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Jennifer Jones breaks Rotary’s glass ceiling with a District 7040 celebration in Canada’s capital, Ottawa.

Throughout the world the evening before a new calendar year begins is termed “New Year’s Eve” and we collectively celebrate the event with a party or party atmosphere.
 
Rotary International’s “year” begins not on January 1st, but on July 1st and runs until June 30th of the next year, which makes June 30th, RI’s “New Year’s Eve”.
 
This year, Rotary International’s “new year” is truly historic as it ushered in the first year in which a woman is its president. That woman is a Canadian, Jennifer Jones of the Rotary Club of Windsor Roseland, in Windsor, Ontario.
 
After 116 consecutive years with a male as president, full equality for women has been achieved. It has, however, been a long journey.
 
The first three women to join a Rotary club occurred in 1976, however, they did so without the approval of RI and it was not until 1986 when the California State Appeals Court reversed a Los Angeles Superior Court judge’s decision in favour of RI and on May 4, 1987 in a 7-0 ruling that the US Supreme court refused to reverse the California ruling. On July 1st of the same year Sylvia Whitlock of the Rotary Club of Duarte, California became the first Rotary Club president. In 1988, The Rotary International Board recognized the right of Rotary clubs in Canada to admit women. The next year, the Council on Legislation voted to change the Constitution and Bylaws of Rotary to admit women worldwide on July 1, 1989.
 
Using 1987 as the starting point, it took 35 years for a woman to break Rotary’s glass ceiling.
 
To begin her 2022-2023 year, Jones is introducing Canada to the rest of the Rotary world with her June 17 – July 11 Imagine Rotary Canada Tour.
 
For the Rotary Club of Kingston, and its District 7040 having the privilege of hosting our new president in Ottawa, at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre on the evening of June 30th, and to celebrate her first day on the job was a special honour.
 
Representing the Club, in attendance were incoming president Alicia Gordon and member John Borst. Outgoing president, Elsabe Falkson had been scheduled to attend, however, at the last moment, a family matter had to take precedence. They joined 120 other members and guests from the district at the evenings banquet and dance.
 
Both Alicia and John had their pictures taken with RIP Jones.
 

Rotary Club of Kingston Rotarians with RIP Jennifer Jones

 
 
(LR) Valarie Wafer, Bernadette Clement, Jennifer Jones and Amina Gerba
 
 
 
Dignitaries at the event were, Jennifer’s husband, Nick Krayacich, a family physician, Rotary International Director 2020-22 and Rotary International Vice-President 2021-22, Valarie Wafer, PRID Bryn Styles (2012-14) and the current President's Aide, Canadian senators Amina Gerba and Bernadette Clement, incoming District 7040 DG Michel Wong Kee Song, and outgoing District Governor Fay Campbell.
 
During her talk from the floor, Jones described her year’s theme “Imagine Rotary” and explained the symbolism in its logo.  
 
 
 

Awards presented by PRID Bryn Styles

 
 
 
Beth Miller
Kathie Burke
 
Bryn Styles presented two awards.  The first was the Rotary Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award to Beth Miller and the second was the Foundation’s Meritorious Aware to Kathie Burke.
 
July 1st Baseball Game
 
 
RIP Jennifer Jones’ first day on the job saw her take part in a baseball game; really it was a game of slow pitch ball, organized by District 7040 Rotarians Kingston’s Paul Elsely and Heather Taylor of the Rotaract Club of Ottawa. 
 
Each team consisted of 10 players, one representing Rotarians from the Ottawa area and the other the rest of the District and known as the District Team. The respective honorary captains were Jennifer Jones and Valerie Wafer. 
 
With about 120 spectators looking on, the district topped the Ottawa team 22 -16, but really no one really worried about the score, they just had a good time.
 
One of the funnier moments occurred when a young Rotarian from India (studying in Canada) was new to the game. He obviously confused some of the rules with those in Cricket, when he ran to first base with the bat.
 
On the other hand, it was a very moving moment when Bryce DeRochiers, a young man with significant physical challenges and for whom the Miracle League Park was developed, with the assistance of the Rotary Club of Orleans, negotiated the base paths in his wheelchair as a "pinch runner."
 
The game was followed by a barbeque, lead chefs Bryn Styles, Mark Wafer and Paul Elsley.
 
 
 
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