Students of Bishop Michael Eldon School (BMES) were officially installed as members of the Interact Club, the youth arm of the Rotary Club of Freeport at the school’s campus on Wednesday, March 4.
President of the Freeport Club Lorrine Miller led the moderated the ceremony, where she thanked the students for hosting the club and congratulated the newly installed members before they were pinned as official members.
“The Freeport Rotary Club if the oldest club in The Bahamas,” she said, adding that they celebrated their 59th Anniversary this year.
The Freeport Club is a part of Rotary International, a global network of about 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders and problem-solvers, who aim to unite people all over the world in the name of service and creating lasting positive change.
Miller furthered that the Freeport Club, as a part of the Rotary International Organization, focuses on community service and outreach.
She expressed that the organization has conducted and participated in many community initiatives, particularly since the passing of Hurricane Dorian. The Category 5 storm swept through both Abaco and Grand Bahama in early September 2019, leaving mass destruction in its wake.
Many residents were left without homes, vehicles, other material possessions and some lost their jobs as a result of the storm.
Lives were even lost due to the devastating storm.
In response to this national disaster, the Freeport Club along with the other four Rotary Clubs on the island – Lucaya, Sunrise, Sunset and Grand Bahama – have been assisting residents through mass distributions of various items and building supplies, cleanups, and home mould remediation projects. The organization has also been operating their water plant to supply the island with potable water.
“We’ve been doing a lot of community work,” Miller said.
The Freeport Club recently held its Annual Wine and Cheese fund-raiser ion Saturday, February 29, where part of the proceeds would go towards more Dorian relief efforts.
Miller said that she hopes the Interact Club members would follow suit, not necessarily in relation to Hurricane Dorian, but in any community aspect. “This can be related to their schools, churches and neighbourhoods.”
She assured that the Rotary Club will be available to assist them in this regard as well. “We do offer community service hours.”
Miller noted that the club is expanding their ability to assist the Grand Bahama community with the Interact Club. “We are depending on you to make a difference in our community.”
She noted that the newly installed members are joining thousands of other Interactors all over the world.
Interact Clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills, while discovering the power of “Service Above Self,” which is Rotary’s motto.
Members can connect with leaders in their community and around the world to take action to make a difference in your school and community, discover new cultures and promote international understanding, become a leader in their school and community, have fun and make new friends from around the world.
Interact Clubs must organize at least two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Rotary club sponsors mentor and guide Interactors as they carry out projects and develop leadership skills.
Members can also celebrate the global impact of Interact by getting involved in, World Interact Week, the Interact Video Awards, the Rotary Youth Day at the United Nations and Global Youth Service Day.
Ivan Johnson, Commerce Teacher and Interact Advisor told this daily that it felt good to welcome 15 new members into the school’s Interact club.
“It’s always nice to have more members coming in to join the Interact Club. It’s a small group but we do a lot of things so the more members we have the better for us,” he said.
Johnson furthered that the club conduct service and fundraising initiatives. They recently did a beach clean up and an environmental experience at the school.
The new Interact Club members are – Anthia Moultrie, Matavia Dean, Meveah Hamilton, Gabriel Malabanan, Dhia Culmer, Jadyn Pinder, Diajah Rolle, Tatyanna Stubbs, Steffi Castillo-Lee, Neil Johnson, Star Jones, Fiorella Long, Asya Johnson, Tavion Rodgers, Dakota Burrows, Darrielle Bullard, Kaylyn Barbes, Shakada Hudson, Charity Newton, Jamie Seymour, Briagge Johnson, Reanna Knowles, Heather Brockbank, Mary Edomwanyi, Justin Johnson, Kyla Neely and Aaron Bethel.
The officers of the BMES Interact Club are – Chavette Harvey, President; Kanye Johnson, Vice President; Dionne Pinder, Secretary; Ray Williams, Treasurer; Jonathan Shing-jay Szeto, Assistant Treasurer; Allysha Fischbacher, Chaplin; Doneyah Garvey, Public Relations and Wilton Cartwright, Sergeant at Arms.
Each grade also has representatives. The representative for Grade 10 is Gianna Malabanan; Jaydn Pinder represents Grade 11 and Kadicia Babb represents Grade 12.