The Rotary Club of the Eastern Seaboard installed Brian John Songhurst as its president for the 2017-18 year.
Rotarians thanked outgoing president Rodney James Charman for his service at the June 22 gala at the Siam Bayshore Resort, which this year carried a Roaring 20s Jazz theme.
More than 100 guests dressed in “black and white with a touch of crimson” settled in after drinks to hear past president and emcee Jan Abbink begin the festivities by outlining achievements and goals.
After dinner, Charman gave his farewell remarks before Abbink surprised him with the presentation of a Paul Harris Pin plus one sapphire.
“I must say it has gone fast and I have enjoyed it all,” Charman said. “I have traveled all over Thailand and into Laos where I have met many lovely people, seen hundreds of children’s smiling faces, a lot of humbleness, gratefulness and love. Most of this is for a glass of clean water, a Christmas bag of goodies, a new school, an education center, a parcel of food, and so on.
“I have traveled and worked with a dedicated team of Rotarians from this club and many others from all over Thailand and internationally. All this could not have been done without the dedication of our members, international sponsors, and local sponsors.”
He singled out Otmar and Margret Deter, the outgoing and incoming presidents of the Rotary E-Club Dolphin Pattaya International, as well as charter president Martin Brands.
“During my two years, this club has received a number of awards,” he continued. “But one justly deserved award this year stands out: the prestigious Service Above Self award for charter President Martin Brands, which was presented by John Germ, Rotary International President.”
In his last act as president, Charman said he would present to his board and committee chairs a Queen Sapphire Jubilee 2017 £5 coin. The same gift would be given to the Dieters while Abbink and his wife Ket, Brands and Carl Dyson would receive Queen’s 90th Birthday £20 limited coins from the U.K. Royal Mint.
Finally, Songhurst was called to the stage where District 3340 Governor Elect Onanong Sirpornmanut presented him a certificated for completing his presidential training and installed him as president of the club.
“I feel truly privileged to have been invited to become president of this very active and successful club,” Songhurst said afterward. “This coming year looks to be a busy one with a new global grant of US$100,000 with which we will be partnering with other Rotary clubs around the country to install water filters in schools and houses.”
He called Charman a “tough act to follow” and said, during his term, he’d like to improve relationships with other Rotary clubs.
Ceremonies concluded, the Rotarians finished their night with entertainment by the Smoove Groove, a “Jazz Hot” show and “Mr. & Mrs. Rotary” competition.
Prizes were drawn for the best-dressed guests, with the winners being Veronique Waas and Peter Barnwell.