Interview with PP Fatima Ferriera (2004 ~2005)

Fatima Ferriera

How did I get involved with Rotary? Long ago, I thought Rotary was out of my league. I thought it was meant just for men only, because I could only join Rotary at ladies’ nights and annual balls.  Not until after I met two ladies Rotarians, Stella Kan and Ho Mei Va, did I know that there was a place for us.

I was invited to Rotary by Stella (the first female President of the year (1996-97). I was very excited and was admitted on 4th February 1999.  I still remember the theme that year was “Follow your Rotary Dream” – the theme of PDG Anthony Hung’s year.

I joined Rotary simply because I wanted to serve and help others.  Helping others was what I learnt from my parents since my childhood.

It was a great opportunity to get involved. I did not aspire to be Club President. It was an honor and I kept asking myself “Am I the right person?” I was apprehensive and nervous. This was a real challenge for me to serve and to work.

My turn of presidency just happened during the Centennial Year of Rotary International.   When I discovered that the theme for my year of presidency was simply “Celebrate Rotary”, I was not very happy because I thought it was too simple and not very meaningful at all.   However, after  I realized this was a logical one because at any anniversary we celebrate. We have to celebrate.  We have to celebrate how the ideals that Rotary founders stood for over the past 100 years, have influenced generations of Rotarians to do good throughout the world. I realised just how important it was to have the opportunity to serve. I put pressure on myself to run the club as efficiently and effectively as possible. It was a privilege to lead the club into the next century. I led the club through this exciting and historic year together with my able board and my fellow enthusiastic members who are so ready to provide their helping hands. It was a year full of activities, service programs, efforts to build strong fellowship and raising enough funds for our projects.

CLUB SERVICE (chaired by PP Stella Kan)

  • Of course, other than the usual arrangements of speakers at club meetings
  • At this centennial year of Rotary, we put more effort into letting the public know about the ideals and spirit of Rotary with the help of our Public Relations Rtn. Elizabete Fong.
  • We would also, other than retaining current members, recruit more new members, for example from our over-aged Rotaractors.
  • And to provide our new members with orientation programs
  • And of course, you will not miss the celebration of our anniversary charity ball which was organized by our ball chairman Kazu. (traditionally it is organized by the President-elect )
  • It was a great honour to have Rotary International President-Elect Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar visiting us and our club was the host club for the joint meeting held in his honour at our regular meeting place, Hotel Casa Real.

FAMILY OF ROTARY (chaired by PP Fred Palmer )

  • Family of Rotary Day is held, for members, their spouses, children, grandchildren or grandparents and all Rotary friends.

COMMUNITY SERVICE (chaired by Rtn. Filipe de Senna Fernandes)

  • We continued supporting students from single-parent families.
  • Community Day is a half-day get-together organized by the club for the beneficiaries of its community service projects.
  • We have the Christmas party for the intellectually disabled children and their families to join with the Associação de Apoio aos Deficientes Mentais – this is our ongoing project for the 5th year.
  • We had the project of awaking awareness for the respect and care of their elderly parents, against the habit of dumping them in elderly homes and letting the government or community service groups look after them.
  • We helped to paint houses of elderly who were living alone ( this was an area 1 project) Rotary and Rotaract together hand in hand.
  • We promote Rotary Blood Donation Day which is a joint project of 5 clubs in Macau.
  • We joined hands with DHL and Westin Resort in 8½ hours of collection of relief goods for Tsunami victims. It was a joint project with the Macau Rotaract Club. The response from the population of Macau was tremendous, with more than 500 tons of goods that made us open the new year on the street because the goods kept coming and we could not stop. It was so touching seeing the response of the Macau people and everyone has the same idea to help the needy. We send the goods to Acer – Indonesia.

VOCATIONAL SERVICE (chaired by Rtn. Teren Cheong )

  • With the collaboration of the Macau Dental Association, we will provide dental health care and treatment for the mentally retarded locally in Macau and students of mountain villages in Du Àn, Guanxi province in China.
  • We will also arrange vocational talks for schools and our club.

INTERNATIONAL SERVICE (chaired by Rtn. Keith Pharis )

  • We continued our project with the RC of Kowloon North, completing the construction of new facilities and the Science and Technology building of the Experimental Middle School in Du An, Guanxi province. This was our Centennial Project which was completed in February of this year.
  • We will participate in hosting and nominating candidates for the group study exchange team.

ROTARY FOUNDATION (chaired by PP Alfredo Ritchie)

  • Our club was honoured with 38 Paul Harris Fellows and 4 Benefactors who have made contributions, and through this the club has sponsored young men and women to further their studies abroad to better serve Macau on their return.
  • We hosted the district Fund Raising for Hepatitis B taking the prevention to greater heights. It was done at the Macau Tower.

Let us continue our service as we move into the centennial. The best way to celebrate Rotary is not to look at the past but into the future. It is a future filled with challenges. The future of Rotary lies in its humanitarian programs which are being carried out.

And somehow the world is improved wherever Rotarians leave their mark.
When I wear the Rotary wheel emblem I am telling you: that you can rely on me, I am dependable, I am available, I give more than I take, and I add value.

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