Special Interview with Elizabeth Compton, President of Toronto Leaside Rotary Club article by Tara Webster
I had heard of Elizabeth Compton from other Rotarians who admire her for her spirit and dedication to helping communities; and when I reached out to ask if we could feature Liz in our newsletter, she was happy to accommodate!
Elizabeth told me that her journey to Rotary International actually began in… St. Lucia! It wasn’t what I was expecting either, but Liz told me about being at a New Year’s Eve party where she was approached by an acquaintance, who talked about a new Rotary Club starting on the North Side of the Island. That night she was asked if she would like to attend a meeting, which she did shortly after. Liz told me that during that meeting, she remembers saying: “Whatever I can do to help”, and if there was ever an unofficial slogan of Rotarians worldwide, this would probably be it.
With that short but powerful statement, Liz was now convinced to join the other 1.2 million Rotarians around the world, all working in our own way to make the world a better place. As she says: “The thread that joins us all is the desire to give back”.
Liz describes herself as having always been a gatherer of people, and it’s no surprise that now that she’s back in Toronto, she’s been President of the Toronto Leaside Club for 2 terms, and heading into her third term as co-President, sharing the role with Paige Fernandez. Isn’t this unconventional to have a co-president? Yes, it is, she says, but sometimes we have to try things a different way to get the job done! On top of her current role as President, she was recently confirmed to be an Assistant Governor!
Like so many others during the lockdown, the Toronto Leaside Club has taken advantage of Zoom during the pandemic to keep meetings going, members connected, and speakers telling us their stories. As things open up more, the club is also running social events, which have been very well received. With myself personally being one of the new members to join a Rotary Club since the pandemic, I understand the feeling of wanting to at least sometimes meet in person to share some camaraderie with those that we spend time on-camera with, planning how to benefit our communities and beyond. You just never know what idea that meeting might spark!
So what does the future hold for the Toronto Leaside Rotary Club and Rotary International? “We’re hitting all the right buttons”, says Liz. The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Environmental focus are both “right up there”, Rotary has made some truly impressive strides in both initiatives. If you haven’t heard what Rotary International is doing these days, you don’t know Rotary at all!
It is always wonderful hearing about what out other Toronto Rotary clubs are up to! We also look forward to catching up with Toronto Leaside RC soon – perhaps at The Big Screen this Fall, or when Rotary International President Jennifer Jones tours her home country of Canada?
Many thanks to Liz Compton for taking time to chat with me, and sharing her story and insight. Check out Toronto East Rotary for more of our feature stories and information on upcoming events!