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June-July 2020 | Regulars

Mark Maloney – Rotary International President’s Column

Mark Maloney – Rotary International President’s Column

Rotary International President, Mark Maloney, reflects on how Rotary has adapted through the pandemic and demonstrated the ‘aloha spirit’.

As COVID-19 reached around the globe, we found ourselves in a world transformed. We have been forced to connect in ways we could never have imagined, testing our ability to adapt.

We have made tough decisions, including cancelling club meetings, district conferences, presidential conferences, and, much to our regret, the 2020 Rotary International Convention in Honolulu.

Together, everyone is placing the public good and welfare first, despite the loss of meetings, events, and experiences that had been planned for years.

Our Rotary friends in Hawaii showed us that ‘aloha’ means mutual regard and affection. It extends warmth and caring with no expectation of anything in return. The spirit of aloha applies wherever in the world we may live.

Our Rotary friends in Hawaii showed us that ‘aloha’ means mutual regard and affection. It extends warmth and caring with no expectation of anything in return. The spirit of aloha applies wherever in the world we may live.”

As Rotarians, Rotaractors, and members of the family of Rotary, we are connected, and as aloha has been defined to me: Our connection to one another is based upon mutual respect for our differences as well as our appreciation for what we have in common. Community is the sum of individuals — individuals who have concern for one another, who care, share, and take responsibility.

As I have witnessed the members of the Rotary community act to care for humanity amid the coronavirus pandemic, I have seen the aloha of Rotary.

We are indeed people of action. Every day, but particularly during this pandemic, the Rotary community has demonstrated it’s aloha spirit. It is a gift to be shared, and we are each a steward of this gift of Rotary.

I would say that the last part of our shared Rotary year was transformational.

We found new ways to make the lives of others better, new ways to move forward together. And, together, we will continue to grow Rotary so that we may increase our gift of Rotary to our local and global communities.

Gay and I will always remember and treasure our year with you, our shared journey, as Rotary Connects the World!

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