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Rotary International District 3360 installs lady governor

Past President of Rotary International Bhichai Rattakul (2nd right) congratulates DGE Suparie Chatkunyarat (right) and outgoing District Governor Anurak Napawan (2nd left) and his wife Amporn (left).

By Nopniwat Krailerg
Suparie Chatkunyarat was installed as the new District Governor for Rotary International District 3360 at a ceremony held at the Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel last month. The outgoing District Governor Anurak Napawan chaired the opening of the meeting which also saw formal training for officers and the club administration committees as well as the installation of District Governor Elect Suparie.

District Governor Elect Suparie Chatkunyarat speaks about her role in Rotary and her plans for the upcoming year in office.

Rotary International President Elect Ron D Burton was introduced and Rotary International’s them for the 2013-2014 of “Engage Rotary, Change Lives”. PDG Dr. Saowalak Rattanavich, Rotary Coordinator Zone 6B was introduced as the Rotary Coordinator for Zone 6B.
Rotary district 3360 covers the 13 provinces in the North of Thailand where more than 1,200 Rotarians in 62 clubs actively play their part in serving their communities.
Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Ritthipong Techapun opened the ceremonies with a welcome speech and then PDG Supawat Poowakul led the crowd in toasting Rotary International. Past Rotary International President Bhichai Rattakul was the chief guest and honored the new District Governor by welcoming her and leading the ceremony to install her as District Governor.

(from left) District Governor Elect Suparie Chatkunyarat, PDG Chamnan Chanruang, PDG Chaisin Maninant and Rotarians from Rotary clubs in District 3360 during the plenary session held at the Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel.

Suparie, a native of Phrae, came to Chiang Mai to study and attended Nareerat School, Sacred Heart College, Prince Royal’s College and earned a BA in Hotel Management and Tourism at the Faculty of Business Administration at Payap University. She furthered her studies at the Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management at Le Roches Switzerland and an MBA in Business Administration from Chiang Mai University. She has taken Leadership Course training at Micro-MBA in business economy, and Chiang Mai University and Training Guides and Foreign Languages from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Suparie started working at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok but moved back to Chiang Mai to teach hotel and tourism management at Payap University. She started her own tour business after leaving Payap, Holiday Learning Co., Ltd., and later opened the restaurant “Im Sook”. She has served as a special instructor and expert in the fields of Service Industry business at Payap University and Chiang Mai University.
Suparie also served as the sub-committee chair for the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, is on the committee of The Sacred Heart Alumni Association, serves with the Charity Commission Register of borderless Friendship Foundation and was selected as an Outstanding Alumni of the Year 2010 Faculty of Business Administration CMU.
The incoming Rotary District Governor received a sponsorship from The Rotary Foundation for a group Study Exchange program in 2000 when PDG Jesda Chaidarun led the exchange group. Later she was the first woman invited to be a member of the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North and was elected as the first lady president of the club.
Suparie has served on the committee of the Eye Service Foundation of the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North and received the Four Avenues of Service award in 2009. She is a member of the Paul Harris Society. Suparie believes in the benefits of the ideals of Rotary and is proud to have the opportunity to “Engage Rotary, Change Lives” during her term.

Rotary presents scholarships to needy students

Rotary Club of ThinThaiNgam helps 149 young scholars

Members of the ThinThaiNgam Rotary club welcome Rotarian Guest.

By Sarah-Kate Hawkins
On Saturday, May 18, 2013 the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai ThinThaiNgam celebrated their 20th Anniversary at the Chiang Mai Grandview Hotel. The club received their Charter in March of 1993. Unlike the other 13 coed clubs of District 3360, they are an all-professional women’s club. Many of the other clubs’ presidents and members were there to lend a helping hand to make this day a special one.
Along with celebrating their 20th Anniversary was the presentation of educational scholarships to 149 young scholars. These scholarships came from members of Chiang Mai Rotary Clubs as well as the Grandma Cares Partnership Program.
ThinThaiNgam Rotary Club and Grandma Cares Partnership Program have teamed up to provide trainers for English Literacy Programs. Working with rural Thai government schools, Chalermprakiet 48 Pansa Girls School, the Border Patrol Police – 3 Mae Rim, and Dararassamee Hospital nurses, volunteers are working hard to reach the ASEAN Community Goals. These programs also support Rotary International’s Peace and Conflict Program. Being able to communicate brings understanding between cultures.
Rotary International’s mission is Service above Self. Members provide service to others as in the End Polio Now campaign. Starting in 1979, clubs in the Philippines committed to delivering polio vaccine to over six million children. Today, the world is 99% polio free. (All photos by Shana Kongmun)

Hope Watcharaprecha presents scholarships to two of the young scholars.

