Rotary Club of Picton reflects on year behind, year ahead at President’s Night

HANDING OFF (left) Outgoing president of the Rotary Club of Picton Dan Wight and (right) incoming president Barbara Proctor passing the gavel. (Submitted photo)




Formed in 1943,  the Rotary Club of Picton hosted its 79th Past President’s Night Tuesday via Zoom in order to provide the outgoing and incoming club Presidents a chance to recap the year that was and look ahead to the potential the year ahead holds.

The club announced Dan Wight would be stepping down with Barb Proctor taking up the gavel for 2022-23.

In his remarks, Past President Wight noted how difficult 21-22 was for the local service club in particular and the world in general as the COVID pandemic stretches towards its third year. A return to in person weekly lunch meetings helped illustrate this point.

“It struck me during our June 7th Hybrid meeting at the Prince Edward Yacht Club just how tough a year 2021/2022 was for our club and for our country and the world for that matter,” Wight stated. “A newer member of our club approached me and said this is the first time I have seen you in person this Rotary year. He was right. Rotary was founded on the notion of fellowship – getting together to build goodwill and better friendships and make the world a better place along the way,” Wight said.

The past president noted this new member with only one year’s service in the Picton club was cheated out of most of the good things that Rotary has to offer and the same could be said for the community and all the benefits a fully operational Rotary Club provides Prince Edward County in a normal year. The uncertainty caused by the pandemic made planning events virtually impossible.

“The club has soldiered on getting things done. We need to turn the corner and put the fun back in Rotary. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I know it’s not a train,” Wight quipped.  “I knew it was going to be a tough year and a tough job. COVID was upon us – No in-person meetings, fund raisers had been canceled or postponed, we had very limited ability to do anything in our community. Almost everything was un-certain. A daunting task for sure.

Wight said he did have an advantage having worked with and for one of the Picton Club’s most accomplished Rotarians – Past President and former cement Plant Manager – Leo Finnegan.

“Leo taught me at the Cement Plant, when things get tough, and they did from time to time at the plant “You Deal With It – Keep your focus, think slower, walk slower, talk slower and most importantly keep your objective in sight and focus on it”. Thanks Leo,” Wight added.

Wight thanked many members of the club and the committee teams inside of the group as well as the late Jim Barkman, Bev Carnahan from Canadian Wine Championships and Deborah Jeanes and Michael Hymus of Angry Birds.

“I am proud of the efforts of the Rotary Club of Picton and its members,” Wight expressed.  “What a fantastic result in a difficult year. Thank you. Let’s get our club back to in person meeting -COVID willing- and bring the fun back to Rotary.”

Proctor added on about how engaged the Rotary Club of Picton’s members are and called on those looking to get involved in the community to inquire about becoming a member.

“The Rotary Club of Picton, like all service clubs around the world, has faced challenges during this global pandemic that have threatened responses and actions to our Rotary work locally and internationally,” Proctor said. “Thankfully, the will of our members and the leadership of our Board of Directors, brought about club resiliency that produced innovative ways of staying connected, conducting club business and organizing fundraising events that safely adhered to COVID Restrictions.”

While the task was tall, through the energy of Club membership and the generosity of the Prince Edward County community, the Picton club exceeded its fundraising goals for this 2021/22 year.

Proctor said this good fortune has enabled the club continued support of local and international initiatives.

“Our Club meets every Tuesday at noon. We have an excellent Speakers Program each week. We are an environmentally focused club that aligns our actions with the newly minted 7th Area of Rotary International Focus, Global Environmental Sustainability. We are in Hybrid meeting mode at present, therefore you can join us on Zoom or in person at the Prince Edward County Yacht Club in Picton. We welcome all guests and invite you to inquire about membership in Rotary Club of Picton’s vibrant and vital service above self,” she added.

For more information on the Rotary Club of Picton, please visit