by Cathy Richards
When Delma Maduro got involved in Rotary in the Virgin Islands many years ago, she was the first female to become a member of the Rotary Club of Tortola, the mother club for the Rotary Club of Road Town, which later sponsored the Rotary Club Sunrise of Road Town.
At that time her entrance was to be a voice among the masters/men of her Rotary Club, pave the way for other women to follow, and to exemplify a true Rotarian, putting service above self. At that time, she had no thoughts of one day ascending to the respected position of District Governor, but in 2017 it became evident that’s the role she would have in her hands.
In her words “My Rotary journey started some 46 years ago when Audley and I united in marriage. But my ‘aha’ Rotary moment came when we attended our first Rotary International Convention in Rome over thirty years ago, as it was then that I saw the depth and breadth of Rotary and truly began to appreciate its global reach. I was therefore thrilled to become a Rotarian nineteen years ago and I owe a debt of gratitude to members of the Rotary Club of Tortola, especially my sponsor, Past President Albie Stewart, and Past Presidents Elton Georges and Stanley Gordon, both of blessed memory, for finally inviting women to join the Club and for allowing them to make sound contributions
Mrs. Maduro was elected Rotary District 7020 Governor for the year 2018-2019, but the 2017 Hurricanes which devastated the territory of the Virgin Islands resulted in her postponing for one year. She knew the territory, the land of her birth, needed her 100% in the rebuilding and recovery movement.
That was not a debate for her. With the blessings of the approximately 2300 Rotarians that surround her in the District, she was given that opportunity to put service above self as she along with the BVI Rotary Family bonded in the recovery efforts.
On July 6, 2019 when approximately 200 Rotarians, family and supporters gathered in glamour under the stars at one of the finest resorts in the Territory, Scrub Island, Mrs. Maduro, with Past Assistant Governor Audley Maduro by her side, knew that when Jamaican Resident Dr. Patrick E. Adizua passed the mantel on to her, there was a team of persons ready to support her and PAG Audley all the way through to a successful year as District Governor.
“I am in awe by your presence and what has been done to make this a most memorable event,” she told the gathering as she danced on to the stage taking the podium for the first time in her new role. “Being the Governor of any District is an awesome responsibility. Being the Governor of our amazing District 7020 is an even more awesome responsibility. With the spotlight on our District, especially following the very successful year our Rotary International President Barry Rassin and his lovely wife Easter who hails from District 7020 have had”, she said while noting that they provided truly inspirational leadership, “I feel grateful for him, our many active Past District Governors, especially PDG Vance Lewis and others who I know that I can lean on for support as well as the 85 District Team leaders, our 86 clubs, Rotaractors and Interactors and EarlyActors, and, of course, my family.”
The more serious and ‘committed to the tasks’ side of Mrs. Maduro came to the fore when in her brief remarks she said, “Under the theme ‘Rotary Connects the World’, R.I. President Mark Maloney has encouraged us to focus on connections. He encourages us to connect to strengthen our clubs and to grow Rotary; to complement and not compete with the family; to connect with community-minded younger professionals to secure a new generation of Rotary Leaders; and to connect with partners from across the globe for a healthier and more peaceful world.
“Let us truly embrace our future leaders by working together with our Rotaractors and Interactors on serious projects, by supporting them and by helping to ensure that Rotaractors transition to Rotary, and Interactors to Rotaract. Our young people bring new ideas, energy, enthusiasm, and talent to Rotary, so let them help us expand our reach to do more good in the world.”
This challenge was also supported by former president of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), Justice Anthony T. A. Carmona O.R.T.T., S.C who delivered a passionate and loaded feature address.
“Serve Humanity Secure our Future” is District Governor Delma’s Theme for the Rotary Year in which two major District Projects are being undertaken. One is “The Prevention and Control of Diabetes – My Health My Life, Stop Diabetes Now!” This is an awareness campaign to empower individuals, families and communities to make lifestyle changes to arrest and control diabetes. Persons with other chronic diseases will also benefit from this project. The other project, which is in its second year, is HANWASH – Haiti National Clean Water, Sanitation and Health Strategy. This multi-year project with international support is to bring portable water and good sanitation to the entire country of Haiti.
In addition to providing leadership for District 7020 which consists of 10 countries, DG Delma Maduro along with the entire BVI Rotary Family are excited about hosting the annual Rotary District Conference in the BVI from 4-9th May 2020. She encourages the entire BVI, particularly those in hospitality and retail industries, to start planning for the influx of over 400 Rotarians and families for this event.
Mrs. Maduro has had an extensive career for 35 years at the RoadTown Wholesale Trading Ltd and retired as the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. These days the 2019/2020 7020 District Governor and her husband, PAG Audley oversee two luxury villas, Tara and Allamanda Estate, both of which should be back on the market by September and November 2019. She also Co-Manager of Camdem Gourmet Market. In addition she is thrilled to serve as a Director of Youth Empowerment Project.