Bendaly takes over St. Maarten Rotary leadership

POSTED: 06/11/12 12:58 PM

St. Maarten – Country Manager of ScotiaBank Elie Bendaly took over as President of the Rotary Club of St. Maarten at the annual change of Board of Ceremony at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa on Saturday. Bendaly succeeds Rebecca Low, who led Heather Mercurre and Jeff Hyle’s induction as Paul Harris Fellows, as her final act before handing over the leadership. There are roughly 950 Paul Harris fellows, including Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Prince Charles, Indira Gandhi and Pope John Paul the Second.

Bendaly made the jest that’s he’s jumping for joy as he took the presidency and said he’s happy to be free of the task of taking minutes – a task he finds tedious. As a gift Low presented Bendaly with the club’s charter and 30 banners. She’s requested he display them and that he remember the fun and fellowship that club members have.

On his turn Bendaly presented Low with a plaque and hailed her for “accomplishing a great deal” and maintaining tradition. Some of the work he thanked her for was leading the distribution of dictionaries to 700 Grade 3 students, handing out 184 food hampers to needy families at Christmas, afternoon cruises for the seniors, planting trees and assisting the St. Maarten Alzheimer’s Foundation with a major education campaign that included public service announcements and a t-shirt sale to raise funds.

“I tip my hat to you and I am looking forward to working with you on my board,” Bendaly said.

Rotarian Henna Budhrani was also honored on Saturday night, having been selected Rotarian of the Year. Budhrani has been working intensely on outreach projects, including the distribution of dictionaries to primary school students. She also worked on the team that made a major donation to the Ahead Center for Excellence in Sucker Garden.

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