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Heartiest congratulations to President Jeya Ratnavele for a year of great Rotary service. The 90th year is very special and we had a wonderful celebration of the club’s achievements. The occasion was a great success attended by many luminaries of our society and the leaders of Rotary in our district. President Jeya had a challenging year due to the problems created by COVID-19. But we were lucky in that we achieved quite a number of successful projects which were recognised by the district and RI. On behalf of the club, I’d like to thank I.P.P. Dr. Jeya for all her efforts in fulfilling Rotary’s ideals.

President Eric Ong is our 91st president of The Rotary Club of Penang. His year of service will yet be filled with challenges. But he and his board of directors will surely match up to the ideals of RI and the Rotary Club of Penang. Eric Ong is a senior member who delayed his presidency for good reason, to come in at the time when the challenge would be greatest. There is a shift in the membership of our club but it all goes well with new members, enthusiasm, and of course Rotary goodwill. We wish him luck and I’m sure that the members of Rotary Club of Penang will support him in all of his projects.

President Eric Ong has decided to reintroduce our weekly magazine of information, “The Islander”, which was the voice of the Rotary Club of Penang for a long time. It was a weekly report of the activities on the club led by the president and his board of directors. “The Islander” was distributed to all members of the club, the libraries in Penang, and various clubs and organisations, to put Rotary’s projects within the vision of the esteemed personalities of Penang as well as all the other clubs in our district.

After 115 years of success in serving community, it is often asked if Rotary is relevant today. Rotary enhanced friendship and fellowship to a lonely man. We are familiar to the circumstances that led him to form this ever-extending organisation. Soon afterwards, Rotary started community projects to serve humanity.

In today’s world, due to COVID-19, man has become isolated again to protect himself. But we live in a very sophisticated era, where technology has come to our aid. We may not have physical meetings, but we are able to have virtual meetings with sight of ourselves and our friends and coming off a most productive meeting where we are able to have useful conclusions in assisting society. First our fellowship extends itself, though virtually with COVID-19 and the economic downturn, there will be many members of our community who will need assistance to being hope happiness and joy in their lives. This is where rotary has excelled in the past and will continue its excellent work in the future.

I wish to congratulate President Eric Ong and his board of directors to look forward to a challenging but satisfying year of office. He together with 33,000 other presidents in the Rotary world will surely make an indelible mark in serving the community.

I wish him and his board great success and look forward to a wonderful report next year. Good luck Mr President.


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