President's Message I've had a blast!

People have asked me to describe my year as President of the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa. My response has been easy: "I've had a blast". As President, I was privileged to be supported by a circle of friends and family who kept me on the right track and encouraged me in every step of my journey.

To Rita Harper and Joanne Kane of the Kiwanis Office; to Debbie Guigues, my Executive Assistant; and to my wife Lorraine, I express my profound gratitude for your guidance, patience and understanding.

But Kiwanis is not about the President, it's about our members and our true Club leaders: the Board of Directors and Committee Chairs. Every meeting of the Board of Directors was full of laughter and camaraderie and was a pleasure to chair. When the Board was faced with a difficult issue, the voices around the table were respectful, thoughtful and practical. I would like to recognize every Board member for their friendship and advice.

As great as our Board has been, we'd have very little to do if it weren't for the projects and events that our Committees have worked so hard on this past year. Our 25 Committees were chaired by a team of leaders who are unparalleled in any other service club in Canada. Committee work is the heart of our Club. To every Committee Chair, to the rookies who are now veterans, please accept my thanks and congratulations on your achievements. It is through your effort and commitment to building a better community that the reputation of this Club continues to shine.

But where would the Committee Chairs be without their corps of members. The depth of talent of the members in this Club is exemplary. Our members inspire confidence in each other and within themselves with each event, project, meeting or program that comes along. If in the past year I missed an opportunity to thank you for your dedication and intensity, please accept by belated congratulations for your accomplishments.

During the past year, guest speakers have repeatedly commented about the fellowship at our Friday luncheons -- the special feeling in the room they described as positive, uplifting and even magical. What these observers have been witness to is the collective strength of all of us to succeed. We should be proud of our achievements.

To our new President, John Callan, I wish you all the best in your coming year. You have a great team and we're eager to help in any way we can. As I pass the gavel, please accept my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for the privilege of being your President.

Thank you.

Ian Hendry, President 1998-1999