Rotary is ‘Making a Difference’ to global communities
A District Governor of Rotary is the emissary of the Rotary International President and must ensure that all Rotary clubs under their jurisdiction are working according to the procedures and code of policies as defined by the Rotary world body known as Rotary International. The governor has the responsibility to make at least one official visit to all the Rotary clubs in their respective districts to guide, instruct and assist in all Rotary matters.
In fulfilling her obligations, Rotary District 3340 Governor Onanong Siripornmanut made her official visits to 6 Rotary clubs in Pattaya during the month of September.
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The Rotary Club of Pattaya, headed by President (PDG) Premprecha Dibbayawan, welcomed her on September 25 at their meeting held at the First Pacific Hotel. At this meeting Margaret Grainger was inducted as the newest member of the club.
On September 25, DG Onanong made official visits to the combined gathering of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya under the leadership of President Nachlada Nammontree, Rotary E-Club of Dolphin Pattaya International headed by President Margret Deter, the German speaking Rotary Club of Phoenix Pattaya led by President Peter Schlegel, and the only French speaking club in South East Asia, the Pattaya Marina Rotary Club led by President Eric Larbouillat.
More than 50 Rotarians, families and guests greeted her at a reception held at the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel.
At his meeting DG Onanong presented the Outstanding Women in Rotary Award to President Margret Deter for her leadership and tremendous dedication to implement humanitarian projects in Thailand.
The next Rotary Club on DG Onanong’s scheduled official visit was to the Rotary Club Eastern Seaboard headed by President Brian Songhurst. The meeting and reception was held on September 28 at the Siam Bayshore Hotel.
At this meeting Martin Cooke and Veronique Waas-Jobin were inducted as members of the club. In addition, ‘Rotary Ann’ Ket Abbink, who has steadfastly worked side-by-side with her husband Past Assistant Governor Jan Abbink for the past 12 years, finally decided to join as a full-fledged member and was thrilled and honoured to be inducted into Rotary by DG Onanong.
In Rotary, one of the highest awards a Rotarian or a member of the community can receive is the Paul Harris Fellow recognition and it is an added honour when one receives the pin with multiple sapphires to demonstrate the level of work and donations to The Rotary Foundation. On this occasion Joy Keolaphoumy and Susan Robinson both received their hard-earned pins adorned with 2 sapphires.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of Major Donor recognitions to PAG Jan Abbink and PP Carl Dyson.
Charter President Martin Brands explained the purpose of these recognitions saying, “Two things are most important after completing successful Rotary projects. Firstly, recognition of the sponsors and secondly, giving recognition to those that were instrumental in implementing the projects.”
Martin, who himself recently had the honour to receive a ‘Service above Self’ Award, the highest Rotary recognition, presented to him personally by Rotary International President John Germ at the Multi-Districts Conference in Bangkok earlier this year, arranged for Major Donor recognitions to be awarded to Past Presidents Carl R. Dyson and Jan Abbink. “Both Carl and Jan have for many years served our club with distinction and have successfully executed several Grant projects in an exemplary manner.”
As Major Donor recognitions can also be awarded to couples, both Carl & Joy Dyson and Jan & Ket Abbink received a Major Donor Level 1 pin with one diamond, a necklace pendant and a crystal piece with their names inscribed on them.
DG Onanong made her keynote address to the respective gatherings of Rotarians and guests saying, “Rotary is an extraordinary volunteer organization. We get no salary, but we sacrifice our time and money and other personal expenses to carry out aid projects in the service of our fellow man. DG Onanong said that Rotary’s motto of Service above Self is straightforward and the simple interpretation of these immortal words is: The true ideals and philosophy of ‘Doing good in the world’.
During her address DG Onanong narrated the story of an old man, a young girl and the starfish:
One morning, a wise old man was walking down the beach. He had walked out to the beach to think quietly the thoughts of an old man. Far ahead of him, he saw a small child, who seemed to be dancing. As he walked, he came closer and closer and realized that the child was not dancing. He came closer still and saw what it was that the child was doing. She was picking up starfish, one at a time, and throwing them out to sea.
As the old man came to the child, he said to her, “What are you doing?” She said, “I am throwing the starfish back into the water. The tide is going out, and if they are left on the beach they will die.”
The old man looked up and down the beach, which stretched as far as he could see. It was covered with starfish. “But there are thousands of starfish and many kilometres of beach,” he said. “The tide is going out quickly, and you are only one person. Don’t you see how hopeless it is, what you are trying to do? You can’t make a difference to the starfish.”
As he spoke, the child continued to bend and throw, bend and throw. When the old man finished his speech to her, she straightened up and tossed one more starfish.
She smiled at the old man and said, “I just made a difference to that one!”
And the old man realized that it was the young child who was truly wise.
In closing DG Onanong said, “As Rotarians we cannot just sit back and dream that the world will become a better place without lifting a finger, but that dream and only become real if we make meticulous plans combined with sincere cooperation and unrelenting labour.
“It is not enough that Rotarians just wait for things to get better without putting in any effort, but we must “Make a Difference” to achieve the results that we strive for.”