Posted by Ian Doyle
I am happy to be sending out a greeting to you for the first time. I look forward to continuing corresponding with everyone over the next year as District Governor.
Our Rotary year is moving along and I count 60 more days before the Rotary world has its changing of the guard. The world as we knew it has been upended with the advent of the pandemic resulting from the Coronavirus. Rotary has been given a wake up call to acknowledge that we live in a different world that’s going to be with us for a long time.
As District Governor Elect, I had the privilege of attending the International Assembly in San Diego in late January. During the week we were introduced to our Rotary International President Elect, Holger Knaack and were the first group to hear his theme for 2020-21, “ Rotary opens opportunities”. After a week of learning, listening and networking with Rotarians from around the world, we felt quite prepared to continue our preparations for the next Rotary year. After a productive face to face District Learning session in Halifax in February I felt I was ready for July 1st. 
That was 2 months ago and times have changed dramatically for most of us with the pandemic. This has meant no District Conference, no traditional Rotary fundraisers throughout the District to support our projects and monetary contributions and no face to face Rotary experiences. During this time period our leadership team under the innovative guidance of Louisa Horne has persevered in trying to keep Rotary relevant and vibrant.
On a personal level, I had been trying to find a way to contribute to my community in a positive way. I have been a long time blood donor and unfortunately we no longer have blood donor clinics in Sydney. I had to travel to Halifax and coincidently a mobile clinic
was being held in Truro, a community along the way - a Halifax appointment would have been at least a month away. It turns out that my donation was significant as this was the day before the tragic events that occurred around Truro. I truly hope that I helped in a small way by stopping in and donating. As Rotarians we want to help our neighbours in whatever way we can, whether it be by reaching out and offering a helping hand or a small act of kindness. 
Remember to keep safe and look out for your neighbour.