Posted by Elizabeth Edozie on Jan 01, 2020
I am starting my letter with a song.
'O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home'
This was my late Dad's favourite song whenever he is preaching at any New Year's eve service.  It still resonates with me everytime a new year kicks off. We thank God for keeping us alive, safe and sound right into the year 2020. There were many, even Rotarians, who did not make it into 2020. 
District 9110 has lost 7 Rotarians in the last 6 months.  It's not because God loves us more than them.  But these things are just  the realities of life.  Those of us who are alive and well should try and do good when we can.  No matter how small.  
You will be surprised how fast time flies.  My installation as District Governor seems just like yesterday, and we are already in the second half of the tenure. In a short while, we would have turned the 'bend', as athletes say, and be on the 'home straight' with the finish line in sight.
I pray that we will all be around to breast the tape on the 30th of June. Whatever achievements we will have made will be the combination of all our efforts.  There are still a few usual challenges in the second half, but I am sure we will go through them with the same zeal, finishing with a victory sign. 
December was filled up with a lot of celebrations, wining, dining and partying.  I was particularly impressed by clubs who specifically remembered and visited the sick, in various hospitals, who for no fault of theirs, were spending Christmas on a sick bed.  In the midst of all the dancing, we saw many who were bedridden, who could not sit, let alone walk. 
We wined and dined, but we saw those couldn't eat, who had tubes passed down their throats, to keep them alive.  All the Christmas decorations meant nothing to the blind!  But still, we tried our best to lift their spirits,  a difficult task with someone with a terminal cancer,  unconscious, or in pains.  But we got the message across, that our thoughts and prayers were with them in this season of 'goodwill to all men' 
The District, still in the mood of the season, is having it's new year party/evening with the DG on Friday, the 10th of January, at the Rotary Centre.   The Lagos State Government has donated a cow to the District, so, I can prophecy that the 'orishirishi' pepper soup will be more than adequate.   Please, try to make it a date.  Let's enjoy ourselves, let's enjoy Rotary.  As usual, we will have enough to eat, drink, and be merry. 
The first major District event of the year will be the Ethics in Business and Professions  Seminar billed for the 29th of January at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Conference Centre,  Ikeja.  With the theme: 'Ethics in a Challenging Economy',  and an array of eminent speakers, who teach ethics for a living, it promises to be a memorable event. 
I also need to start talking now about the big one! : The Rotary Foundation Dinner/Dance billed for the 8th of February at  the MUSON Centre at the Marina.  Its going to be one event of a kind, with the high and mighty gracing the occasion.  New major donors are going to be honoured during the event. 
So, if you have promised to become a major donor this year, try to do it early in January, so that I can get all your paraphernalia flown in from Zurich ready for the day.  And major donors who move to the next level  - levels 2,3, and 4, will be my guests at the Arch Klumph Society lounge at the Honolulu Convention. 
New AKS members will have full access on their own right anyway.  So, you can see that we will be singing Rotary Foundation songs from now on.  Our monthly Million Dollar Challenge draws will still be going on. The January draw will be at the New Year party on the 10th.  The draw after that will be at the TRF Dinner/Dance.
It has been a memorable six months for me,  and I look forward to an even more exciting second half. Please don't put on too much weight this festive season.  It may be difficult to shed later. But have fun, and be of good cheer, especially to the less privileged. 
Let me finish with the last verse of my late Dad's favourite new year's song.  Written by Isaac Watts in 1708, it has it's origins 5,000 years earlier,  in the 90th Psalm. 
O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
be thou our guide while troubles last,
and our eternal home!
Tokunbo and I wish you a wonderful year 2020.