Rotary Club honoured with visit to Áras
After 40 years of making a difference in its community Wexford Rotary Club and its members have received the ultimate accolade; a meeting with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin.
Joined by wife, Sabina, the popular President hosted a party of 44 Rotary Club representatives, including William Cross, Rotary District Governor for Ireland, and Michael Connolly, Assistant Governor.
And the President displayed a little local knowledge as he addressed his visitors.
'May I commence by congratulating you on your fortieth anniversary, and thanking you for your many years of generous and dedicated work and the enduring impact it has had on the community of Wexford and beyond,' President Higgins began.
'I know your origins date back to 1977 when a chance remark in the Talbot Hotel by Wexford man Sean Scallan, and the subsequent willingness of local business man Jurgen Sassmannshausen, to set things in motion, led to the Rotary Club of Wexford inaugural meeting in September 1978.
'Five months later you officially joined the worldwide networks of clubs, including 72 in Ireland, and since then have contributed so much to the Rotary movement and to the quality of life for those who live in Wexford,' the President concluded.
In response, President of the Rotary Club of Wexford, Karl Fitzpatrick said, 'I feel very honoured to be standing here in Áras an Uachtaráin and to have this opportunity to thank you the President of Ireland, for the recognition that you have given to each and every one us as Rotarians for the work that we are doing on a weekly basis through The Rotary Club of Wexford, it is very much appreciated.
'We give our time on a voluntary basis for the betterment of the community at local, regional, national and global level and are now in the middle of our youth leadership development programme, visiting 14 secondary schools throughout County Wexford, meeting and nurturing the leaders of the future.'
Karl continued by describing President Higgins as 'the most popular leader amongst the 16 -18 year olds that we meet through the Youth Leadership Development Competition and they want to emulate you as a leader and can relate to you and the great work you do, we The Rotary Club of Wexford wish to thank you for that.'
Mr Fitzpatrick thanked the President for hosting The Rotary Club and then presented him with a gift from the Paul Maloney's pottery range.
The mission of Rotary International, a worldwide association of Rotary Clubs, is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.