Approximately 65 Rotarians, partners and guests enjoyed noisy fellowship, good food and a very streamlined set of formalities to induct Allan Vester as our new President and say well done to our outgoing President Alison Gilbert at the annual Changeover Event held at the Howick Club on Monday night.

Chris Ward did the honours as M.C. and after a scrumptious meal shared by all gave Alison the opportunity to sum up her year and give thanks to the stalwarts who had supported her most during very trying circumstances.  
Adaptation and Change were the essential elements in the 2020 – 2021 year with the loss of our usual meeting venue, a Top Schools change of location, a return to committees and the abolition of the sergeant’s session among other new directions. Gifts of appreciation were given to Don Lawry, Linda Agnew, Kim Collins, Silvie Wilkinson, Allan Vester, Linda Agnew, Duncan Loney and Saara Yiakop (Jubilee booklet) all of whom played vital roles in keeping the club on track for another successful year. 
To top off the awards, Graham Kearns was presented with a much deserved PHF with two sapphires for his outstanding support in so many aspects of the club’s administration.
A speedy transition with far fewer formalities saw Alison and Steve surrender their baubles to Allan and Bernadine and the new Rotary year began.

After thanking Alison and the outgoing team, Allan gave notice of change ahead. The basic principle comes down to choice – evolve or dissolve – a warning to all like- minded service groups around the world. With his board in place (see below) he foreshadowed a year of features linked to the letter ‘F’ viz.

Fellowship – featuring fun-filled functions for families and friends
Fostering membership – finding the best fit for all and forgetting the idea that age is a fault – a ‘mature’ club can still contribute much.
Fundraising – finishing some and finding new intiatives – with full participation the goal and a reminder that raising funds is not the be-all and end-all of Rotary membership.
Forming closer relationships – especially looking for partnering with other clubs with falling numbers.
Four Way Test – at the forefront of our actions.
Some very apt quotes rounded up Allan’s address:
‘It’s better to burn out than rust out’; ‘If we all agree, we might all be wrong’; ‘Take the work we do as Rotary seriously, but don’t take ourselves too seriously’.
Allan made it clear that, rather than just hope it will all work out (marriage analogy!) he will be focussing on decisiveness and what really matters – and he is looking forward to the challenges ahead.  Welcome Mr. President!