Rotary Gets New President In Crisis Year

by Marius Modeste

On June 27th the Rotary Club of Saint Lucia met at the NSDC Conference room for the 54th handing over ceremony.

Some members said the return of Leathon Khan is historic, as he will be the fourth person to serve as president in the 54 year old club.

founding member Sir Garnet Gordon served two terms from 1966-67 and 1967-68, Lennox Cave  was the second serving 1983-84 and 1995-96,while Lawrence Jude served in the year 1997-98  and again  from 2003-04, on the passing of Egbert Mathurin.

It will be written in the annals of the Rotary club of Saint Lucia that in the year of covid-19 pandemic Leathon Khan returned to guide the club when the world was in crisis.

Outgoing president, Attorney at Law Leevie Herelle in this final address thanked his executive, by presenting them with specially made plaques of local mahogany and glass for their unflinching support during his presidency.

“One of the commitments that I gave was that we would put this club on a firm financial footing, and I  am very happy to be able to say to you today  that we reduced the receivables  by approximately  75 percent”  Herelle said to applause from the gathering.

The president went on to expound on projects such as the almost twenty year old wine and cheese fund raiser from which part proceeds were presented to Governor General Sir Neville Cenac, the island wide wheelchair project and the Rotary mask project where local seamstresses from around the island  produced masks that were  distributed  by the club to children and frontline workers in an effort to stop the spread of  the Coronavirus.

Herelle went on to say “The most gratifying project to me was being able to deliver computers to my alma mater”. Thanks to club members Frank Myers and Sean Devaux of IGY, the Bishop Charles Gachet  Marchand  Primary school received 5 desktop and one laptop computers.

As if born to handle crises, three months after Leathon Khan took office in 2001, the United States was hit with the events of 911 which affected the world.

Yet the Rotary Club was able to undertake most of its projects for that year, including purchasing a mobile blood bank for Saint Lucia costing over two hundred thousand dollars.

Now three months before assuming office the world is faced with a bigger problem  – the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his acceptance speech Khan said “The post Covid future ahead of us if anything, should force us to adapt to be resilient and to want to win. This is the vibe emanating from the leaders in the district and Rotary across the world, in recent online training we’ve been having.”

Khan went on to say:  “Our proposed community projects and initiatives we have planned  are deliberately aggressive and bold faced. They are purposefully ambitious because that’s how it should be, but it’s going to require a strategic approach to be successful. The new normal  we face requires smart creative thinking  that’s the approach we plan to take.”

He ended up by saying all hands will be required on deck and all in the Rotary family should be heading in the same direction. In addition, Khan has proposed a three year plan to be used by future presidents.

Leathon Khan officially began his presidency on July 1st 2020

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