THE 34th PRESIDENT INSTALLATION
As is tradition in the Rotary world, every year there is an automatic peaceful transition from one set of leadership to another from the first day of July. This means the club’s leadership, starting from the President changes hands to an incoming President who takes over accompanied by his/her new Board Members. Whilst the hand over is automatic and done during an official Board meeting, the installation ceremony is a public affair and everyone capable of attending is welcome. The new President is installed by being offered the President’s chain, gavel, bell and takes an oath to serve the club. This is led by the highest-ranking District Official present during the ceremony.
This ceremony is important to Rotarians as well as the communities they serve since in most cases, it is also used to raise funds for the identified community cause(s) as well as to publicize it.
Having been birthed a whole 33 years ago, the Rotary Club of Hurlingham, was no exception. It laid out a grand installation party for its incoming President and her new Board.
Theme of the Day
There was a lot on fanfare to mark the ceremony in what is commonly known in local parlance as Shangwe na nderemo!
On the second day of July 2022, the organizing committee left nothing to chance by setting out an appropriately suited theme to match the selected location of the event. The dress code was dubbed ‘Elegant’ to match with the upmarket, glamorous Golden Tulip hotel in Westlands suburbs of the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi, as well as the irrefutable nature of the incoming President – Rotarian Hilda J. Gikera.
Despite the date being smack in the middle of the biting cold July Nairobi weather, the room was glowing with warmth arising from creative decoration set up of gold and black colours. Some aspects of the walls were adorned with gold-coloured curtains with back lit lights and some had the black curtains to balance the brightness.
The chairs had golden hued seat covers with a decorated black chiffon emblazoned across the back rest. Then there were the tables complementing the elegant theme with black table covers and a golden centre-piece that had a bird cage with a white egg inside to make for an eye-catching inviting place to be. The white crockery and silver cutlery were well placed to complete the picture of a well-coordinated prepared venue befitting a happy ceremony
There was fine sound system playing slow music to welcome the guests initially and well-manned by a keen DJ. The DJ had an ear for the style and standard expected of the event as he was on point without prompting as well as whenever cued by MC Rotarian Wanjiku Wairia.
Our Rotarian lady members and guests came resplendent with long flowing exquisite dresses in hues of elegance, with pin-point matching hairdos and accessories. The gents matched them with black bowties and black suits with superb finesse. The room was soon filled with expectant and happy faces mingling and chatting freely.
Those attending included the RC Hurlingham members, invited Rotarians, friends and family as well as Rotaractors. Being a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, the incoming President had her own elderly mum and extended family in attendance. Some of her family members came all the way from United States of America.
After having a sumptuous self-service buffet meal consisting of a wide variety of culinary delights in sufficient quantities to up your weight in minutes, the attendees were ready for the speeches and formal ceremony.
The Chief Guest presiding over the event was the District Governor Elect of District 9212 – DGE Leonard Ithau supported by a slew of high-ranking District and Country officials.
The formal ceremony consisted of the out-going President Veronica Ndumbi willingly, publicly accepting to hand over the Chain to the incoming President Hilda Joannah. The incoming President was unveiled via a dance troupe composed of the incoming Board guided by a popular song.
President Joannah then introduced her Board after taking the oath of office administered by the DGE Leonard Ithau. There were recognitions of exemplary actions to individual members, Board members as well as tokens of appreciation to Chief Guest and some District officials.
The speeches were well-coordinated by MC Rtn Wanjiku Wairia and ended up being short and sweet with the exception of the DGE’s and the President. DGE Leonard Ithau’s keynote speech was long, colourful and inspirational to the extent that we did not feel the time passing and had to give a standing ovation to the deeply personal revelations shared. President Hilda’s speech on the other hand was captivating, promisory and full of gratitude for the opportunity to serve. The latter two speeches marked the end of the formal ceremony and ushered in the truly celebratory part everyone was waiting for.
Party After Party
The party started off with photo shoots to capture the exceptional moments and persons in their splendid outfits swiftly followed by cake cutting to mark the occasion. Then the dance floor was opened for all-young and young at heart-to shake a leg. The DJ did justice to our ears by belting out heart-throbbing memorable tunes that unsettled the laid back among us to the extent of stringing out some hitherto unseen and untried dance moves. There was a true celebratory mood embracing the highly packed room. The dance floor remained packed for the better part of the evening with different groups choosing when to strike out for a dance based on the music on play.
In all, the Installation Party lived up to and exceeded the expectations of those who attended since the funds raised were not only sufficient to meet the event costs and contribute towards the En-Gedi Children’s home in Kajiado County.
Look out for the next RC Hurlingham installation as we sure do know how to revel and enjoy the moment-all for a good cause for society!
~PP Franklin Masinde, Fundraising Director