As RY 2020-2021 comes to its end, this will be my last posting on this segment; in the next edition of this bulletin PE Dylan will be sharing with the club his thoughts during RY 2021-2022.
IPP John has in good humor (or humour) referred to my last month as president as an opportunity to perform my swan song. Being curious about this “opportunity”, a little bit of research yielded the following: The term swan song originates from the legend that, while they are mute during the rest of their lives, swans sing beautifully and mournfully just before they die.
This isn't actually the case - swans, even the inaccurately named Mute Swans, have a variety of vocal sounds and they don't sing before they die. The legend was known to be false as early as the days of ancient Rome, when Pliny the Elder refuted it in "Natural History", AD 77 (book 10, chapter xxxii: olorum morte narratur flebilis cantus, falso, ut arbitror, aliquot experimentis), states: "observation shows that the story that the dying swan sings is false."
This has been an interesting and challenging Rotary Year globally and also for our club. We have seen last year’s RI Convention and this year’s RI Convention having to go virtual. We went from face-to-face meetings to ZOOM meetings only back to face-to-face meetings and now back to ZOOM meetings for all of our club related meetings. Our fund-raising opportunities were significantly impacted by Covid-19, as were our service projects. We witnessed in Northern Thailand and Chiang Mai the painful impact on local residents of a tourist-focused economy that collapsed. We were still able to carry out our service projects, but in a very limited manner.
There were bright spots during this Rotary Year. Our membership grew. None of our members were infected with Covid-19. Our inability to fundraise was mitigated by the generosity of several benefactors who contributed generously to our club. Our club was highlighted in The Rotary Magazine.
This coming year will again present challenges for our club members, our club board and our President Dylan. Hopefully, we will be seeing Covid-19 vaccinations being available for foreigners who wish to receive them. Being vaccinated should reduce the negative consequences of being infected with Covid-19. The Ministry of Education may require us to be vaccinated before we can be on school grounds. As our projects likely will involve contact with children who have not been vaccinated, we have a responsibility to each other and these students to follow government guidelines.
“To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do.” ― John Adams
"Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much." - Helen Keller
“If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.” Buddha