2020: Our lives have been forever changed
What a year 2020 has been! Our lives have been forever changed, especially for Rotary Ottawa.  Thank you for hanging in there during these difficult times and continuing to reach out to each other, even if it is virtual. We will get through it.
I will remember 2020 as a year of great change and strength for us; Rotary International didn't stop, despite the pandemic – and Rotary Ottawa did not stop because of the pandemic! We have found new ways to serve and connect and found fellowship in the “Kindness and Caring Initiative,” where members have virtual coffee with another member and just chat to know each other and find out how we can support one another.
At this time of year, a time to feel homesick when you are at home, the lack having someone to hug, share a tear with and just be together is going to be a test for all of us. Never forget that we are part of the Rotary family and as such we should not be shy in leaning on each other or reaching out to those that have become silent. 
Christmas usually takes some planning, but this year planning is going to be necessary to survive the emotional toll that isolation causes. Please take time during the holidays to pick up the phone (not Zoom) and call another member to try and make the time as joyful as possible. Never forget that kindness is something that you can never give away, it always comes back and that giving is the best antidepressant out there.
This time of festivity also reaffirms the Four-Way Test, which I believe is summarized in the blessing as “peace on earth and goodwill to all.” At this time may we reaffirm our commitment to serving to others throughout the world. Rotary is a global family to whom COVID is just a bump in the road that will never snuff out service above self and the betterment of all.
I am honoured to be leading Rotary Ottawa at this time. There is nothing that we cannot do, if we do it together and we all do our fair share. We will be traveling through the rough waters of change in 2021 and as a club each member will need to put their shoulder to the wheel to make it happen. Won’t it be incredible to see what we can accomplish next!
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and fulfilling new year! May Allah’s blessings be with you today and always. Eid al-Adha Mubarak!  Let the lights lead your way to a Happy Hanukkah.
Before I leave you to your celebrations, I wish you abundance through 2021, emotionally, spiritually and financially. Please be gentle with yourself. With all “its sham, drudgery, broken dreams (and COVID), it is still a beautiful world.” “Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive (the deity) to be.” 2 Reach out and call a fellow Rotarian to share the joy and challenges at this time. We are a family, and no other time has this been truer and more necessary. Time.…  Yes, in time COVID will pass and we can get back to a new normal.
Take care my friends and take care of those near and close to you. It is a time for us to be, take a breath of freezing Canadian winter (non-COVID) air, take a walk in the snow and reflect how lucky we are.
In service,
Colin Rousseaux
President 2020-2021