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Gala Affair for Swearing In of New Rotary Officers

July 8, 2007 — For the first time recorded in their multi-decade history, all four Rotary Clubs of St. Croix held a joint installation, swearing in all this year’s presidents, vice presidents, secretaries and treasurers at a gala banquet at Divi Carina Bay Resort Saturday evening.
More than 80 Rotarians and their families in evening wear gathered in the great hall of the resort for cocktails. Resort manager Pat Henry, a Rotarian himself, saw to it that everything was in order and everyone was being served.
Some of the men and women could be seen wearing bronze medallions on blue and white ribbons. Those medallions, with the likeness of Rotary International founder Paul P. Harris, are conferred on members who donate at least $1,000.
After everyone had arrived and settled in, and an extra table or two brought in for the high turnout, George Cannon opened the event with a few jokes.
“When I start talking about people here and their family members don’t take it personally. None of it is true,” Cannon quipped.
Later, Cannon made some more serious comments.
“In Rotary, sharing doesn’t mean giving away what you have to spare, what you don’t need for yourself,” Cannon said, quoting the words of Rotary International President Wilfrid J. Wilkinson at their International Assembly in February, “sharing means giving of yourself, selflessly, for the good of others.”
After the opening remarks, everyone adjourned to the patio, queuing up at the buffet and returning for some polite dinner conversation with their fellow Rotarians.
When dinner was done, the ceremonies began, with presidents passing on their pins and gavels to their successors, and new presidents formally giving the pins of office to their respective vice presidents, treasurers and secretaries. There was a moment of light hearted laughter when newly installed Mid-Isle Rotary President Ralph Mills went to pin Vice President Jacqueline Heyliger and paused as he pondered where to put the pin, finally managing to attach it to the spaghetti strap on her elegant dinner dress. Then each president said a few words about Rotary and their plans for the upcoming year.
After all the remarks and a raffle, they recited the Rotary Four Way Test: “Of the things we think, say or do: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”
St. Croix’s four clubs have about 120 members all told, and are always looking for more.
. Every club sponsors both local and international projects.
Of the four Rotary Clubs on the big island, the oldest is the Rotary Club of St. Croix. They are working on a water management project in cooperation with a club in Haiti and are sending supplies, including water purification equipment, to an orphanage in Uganda serving some 30 children. Locally they have been putting up school safety signs, giving first graders dictionaries, have purchased medical equipment for Juan F. Luis Hospital and a number of members have completed Community Emergency Response Training.
The Club also participates in World Food Day at Catholic Charities in Christiansted, reads to students for Literacy Day and provides wheelchairs to the needy.
The newest and smallest of the four clubs is the Rotary Club St. Croix-Harborside. Theirs is a smaller, hands-on group, sometimes putting more manpower than money into their efforts.
Rotary Harborside supports programs benefiting kids with a Court Appointed Special Advocate, called CASA Kids in Kitchen. Chefs from several restaurants, including Elizabeth’s at the Palms at Pelican Cove, have opened their kitchens and held cooking classes for the kids. Rotary Harborside also gives out Christmas gifts to CASA Kids and distributes Thanksgiving fruit and food baskets. For Literacy Day they sponsor crab races and give out books by Caribbean authors to the winners. Rotary Harborside also sponsors a Senior’s Day in cooperation with the Caribbean Community Theatre. Overseas they support the Rotary charitable foundation.
Rotary Club St. Croix Mid-Isle provides a lot of support to the Lighthouse Mission in Christiansted. Club President Sweeney Toussaint said recently they have erected a $22,000 generator at the Charles Harwood Medical Complex to insure their refrigerated vaccines stay safe.
On the international front, Mid-Isle Rotary has build two classrooms in Zimbabwe and is now looking toward providing clean water for the classrooms.
Rotary West has adopted the Boys and Girls Club of Frederiksted. They have helped renovate the Boys and Girls Club building and donated books, computers and manpower. Working with My Brother’s Table, they provide a Thanksgiving dinner and they give school supplies to the Queen Louise Home and to children in the Harrigan housing complex.
Rotary Club West’s current primary international project is a water project in Haiti.
Rotary International began as a service club in Chicago, Ill. in 1905. The name Rotary came about because in the very beginning the club held lunch meetings, rotating from one member’s house to another. The purpose of the organization is to foster public service, peace and goodwill at home and abroad.
The very first Rotary project was the creation of a public toilet in Chicago. From the beginning one of Rotary’s main points of attention has been the provision of fresh water. One of their highest profile projects is a campaign to eliminate polio worldwide, an effort that with the help of several other major partners is now within sight of becoming a reality.
St. Croix Rotary Officers installed Saturday:
Rotary Club of St. Croix
President Elizabeth Goggins
Vice President Bernadette Messer
Secretary Patricia Knight
Treasurer Arriana Khan
Sergeant at Arms Dennis Giancontiere
Past President Beverly Hermon
Director Karl Danga
Director Mary Sluss
Director David Beck
Rotary Club of St. Croix West
President Carlyle Branker
Vice President Dorothy McIntosh
Secretary Susanna Smith
Treasurer Wayne Harty
President Elect Lula Parris
Past President Florine Audain Hassel
Director Rupert Ross Jr.
Director Ophelia Jackson
Director Alicia Lewitt
Director Juel Smith
Director Clifford Christian
Rotary Club of St. Croix Mid-Isle
President Ralph Mills
Vice President Jacqueline Heyliger
Secretary King Gaddy
Treasurer Celia Daniels
Sergeant at Arms Ishwar Vaswani
President Elect Chester Williams
Past President Sweeny Toussaint
Director Stan Joines
Director Larry Searles
Director Patricia Resevic
Director Nina York
Rotary Club of St. Croix Harborside
President Sonia Boyce
President Elect Nycole Thompson
Past President Lionel Downer
Secretary Judith Molloy
Treasurer Bryan Ridgway
Director Vera Connor
Director Teddy Richards
Director Jonathan Sluss
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