MARCH 9, 2014

Good Morning to you all!

It is indeed my pleasure to be here this morning at the Annual District Retreat of the Inner Wheel Clubs here in Jamaica.  My hectic schedule does not allow me to be with you as often as I would like, but I am delighted when the opportunity presents itself and I am able to share with you even briefly.  This is one such occasion.

I am always heartened to be with persons who are making a positive difference in the lives of our people.   This is especially so when the change agents are a group of Jamaicans who are organized in their approach to service and are themselves steeped in a spirit of volunteerism. I know that I shall leave this function encouraged and re-energized by the spirit which pervades this Retreat.

Yesterday, March 8, we joined in the worldwide celebration of International Women’s Day. It is even more appropriate for me, in that context, to congratulate you, the women of this District, for your altruistic service and your ongoing commitment to the less fortunate in our society, especially in Kingston, May Pen, Ocho Rios, and the neighbouring communities.

It is good to see all of you who have journeyed from near and far to participate in this event, hosted by my home Club  the Inner Wheel Club of Kingston.  You will all benefit from the reports submitted by the various Clubs and from each President’s interpretation of the current Inner Wheel International President’s theme “WE, FOR WOMEN”. These three simple words combine to summarize a powerful message about women supporting, defending, empowering, or simply making life less difficult for girls and women.

I can only imagine the transformation that will take place when this theme is embraced and internalized by all the Inner Wheel Clubs in Jamaica, not to mention worldwide! When groups of determined, creative women put our minds to any project, we will find ways to successfully deliver that project! The mantra of the “I Believe” Initiative is applicable to Inner Wheel Club members: “There is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica“.  We agree that we are part of what is right with Jamaica. Let us re-commit to employing our best efforts to fixing what is wrong with our country!

Immediately, we think of the atrocities that have been committed against our girls and women.  “We, for Women”, must take up the challenge to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      be part of the national response to curtail these dastardly acts.  We must pool our time, talent and treasure to help improve the environment in which our sisters, mothers and daughters live and work. We are called to be our “sisters” keepers”.

Inner Wheel Club members, let us continue to be the candle in the dark for those whom we serve.  May our greatest reward be the satisfaction that we have meaningfully contributed to improving the life of others.

I wish for you a successful retreat and pray that at the end of the day you will leave here inspired   and “ready for service”, as stated in your prayer.

May God bless you all and the wonderful work that the members of the Inner Wheel Clubs have been carrying out since the introduction of the movement to Jamaica nearly fifty years ago.

Thank you.