Hamilton, Bermuda - April 13, 2024
Rotary Clubs across Bermuda convened for an enriching learning experience during the annual Bermuda Rotary Club Officers Learning Seminar (PETS) held on April 12 and 13 at the prestigious Royal Hamilton Amateur Dingy Club. The event, characterized by its tightly packed agenda and meticulous organization, welcomed not only Club Presidents but also other officers and prospective members eager to enhance their Rotary journey.
The seminar witnessed active participation from Presidents-Elect, Officers, and numerous members representing all four Rotary Clubs in Bermuda - Hamilton, Pembroke, Sandys, and St. Georges. The highlight of the event was the presence of esteemed guests, including Rotary International's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Chair and Past Rotary Vice-President/Director, Valarie Wafer, alongside Mark Wafer, adding a profound dimension to the discussions.
Throughout the seminar, attendees engaged in detailed presentations and roundtable discussions facilitated by esteemed leaders within the Rotary District. Leading the charge on DEI discussions were Valarie and Mark Wafer, assisted by District DEI Co-Chairs Cynthia Paulino and Christina Wellington. Meanwhile, topics ranging from Membership, led by incoming District Membership Chair (DMC) PDG Mahbub Ahmad, to Public Image and Foundation were expertly covered by a panel of knowledgeable facilitators.
Moreover, the integration of technology into club management was a focal point, with District Learning Facilitator PDG Eric Storberg and DGN Garrett Capobianco jointly leading the presentation. Their insights into leveraging technology for streamlined club operations resonated with the attendees, providing practical solutions for enhancing efficiency.
Engaging in one-on-one discussions, Innovative Club Advocate (ICA) Bina Ahmad pointed out that Bermuda is now ripe for one or more new Clubs to infuse new ideas and thoughts as well as improve collaboration among the clubs on the island.  She explained how keeping members engaged in the Rotary experience is a prerequisite for member retention.  She encouraged members to apply for the District New Member Grants not only to engage members from the get-go, but also to show them the basic elements of project management starting small and scaling up.  
Welcoming participants to the seminar, DGE Syed Alirahi stressed the importance of ensuring the “Magic of Rotary” is experienced by all – Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike.  DGE Syed presented Certificates to incoming Presidents and outgoing Presidents, as well as shawls to distinguished guests Valarie and Mark Wafer.. 
District Governor J. Loren Russell underscored the significance of collective effort, emphasizing his theme of "We, not I," and highlighted the remarkable accomplishments achieved in recent years.
Reflecting on the seminar, attendees expressed appreciation for the wealth of knowledge shared and the collaborative spirit that permeated throughout the event. The PETS Seminar not only served as a platform for learning but also fostered a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose among Bermuda's Rotary community, reaffirming their commitment to Service Above Self.
Highlights of Bermuda Learning Seminar