fantastic view that we enjoy in the Summer months. And we instituted a regular session of external speakers. Where an external speaker was unavailable, members were invited to tell us something about themselves and their interests. The weekly meeting were also reported (together with the decisions of the Club which were made at these meetings). An important element in the Club’s communication with members. Thanks go to Mike Knight as Secretary. As far as the wider world was concerned, in the last year we have re-modelled the Club’s web site and updated it, on a regular basis, with reports of what we have done, why and who benefitted. Thank you to Peter de Pradines.
Our first major event was the Annual Walk, which took place in October 2019. We had the help and cooperation of the authorities and a number of other charitable organisations in an activity which raised over 10,000€ which went to contribute to the running costs of ASDICA, a Calvia based organisation which provides practical help to mentally and physically disabled young people and their carers.
Every Rotary Club gets a visit from their District Governor each year. And this year was no exception. Rotary Club Calvia International received Arturo Alagon, our District Governor for 2019/20. However, for the first time ever, he was accompanied by the two other District Governors from the mainland, Ana Puerto, District 2201 and Guillem Staez, District 2202. This is unusual, but the three Governors wanted to stress the collaboration that exists within Rotary and a joint visit was a good way of demonstrating the point.
When Hotel Bendinat closed for the Winter we moved our weekly meetings to Antica Roma in Santa Ponsa. This proved to be a very acceptable venue for most, though some members would prefer another venue. Proposals always welcome from members. The Incoming President is looking at the situation and will be bringing forward proposals soon for a permanent venue for the Club. At the same time we trialled Wednesdays as the day of the Club’s meeting. But after a survey of members, Mondays was the preferred day and we reverted to that day on our return to Hotel Bendinat.
The Club took part in Kilo Day – an Island wide charitable collection – when members collected dry goods from customers at a Calvia based Supermarket. These goods (which amounted to 10 shopping) trolleys were donated to Age Concern. A Christmas collection (money) at another venue was handed over to Age concern and a similar amount 200€ was provided to The Salvation Army for their Clients.
Rotarian Saloua Sfar, a member of Rotary Club Calvia International, in collaboration with District, organised a Christmas Lunch again, for disadvantaged children. A number of our Club members were involved- preparing the venue; peeling potatoes; etc. Well done Saloua for keeping this event going.
The Club had a stall at the Calvia Town Hall’s Christmas Market in December. We promoted Rotary and sold second hand books and in doing so raised well over 100€ for the Club’s Charity Account. In addition, Rotarian Hugo Soto Fraga sold a picture of his and made a contribution to the Club from the proceeds.
In February, the Rotary inter School Debating Competition concluded. Bellver International College beat Queens College.
In early March the Dutch/German choir accompanied by members of the RC Uelsen- Coevorden and their partners visited the island as the other half of an exchange. The choir from Agora Portals School visited them 2 weeks earlier. On Friday 6 March RCCI hosted the members of RC Uelsen – Coevorden and their partners, along with Agora Portals School and RC Almundaina.
This involved a visit to the Escape Room in Palma where 15 Rotarians were divided into 2 Teams. Each Team were ushered into a room, given a scenario and the object was to solve riddles and clues and identify the combination of letters or numbers on combination locks which enabled each Team to move into another room, gather more clues and release more combination locks so that eventually they could escape. One Team managed to achieve that result the other didn’t. But a good time was had by all. The Teams moved on to Tast where they enjoyed a range of tapas and a few drinks. I was delighted to welcome the Guests and invited RCCI members to toast them. I was delighted to receive a badge from the incoming District Governor.
The two choirs gave a concert at Agora Portals. This was excellent and very moving. The two choirs gave individual performances but came together for the finale. Those present said that it was a very good concert and well prepared and delivered. Well done to the Conductor.
We held a Jazz Night in March at Hotel Saratoga, which featured our trombonist member Geoff Frosell. With some terrific raffle prizes, for which we have to thank Saloua, again, we raised 3450€ for RANA, a charity which helps youngsters who are the victims of abuse, physical and sexual. And seeks to educate all youngsters to say NO! as well as providing signposting for assistance.
Then, along came Corona Virus. Enough said. Though the Club is coming to grips with virtual meetings, via the Zoom application. So far so good.
Can I mention too that I am proud that throughout my Presidency, the Club has provided 100€ per month to the Rotary Youth Orchestra (and we will keep on doing so) and that our members have attended, in force and with guests, the concerts that they have held. The concert in Palma at Teatro Principal was one of the highlights of my year.
On the social side, we had a Club walk around the countryside of Capdella and on the way had a Menu lunch at Sa Vinya.
Then, in December a large group of us met in Palma and walked through the centre looking at the Christmas lights and, of course, had a celebratory Christmas drink, and some tapas at the end of the evening.
Lastly, and by no means least, the number of members has increased significantly during the last year and I inducted 5 of them at one meeting, in December. A very special occasion.
So, although the year isn’t quite over, and there are still events in the Calendar, like the Europe Day celebration in Palma Nova and, of course, the Handover Dinner, I am not optimistic that social isolation will have been relaxed sufficiently to enable gatherings on that scale. Or indeed whether, even if they were, individuals would want to take part in any number. I wanted therefore to take an opportunity to say that I have enjoyed the year. I am grateful to everyone who has taken part in the Clubs activities, and helped us raise over 15000€ which has gone to local Charities. I hope I leave the Club in as good a place as I found it when I took over. I wish you all and in particular, Gerdi, the Incoming President, and the Board, every success in the future.
In the meantime, I hope to see you at the Hotel Bendinat before too long, or at an on-line meeting before then.
29 March 2020