Your editor has been missing in action for the past three weeks and so much has happened in that time.  Let us begin with the induction of our three new members on May 28th.  The following was contributed by President Lenita:

Tuesday 28th May, 2019 was a busy day / evening for the Rotary Club of Gros Islet. There were a number of guests including Rupert Lay, guest of Secretary Trudy, and Terrence Elliott, guest of P. Lenita. We also welcomed PP. Albert Daniel of the Rotary Club of Saint Lucia.


First on the agenda was the induction of three new members.  We were very pleased to welcome Jenna Flavien, Zanique Edwards and Rachel Thwaites-Williams.  Jenna is a Procurement and Contract Management Analyst with the Department of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation; Zanique works as a Special Education Teacher and Head of the Dunnottar Multiple Disability Centre and Rachel is a Family Practitioner and Teacher at AIMU.  The Rotary Club of Gros Islet is very excited about our new, young and energetic members and look forward being inspired!


Special, invited guests to the induction were Rachel's husband (Christopher) and daughter (Charlotte), and friend of Zanique (Monty Emmanuel).


P. Lenita encouraged the inductees to be committed, responsible and engaged members of the Rotary Club of Gros Islet, always upholding the principles, values and dignity of being a Rotarian.  She invited them to be worthy representatives of their vocations and to translate the ideals of Rotary into action.


Members were also treated to a brief but thought provoking presentation from personnel of the Inland Revenue Department namely, Mrs. Marcia Vité, Acting Comptroller and Mr. Cleveland Emanus, Assistant Comptroller (Audit). Topics covered included Property Tax, Income Tax, Insurance Premium Tax (unheard of!), Value Added Tax (VAT), Passenger Facility Fee and Travel and Stamp Duties. While the foregoing were mostly applicable to registered businesses, there were very robust discussions on tax obligations, what the legislation prescribed the Comptroller to "consider reasonable"  and why religious institutions were exempt from paying taxes! (Rtn. Ernest seemed quite troubled...)


Rtn. Ty and PP Astrid closed off the Q&A with the burning question - "Why does it take so long to get our refunds?" There were a variety of responses, but these two may resonate, depending on which side of the tax bracket you're on - 1. There is only so much given in the budget for refunds per annum, usually less than what is required. Or 2. It depends on whether the Comptroller considers your request for a refund "reasonable"! Either way, you're in for a long wait!


The meeting ended with a sumptuous meal (Rtn. Lenny does not disappoint!) and partaking in an absolutely sinful chocolate cake à la Astrid, post Birthday. There was a hasty attempt on her part to blow out the candles, lest the fire alarms went off!


And just when we thought the merriment was over, the after party drifted poolside at Windjammer to sample the floor show, fire eating and limbo dancing.  What sent everyone scurrying for home was the terrifying prospect of being selected to participate  in the limbo dance!


It was a wonderful evening of fellowship and good vibes and we look forward to more of the same.


Welcome Rotarians Jenna, Zanique and Rachel!"


On May 31st your editor attended the Peace Symposium in Hamburg which was an eye opener.  The tremendous work that Rotary does worldwide hits one in the face as you sit and listen to some amazing human beings. Sitting with PDG Haresh Ramchandani, D7020 (Jamaica) in the Peace Symposium.  President of RI Barry Rassin addressing the Peace SymposiumSome statistics.  Thanks to the work of the Institute for Economics and Peace we are now able to measure Peace - think about that for a moment.


We met truly inspiring people who are engaged in the partnership between Rotary and the Institute for Economics & Peace.  We learned that we have no idea really how fortunate we, and in particular, women, are to live in a part of the world where the rights of women are more or less respected.  This is absolutely not the case in many countries of the world and we signed the petition to the UN to create a Treaty to end violence against women and girls.  You are invited to visit to sign the petition.

Key Statistics

Despite progress, violence against women is a global crisis.

1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced sexual assault or intimate partner violence. Source: World Health Organization

Globally, as many as 38% of female murders are committed by a male intimate partner. Source: World Health Organization

700 million women alive today were child brides. Source: UNICEF

79% of human trafficking victims are women and girls. Source: UN Office on Drugs and Crime

There is much, much more to share but as we were told, Rotarians attention span is no more than seven minutes.  Happy to discuss further; maybe include another snippet in the next issue.