Rotarian Funsho Gbogboade on Saturday, July 22, 2023 was installed as the 39th President of the Rotary Club of Ikoyi. The event which was graced by the crème de la crème in Nigeria took place at the popular Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi. JOHN SILAS reports.
As an organization Rotary has objectives of encouraging and fostering the ideal of service as a basis for worthy enterprises and in particular to encourage and foster the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service, high ethical standards in business and professions, it also recognizes the worthiness of all useful occupations and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve the society, among others.
But most significant about Rotary Club is the four way tests which try to find out things they think, say or do if they are true, fair to all concerned, build goodwill and better friendship and lastly, whether their actions are beneficial to all concerned?
Therefore in making sure the club realize its set objectives, Rotary has a well thought out succession plan which has passion for the club as a primus inter pares in terms of one of the consideration for whoever takes up the top job. No wonder, this rare gem, Rotarian Funsho Gbogboade was elected as the 39th President of the Rotary Club of Ikoyi. Indeed her choice was not by accident.
Her tenure to run from July 22, 2023 to July 2024, Folasade would not be alone in piloting the affairs of the club in the year under review, she would be working with other eminent personalities as board members who were also inaugurated same Saturday, July 22, 2023.
Funsho Omolara Gbogboade, born on 18th October, 1962 hails from Aran Orin in Kwara State, Nigeria, she is a graduate of the University of Ilorin with BA Hons in English Language. She joined Rotary Club of Ikoyi 14 years ago, and has virtually served in almost all the committees as member, Chairman and Director. She has also served in RYLA and Family of Royal Committee at District level amongst others. Also she has won several awards at club and district levels. Gbogboade is awesomely blessed with four children.
Speaking to the media, Gbogboade spoke on her she felt “I feel so so delighted, I bless God for giving me this wonderful opportunity because serving humanity has always been my passion, and I see this as a very successful achievement.”
On her programme for the year she said, “In Rotary we have seven areas of focus, we have disease prevention and treatment, for this year we have what is called basic life support, we are going to spend money on that, we are going to spend money on donations to hospitals, we are going to spend money on donations to orphanage homes, and we have just completed a project, that is solar and inverter project to enhance power supply to our blood donor centre at Falomo Police Hospital, so we are doing a lot, I am telling you.
“We are going to embark of cataract screening and surgery, we are going to have free cancer screening and breast cancer screening for women; that will take place next week. We are also adopting a school, we are going to fix the toilet, the library in order to enhance learning and make the children happy, because what Rotary does is to put smiles on the faces of the less-privileged people,” Gbogboade stated.
Answering question on how to raise money for the projects she said, “In Rotary, we believe that people will support us, companies will support us, organisations will support us and in Rotary, we have gold hearts, Rotarians; we give and give and give. There is polio eradication that Rotarians are involved in and every Rotarian, every year will give at least a hundred dollar, this is for children we don’t even know, we have not met them in the world, so Rotarians, we have a gold heart, it is not that we have so much, but we have the heart to give”
She has a message for Rotarians “I want to appreciate my members, they have been so supportive, in Rotary we don’t even relent in giving, so I want to appreciate my members for their great support.”
For Rotarian Augustine Irabor, the immediate past president, he said “I am very relieved, it is one year call to duty, like I mentioned during my speech, this is exactly one year ago, when I took over the mantle of leadership of this club and we have touched lives in various ways. I am happy today we are here again to hand over to my successor.
“The past one year has been very interesting and very motivating and with all the challenges that go with because it is not an easy ride, managing people, projects, finance and so many other things. It was quite interesting and quite motivating. I am quite pleased that we were able to do what we were expected to do by bringing smile to the people.
Under Irabor, the club recorded a total of 14 new members, and in line with the district’s target, the club also recorded an increase in the percentage of female members from 25 per cent to 30 per cent. During that tenure the club ensured provision of well-meaning and impactful projects, with specific time lines which were unveiled during the investiture, the projects include tree planting in support of the environment at king’s college, Lagos, introduction of life saving squad, organisation of school reading exercise, donation of Rotary branded exercise books to schools, hearing for learning in collaboration with district and 15 other clubs, family health days, support for routine polio immunization in collaboration with Rotary Rlub of Victoria Island,
Other activities under Irabor includes Golf tournament, voluntary blood donation exercise, micro credit (global grant), donation of office Printer and Rotary branded exercise books to Junior Boys Academy, Lagos Island. Wash project, donation of hospital consumables, support to free prostate screening exercise, Pro Bono legal services, teacher support, among other achievements of the club under Irabor.
Also speaking at the event was Emmanuel Efutayo, the President elect or what you called the incoming president of Rotary Club of Ikoyi, he said “My year will be next year, Gbogboade is passionate about rotary and she will put everything that is required to make her year a success. As a board we have so many agenda, especially on how to grow our membership, I am Chairman of membership committee, from about 84 now to about 100, we want our club to be a mega club. We have some projects in place, we did one last week at the Blood Donation Centre in Falomo, there is a school; we are adopting, also we are sending some of our youths to what we call Rotary Youth Leadership Academy, we are also collaborating with some other clubs.
Albert Van-Lare who was the Chairman of the occasion spoke glowingly about the new president. “I think they have done great job, I like the foundation they have set, and I like the direction this organisation is going to.”
On what Rotary should do to sensitise Nigerians on their activities, “I think going to the communities is a way to publicise the organization and I think the result eventually will show to the public how to understand their activities.”
Responding if rotary club has done enough in Nigeria, he said, “I don’t think you will ever do it to get to a point when you have done enough, there will always be more to do. But I will put it differently, I will say they have made a remarkable presence in the community, is it enough? No, enough suggests we have reached a point of stopping, they need to do more.”
On what he expected the new president do he said, “I will expect that she is going to put her mark on this club by putting in place those projects that she has spoken about and should concentrate effectively more on projects that actually touch human lives, I like the project of school where they want to do some construction work, I like the idea of breast cancer screening because this is very important, and other projects she mentioned.”
Commissioner of Police Nkechi Eze, a Dental Surgeon, she is in charge of police hospital, Falomo. Appreciating donation of solar inverter by the club she said, “I feel wonderful, it is been a great privilege being associated with the club, I am very very happy. I am very glad that it happened in our time, and in the present president’s time, we are quite grateful to Rotary for donating the solar inverter machines and batteries for us. Actually there was a blood transfusion center that they had helped the hospital set up few years back, and we were having some power outage issues but with the solar inverter that the club just donated it is going to go a long way in helping us alleviate the problem.”
Special Guest Speaker of the day was Prof. Folasade Akinsola, Consultant Ophthalmologist LUTH/Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences College of Medicine, University of Lagos. While almost all the past president of the club were present.