Fr Louis Grenier, long standing member of the RCOK greeted Fr Richard Ho Lung, the guest speaker

Fellow Rotarians,

Sometimes we miss the mark!

Thank you so much for such a large turnout of Rotarians and guests at last Thursday’s luncheon. I am certainly grateful for having PP Pokar Chandiram in attendance; Guest Speaker, Father Richard Ho Long who was his usual generous and humble self graciously reminded us of the inherent joy of giving. Our large gathering included Secretary Joylene’s two guests, her charming daughter and Latoya Williams from Capital & Credit; also Director Michael Buckle’s two guests Ian Rose of IBM and Beverly Hyatt from Jamaica Shipping Association and my two guests my partner, Lorna Phillips and Kelly Tombin, CEO of JPS.

It must be a special meeting when our Assistant Governor Andre graces us with his presence; and so too was I pleased to have PDG Mike Fennell join us before he takes up his Olympic chores. And such a memorable meeting it was to have visiting Rtn. Anna Treasure, a past member of our club, fellowship with us.

It was gratifying seeing first time attendees of our new administration, including Rtn Rosemarie Voordouw, PP Steve Wedderburn, Rtn Father Grenier and PP Chris Issa. Imagine having Rtns. Sylvester Hemming and Daniel Dawes appearing to be regular ‘visitors’ and Rtns. Ryan Strachan, Loreen Walker and Richard Mayhew aiming to be 100% attendees. Great going guys.  I would like to read something in my receiving apologies from Rtns. Courtney Lawes, Audley Gordon, Mark Chisholm and Jimmy Bruce; namely that they will soon re-join us regularly for lunch. I continue to wish Rtn. Deika full recovery and soon being well enough to resume fellowship with us, contributing in her indomitable style.

Special recognition was paid to PP Chris Issa and VP Robert Kinlocke for their very generous financial contributions to the launch of the BACK2LIFE major project; and condolences are extended to PP Steve Wedderburn who lost his cousin under tragic circumstances; God’s speed again PP Steve.

Rotarians had another opportunity at lunch to sign the BACK2LIFE moveable wall (15’ fabric) in showing support to the club’s efforts at bringing about transformational change to some 100 of our young boys at Rio Cobre and our efforts in having them not re-offend. Oh what an ambitious challenge for our club which fits squarely into Jamaica’s 2030 Vision and Rotary’s theme of “Peace through Service”.

Recognitions were not enough for the extraordinary fellowship hosted by Rtn. Steven Hudson and his wonderful wife Maria at their splendid home. Rotarians who missed it should now know never to miss another fellowship event.

We continue to be proud of Rtn. Andrea for our new look In-Gear which is causing companies to be now craving to advertise in our publication. Thank you PP Leo for reminding us of some Rotary Information which was so useful for younger Rotarians; and to PP Noel for reminding us all that we have much to celebrate in this our jubilee year of independence.

To my Rotary family, thank you all so much for re-engaging and making last meeting another splendid one.

But what of ‘the mark that I’ve missed’?

As President, you don’t really have a deputy or a cabinet with consultants to always catch you up before or when you slip. So when I missed the opportunity to duly recognize publicly and stage a send off for PDG Mike Fennel and wish him the very best as he embarks on his international duties; and to ask that he continues to make Jamaica and of course our club proud with our athletes, it is a sign of the enormous perils of this office.   And so to that I say: some opportunities are just lost and sometimes ‘I just miss the mark’.  I extend to PDG Mike a belated big send off as he wears the twin banners of statesman and member of our club. The very best PDG as you continue to make us proud.


Manley Nicholson, President
Rotary Club of Kingston