Rotary Serving Humanity
Jul 06, 2016
Honourable Samantha Marshall
Rotary Serving Humanity

“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain... To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices - today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.”Kevyn Aucoin

The only thing I would alter there,  is  to say ….today I choose to serve and to do so with respect and conviction.

Indeed it is a honor to address this  warm gathering and to celebrate with you,  the Rotary Club of Antigua, the new Rotary Year under the theme: “Rotary, Serving Humanity”.

Let me take this opportunity to commend the 2015-2016 Past President and executive and to congratulate and offer best wishes to the 2016- 2017 President Evangeline Allen and her Executive.

Over the past forty (40) years, the Rotary Club of Antigua has been involved in exemplary humanitarian service by feeding those who are hungry; clothing those who are without; enabling the disabled; sheltering those who are in need of refuge; and advancing our young people through education, thereby preparing young leaders.

The Rotary Club of Antigua has established itself as one of the leading philanthropic organizations within Antigua & Barbuda, and more so worldwide.Thereby helping to fulfill social, educational and health related, developmental goals.

The invaluable contribution by the Rotary Club of Antigua and Barbuda is embodied in your motto- “Service Above Self”. From this motto, there are two fundamental principles:

  1. Dedicated Service;
  2. Selflessness Dedicated Service  requires faithful devotion in the pursuit of love, respect, and care for others.

With this year’s theme being “Rotary Serving Humanity”, Rotary and its members:

  1. Must Appreciate the wide scope of  humanitarian problems   and consider approaches that can reach those who are vulnerable- through the multidisciplinary experience that [you] have gained over the years to assist in the resolution of society’s problems via unique programmes and or policies;
  1. You must also THINK with the changing times- providing leadership and expertise, developing partnerships, and seek to aid in the resolution of social problems through innovating thinking;
  1. You must also continue to ACT responsibly- by ensuring your invaluable contribution to society is one that is sustainable, environmentally friendly, holistic, and relevant;
  1. Finally, you must continue to make a difference- by encouraging more individuals  to be part of your organization so that your contribution to society will be perpetuated through the generations to come, and thus making Rotary an institution in society.

As Minister of Social Transformation and Human Resource Development, it is my Government’s wish to continue to have the Rotary Club of Antigua as one of our main social partners, in the pursuit of my Government’s developmental policy and goals. In fact, allow me to mention here our gratus to the Rotary Club in relation to the sewing project  done in consultation with Community Development, which was piloted in four communities, New Winthropes, Pigotts, Liberta and Freetown.  I am aware the project may have experienced  some challenges but despite that I wish to assure you today that my Ministry and by extension the Government,  remains committed to working with you on this and any other program aimed at empowering and enabling our people.

These plans and programmes can only be maximized and fully effective  once we work in tandem with our social partners such as the Rotary Club of Antigua. I also recognize that the Rotary Club of Antigua will require Government’s support to ensure it continues to give that support that it now provides and I am more than happy to commit in giving my support to Rotary of Antigua.

In closing, “I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”

Albert Schweitzer

I thank you.