Caption: Ian Robertson (right) has been inaugurated as the new President of the Rotary Club of Claremont for 2016/2017. Tom Bergmann-Harris (left), the outgoing President, handed over the reigns at a prestigious function on Tuesday, 28 June 2016.

Ian Robertson was welcomed as the new President of the Rotary Club of Claremont for the 2016/2017 year, at the President’s Induction and Awards evening hosted at Kelvin Grove on Tuesday evening, 28 July 2016.

Outgoing President of the Club, Tom Bergmann-Harris, underlined major progress made in all priority areas including the ECD flagship project “Injongo”, development of new partnerships (Canada) and existing collaboration to help fight poverty (Madagascar). The club welcomed five new Rotarians, supported District 9350 with many club members serving on District Committees and helped organize Rotary International’s Global Conference on Economic Development. With almost the entire budgeted funds spent the club is well on-track to complete planned projects.

Robertson considers the position of President an honour, and is very excited about his plans and prospects for the year. “The Claremont Rotarians are a passionate group of individuals, and leading them as we impact the wider community will be true pleasure,” says Robertson.

Gearing the club’s financial position, club morale and membership growth will be the three key focus areas for Robertson this year. “Strengthening the club’s revenue streams and growing the membership, by attracting young up and coming business leaders, will enable the club to offer a more diverse skill set on which to leverage sustainable, current and future community projects,” adds Robertson. “Most importantly, I want to make sure that being involved with the Rotary Club of Claremont is rewarding for both Rotarians and our benefactors.”

On the evening, the Rotary Club of Claremont was awarded the Rotary Significant Achievement award. It is an award issued by Rotary International to the Club considered to be the leading club in the District. Rotary Club of Claremont forms part of District 9350 which comprises of the Western Cape, Namibia and Angola.

“The Club had a very successful year especially with the recent handover of the newly upgraded Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres as part of our Injongo Project, and the contributions made to other clubs through the Outreach Program, which is testament to the fantastic work that the club has done under the leadership of Tom,” says Robertson. “It is essential that we keep the momentum going with all of the initiatives that we are involved with.”

“We are also incredibly proud of our association with the Cape Town Cycle Tour. We showcased this phenomenal project at the recent Rotary International Conference hosted in Seoul, South Korea, where close to 44 000 Rotarians from across the globe came together to share ideas, experiences and lessons learnt.

“It truly is a remarkable project to be involved with and an excellent benchmark for other Clubs across the world to use as an example of how Rotary can get involved in sporting initiatives. Not only does it bring over 35 Clubs across the Western Cape together, it also raises very valuable funds, which get invested back into the communities in which we live and work,” says Robertson.

“This coming year we will continue with our established projects and also work towards broadening our horizons. A key focus area will be building relationships with other clubs internationally with the aim of collaborating on more initiatives similar to the recent ECD teacher exchange program with Rotary clubs in the United States. For this process to be successful and sustainable, strong relationships and cohesion with clubs closer to home is important,” concludes Robertson.

Outside of Rotary, Robertson works as an electrical engineer on telecommunications and radio systems linked to the development of new products and solutions. As a very determined individual, Robertson is not one for sitting still and keeps himself busy in his fully equipped workshop, building furniture amongst other things.

The Rotary Club of Claremont welcomes those who would be interested to join a diverse and global network of inspired individuals who channel their passions into relevant social causes to change lives in communities.

The club meets every Tuesday evening at 18:15 at Kelvin Grove, Newlands in Campground Road. For more information, visit our website www.claremontrotary.co.za.