Two young students training at the Tamil Nadu Rubik’s Cube Association in Chennai created a memorable surprise for RI President-Elect Gordon McInally during his visit to the city where he addressed Rotaractors from RID 3232. Likhitesh (7), and Jivithesh (8), spent two hours solving 567 Rubik’s Cubes to craft a special gift for the RIPE. “We wanted to give him something he could never forget,” said DRR Gowtham Raj. McInally met the Rotaractors at Ethiraj College and was amazed when he unveiled the 5 by 4 ft frame displaying his 2023–24 presidential theme, Create Hope in the World.
“I am overwhelmed,” he said, expressing his gratitude to the two boys and the Chennai Rotaractors for “creating such a beautiful memory. This heart-warming gesture is a reminder of the impact that young people can have on anybody. You give open-heartedly with energy and enthusiasm.” Talking about his theme he said “the goal of the theme is to inspire people to restore hope in the world and help it heal from conflicts. Our world needs hope more than it ever did before.”
Chennai Rotaractors greeted McInally and his wife Heather with a traditional folk dance and a Bharatanatyam performance by the Rotaractors of RAC Ethiraj College. McInally joined the fun, dancing with the Rotaractors, and appreciated their efforts to add a cultural touch to his visit.
The surprises continued when McInally was gifted a picture that he had taken with the incoming Rotaract presidents and secretaries just moments before he took the stage to address the gathering. “You are fantastic. This is getting very interesting,” he said excitedly.
The Rotaractors highlighted their year’s achievements. McInally was “thoroughly impressed by your work and efforts to make a positive impact in the community. You are one of the biggest Rotaract districts in the world in terms of size and action. As I stand here and look at you and the achievements you have made, I know that hope will be created.”
When asked about the sustainability of Rotary as an organisation, McInally responded that “Rotaract is not just the future of Rotary, it’s the now and here of Rotary. It is our present without a doubt. With Rotaract, we will be able to complete another 118 years. Our hope is on you.”
The event concluded with various Rotaract clubs from the district felicitating RIPE McInally and Heather. RID A S Venkatesh and DG N Nandakumar were also present at the event.