Joint ceremonies held to install 5 club presidents in Pattaya
Rotary’s annual tradition of bidding adieu to outgoing officers and welcoming new leaders for the next year was held at a joint gathering June 8, as clubs with a variety of nationalities and languages held installation ceremonies in the Head of State Chamber at the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel, Pattaya.
The grand affair, chaired by District Governor Onanong Siripornmanut, was the very first time that all 5 non-Thai speaking clubs participated in the Joint Installation ceremonies. They were the Rotary Clubs of Jomtien-Pattaya, Eastern Seaboard, Pattaya Marina (French), Phoenix Pattaya (German) and Dolphin Pattaya International (English/German).
The proceedings, guided by Rtn Jariya Wuensche and PDG Peter Malhotra, saw many senior Rotarians from around Thailand including local community leaders attending to give their support to Rotarians in District 3340 R.I.
During the course of the evening children from the Child Protection and Development Center put on a show that gladdened the hearts of everyone. Other entertainment was the Royal Cliff’s JMC Trio and the ever so popular Chad and Friends rock ‘n roll band.
Major sponsors of the evening included Ken Whitty and Kanpitcha, who supplied an abundance of Paulaner Bier, and Zoltan Zakor, Director of Business Development at Vanichwathana (Bangkok) Co., Ltd. with exclusive French wines.
District Governor Onanong presented a Women in Rotary Award to Past President Ratana Yothawong honouring her as the First Woman Rotarian and First Woman Club President in Thailand. Ratana joined the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya on 1 February 1990 and served as president in 1993-94.
It was not only an evening of celebration and recognition for the achievements of Rotarians who sacrificed their time and energy, not to mention financial resources to implement a myriad of humanitarian projects for the underprivileged people in our communities, but also to encourage and inspire the new leadership of Rotary clubs to do even more to serve humanity.
The newly installed presidents, Vutikorn Kamolchote (Jomtien-Pattaya), Brian Songhurst (Eastern Seaboard), Pierre Yves Eraud (Pattaya Marina), Peter Schlegel (Phoenix Pattaya) and Maneeya Engelking (Dolphin Pattaya International) issued a joint communiqué quoting Barry Rassin, Rotary International President for 2018-19, which read, “Since Rotary was founded 113 years ago, its role in the world and in the lives of its members has been in a state of continuous evolution. In its earliest days, Rotary offered its members a way to find fellowship and friendship and to build connections within their communities. Soon after, service found a place in Rotary, and as our organization expanded, so did its influence.
“In time, Rotary’s service, supported by our Rotary Foundation, would change the lives of families and communities across the world. We formed partnerships and focused our service to increase our impact. We launched the world’s largest public-private health initiative, partnering with governments, international organizations, and countless local and regional health agencies to eradicate polio.
“Unfortunately, not enough people fully understand what Rotary is and does. Even within our clubs, many Rotarians don’t know enough about Rotary to take full advantage of what Rotary membership offers.
“We need to put more emphasis on our public image, using social media to build our membership and attract the partners that can help us scale up our service. Most important of all, we need to be the Inspiration for positive change, inspiring our clubs, our communities, and our organization to face today’s challenges head on, with courage, optimism, and creativity. As Paul Harris the founder of Rotary put it, “Rotary is a microcosm of a world at peace, a model which nations will do well to follow.” To me, Rotary is not only a model but an inspiration. It shows us what is possible, inspires us to reach for it, and gives us a path to act – and to ‘Be the Inspiration’ to our world.