It is with great sadness that the Rotary Club of Freeport marks the passing of Past President and Past Area Governor Richard Bates on May 11 after a roughly year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Richard was involved with Rotary in nearly every aspect. He and his wife Monica attended numerous International Conventions and hosted countless exchange students from around the world. Richard's boat trips to Peterson's Cay were a highlight of every RYE student who was ever lucky enough to visit the island of Grand Bahama. He enjoyed introducing them to Bahamian food and culture.

Richard was also the keeper of the Rotary Wagon - a fixture at every Junkanoo parade. He loved to include Rotaract in manning the wagon and taught them the vital skill of cotton candy making. He also coordinated Rotary grilling burgers at the BASRA swim race, Humane Society dog show and many other community events. In addition, Richard spent many hours at the Rotary Water Plant and was always on-hand to assist after every hurricane with whatever needed done.

He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. May he rest in peace.