Jamaican is first black woman on Kiwanis InternationalFriday, June 11, 2021
Jamaican and Distinguished Kiwanis Governor Hope Markes was last month elected the first black woman to the Kiwanis International Board. She is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Hopewell, Hanover.
Kiwanis is a global organisation of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time, and Jamaica is one of the islands included in the District of Eastern Canada and the Caribbean which boasts over 200 club secretaries.
As club secretary, Markes received the Award of Merit which goes to club secretaries who are outstanding. With the tag line 'Hope for the Future', Markes has been a Kiwanian and a charter member for over 20 years, giving selflessly to her community, to Kiwanis clubs, family, and friends, the organisation said.
“I am a firm believer that children should be nurtured and loved because they are our future,” she was quoted as saying.
Accordingto the organisation, “With the help of some of her clients she has been able to make sizable contributions to projects, in her efforts to play her part in building leaders.” The projects include building two playgrounds, organising Christmas treats, supplying tablets to needy students to assist with online learning, and assisting with the Hopewell club's annual medical and dental missions. Under her leadership as president and secretary, the Hopewell club was recognised by Kiwanis International with the Distinguished Award.
“She decided to further her career in Kiwanis by running for district governor, an elected position in which she was rivalled by a Kiwanian from Eastern Canada. She won the election with ease,” a news release said.
Markes was one of two presidents in Division 25 and was still a sitting president when she won the election for lieutenant governor, three months prior to the end of her tenure as president. Under her leadership as lieutenant governor, the division was recognised by Kiwanis International with the Distinguished Award which earned her the title distinguished lieutenant governor.
When she successfully threw her hat in the ring for district governor, she said: “This is when I knew for sure how much I enjoyed leading and making a positive difference in the lives of others. The fun and fellowship coupled with volunteering have been a huge motivating influence.”
In the role of Kiwanis International trustee, Markes is a member of the Governance Team of Kiwanis International which manages the business, funds, and property of the organisation. She will also be involved in counselling and coaching other districts.
“With the skills acquired at home, in her Kiwanis life and as a business owner, she is quite prepared for the tasks at hand,” the Kiwanis release said.
— Compiled by Kevin Wainwright, edited by Desmond Allen
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