Having taken over for his predecessor, Peter Schlegel began his own elected term as president of the Rotary Club of Phoenix Pattaya at a more-casual installation ceremony June 30.
The German-speaking group gathered around the swimming pool of the Holiday Inn Pattaya for the buffet and ceremony, with Schlegel acknowledging that the usual pomp was unnecessary this year, as he’d been president for all but four weeks of the 2016-17 term.
“I am a bit confused because my farewell speech is at the same time my inaugural address,” Schlegel said. “I acted as president since my predecessor had to resign suddenly due to unforeseen circumstances.
“It came as a surprise to me but at the same time I was able to learn a lot and gain experience. With the help of friends and members the last year was a successful one and I will do my utmost to keep it this way in the year to come.”
District 3340 Governor Onanong Sirpornmanut did the honours of formally installing Schlegal, this time by simply touching his current president’s chain and wishing him good luck, rather than putting one around his neck.
Schlegel spoke about the club’s various projects and underlined that they have to be sustainable since a bit of help here and there is not exactly what really helps. He cited the Take Care Kids Foundation as an example. By law, abused children can stay there a maximum two years before being sent back home “to hell” again, he said.
“Juergen Loussiardi is now changing the classification of the shelter into a nursing home. That way, children can stay as long as needed and can go to school and their mothers to work,” he said. “Since this needs more space and more money we will help as far as possible also with the help of our Lions Club friends from Hong Kong.”
Past district Governor Pratheep Malhotra next took the stage to talk about HM the late King’s relationship to the Rotary, noting that Thailand’s clubs will now fulfil a wish of the late monarch with the “Monkey’s Cheeks” project.
Called “Lake of Love”, the project will help conserve water in big lakes and try to dramatically improve the living conditions of farmers and the rural population. (See “Rotarians Unite to Fulfill the Dream of a Great King” on PattayaMail.com.)