E-Club Dolphin Pattaya International and Jomtien-Pattaya install presidents for 2017-18
February 12, 2017, marked the 30th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya. This auspicious date did not go unnoticed as almost 200 Rotarians and guests filled the Head of State Chamber at the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel on April 7 to show their appreciation and give thanks to a handful of men and women for their admirable humanitarian work for the underprivileged in their communities, often with the assistance of international Rotarians in many parts of the world.
The ambience was one of extreme warmth, as Rotarians, guests and friends from near and far greeted each other – some after long absences. A sumptuous buffet and steady flow of vintage wines, spirits, beer and soft drinks soon put an already-relaxed crowd into a state verging on euphoria.
At the onset of the proceedings guests stood for a moment’s silence in honour of departed Rotarians during the past year, which included PDG Peera Potipipit, PDG Prasart Eyerprasert, PP Sutham Phanthusak, Richard Burk and PP Dennis Stark.
Dennis’s wife, Rotarian Naiyana “Noiy” Stark emotionally announced that her late husband Dennis had willed 50,000 baht to set up the Dennis Stark Education Fund in the club, in support of education for underprivileged children.
A delightful dance troupe from the Human Help Network Thailand Foundation, led by the most benevolent Radchada “Toy” Chomjinda, comprising of angelic little girls in beautiful Thai costumes regaled the room as they welcomed the guests with the traditional ‘Ram Ouayporn’ dance.
A delegation of dignitaries including Past District Governors Xanxai Visitkul, Natta Boonpayong, PDG Krai Tungsanga with his charming wife Rungnapha, District Governor Eknarong Kongpan, PDG Dr. Arnon Chirachavala, PDG Thongchai Lortrakanon, PDG Premprecha Dibbayawan, DGE Onanong Siripornmanut and DGND Maruai Jintbunditwong together his wife Yenjai gave a sense of distinction to the event by their presence.
PDG Peter offered a most enlightening discourse on the formation of Rotary more than a century ago and the chartering of his own club, the Jomtien-Pattaya saying, “A group of members of the Rotary Club of Pattaya had a mutual vision. They saw that Pattaya was ready for an English-speaking club. They knew that our community was fast growing into an international community and there would be a huge influx of people who had or would have the same vision as Rotarians, seeking an opportunity to serve.
“Some of this group included PP Hans Zurfluh, PP Alois X Fassbind, Gene Farley, PP Hank Whittaker, Dang Harbhajan and Bill Burbridge.
“Having decided to form a new English speaking Rotary Club they requested the permission of the district who appointed PP Nitti Meyer as the special representative of the District Governor to guide and help us charter our club. The Rotary Club of Bangkok South kindly agreed to be our sponsor club.
The Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya received its charter on the 12th day of February 1987 with 25 charter members.”
Peter went on to say, “The story of our club is a long and honourable one, but not without our growing pains. Like any other organization we had our ups and downs but through the years we have remained united and prevailed.
“Our club has been the basis of introducing other non-Thai speaking clubs in Pattaya, namely the Rotary Clubs Eastern Seaboard, Rotary Club Taksin Pattaya, Rotary Club Pattaya Marina (French) and Rotary Club of Phoenix Pattaya (German).”
In conclusion PDG Peter expressed his feelings about the present and future of the Rotary movement in Thailand and around the world. “This is a day that we should not only celebrate but we should also spare a thought for some of the great Rotarians who helped form this club and carved out the path of service to humanity which we follow faithfully to this day. This is the opportune time and moment to re-commit ourselves to Rotary. Our chance to do our duty. Our chance to carry the torch of Rotary and keep the fires of Service burning bright, for this and for many generations of Rotarians to come.”
In his keynote speech, Past District Governor Xanxai Visitkul, member of the Rotary Club of Bangkok South and a highly respected Rotarian said, “An anniversary is a great chance to look back and remember who we are, where we come from and where we are going to. Most importantly, an anniversary is always an occasion to celebrate past successes and instill hopes for the future.
“Throughout the years I have watched your club grow from strength to strength. You have produced two of the finest District Governors, namely PDG Premprecha Dibbayawan in the year 2000-01 and PDG Pratheep Malhotra in the year 2008-09.
“Rotary has brought us together from far and near. Different creeds and customs, different colours and languages and yet we believe in the same principles…the spirit of service, dedication and devotion.
“Rotary has one thing, which to my mind is most significant and that is… it has taught us the great value of tolerance. It has taught us the value of personal contact and fellowship as a means of promoting understanding and goodwill among all peoples.
“Let us value our membership in Rotary, and the experience of so many worthwhile Rotary service projects to help the less fortunate. Let us value the sense of belonging – belonging to something close and intimate – the fellowship of our clubs, the dedication to the local community, the thrill that comes when you matter to other people… because other people matter to you.
“We are Rotarians because we care. We care about our communities. We care about the world in which we live in.”
Past District Governor Thongchai Lortrakanon, member of the Rotary Club of Chonburi said, “Rotary has put down roots in more than 200 countries in the world, uniting more than 1.2 million free and voluntary men and women who represent professionals and social leaderships in practically every known vocation on this earth.”
He spoke of the strength of Rotary and how Rotarians must rally together to “strengthen our clubs, expand on Humanitarian Service Projects and enhance the Rotary Public Image.”
At the appropriate moment a birthday cake was rolled out to the floor, Chad’s Band led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday. President Dzenana Popin together with PE Nachlada Nammontree surrounded by dignitaries and members of the Rotary Club blew out the candles and cut it, auguring in another 30 hopeful years of humanitarian service to the community.
Later the same evening, ceremonies were held to install Dr Margret Deter as the president of the Rotary E-Club Dolphin Pattaya International and Nachlada Nammontree as president of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya.
Both the incoming presidents promised to work hard and dedicate their year to the progress of the Rotary movement thereby helping the needy and underprivileged in giving them education, improving their health and eradicating hunger.
They pledged to live up to the new theme for 2017-18, Rotary: Making a Difference.