It is said that a week is a long time in politics. In Rotary the opposite applies! A year is a very short time in the District Governor's life. The rollercoaster analogy is certainly relevant to the past 11 months with a high point being the club visits, meeting Rotarians across the District and experiencing the welcome and hospitality provided by all clubs. It was amazing to experience the different ways that Rotary is done in each club and the projects and service provided. The lead up to the District Conference was the slow climb to a peak which was suddenly obliterated by the volcanic eruption of COVD-19 and the cancellation of the conference a week out from its commencement. That was certainly a steep downward slope to undo all the good work by the conference organising committee. I think we are again on an upward incline with our anticipation of the beginning of our new District 9705.

As it is unlikely to be possible to thank everyone at the District Changeover as normally happens, it is time for some heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped and supported me over the past two years of lead up to this year and during the 19-20 year.

I have had exceptional support and counsel from the District Board and they deserve a big vote of thanks for that.

The organising committee for the District Conference from the Rotary Club of Temora did a fantastic job in getting us to the point where we were excited and ready to roll. The whole of the Temora club was primed and ready to carry out all the necessary tasks to ensure success. So, a huge thank you to all those who put in such an effort. I share your disappointment at having to cancel. We do hope to have a District 9700 celebration over a weekend in Temora to make up for missing out in March so will advise details when it is possible and practical to organise this event.

Thank you to all the club Presidents and Boards for your efforts in providing service to communities near and far and for ensuring clubs continue to operate in the lockdown period. It has not been easy and I am sure that when restrictions ease clubs will be fully back into the swing of fellowship, fund raising and service projects. I hope we might see clubs applying some of the things we have learned during COVD-19 to change the way we operate.

Finally and most importantly these past three years would not have been possible without the love, support, advice, companionship and shared enjoyment from my partner Fayah. I am struggling to find superlatives to express my gratitude.