History of Rotary in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

A Part of District 7030

A Part of Our History of Rotary in Central America and the Caribbean

Rotary Club of Bequia

Almost fifteen years ago, Past District Governor Earle Johnson officially presented the charter that made the Rotary Club of Bequia a member of Rotary International.
Today, we can reflect on some of the events that preceded that memorable occasion: the hard work by our parent club, The Rotary Club of St. Vincent, to get us started; their members' weekly trip by boat to share fellowship and guide us.
Our initial classification setbacks which were finally sorted; the early retirement of members who didn't quite grasp the concept of Rotary and the efforts of the committed to encourage others.
We have proven the skeptics wrong - those who thought that this was another club that would fold within a year like so many others before.
They, however, reckoned without the dedication and commitment of a group of men and their equally committed ladies whose only goal was to serve their community.

This was the birth of Rotary in Bequia, not just another club.

Our achievements over the years speak for themselves and they continue to make a great impact on our community. Rotary in Bequia is a household name.

The public and business sectors have supported us because they understand and appreciate the work that we continue to do. Rotary is action. Rotary is what we know best. Rotary is what we enjoy.

Our commitment is to serve, improve and enhance the quality of people's lives in the Bequia community and in the world. The joy that one feels helping the disabled or a sick person to get proper medical care, or donating equipment to our schools or hospital, cannot adequately be described with words. The fellowship we share whether at meetings, going to the homes of every Rotarian, on a beach picnic or cricket fields is always in the true Rotary Spirit.

Since the Charter, the Rotary Club of Bequia has had several meeting places: The Old Fig Tree Restaurant, Le Petit Jardin Restaurant, back to The Old Fig Tree and finally our own home "The Rotary Skills Training Centre".

  Although we are a small Club of only 13 -15 members, we never think small. We have carried out huge projects to successful conclusions. We have honoured four persons as Paul Harris Fellows - two members of the public and two Rotarians. Our Interact Club was chartered in 1992, Rotaract in 1997 and we launched our Rotary Community Corp in 2001.

   We are officially twinned with the Rotary Club of Coburg in Canada and San Juan in Trinidad, and enjoy a close and productive working relationship with numerous other clubs both regionally and internationally. With all of their help and support, and with the invaluable assistance of shipping companies, airlines and customs brokers, we have executed numerous projects for the Bequia community. 


    The Bequia Hospital is our primary ongoing project, and to date, with the generosity of other clubs, over EC$850,000 worth of supplies and equipment has been donated by the Rotary Club to that institution. We Bequia Rotarians have also personally built the outpatients toilets. We take a "hands on" approach to all our projects. 


  Our Annual Christmas Party for the Aged, plus our Children's Santa Claus Party are both in their thirteenth year. Our most ambitious project has been the establishment of our Day Care and Skills Training Centers. In 1997 the Trustees of the former Lower Bay School signed a 99-year peppercorn lease and gave access to their property, which had been abandoned for over five years. It took us exactly two years working on weekends with our wives and friends to completely renovate the buildings and to landscape the property. We had monetary and material contribution from several Clubs, local businesses and private individuals, who together made sure the that project became a reality.

    It was with great pride and joy that, on September 11th 1999 we cut the ribbon and officially opened our splendid new premises. Today we boast of having one of the most welcoming properties on the island, which is also in great demand for weddings, seminars and conferences. At the centre we teach skills and train in a number of areas including handicrafts, hospitality skills, electrical work, which encourage self sufficiency and self esteem in the participants. We have graduated a number of persons from these classes and courses.

   Our Hospitality Training course, run during the summer months, gives successful graduates an Excellence Certificate, which has already helped some of the first graduates gain jobs in the Tourism and Hospitality sector. 

  Our "Save Our Youth" program was added in Rotary year 2000/2001. We are involved in the schools in academics and all sporting activities including football, cricket and track and field. 

  Last year we have also launched our Sea Program - "Bequia Youth and The Sea", which will teach participants basic principles of Seamanship, and then, once they graduate in these skills, move on to Navigation. Our aim is to save our youth from the scourge of drugs and its related problems, and raise their own sense of achievement and self worth. The program is already doing wonders for the children, and we were able to send a youth team to participate in the International Youth Regatta in Tortola in July 2002. The program was officially launched on September 22nd 2001, with 26 boys and girls signing up to take part in the 12- week training program. Bequians are seafarers by tradition, and through this program we intend to better prepare those who have designs on making their living from the sea. 



Chester Peters

Sylvester Simmons

Geoffrey Wallace

Herman Belmar

Lawrence Rohoman

Lyston Williams

Clayton Ollivierre

Chester Peters

Cecil McKie 

Lyston Williams

Alston Scott

Lawrence Rohoman

Sylvester Simmons

McVille John

William Lewis

Leo Peters


















District Governor

Earl Johnson, Dominica

Harold Davies, Guyana

Val Mahabir, Trinidad & Tobago

Gerald Thomas, Antigua

Fred Lam, St. Kitts

Gerald, Petit Martinique

Rupert Cheeks, Trinidad & Tobago

Joe Ramkissoon, Trinidad & Tobago

Malcolm Edwards, Antigua

Henri Guda, Surinam

Harry Louis, Guadeloupe

Suresh Ramlogan, Trinidad & Tobago

Ethelbert Thompson, Barbados

Paul Rodap, Martinique

Leslie Harripaul, Trinidad & Tobago

Jean-Claude Blancaneaux, Cayenne


acknowledgements to the Club, Members, Webmaster
posted by RGHF Webmaster, Greg Barlow. April 2009

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