Posted by Paddy Rooney

 With Thanks & Gratitude

This will be my last note as District Governor in our weekly newsletter. On Tuesday we will have the opportunity to join with DGE John Anthony as he assumes his new office of District Governor and to celebrate DGN Greg Staub and DGND Juliet Altenburg as they move into their new roles as DGE and DGN respectively. I want to begin by thanking them for being a great leadership team, for being so dedicated and committed and for all the support they have offered to me over the past year. I am confident that with these fine leaders in place our District will be well served into the future. Thank you John and Greg and Juliet for all that you have done and I know will do in the years ahead and please know that you have my promise of support as you assume your new roles and responsibilities.
And since the transition takes place on June 30, this is an opportunity for me to step back and reflect upon the year which is now rapidly drawing to a close and to offer a word of thanks and deep gratitude for all that this year has meant to me.
I hope it does not sound trite on my part to say that these last 12 months have been a unique experience and one which I will treasure for the rest of my life. It has been a pleasure and joy to serve District 7390 as Governor – a pleasure because I really did have a lot of fun and a joy because I got to see and experience firsthand the amazing and wonderful work that is being done by so many of our clubs and their members to make our communities and our world a better place to be. I enjoyed so very much the opportunity to visit clubs, meet their boards, work with their Presidents and share in their enthusiasm for this family we call Rotary. So my thanks do indeed go to all those who welcomed me to their clubs, listened to me, laughed at my bad jokes and shared their vision of how their communities can be a better place in the future. I have learned from all of you to value the depth and breadth of Rotary and to see it, even more clearly than when I started, for the amazing organization it is. And a particular word of thanks to the Presidents of those clubs who have carried the vision of Rotary to their members, leading them through the difficult days of this pandemic, nudging them when they needed it and generally  being a cadre of leaders of whom we can all be very proud.
And it is with gratitude that I offer a word of thanks to all the Past District Governors who over the past three years have offered me their words of support and encouragement, wisdom and advice. We always build on those who have gone before us and it is with deep gratitude and respect that I recognize all the PDGs of District 7390 for their work on behalf of Rotary.
And I would be remiss if I did not offer a word of deepest thanks to Melissa our District Executive, without whom I could not have made it through the year. As the fount of all knowledge about our District and Rotary in general, Melissa helped me navigate the pitfalls and get the work done. Having a new Governor each year cannot be easy but Melissa’s sense of humor and gracious patience was greatly valued by me and I suspect all the DGs who have gone before me for the past 14 years. Thank you Melissa so very much.
The last few months have been difficult for many of us on a personal and perhaps a professional level as well. We have all had to learn how to adapt in the face of this novel coronavirus as our world seemed to shift on its axis. I am grateful for all those clubs and their leadership who stepped up to the plate, figured out how to run Zoom and Go to Meeting, restructured their fundraising events and continued to award their scholarships. Yes it was and is disappointing that we are not yet meeting face to face. It was particularly disappointing for me to have had to cancel our District Conference and not be able to schedule it in other ways. It has been hard not to recognize in person those who have earned recognition for their contribution to Rotary over the past year or indeed our clubs for their fine work. But in the midst of those regrets I remain deeply grateful for those who have led, cheered and encouraged us to keep being the best that Rotary can be.
So looking back on the year, I will be the first to admit that I did not achieve all that I set out to do. I did not fulfill all my goals and aspirations. And sometimes I just failed to get it done. But I hope that, if nothing else, I have shared with you during this year my passion and love of Rotary and what I believe is our common goal, to leave this world a better place than when we came into it. You have all heard me say that Rotary makes a difference in somebody’s life each and every minute of each and every day. As that great philosopher Mr. Rogers was so fond of saying, “Life is for service” and I hope that my life this past year has been a model of such service and indeed that the service we have shown together in District 7390 will last far beyond this year and into the lives of those who will come after us.
In thankfulness and with the deepest gratitude,
DG Paddy Rooney