Presidents Day and Handover 2016
President Ronnie concluded his year at his President's Dinner held 29 June at the Royal Belfast Golf Club. Always a highlight of the Club's year and this year's again relaxed and convivial evening was greatly enjoyed by the 74 members and guests. After drinks in the bar areas President Ronnie welcomed all introducing Roger & Alison Flack from Cork, guests of David & Jenny Boyd; Rotary Club of Donaghadee President Robert & Dawn McIlveen, PP Alistair & Eileen Johnston (PP James Kennedy was unable to attend) and his own personal guests Joan & Ted Boyd who were present at his installation last year.
In his address he emphasised that he was indebted to the Club for asking him to be President for the 2015/16 year and that it had been an honour to have served as the 104th President underlining that the Club must address the ageing membership and encourage younger and corporate members and in this regard he was delighted to report that Catalyst (previously known as Northern Ireland Science Park) would be joining as Corporate members.
- he noted that his year had been a mix of fundraising and social events and that the Club had supported ShelterBox, Mitchell House, Children in Hospital, Youth Action, Glebe House, SOS NI, Salvation Army, Aquabox and the Crumlin Children's Hospital in Dublin.
- a particular highlight had been the Toccata concert organised with the Rotary Club of Donaghadee and he thanked Dr Sunil Paulraj and the choir, the sponsors and members for their support which had enabled Glebe House and Rotary Ireland Project H2O to be supported with over £2500 each. Donaghadee President Robert McIlveen added that they were very pleased to be jointly involved with the concert and thanked the Belfast Club for making it a success.
- on a sad note he referred to the two Past Presidents who had passed away during the year - Past President Bill Donaldson and very recently Arthur Boyd, the Club's sympathies had been extended to the widows and families.
- thanked all who had helped him and, in particular, thanked Karen Blair and Gordon Millington for providing each week such diverse and interesting speakers and Billy McCoubrey for always attending and taking excellent photographs.
- presented bouquets to Ivy McKinley as Alvin is retiring as Hon. Secretary; to Jenny Boyd for her work compiling the Weekly Report and the Toccata concert and to his wife Elma with thanks for her support.
Wishing the incoming team every success and encouraging members to support them he handed over the Chain of Office to President Ivan McMinn who Ivan congratulated Past President Ronnie on his superb year and presented him with his Past President's Jewel having handed over the President Elect Jewel to Rosemary Simpson and the Vice President's Jewel to Mark Davidson.
Past President Gordon noted that during PP Ronnie's year the Club had undertaken 18 major projects and as such a huge number of people outside the Club had been helped and made aware of the work of Rotary and on behalf of them and the members thanked him for that and for providing fun at meetings. He also noted that the Club has never had two 'same named' Presidents in succession and that it was "a goodbye from him" from the two President Ronnies!
President Ivan in his inaugural address stated that it was an incredible honour to be the 105th President of this great Club; 3 years ago when he was asked his health was uncertain and he was delighted to be here today and thanked all for their support. He said PP Ronnie was a hard act to follow and that hoped to be as good as he can. He noted that the results of the successful Visioning exercise would be forwarded to members shortly which will provide a framework for the next 4 years with the Club Assembly taking place in September. He hoped that the Club would be a fun and attractive place for younger and Corporate members and asked all members to support, unite as a Club and move forward. The evening concluded with him presenting Past President Ronnie with a record of his year as appeared in the weekly reports.
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