MARK DANIEL MALONEY
Dear Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends,
Increasing our ability to adapt: That is one goal of
our new Rotary Action Plan. And wow, have we
seen that ability put to the test this year.
In March, Gay and I were to visit Zimbabwe, Turkey,
and eight other countries over the course of 30
days. After participating in a medical mission in
Zimbabwe and Commonwealth Week activities
in London, on the 11th day, we were packing our
suitcases for Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
While attending a dinner at the High Commission
for Pakistan in London, we received word that
it would be impossible to travel everywhere on
our itinerary. So, instead of flying to Zurich, we
returned to Evanston and One Rotary Center.
Throughout early March, the news about COVID-19
became increasingly serious throughout the world.
Following the advice of local officials, we canceled
UN presidential conferences in Paris and Rome.
Soon, the World Health Organization declared the
virus a global pandemic, and we consulted with
authorities on more critical decisions. We asked
all Rotary districts and clubs to curb face-to-face
meetings until further notice and to hold virtual
meetings instead. To the districts and clubs that
have adapted so quickly, thank you.
The Rotary Board of Directors held its first-ever
virtual meeting to make the most difficult decision
of all, to cancel the 2020 Rotary International
Convention. Like the more than 20,000 registrants
who planned to attend, I am disappointed.
We acted to protect the health and safety of
convention attendees and their families, friends,
and colleagues, as well as those who call Honolulu
home, and I am confident we made the right
I want to thank the 2020 Honolulu Convention
Committee, the Host Organization Committee, the
2020 Honolulu Convention Promotion Committee,
and Rotary staff for planning what would have
been one of the best Rotary conventions yet.
I appreciate their hard work.
We began this Rotary year promoting the
importance of the new Action Plan for all Rotarians
and Rotaractors. Today, we are putting that plan
into action out of necessity. That includes the
possibility of a convention-like experience with you
through a virtual event. We will have more to say
about this in the near future.
The world is changing rapidly, and so must Rotary.
Our adaptability and strength will help us navigate
this experience. The world needs our leadership
today more than ever. Truly,
Rotary Connects the
in this issue
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