LUDLOW, Vt. – As is usual for the Ludlow Rotary Club at it last meeting in June, the current president handed over the leadership of the LRC to its incoming president in an annual event known as “the changing of the gavel.” In this instance, however, since COVID-19 has altered how the club meets, the physical exchange of the gavel from President Mark Huntley to incoming President Kevin Barnes was not quite as simple as it was when both were physically present at the same meeting. This meeting was conducted using Zoom so that Rotarians could participate from their homes and offices.
The actual exchange of the gavel was done by Mark Huntley presenting a gavel during the meeting and with Kevin Barnes accepting it in a separate Zoom session, with both sessions visible to the online Rotarians. It also gave Kevin the opportunity to thank Mark for what he had accomplished in the LRC during the past year, awarding him a specially engraved plaque.
In his remarks preceding the changing of the gavel, Mark noted that “being a Rotarian was, first and foremost, a willingness to live by the Rotary motto of ‘Service above self.’” He observed that his year as club leader had made him appreciate that friendship and fellowship were kindred benefits of the Rotary experience. “It really makes you appreciate what you can do to help your community.”
He also applauded individual members of the club for the work they had done in helping local communities, regional, and international goals of Rotary International. In particular, he praised Bob Kirkbride, who passed away this year, for the 63-plus years he dedicated to the work of Rotary.