Rotary District Governor Bala Naidoo and his wife Vasi were visiting Prince Rupert. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Rotary District Governor Bala Naidoo and his wife Vasi were visiting Prince Rupert. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Prince Rupert Rotary hosts District Governor

Bala Naidoo spoke about the club’s accomplishments, and plans for the future

The Rotary Club of Prince Rupert welcomed the District Governor during their gathering on Thursday.

Bala Naidoo assumed the one-year role at the beginning of July, serving District 5020 which includes Northwest B.C., down the west coast to Washington, and also Vancouver Island.

Naidoo gave a speech outlining what he hopes to achieve in the role in the coming year. One of the plans is to make the Rotary more attractive for more people.

“What we’re really working on is trying to make Rotary more inclusive in our local communities,” Naidoo said. “We’re trying to find meeting times and formats that can attract a larger segment of the local population.”

READ MORE: Rotary international exchange opens to Prince Rupert students

Bala Naidoo outlined the success of the Rotary Club, and the goals he hopes to achieve in the coming year. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Naidoo also brought up the youth push the Rotary is undertaking.

“We’re trying to attract younger working professions and business owners in the Pacific Northwest area, and also youth,” Naidoo explained.

“We want to get our Interact program into high schools, our EarlyAct program into lower grades, and then look at a Rotaract program for 19-30-year-olds,” Naidoo said, referring to the Rotary Club’s various youth programs.

Rotary Club member Bob Killbery thanks Bala Naidoo for his presentation at the lunch. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Naidoo also talked about the Rotary Club’s major international project: the eradication of polio. Only three countries in the world still have the disease: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

“The end is in sight thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that support us in this effort, and the World Health Organization,” Naidoo said. “I think we’re on a very quick path to eradicate this dreaded disease.”

READ MORE: Rotary Club takes final steps in restoring Rushbrook Trail

The Prince Rupert Rotary Club had a busy year, most notably seeing the completion of the Rushbrook Trail. They also undertook a number of community initiatives, including a school apple program to provide fresh fruit in schools, and $5,000 to provide coats and other clothing for kids. The Rotary on average donates around $50,000 a year to local projects.

“Prince Rupert has a very strong Rotary movement,” Naidoo said. “The club has been here forever serving this community, and I’m delighted to see the awesome work that we do for Prince Rupert.”

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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