Rotary Clubs of Chiang Mai install their new presidents
14 clubs club together!
Text by Michael Vogt
Photos by Marion Vogt
The month of June is one of the busiest months for the
more than 31,000 Rotary Clubs all over the world. Over 1.2 million
Rotarians, represented in 166 countries, have by now elected a new president
and board of directors, who will lead them through the next 12 months, with
the new Rotary year starting on 1 July. Traditionally, the 14 Rotary Clubs
in Chiang Mai, although operating independently, celebrate this auspicious
event together, and chose the Imperial Mae Ping Hotelís Grand Ballroom as
their venue for this yearís big night.
Almost 400 Rotarians and their spouses, sporting their
individual Club outfits, were in attendance. This was a massive turnout,
which proved to be more than expected, showing the united spirit of the
Rotarians in Chiang Mai in providing humanitarian assistance to the needy in
the Northern provinces. The joyful atmosphere during the fellowship period
before the actual event was light-hearted and entertaining, and the
Rotarians not only opened their hearts, but also their wallets, to support
individual projects which were on display in the Lobby area. Rotarians came
as far as from Malaysia to support their friends on this very special
occasion, but also visiting non-Rotarians were made very welcome, such as
the Japanese Consul General Shinohara and his wife mingling with a number of
Rotarians, keen on learning about their projects.
Rotary International is a worldwide organization of business and
professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high
ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in
the world. In 2005, Rotary will celebrate its 100th anniversary, having
lived up to its pledge to eradicate Polio from the world, as one of its
Rotary Club Chiang Mai Saraphee.
Left) P. Dr. Surapol Natakankitkul, Chiangmai North, P. Hope Watcharaprecha
PHF, ThinThaiNgam, PP.DGE.2005-6, PDG Dr. Wongsawang Kanchanakamon, PHF,
Changpuak Chiangmai Club, MC PP Waewdao Limlenglert MPHF, ThinThaiNgam, PDG
Dr. Sombat Intralawan, Chiangrai Club, PDG. Dr. Supavat Poonvakul, PHF,
Chiangmai Club, MC PP Michael Vogt, Chiangmai West, PDG. Napadol Amontavilas
Payap University students with flute and snare drum led the parade with the
presidents proudly presenting their individual club flags on stage.
Rotary Club Chiang Mai East.
Rotary Club Chiang Mai Changpuek.
Rotary Club Chiang Mai.
Rotary Club Lanna Chiang Mai.
Rotary Club of Fang.
Rotary Club Chiang Mai Airport.
Rotary Club Chiang Mai North.
Rotary Club Chiang Mai South.
Rotary Club Chiang Mai Hang Dong.
Rotary Club Chiang Mai West.
Rotary Club Chiang Mai Phuphing.
Rotary Club Chiang Mai Doi Suthep.
Rotary Club of ThinThaiNgam, the host club of the evening.
The Rotary family of Chiang Mai West
Two new members, a new president and numerous visitors
Photos by Michael Vogt
Every year towards the end of June, Rotarians get busy as
the time comes to welcome new presidents in the over 31,000 clubs
world-wide. Those clubs have a membership of over 1.3 million people who all
have the one goal: to create awareness, friendship, and make a difference in
children were presented with scholarships by P.P. Surachai and P.P. Amnuay.
There can be spirited (and even heated) debate during the
normal weekly meetings but when it counts, the spirit of Rotary is there, as
it was during the recent installation at the Amari Rincome Chiang Mai.
for the new members!
With President Manit Mantala, spouse Sumittra, District
Governor Preecha, Incoming President Preecha Wongsakul and his Rotary spouse
Ladawan at the head table, President Manit opened his last meeting,
reminiscing about this past year, thanking every one for their support,
motivation and encouragement.
Club secretary Rachan, Rtn. Banjob and Past President
Anusorn presented all the different activities which had been held in the
past and then P.P. Bradit used the new presidentís installation night as
the perfect opportunity to install two new members of the club.
left) Outgoing Rotary President Manit Mantala, District Governor Preecha,
Sumittra Mantala, Laddawan Wongsakul and her husband, incoming President
Peter Mc Kenzie Brown and Luc Masschelein, long time
friends of the Rotary Club Chiang Mai West were given instruction in what
Rotary is all about, being a voluntarily international organization which
puts service above self, which encourages friendship inside the club
regardless of race, nationality, faith, sex and color. The two new Rotarians
thanked everyone and made their promise to support and maintain the
objectives and goals of Rotary International and hold on to the ideal of
friendship, receiving a standing ovation.
Governor Preecha congratulates new members Luc Masschelein and Peter
District Governor Preecha spoke next and admitted to
being overwhelmed by the friendship and service he had experienced that
night and would take the evening as an inspiration and encouragement back
with him in his heart and hoped that all clubs he will visit in the future
will show this kind of commitment. He ended by expressing his sincere thanks
to all and a toast to Rotary International, to the new and the old
presidents, to their spouses and their support as the upcoming year will be
a very important one, a milestone as Rotary faces the millennium.
new president presented a bouquet to Marliese Fritz, president of Taksin
Pattaya, Chiang Mai Westís sister club. She and her secretary Hans came
from Pattaya for the ceremony.
The evening ended with roses and champagne, thanks and good wishes, with
new friends and old friendships renewed. Let us hope that many more people
become inspired by the words, "Letís celebrate Rotary!"
Local buffaloes tie the knot
No bull! Itís animal husbandry!
To the strains of organ music, two buffaloes tied the
knot in front of witnesses in Northern Thailand on June 12.
Charoen chants to forgive and bless the buffaloes and to protect them from
disease and being stolen.
The ceremony was the work of many in Chiang Mai province,
including Banpong Tambon Administration Organization (TAO), farmers, buffalo
raisers, the Hang Dong Livestock Development Office and the Royal Projectís
Toong Rerng Development.
enjoying buffalo rides at the ceremony.
The villagers all took part in the happy event, marching
to the joyful sounds of Lanna musical instruments as the sor, sueng, and
local mouth organ. This part of the ceremony was to collect the bashful
buffalo bride from her parents.
Poopan, the horny groom was formally presented with the
marriage registration papers of he and his bride, Mae Moon, properly signed
horny couple Poopan and Mae Moon, properly registered.
The wedding ceremony was following by the traditional
"Blessing for long life of the buffaloes" in which a holy thread
was tied between their horns.
The radiant bride and groom were decorated with flowers,
and offerings (called "bai sri") of popped rice, flowers, scented
holy water, boiled chicken and green grass given to them for good luck and
buffaloes attended the ceremony, hoping to catch the bouquet.
Ajarn Charoen, a local elder in the village, then broke
into chanting to forgive and bless the buffaloes, for their good health and
protection from disease and to prevent them being stolen.
radiant bride gets ready for the nuptials.
Witsanupong Dongpruek, chairman of Banpong TAO, said the blessing was
held because Thai farmers feel a deep gratitude to buffaloes that help them
work their rice fields. Because they are increasingly being replaced by
machinery people are afraid that the tradition of the blessing ceremony will
die out. Many bar girls are also worried, as sickness in the family buffalo
has often been a reason for seeking overseas Ďcharitableí donations!