On Sunday, the Rotary Club of Belize, District 4250 held their annual conference at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City This district compasses seventy-four clubs spanning across three countries: Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Karen Bevans, one of the lead organizers spoke to our newsroom about the event.
Karen Bevans, Rotarian: “Each year we meet to discuss the ideas on all the initiatives that Rotary is undertaking within the district. This year as highlight on the agenda we had the representative I think the Secretary General of Rotary International sharing with us all the updates and the new policies and I would say regulations that govern Rotary International.”
District Governor, Orlando “Landy” Burns explained that this year’s event was also focused on the key message of creating opportunities to serve. It is a message that the Rotary International endorsed in 2021.
Orlando “Landy” Burns, Governor, Rotary District 4250: “Our worldwide president this year is from Germany and his name is Holger Knaack and he is my president in my year and his theme this year is “Rotary makes opportunities.” So we are here basically promoting his messages. We talked to Rotarians that we need to grow. We need to grow have more clubs so this year under his leadership we have new models of clubs, the ones that we know now which are the traditional clubs and now we will have new models where people could dedicate themselves to one cause and there could be a new organization we need twenty people and we can start you up as a new club, you could serve maybe cancer, cleaning up a river whatever you want to do. Young people also, Rotaracts are elevated to Rotarians this year they can do projects just like us getting finance from our foundation.”
Bevans added that history is also going to be made as for the first time in Belize’s history that its arm of the Rotary will have a woman as its governor.
Karen Bevans, Rotarian: “The Rotary District Governor which again is selected from among the three countries that make up the district we have a new Governor for Belize she is Maria Price but we call it the District Governor Nominee. So within three years, because after this Belize now has the governorship, after this it’s Honduras and then Guatemala and then Belize again so it goes on a rotating basis every three years. So Belize now will have the first female governor in three years time. Apart from that we have business professionals who are speaking at the conference bringing us some business ideas, women in leadership is one of the topics that was discussed just a few minutes ago before we started speaking and yesterday we had a very good day, the opening was done by our Prime Minister the Honorable John Briceno. We also had the Minister of Tourism who gave a good welcome address to our delegates and I must mention that for the first time the conference ,because of the situation, is being held virtually so that was a challenge for us as well. We normally do face to face conferences and all our planning was started because the plan was to have it in San Pedro but because of the situation we had to do it virtually so despite technological challenges and so forth we adapted and it is really really impressive. We normally have about three hundred or over three hundred participants that is meeting annually but for this year we had over eight hundred registered participants because it’s virtually. So despite the fact that we had to change to a virtual conference we found it as a very good opportunity because more Rotarians were able to participate, we were able to have Rotaractors and the Interactors who are a bit younger and sometimes not able to travel but they were able to participate through this medium. So despite the fact we had to do it virtually we have the opportunity to have more Rotarians joining us.”
The event was dedicated to the late Fred Martinez, Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala.