A Special Handover
The Club Handover meeting, held on July 2 at the Royal Belfast Golf Club, was an extra special night this year - not only was President Alan installed but also President Adrian presented several special awards:
- Paul Harris Fellowships were bestowed on Past Presidents Craig McClelland and John Lowry continuing the recognition in this special Centenary year of Past Presidents of long standing who have continued to significantly contribute to the work of the Club.
- The Harry Corscadden Award for Outstanding Service to the Club 2012 was awarded to David Brennan and Dick Thornton for their outstanding collection of spectacles for Vision Aid Overseas. (more here)
- The Centenary Presidential Award 2012 was presented to Pauline Hegney. (Report here)
Before handing over the Chain of Office President Adrian thanked the Club Council, Convenors, Hon Secretary Rosemary Simpson, Hon Treasurer Ivan McMinn and all Club members who had supported, encouraged and given of their time freely to work hard in the various areas of service as well as celebrating our Centenary. He also thanked Jenny Boyd who was presented with a bouquet by Centenary Convenor Marnette.
He continued with some personal reflections on his year. "I came in to office just over a year ago and I made a commitment to do my best to represent the Club. As the year progressed, I became more aware of that duty especially as I attended functions and other Clubs and people recognised, not me, but the Belfast Chain with the names of all the Past Presidents and the symbols which identified us as different from other Clubs. It was a great talking point for those who had never seen it before as they wanted to know its history and what we were doing in our Centenary year.
If ever we needed tangible proof that the Club is not about the achievements of one individual but the combined efforts of many then our chain is that reminder. It symbolises many Presidents with their many teams of helpers, who have made the Club what it is today. Each of us different, with our own personalities and each making our own unique contributions but with the same aim of adding value as each year passes.
I felt very privileged to be the President of the Rotary Club of Belfast and I hope I have lived up to my promise to represent the Club at Rotary and community level.
We heard at the Club Assembly Alan's plans for the year ahead and what I know will be a stimulating programme of work to advance all our avenues of service and especially to increase membership.
Alan has been a good friend to me throughout my year and was always willing to offer help and assistance in all the projects and celebrations. I have every confidence that we are in for a tremendous year under his leadership and he knows that if I can be of any help to him that I will do so gladly.
I now have great pleasure in passing that honour and the chain of office this evening on to Alan Rundle."
Accepting the Presidential Chain President Alan thanked Immediate Past President Adrian and congratulated him on the Centenary year. He stated that it was a great honour and a moment of family historical significance. He felt however that he was "in at the deep end with the shallows of next June a long way off". Not his words, but those of his father when exactly 50 years ago he had likewise stood and become President of the Club for 1962/63. He recalled repeating these words as his father had practiced his speech at home and so felt he had in fact been involved with Rotary all his life. He remembered well as a boy visiting the Boys Camp, of which he had some cine films which he must dust down and show.
He observed that since 1962 the world has changed beyond recognition, the 'swinging 60's kicked off a revolution but we are now in a digital 'i' age – "i-phones, i-players, i-pads and i-tests!" and how Rotary adapts to this is his challenge to lead the Club forward to the next 100 years in the right manner.
He noted the phenomenon of the "Rotary Family" and the support and warmth within the Club and looks forward to working with "his team". President Elect Ken Morrison and Vice President Ronnie McLean were also installed in office.
Tribute to Immediate Past President Adrian Kerr by President Alan
"What a year!
What Centenary events! The Re-enactment meeting, Gala Dinner at the City Hall, The Service in the Cathedral, MT4Uth Concert, 21 Gun Salute at Hillsborough, Dinners at Stormont and the House of Lords and finally the Garden Party - all a phenomenal success, congratulations.
There were the inevitable ups and downs but come though it you have most successfully, culminating with the presentation of an RIBI Presidential Citation – a fitting tribute to your year."
President Alan presented IPP Adrian with his Past President's Badge and noted that he had throughout his year always had Margaret constantly at this side, always with a smile or a kind word and that she had his citation! Fleur Rundle then presented her with a bouquet.
A special night following a special year it was greatly enjoyed by the many members present.