Rotarians urged to ‘Reach Within to Embrace Humanity’
Pattaya lays claim to being home of 6 Rotary Clubs. Unique in themselves, the clubs conduct their meetings in Thai, English, German and French.
Traditionally during the months of May and June Rotary clubs around the world hold ceremonies to install new presidents and board of directors to administer their clubs for the 2011-12 year which begins on July.
Installation ceremonies can be simple affairs but usually it’s a time to celebrate and congratulate the outgoing presidents for their leadership, sacrifice and commitment to humanitarian service throughout the year.
On June 4, joint installation ceremonies were held at the Diana Garden Resort whereby Carl R. Dyson was installed as president of Rotary Club Eastern Seaboard; Hubert Meier, president of the Rotary Club of Phoenix Pattaya; and Gerard Gerber, president of Rotary Club of Taksin Pattaya.
In his speech, President Dyson said when he retired in Pattaya he planned to simply take it easy. But after a friend invited him to a Rotary Club meeting, he became increasingly involved.
“I hope I can live up to the expectations and follow the footsteps of the seven former presidents of the club,” Dyson said. “Projects for the coming year will focus on clean tap water, which is almost not available in rural areas of Thailand. Furthermore we will be aiming to improve education for children here in the Chonburi area and among hill tribes, teaching them English to enhance their jobopportunities.”
Carl Dyson is already planning humanitarian projects as he is installed as President of the Rotary Club Eastern Seaboard.
Dyson added that the “Christkindl Market” will be held at the Diana Garden Resort December 3.
President Meier, of the Rotary Club of Phoenix Pattaya, in his address, said he is fully aware of the responsibilities of being president of the club. He wants to create a more interesting club life to enhance the members’ enthusiasm and attract new recruits.
He said the club will continue to focus on long-term projects, including a senior citizens home in Pattaya, water purification and school computers.
“We also have a new AIDS project that is already supported by Dr. Pillippe Seur, but still needs more support from the general public,” he said. “Prevention and treatment for underprivileged members of society who could not pay for medication will be the main focus.”
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome congratulates Hubert Meier, President of the Rotary Club of Phoenix Pattaya.
Gerard Gerber, the Swiss president of Taksin-Pattaya, revealed that he never wanted to join a club in his life and definitely did not want to become a president.
“But one day, friends who are club members took me up-country and delivered goods to poor people in need, many of them being sick. I saw how our donations made adults and children happy. I saw the joy in the face of a 12-year-old girl who took care of her family because her mother was very sick and could not take care of herself,” he recalled. “That changed my way of thinking, my attitude and my life. And now I’m standing here in front of you as the new president of the Rotary Club of Taksin-Pattaya.”
A week later, on June 11, at the Pullman Aisawan Hotel in Naklua, the French speaking Rotary Club of Pattaya Marina installed Yves Echement as their new president.
District Governor Thongchai Lortrakanon installs Gerard Gerber as President of the Rotary Club of Taksin-Pattaya.
President Echement introduced the board, which included wheelchair-bound Vice-President Francois Lecomte. In his speech, President Echement told members not only to celebrate his ascension to president, but the “Rotary’s continuity and everlasting persistence. It is also a celebration night for all those who will donate their efforts and time for another year to this magnificent organization,” he added.
“People,” Echement continued, “can always achieve more by working together.” He warned that as a “typical technocrat,” he may not always be the most diplomatic and has to sometimes hold his tongue when he wants to do otherwise.
President Echement wrapped up by previewing upcoming projects, which will focus on helping underprivileged children.
“Sometimes our club is too small to help efficiently and therefore we need more support. We are looking for more new members to join and help our efforts,” he said. “I made three goals for the club: One, to always recruit new members; two, to always offer good food and interesting lectures on the meetings; and, three, to always raise money for a good cause.”
PDG Peter Malhotra presents the chain of office to President Yves Echement of the Rotary Club of Pattaya Marina.
The Jomtien-Pattaya club, the area’s second-oldest and the first English speaking club in Pattaya with Thai and foreign membership, celebrated its installation in traditional style at the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel.
In his acceptance speech, President Gudmund Eiksund told the Rotarians that a club can only be as strong as its members and, therefore, he needed help not only from the board members but from all members.
“I’m totally enthusiastic about my new duty and I promise that I will do my best,” he said. “If everyone is ready and joins in our efforts, we will reach our goals.”
Gudmund also wants to help to fulfill Rotary International’s goal of increasing membership.
“I’m proud that we have three new members on our board and I am putting my faith in them,” he said. “I also want to establish a ‘new generation’ to ensure the future of our Rotary District 3340.” Part of that was appointing PDG Peter Malhotra as a public relations director.
PDG Peter Malhotra congratulates President Gudmund Eieksund after installing him as President of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya.
Wrapping up the evening, past President Dennis Stark honored PDG Peter Malhotra, Jan Chris von Koss and Past President Helmut Buchberger with the Paul Harris Fellow award for their dedication to the cause of doing good in the world. The Pattaya Mail newspaper was also honored for its loyal coverage of all Rotary events in Pattaya and in the district.
Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.
There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto “Service Above Self,” Rotary’s main objective is service in the community, workplace and throughout the world.
President Carl Dyson (centre) and his board of directors for 2011-12. (l-r) IPP Jan Abbink, PAG Stefan Ryser, PP Marliese Fritz, PP Peter Schlageter, Ferenc Fricsay and Dieter Becht.
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and presidents of the Rotary Club of Thongphaphum in Kanchanaburi congratulate the new presidents.
President Hubert Meier, (3rd left) Rotary Club Phoenix Pattaya with his board of directors. (l-r) IPP Peter Aisleitner, PP Trutz Fikkidow, Michael Wünsche, Otto Hönerbach and Johann Conzen.
President Gerard Gerber, (2nd left) Rotary Club of Taksin Pattaya with his board of directors. (l-r) PE Wilaiwan Barlow, IPP Albert de Wilde, AG Bob Denzel, Peter Drescher and Tony Rogge.
President Gudmund Eiksund stands proudly with his first lady Linda.
PDG Premprecha Dibbayawan congratulates President Gudmund.
PDG Peter hails outgoing President Eric Larbouillat (left) and incoming President Yves Echement, Rotary Club Pattaya Marina.
President Yves Echement (2nd left) with his board of directors. (l-r) Dr. Olivier Meyer, Daniel Dandoy, IPP Eric Larbouillat, PE Joseph Roy and VP Francois Lecomte (seated front).
President Gudmund introduces the board of directors of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya. (l-r) Dzenana Popin, PE Dieter Reigber, Reidar Andersen, PP Helmut Buchberger, Bill Gustafsson, PDG Pratheep Malhotra, Philip Wall Morris, PAG Dennis Stark and AG Brendan Kelly.