One shy young man needed encouragement to come to the stage.

The audience was filled with children waiting to receive their scholarships.

Faithful fill the streets for Visakha Bucha Day

By Shana Kongmun
The night before Visakha Bucha day Huay Kaew Road fills with Buddhist faithful hiking up the mountain to see the sunrise over Chiang Mai and make merit at Wat Prathat Doi Suthep.

Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sangunsat is joined by President of the Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn and Suthep Mayor Thanyasak Saengsrichan to make merit at the Kruba Srivichai Monument on May 23, 2013.

They first stop at the Kruba Srivichai monument to pay respects to this revered monk, who was part of the team to organize building the road up Doi Suthep. Then, on a road filled with people offering free water as a merit making exercise, they climb the hill up to the top. Filled with people of all ages, the little old ladies seemed to make as good a time as the young people in the roughly 10 km climb.
Leading the way is the white elephant statue, symbolizing the story that Wat Prathat Doi Suthep was founded when a white elephant carrying a relic of the Buddha was set free by King Nu Naone and climbed the mountain. It reached the site of the temple, trumpeted three times and died. There is a shrine to the White Elephant at the top as well.
The following day Buddhist faithful gathered at temples around Chiang Mai to make merit on this most holy days of the Buddhist calendar; Visakha Bucha Day which commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha. People gathered at temples before dawn to honor the triple gems; the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.

The White Elephant came out for the performance before the Deputy Governor cut the ceremonial ribbon to open the evening’s event.

Buddhist faithful thronged local wats, offering alms to monks and releasing Khom Loy for Visakha Bucha Day
(Photo courtesy of Scott Taylor)

Buddhist monks joined in the release of Khom Loy on Visakha Bucha Day, one of the holiest days in the Buddhist calendar.
(Photo courtesy of Scott Taylor)

Huay Kaew road started to fill up early as people started the walk up to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep.

Bikers rally to ride to Flight of the Gibbons

Members of the Ducati, D-Tracker and Ninja Lanna bikers groups joined in Gibbon Biker Day.

By Shana Kongmun
Bikers rallied at the Tesco Khamtieng on Sunday, May 19 and then again on Sunday May 26 to ride up to Mae Kampong village as they switched from riding the roads to riding the ziplines at Flight of the Gibbon. Chiang Mai is well known for its biker community and this event was organized to bring them together and build teamwork.
The Flight of the Gibbons offered bikers a special price on the ziplines as well as a free t-shirt and many local bikers turned out for the trip. More than 30 big bikes, members of the Ducati, D-Tracker and Ninja Lanna groups joined the bike parade to promote “Gibbon Biker Day 2013”. To save the fragile environment around the Flight of the Gibbon camp the group travelled part of the way by minivan. (Photos courtesy of Flight of the Gibbon)

The roar of big bikes filled the early morning air outside Tesco Khamtieng as the bikers took off for Mae Kampong.

Farewell party for Tourism Malaysia Director

Dancers dressed in beautiful Malay garb met with guests before the show.

By Shana Kongmun
Tourism Malaysia has had a strong relationship with Chiang Mai since the installation of the outgoing Director Iskander Mirza Mohd Yusof, an affable and friendly man who has clearly enjoyed his four years in Chiang Mai.

Director Iskander Mirza Mohd Yusof welcomed guests to the party held at Le Meridien, Chiang Mai.

The party, held at Le Meridien Chiang Mai on May 28, 2013, opened to a beautiful slide show of all the wonders Malaysia has to offer, from the beautiful diving off its islands, shopping in Johor Baru, the fabulous food of Penang, the beauties of Kota Kinbalu and the historic buildings of Malaka. The casinos as Genting Highlands seemed to be popular with the crowd as many said that despite the fact it was just next door they had not visited Malaysia very often.
Iskander pointed out that there easy flights with Air Asia and now direct Chiang Mai – Hat Yai flights that made travel to Malaysia extremely convenient. The Director thanked everyone in Chiang Mai for their support and said he appreciated the warm welcome he had received. The office will remain open in the hands of very capable staff so he encouraged everyone to make use of their assistance in the upcoming Visit Malaysia 2014 campaign.
Guests enjoyed a beautiful cultural show as the Director noted that Malaysia has many cultures all in one, from Malay to Indian, Chinese, Iban from Sarawak and diverse ethnic groups in Sabah.

The fine art of pouring Malaysian tea.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Rotary International District 3360 installs lady governor

Rotary presents scholarships to needy students

Faithful fill the streets for Visakha Bucha Day

Bikers rally to ride to Flight of the Gibbons

Farewell party for Tourism Malaysia Director