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Cayman Hosts Rotary District 7020 PETS Conference

Community 20 May, 2024 Follow News

(L-R) Minister of Finance and Commerce Andre Ebanks stands with Here Excellency the Governor of the Cayman Islands, Mrs. Jane Owen (Honorary Rotary Member) and Rotary District 7020 Governors David Kirkaldy at the opening ceremony for their PETS Conference in Grand Cayman Brac.

Rotary District 7020 Governor David Kirkaldy addresses the audience at the opening ceremony for the District 7020 Create Hope 2024 Presidents Elect Training Seminar (PETS) and Conference.

Rotarian Wil Pineau stands with the Caymanian flag at the opening ceremony for the District 7020 Create Hope 2024 Presidents Elect Training Seminar (PETS) and Conference on May 1st.

By Stuart Wilson

The opening ceremony for the District 7020 Create Hope 2024 Presidents Elect Training Seminar (PETS) and Conference was held at the Marriott Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands on 1st May.

During the Conference representatives from the entire District 7020 spent several days in the Grand Cayman undertaking training and activities, including site seeing and networking. Participation by Incoming Club Presidents and Secretaries is mandatory for PETS

It has been 10 years since the last time the PETS conference was held in the Cayman Islands.

The event was launched with a parade of 14 flags, which include Anguilla, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, French West Indies (St. Martin & St. Barthelemy), Haiti, Jamaica, Sint-Maarten, Turks & Caicos Islands, the US Virgin Islands, the United States of America, Scotland, the United Kingdom, Cayman Islands and Rotary International.

Past Rotary District Governor Mr. Bobby Bodden, welcomed the visitors to the event, followed by an address from the current District 7020 Governor, Mr. David Kirkaldy, who told thanked the attendees for making the journey to Grand Cayman and the Cayman Islands Government for assisting with logistics.

In expressing his pride for this year’s PETS being held in Grand Cayman, Mr. Kirkaldy said it was a special honour, as “…there is nothing quite like being home”, adding that it was one of the finest conferences he had attended and noting that Rotary’s mottos of, ‘service above self’ placed the organisation among the world’s greatest Foundations.

Mr. Kirkaldy also welcomed Honorary Rotarian and guest speaker, Cayman Islands Governor, Her Excellency Jane Owen, who addressed the audience on the theme of Hope, noting that it was not only a very powerful human conviction but also an underrated one, which affects our everyday lives more than we can imagine.

“What are our hopes and dreams for our children? Health is another concern and living in a Hurricane-belt we often hope it’s not going to be a bad season, in addition to hoping things are going to get better and so on,” she remarked, adding that the theme of creating hope is the antidote to these concerns and that acting collectively to look out for one another was one of the ways in which Rotary was making a massive difference.

‘Rotary’s mission is the antidote to many of the ills plaguing many,” she exclaimed. 

With over 300 members in the 5 Rotary Clubs in the Cayman Islands, Her Excellency said these were all making a huge difference both in Cayman and outside the Islands.

Minister for Financial Services and Commerce André Ebanks also addressed the audience from the podium and expressed gratitude for persons from so many countries making the journey to Grand Cayman for the event.

Mr. Ebanks spoke of the values that were exemplified in persons such as  Fredrick Douglas, Ted Kennedy and Susan B. Anthony and explained that their struggles in political life and civil rights resonated with Rotary’s message of creating hope.

“We must first have the courage to act, the willingness to ask for held and the fortitude to continue,” he remarked.

Both Her Excellency and Minster Ebanks were presented with a special gift of Caymanite form District 7020 Governor David Kirkaldy.

According to Rotary, “The District 7020 ‘Create HOPE 2024’ Conference is the place to be to network with fellow Rotarians from around the District, serve others well, and share talents, ideas, problems and solutions with peers.

Attendees at the Conference launch on May 1st had an opportunity hear from regional and international speakers on a variety of topics relevant to the upcoming year as an incoming President or Secretary, as well as many topical subjects such as The Rotary Foundation, Grants, Mental Health and Wellness.

Hundreds of Rotary members from all walks of life around the multi-country District 7020 connected to discuss ideas in powerful workshops and serve side-by-side in a local service project.

At the end of each day, participants met either in small impromptu groups or in larger organized activities to meet and share our experiences.

The District 7020 is composed of 80 clubs in ten different countries or territories

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