Posted on Jun 29, 2018
A princess, 3 prime ministers, and a former first lady joined 25,000 Rotarians and non-Rotarians in Toronto to celebrate Rotary’s good work and plan more of it.
 
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, accepting Rotary’s Polio Eradication Champion Award, thanked Rotary for working with governments worldwide to eradicate polio. Rotarians play a critical role in the fight to end polio, Trudeau said. “Together we will make that happen.”
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Sixteen former Rotary presidents and their partners appeared on stage, and Rotary’s next president, Barry Rassin, motivated convention goers by speaking on his 2018-19 theme: Be the Inspiration.

Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand and one of the architects of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, joined RI President Ian H.S. Riseley for a discussion about gender equality and the crucial link between the environment, poverty, hunger, and peace. 

During the four-day event in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, speakers praised, prodded, and partnered with Rotary. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, expressed thanks to Rotary for taking a central role in working to eradicate polio. Former first lady of the United States Laura Bush challenged Rotarians to keep early childhood education a priority.

And in a gracious gesture to his successor,  outgoing President Riseley finished his closing remarks by urging listeners: “It is vital that we be the inspiration.”

The 2019 Rotary International Convention will meet in Hamburg, Germany, 1-5 June.

 
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