Every Rotarian has a story to tell, a defining moment that captures what Rotary is all about.

Looking back on my childhood there was never a time when my parents were not helping people. My earliest memory of their values is of my father each Christmas , bringing orphans to spend Christmas with the family, my brothers, sisters and I having to serve them a meal. We stuffed them with food and presents, making they feel special. I also remember my parents’ devotion to the Catholic Church where they were always available to help young people and the elderly.

In the late 1966, after high school, I moved to Lisbon where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, and my social consciousness found expression. Finishing my degree, I came back to Macau to work in my trained profession.

How did I get involved in Rotary? I thought that it was out of my league and reserved for men. The idea resonated from my childhood when my uncle was a Past President from this club. I knew Rotary was the premier service club and always wanted to join, but believed I could only join at Ladies Night and at the Ball. Rotary seemed to be closed to females.

But one day I discovered through two lady Rotarians, one of them PP from our club, Stella Kan, that there is a place for women in the Rotary Club of Macau. And so when I was invited by Stella ( the first female President for the year 1996-97 ) to join. I was excited and was admitted on 4th February 1999. The theme that year was ” Follow your Rotary Dream.”

Joining Rotary has allow me to follow my dream of serving : helping others is a value I absorbed in childhood. Being a Rotarian was a great opportunity to get involved in service. I did not aspire to be Club President. It is obviously an honor and a challenge. I will put pressure on myself to lead the club with the help of my team as efficiently and effectively as possible .

I feel quite excited and prepare to face this new Rotary year. It is going to be a year full of activities, service programs, working to build strong fellowship and to raise enough funds for our projects.

We can celebrate Rotary through selfless acts of fellowship and service.
Rotary talks about ‘service above self’ and I have learned the lesson that you never know what can happen … just show up ! And Rotary is all about showing up, isn’t ? … Showing up for meetings, for projects, and for service to help someone else.
During my term as President I am counting on your support, together we are going to ‘ make a difference.’

Fátima Ferreira
President 17-18
Rotary Club of Macau