Nelson Barrett presidency was in 1999-2000, which at the time was claimed as the milennial year.

It was the year our own Bill Bryce was Governor, with the District Conference being held in Galveston.

Virgil Carlson was the sparkplug for the $500,000.00 Rotary International grant for Africa. Actually the total was $525,000.00, with $10,000.00 being raised by our club and, I think, $10,000.00 by the Rotary Club of Lyons, France, and $5,000.00 by a Rotary Club in Niger, Africa. Our contribution was due by August 31, 1999. As of Friday the 13th of August we still had $9,000.00 plus to go; As a new presidentit presented a big challenge, and my conclusion was to seek the help of a pastor who had a good history of promoting successful projects. I therefor called on Rotarian Jim Haskell of the First Baptist Church and he came through in Spades! We raised over $9,000.00 at one meeting and it was one of the high points of my presidency.

The purpose of the grant was not for direct assistance to African agriculture, but rather to conduct advertising campaigns to alert Africans to the dangers of Aflatoxin in corn, and get the public to insist on properly treated product.

Another high point



was the first, and I think the largest, visit to date by our club to our Sister Club in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipais. 22 Rotarians and spouses visited. We flew to Harlingen, where we boarded a luxurious Mercedes bus furnished by the Cd. Victoria club and whisked to that city. The purpose of the matching grant was to assist the Civil Hospital in Cd. Vic.. Our club raised $10,000.00, as did our Brother Club (The Mexicans don’t call it a Sister relationship). RI matched the total, making $40,000.00 in all. I understand the Cd. Vic. club followed up on those efforts and obtained Mexican state and Federal grants totaling about half a million USD more. The Mexican hospitality was outstanding.

What a great year as President, Nelson! Service Above Self