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A Brief History of Rotary in Thailand

17 September 1930 was the day Rotary International officially entered Thailand. To broaden its role and to develop a truly international stature, Rotarian James W. Davidson of the Rotary Club of Calgary, Canada, was appointed by Rotary International as General Commissioner for the formation of Rotary Clubs in Asia. In the course of his nearly three-year odyssey, he chartered 23 clubs in 12 countries, from Turkey to Thailand.

During an audience with H.R.H. Prince Purachatra (left), Davidson was able to discuss the concept of Rotary.

H.R.H. Prince Purachatra was so impressed with Rotary’s ideals that he proceeded to arrange the first English speaking organizing meeting of RC Bangkok, which was held at Phya Thai Palace, Bangkok.

By letter received on September 15, 1955, on the occasion of RC Bangkok’s Silver Anniversary, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, graciously consented to honor the Rotary Movement by becoming the Royal Patron of Rotary in Thailand.

It was also at this time that the Constitution and By-laws of Rotary International were first translated into Thai by Luang Sitsayamkam, Past President of the Rotary Club of Bangkok. On February 27, 1969, H.M. The King graciously presided over the gala fund-raising dinner of Rotary Club Bangkok.

On December 15, 1980, RC Bangkok celebrated its Golden Anniversary and 50 years of the Rotary movement in Thailand at Suan Ambhorn Palace. Their Majesties King Bhumibol (right) and Queen Sirikit graciously presided over the function.

In 1990-91, on the occasion of Rotary Club Bangkok’s fifth cycle, constructed the Music Pavilion in Rama IX Garden to benefit the public and honor the Royal Patron of Rotary in Thailand, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej who is well known worldwide for his talent in music.

H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn addressed the Rotary gathering on November 23, 1990 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Rotary movement in Thailand and graciously accepted to be an Honorary Member of RC Bangkok.


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