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1 July 2020


Dear fellows,

The big moment is here. It feels like only yesterday but it was eight months ago that I received the call from PDG David Croft. We were on the outskirts of Perth in a tourist bus and the connection was not very clear. Just as well, because it gave me some time to absorb the shock.

Although initially feeling inspired and excited, for the next few months, I did wonder, with a club so full of talented and capable members, if I was the best person to lead for this year.

That said, I now stand here feeling very honoured and privileged in accepting the role of president of this club in its 50th year. While on the one hand I am thinking of the huge commitment of time and energy which could be challenging at times, on the other hand I also see this great opportunity to touch the lives of many people.

I have been a member for six years and this is the start of my seventh year and in these years Rotary taught me to come out of my favourite back seat to stand here in front and fulfil my commitment to serve my community.

In this journey, my husband Dinesh has been with me, a constant companion, providing encouragement and support wherever needed. Thanks also to my children for their understanding when Rotary demanded most of my time.

In the last few years, I have also had the chance to work with many capable presidents and experienced the joy of working in different roles in the board and with many committees. Today I thank you all for those wonderful experiences together and for all that I learnt from you. Thank you also for your commitment to Rotary and for being with me today and sharing our Rotary journey together.

Our club is blessed with members coming from many different professions and occupations, all with high achievements and ethical standards of service. Through this year, once again, I have the privilege and opportunity to honour those skills by aiming to work together to bring change where it is most needed. My experience in the recent past has shown me how efficiently we work together, encouraging and bringing out the best in each other to achieve excellence in what we do.

Rotarians work for the community and with the community. Through our membership and their networks, we are introduced to people in the community who need our help to change for the better and also meet people from the community who work with us shoulder to shoulder to bring this change. We also meet people we would never meet otherwise, which gives us a chance to grow.

Our primary goals and aims for this year will continue to be to bring longer term change wherever we step in, change that we hope outlasts us when we leave and move on. However we will also never shy away from charitable help in times of crisis.

Rotary is not entirely about our DG, or about our club president. In the life of the club we come in for a year, where no doubt we get a crash course in perhaps what could be called the best leadership experience. But more than that to me, Rotary is about our personal commitment and individual contribution as a member that we make when we enter the fellowship and then work together to achieve our goals.

This year’s theme: Rotary Opens Opportunities

This is a year that is asking us to open new choices, new doors and new opportunities and create a new kind of change. With the prevailing climate making it difficult to catch up with our regular events , it is definitely the year for some creative thinking and doing.

The conditions are not ideal but our commitment to serve should remain firm during this time. Some of our board members have already been very active in providing support, solace and appreciation to workers in the community in these difficult times.

In closing, I would like to digress and take some important words out of our incoming RI president Holger Knaack's address:

"This is an interesting time to come in as President after this pandemic and lockdown and in these circumstances our primary concern is how we will continue functioning, how we will raise money, how we will open our doors to charities, to friends and to the public. We hope to take control of this situation by thinking outside the box, through discussions and working together. Most importantly, we need to keep our commitment strong to survive and thrive. And don't forget to have FUN."

I love nothing more than a good discussion, a good brainstorming session and I will always have the door open to ideas. This just might be the year of new ideas.

Yours in Rotary

Usha Garg

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Last Update Tuesday July 07, 2020