Transitioning in Style

Reflecting on my year as the President as I welcome the next generation of the legendary Rotaract Club of Kandy

The transition meeting of the Rotaract Club of Kandy for the year 2020-21 took place on the 5thof July 2020 at our signature venue, The Kandy Club. As the Sergeant at Arms banged the gavel and called the house to order, my heart skipped a beat as I thought to myself that my time as President of the Rotaract Club of Kandy has come to an end. As the meeting proceeded as usual, deep within myself, I was trying to come into terms with the reality that in a few minutes I would belong to the backseats. It is hard to believe that the 2019-20 Rotaract year has come to an end and with it my presidency of the Rotaract Club of Kandy. As I reflect on the past year serving as the President, I cannot help but smile nostalgically. It was a year marked with unprecedented challenges and change as the world came to a standstill in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As difficult and challenging as things were, it has been my honor to be the club President through this time for I had the rare opportunity of experiencing, firsthand, the Rotaract Club of Kandy as a place of hope, comfort, love and friendship amid the growing uncertainty, loss and hopelessness of the pandemic, and work towards uplifting each other and the communities we serve all the while remaining true to the Rotaract mission of making the world a better place—especially when it seemed impossible. As the time to hand over the baton to my successor drew closer, I made a determination to step down with the promise of never letting them down.

The Past

I still remember my first interview. I was dressed formally, calm on the outside, nervous on the inside, wondering if I could measure up to the responsibility that comes with being a Rotaractor and dreaming of someday becoming a part of the executive committee seated before me. Since joining the club in 2015, I have valued the friendships that have enriched my life, whether through participating in RYLA and other zonal visits where I met some of the best people in my life, many a DCMs, community service projects, fellowships or my time on the executive board and as the President. The more active I became in my service to the club, and the more people I worked, chatted, argued and laughed with, the more I came to feel that in Rotaract you never have to meet a new challenge alone. As soon as I became the President, several Past Presidents stepped up and offered their support. I am grateful to my IPP Rehan, and Past Presidents Tilani, Samindhi and Heshan (Pola). I would have been lost without the support of Rtr. Samith who set the stage for the 2020-21 Rotaract year through his diligent strategic planning work last year first as my trusty secretary and pillar of strength and secondly as President-Elect. I couldn’t have asked for a better colleague, brother or friend. I am thankful for my Avenue Directors and other club members who stood with me and helped make our club a better and meaningful place.

The Present

Once a Rotaractor, always a Rotaractor! I have grown through Rotaract both personally and professionally, especially in this past year and I will carry the lessons I learned about being a good and effective leader, team player and friend with me for the rest of my life. I believe that the success of my year is measured by the success of my successors. Therefore, as I hand over the reins to Rtr. Samith and his promising committee, I, as the IPP and friend, promise to support them by standing by them whenever they need my guidance and direction in order to help them get closer to achieving what they have planned for the year ahead.

The Future

Going forward, I believe the most important goal for our club is that of striving to be more actively involved in serving our community. We need to educate ourselves and speak out when we see injustice and stand up for what is right both within and outside of the club. This requires some humility to understand that there is a lot we don’t understand and empathize with people who come from backgrounds different from ours. Many of our members join us because they are looking for a community where they can meet a variety of people and learn from and accept realities that are different to theirs. When members get to know each other and the possibilities for being productive within Rotaract, they use their shared passions and many talents to develop and implement projects that make positive impacts on the communities we serve. This is the magic and the legacy of the Rotaract Club of Kandy and one we should always strive to keep alive. The hard work is still ahead of us, and I am genuinely happy that we have the steady leadership and vision of Rtr. Samith and his committee in the year to come.

I am grateful and honored to have served as the 2019-20 President of the Rotaract Club of Kandy. I am better for knowing you, serving with you, and learning from you.