Integrity and honesty critical for sustainable development - Former Chief Justice

Her Ladyship (Rtd) Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood, Member of the Council of State, says the core values of integrity, honesty, just, fair play, and goodness are critical for sustainable development and building truly happy cohesive, and prosperous communities and nations.

Speaking at the Annual Conference of Rotary International District 9102, Her Ladyship Mrs. Wood (Rtd.), who is also a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Foundation, said a commitment to these basic ethical values expressed in Rotary’s four-way test of the things we think of, say and do, are necessary for long-lasting change.

“Over time, it has been men and women imbued with these strong value systems that have succeeded in birthing ideas and movements that bring about positive and long-lasting change. At no point in our future would we not need men and women devoted to these basic norms and causes.

It bears emphasis that Rotary’s International values to the world stretch beyond the very important material contributions to the moral lessons it teaches us,” she said.

“Our world would certainly be better if many more of us adopted the Rotary way and defined our actions by the official mottos and the four-way test,” she added.

Her Ladyship Mrs. Wood (Rtd.) said the most crucial virtue that every judge should covet, nurture, and jealously guide was integrity.

She said as judges tried to uphold and defend the constitutions of Ghana, protect the rights of the citizen, preserve our democracy and make good their judicial oaths, they discover that integrity and its natural ally truth are the two most important of the basic ethical values in justice administration.

“But honestly speaking both in and out of the courtroom truth and integrity is essential in everyday successful living. Therefore, the first of the four-way test and indeed all the tests are tests I am more than happy to recommend to all of us no matter in what capacity we found ourselves,” she said.

“All four tests are relevant for the proper functioning of our democracy, including justice administration.

She congratulated Rotary on its ability to respond and adapt to extreme challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

In its 116-year history Rotary has witnessed wars, famine, diseases, and various upheavals of proportion but through all of these Rotary has been an abiding force for growth, exerting a positive influence and bringing hope to individuals and underserved communities around the world.

She congratulated Yvonne Kumoji-Darko, Governor of District 9102, comprising Ghana, Togo, and Benin, for breaking the all-male dominated Council of past district governors.

“Rotary has been in Ghana for over 60 years. Governor Yvonne Kumoji-Darko being the first female governor of Rotary District 9102 has brought great honour to herself, to the womenfolk in general, and her country Ghana. She has indeed blazed the trail for other women in the district and beyond. But she is also brought honour to the international club as well, given that her appointment affirms Rotary’s progressive policy on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” she said.

Her Ladyship Mrs. Wood (Rtd.) lauded interventions of Rotary in expanding access to quality education and improved sanitation and hygiene.

In Ghana, Rotary humanitarian footprints are visible all over our nation. In healthcare and in particular polio eradication across schools and far-flung communities. The work of Rotary international has brought positive change and empowerment to the lives of countless children and their loving and ever grateful mothers.

“It takes the small steps to create the great overall goals of working together as a team to promote peace, fight diseases, provide clean water and sanitation and hygiene, support education and grow local economies with a view to eradicating poverty and hunger are what would be remembered of her tenure in what will be a true and lasting legacy,” she added.

Past District Governor Emmanuel Katongole, Rotary International President’s Special Representative, urged members to continue to support and create opportunities for people and make the world a better place to live in.

He emphasized the need to increase membership and praised District 9102 for showing tremendous growth in membership over the years.

“We need more hands fellow Rotarians. Go out and look for them and request,” he said, adding that the clubs should add extensions.

He lauded the District’s increased contributions to the Rotary Foundation this year, saying it was the highest in the last five years.

District Governor Yvonne Kumoji-Darko, in a welcome address, said the training and conference would allow participants to broaden their knowledge and deepen their friendship.

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