Well, this was something I was not planning on doing during the month of September. Clarence Shettlesworth resigned from our club for personal reasons not associated with any dissatisfaction with the position of president or the club. We hope to have Clarence return to the club sometime in the future. As many are aware John Schorr served as President in RY 2018-2019 and then agreed to fill the position in RY 2019-2020 when Colin Jarvis had to resign the position. Dylan Thomason is the current President Elect preparing to assume the president’s position in RY 2021-2022, but he has not yet been through the President Elects' training. Our club is young and has a limited number of members who have served as presidents and are qualified to assume the role.
As some know, I was the president during the formation of the club. As the charter president, I served during RY 2013-2014 and RY 2014-2015. I think I have filled every position in the club with the exception of Treasurer. So, it seems that I am the logical replacement for the remainder of this Rotary Year. Hopefully, this will be my last time coming out of presidential retirement. I still retain responsibilities as Chair of both Foundation Committee and Public Image Committee.
In most clubs, the expectation is that every member will serve as president at least one time. I think it strengthens a club to have leadership roles filled by different people. This brings a diversity of views into leadership and sometimes can challenge out-of-date thinking.
Several of our service projects have begun again with the opening of schools and the loosening of restrictions for domestic travel. A new project has started – the CMIRC School Vision Screening Project. This project, led by John Schorr, requires participation support from our members. In addition, a modified BEAM program will start which will use remote ZOOM one-on-one sessions.
We are faced with the fact that one-third of our club membership is “locked out” of Thailand due to Covid-19 travel restrictions imposed by the Thai government. Presently the Thai government appears to be focused on planning for entry of high spending tourists from selected countries, with low Covid-19 infection cases. Hopefully, in the near future they will begin admitting those who reside long term in Thailand but it appears this will likely require Covid-19 hospitalization insurance that may be difficult for some of our older members to obtain. We want our “locked out” members back just as much as they want to come back.
We indeed do live in interesting times.