Posted on May 17, 2021
April was the month where we focused on Saving Mothers and Children and in May is Youth Service.  This year, we have been numbed by the loss of PDG Henri Guda and PDG Herve Honoré in March and burials by coincidence on APRIL 8th.  Tributes, far more eloquently worded than I could ever write, have been posted on our website and on social media, therefore I will not repeat here.  Suffice it to say that it takes great emotional effort for so many of us to deal with the loss.  As family, we came together at this very sad moment, to embrace each other – virtually, and to mourn together.  We are united across all 17 countries/territories and that is our greatest strength.  

Let not these losses overshadow the losses of our other family members in Guadeloupe and in Guyana.  Raymond Gabriel and his brother Jean Kalil both succumbed to Covid 19 and we lost Maralyn Trotz from Guyana.  May their souls, and that of our other Rotary District 7030 family whom we have lost, rest in peace.

On April 9th, La Soufriere in St. Vincent erupted explosively, and continued to do so over a period of time bringing much destruction.  Our thoughts and prayers are with our Vincy family.  I am struck by the unity of purpose and the willingness to help by so many of our Rotarians in St. Vincent and from the District.  I must mention Rtn. Daniel Campbell who is doing a phenomenal job trying to bring calm and organization to a somewhat chaotic situation.  PDG David Edwards, our Disaster Response Chair is doing a tremendous job in supporting the team on the ground, while PDG Stephen is supporting also with his extensive network and experience with ODPM Trinidad.

Today we continue to support our family, both emotionally and virtually as we process these distinct traumatic experiences, and we worked as a team to produce the District’s first ever District Conference.  The awesome Conference planning team attracted awesome speakers and gave our family a treat, starting with PETS on Friday evening and Saturday.  Conference started with breakout SESSIONS ON Monday 19th April through Thursday 22nd April, all at 6.00PM.  Great presentations were delivered on Rotaract, Childhood Obesity Prevention; Membership Development; Peace and Environmental Sustainability.

On Friday the 23rd April we officially opened with the traditional Flag ceremony and messages from the Governor General of Saint Lucia, RI President Holger’s special Representative PDG Steve Schlueter and our keynote address from none other than PRI President Barry Rassin.  On Saturday we had a raft of wonderful presenters and we heard from our Dynamic DGE Sonya Alleyne on what 2021/2022 holds.  The business meeting took place in the afternoon after our brief lunchbreak.

It was great that so many turned out for the Virtual conference with our highest numbers recorded over 650 participants.  This year, more than ever before, we need to support each other and to be a part of the District, the family.  I thank all those of you who attended and urge those who missed it to view the conference sessions via the District 7030 YouTube channel.
D. Lisle Chase
District 7030 Team Leader 2020/2021