My year  as president has come to an end, and what a busy year it was! It has passed in a flash, coming to an end at the end of June with the induction of our new president, Anne Kruger. I wish her the best for the Rotary year lying ahead. Congratulations are also due to past president Abie Martin who has been appointed Assistant Governor for the 2019-2020 year.


Visiting the projects at schools and creches really opened my eyes to the need and hunger these children have for education. Our club was involved with youngsters through a variety of projectsas well as the Interact and Earlyact kids at 6 club we support. They also assisted with some of our fundraising projects. Their regular feedback to our Youth Services Director and also after the RYLA camps and Adventure into Citizenship tours to Cape Town was a testimony of how  these leadership programs develop our youth for the future.

Our Edubox project has been a great success this year. We managed to donate 115 boxes to Lingelihle Educentre, Langabuya Primary School, Charleston Hill Primary, Ligstraal School, Butterfly House, and Stepping Stones. We will be following up on these schools in the months to come make sure the teachers have got the skills to use the educational instruments to their fullest potential.

With our three fundraising projects over the past year (Backsberg MTB, Bouckaert Soenen Cycle Race and our Wine & Good Taste Auction) we managed to raise a total of R340 000 to support our projects.

Our club hosted two friendship exchange teams this year. The first were 5 couples from Sweden and the second group were a9 Rotarians from Upstate New York. This interaction with the American club resulted in a S1000.00 dollar donation for the Paarl Kickboxing Academy.

The past three months have mainly been spent rethinking the Paarl Cycle Tour. The cycling committee has been busy visiting possible venues, and has decided on Fairview wine estate in Agter Paarl, because it is located outside the hustle and bustle of Paarl itself. From there, cyclists will be able to cycle safely on the surrounding rural roads, instead of travelling through the urban area for the first leg of the race. We hope that our next cycle race, on 2 February 2020, will draw even more cyclists than before. To increase participation, we plan to launch a dedicated Paarl Cycle Tour website soon, and will also focus on using social media even more effectively than before.

Meanwhile we have also been focusing on health, with the handing over of more than 100 pairs of spectacles to needy learners who have been on the Department of Health’s waiting list for a while, but could not be assisted by them. Thanks to funding from Paarl Rotary, these students from Paarl School of Skills and Paulus Joubert High each received prescription spectacles made up by Stellenbosch Optometrists (who are contracted for this purpose by the government). This should make a significant impact on their school performance.


Our oldest member, Dave Overturf, celebrated his 90th birthday recently, and on this occasion received honorary membership of the club. Dave is not able to attend meetings anymore, due to poor health, but it was good to see him in fine spirits at his birthday party at the home of his daughter, Misi. 


I would like to thank our busy Rotarians and their partners for their fellowship and support of our activities. We look forward to an enjoyable get-together at the Barnyard on 30 July: see you there!

SERVICE AWARDS. Three Rotarians received Paul Harris awards for service to the club from outgoing president Eugene Reynders (left) at the induction dinner. They are (from left) Gerald Truter (second sapphire award), Marita van der Sluys (first sapphire award) and Abie Martin (first sapphire award). They are all past presidents of the club.