Rotary International President, Barry Rassin is on a visit to Belize. Rassin is the first International President to visit Belize in the last 56 years. He is in the Jewel as part of his tour for the Rotary Year that started on July 1st and will end on June 30th, 2019. Rassin and his wife received a warm welcome on Monday and this morning he dialogued with the media in Belize City. Dalila Ical reports.
Dalilah Ical: Originally from the Bahamas Rotary International President Barry Rassin has a vested interest in highlighting the Caribbean to Rotary members in the rest of the world. Among his first stops is in Belize.
Barry Rassin: Rotary International President: First President from Rotary International in 56 years to come to Belize, I felt it really important that we need to stop there and let me come visit, let me talk to Rotary here, encourage them and thank them for the amazing work that they are doing. I am from the Bahamas, I am the first president of Rotary for anywhere in the Caribbean and I want to make sure that in my travels around the world; I’ll be in 60, 70 countries this year that they have a clearer understanding of the culture that comes from the Caribbean because all of our countries have similar cultures, different but similar and I want to make sure I give a feel for that culture in other parts of the world so they have a better understanding of what we are and who we are so I want to visit as many countries in the Caribbean as I can.
Dalilah Ical: This year’s theme “Be The Inspiration” is a message Rassin is carrying with him along his journey.
Barry Rassin: It’s all about communicating our passion for what we do; if we can inspire other people to get involved with helping to our world to be a better place. If you are involved with Rotary then you can do projects, you can help the community, you’re going to help people around the world. We need to inspire people and understand that we need to have a passion and give back to our communities no matter where we come from, no matter what environment we are from. We can always give back to others who need our help and if we can inspire everybody else to do that then everybody is helping our world to be a better place.
Dalilah Ical: Deputy Prime Minister of Education Patrick Faber was present to welcome Rassin to the country. While the Minster is not a member of the Rotary Club he has worked closely with members.
Honorable Patrick Faber: In terms of education, the Rotary has been influential in terms of literacy over the years. We have worked with Rotary Clubs here locally and also clubs in Canada to see technology being introduced to some of our schools. You know they also have an initiative where they provide us with playgrounds in several of our communities and even in our schools. We continue to work in a number of areas; putting bathrooms in some of the remote areas. There is another area working with a water project so I take these opportunities to engage with the Rotary very seriously because they are a serious partner in the work of developing Belize.
Dalilah Ical: In the early afternoon Rassin was joined by Rotarians to rededicate the monument to the life of Salvador Jr. Espat, a once successful businessman who was a dedicated Rotarian for 47 years.
Male Rotarian: He was concerned more about community projects and the necessary fundraising requirements that the club had to do in order to make a difference for the people. Mr. Espat led by example in both his ideals and in his services, his legacy of humility vs. pride, enthusiasm vs. indifference, a smile vs. a frown will forever be remembered. He was the inspiration.
Rassin: His memory will always be alive especially as the Centennial Governor so on behalf of Rotary International we bring you our condolences ad our grievings and our appreciation for the time that you and he put into Rotary in this part of the world to make sure that our three countries work together and developing Rotary and making our world a better place and I thank you for that.
Dalila Ical: International president Rassin unveiled a plaque in Espat’s honor. Dalilah iCal Love News.
Rotarians from Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, which form District 4250, will be hosting the International President during his stay in Belize. District Governor, Jose Interriano and his wife Ena will also be attending along with a small delegation from Guatemala.