Colin Burke was inducted as the new President for the Rotary Club of Newlands for the 2015/2016 year, at a prestigious gala dinner hosted at the Wild Fig Restaurant on Friday evening (19 June 2015).
Outgoing President of the club, Wybe Meinesz, handed over the baton to Burke at the ceremony. Burke is ready and excited to take on his duties, and shared his goals for the year with the guests. 
“Youth has always been a major focus for the Rotary Club of Newlands; we are fortunate to have so many projects that involve young people. Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes such as the project in Masiphumelele will remain high on our agenda for the year.
“We will continue to encourage the ongoing training by the emergency fire and disaster volunteers who will shortly have a new piece of hardware to encourage youngsters to join them by way of classes being held in schools in the far south. The modules the students are taught include basic firefighting techniques, first aid, disaster management that not only instils discipline and self-respect but will eventually be a major contributor to those communities that are most at risk.
“We will also continue with our established projects which include the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the NSRI wine auction, Rotary Family Health Days, Books for the World, One to One and the Dragon Boat Races. An entrepreneurial concept which was the theme of President Wybe’s year has proved to be a very worthwhile and satisfying project and I will continue with this through our Vocational and International committee.
“Our incoming Rotary International President Ravi Ravindram’s theme for this Rotary year is ‘Be a gift to the World’. The Rotary Club of Newlands will embrace this theme as we know how to give substantially and have great fun in doing so. To quote Ravi, ‘Every one of us has something to give – whoever we are and whatever our place in life. We can give our talent, our knowledge, our abilities and our effort. We can give our dedication and our devotion. Through Rotary we can make these gifts and make a genuine difference in the lives of others and in the world.’
“This club is always looking for more and interesting projects, we never sit still. With more Corporate Social Investment and the Global Grant initiative the sky is the limit. There is however one such project that I would like to consider this coming year. Sport is a great leveller; we all know how it helps with the education of our youth, teaches them discipline and fair play and of course keeps them fit. My goal is to build a sports centre where a number of sports can be taught and encouraged with active participation from the community and possibly other Rotary Clubs.  It would be a ‘Gift to the World’, concludes Burke.
The Rotary Club of Newlands welcomes those who would be interested to join a worldwide network of inspired individuals who translate their passions into relevant social causes to change lives in communities.
The club meets every Monday at 18:15 at the Western Province Cricket Club in Avenue de Mist except on the first Monday of each month when the meetings start at 19:00. For more information, visit our website or join us on Facebook.