Almancil International Rotary Club (AIRC) was delighted to welcome District 1960 Governor Paulo Martins on Wednesday, February 2.
Each year, District Governors visit every Rotary club in their district to draw attention to important Rotary issues and, if necessary, provide special attention to weak or struggling clubs.
The purpose of these visits is also to motivate Rotarians to participate in service activities and to personally recognise the outstanding contributions of Rotarians in the district.
District 1960 is made up of 74 Rotary clubs across Portugal, Madeira and the Azores, making it a very busy year for Paulo.
Paulo was treated to a three-course lunch at Escola Dr António de Sousa Agostinho student cookery school in Almancil. The meal was cooked by the students themselves. AIRC has been supporting the cookery school for many years with equipment and an annual cookery competition.
The competition was suspended during Covid and it was hoped to re-start it this year but, again, Covid sadly prevented it. The club also makes an annual award to the best student in the school.
Paulo also attended an AIRC board meeting at Associação Social e Cultural de Almancil, known locally as ASCA, another local organisation that AIRC is supporting with help for the purchase of food for disadvantaged families in the area.
In the evening, Paulo was the guest speaker at the club dinner. He congratulated the club on being the third largest in his district with 39 members comprising many different nationalities. He praised the club for the work they do in the community and for encouraging new members, especially the five new members of the Interact Club of Quarteira, Rafael Jacinto, Nuria Lisboa, Carina Botinas and Teresa Guerreiro, who attended with their President Ivan Bazahn.
Interact clubs bring together young people from age 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self, the Rotary motto, and find out how serious leadership can be good fun as well as providing services to the local community.
Interact clubs organise at least two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding under the sponsorship of their local Rotary Club.
Together with AIRC President Volker Biebesheimer, the Governor presented them with their Rotary pins. Other guests at the dinner included representatives from many Algarve Rotary clubs.
It is customary on these occasions for the host club to give the District Governor a present to commemorate his visit. Rather than something expensive, AIRC has in the past made a financial donation to the Rotary End Polio Now campaign. To this end, President Volker handed Paulo a cheque for €3,000 and a small personal gift of a book of poems by António Aleixo.