The ending of the calendar year in December brought a renewed hope of a return to a “new normal” in Thailand and in Chiang Mai. Unfortunately, the illegal movement of people across country borders and mass movement of people within Thailand for New Year celebrations brought on a second wave of Covid-19 to Thailand. This led to a decision to halt face-to-face club-related meetings after the January 5th regular meeting. We thought this might be a 6–8 week out-break and we could resume meetings in mid to late February. We held our regular meeting on January 19th using ZOOM and also conducted member pre-induction meetings using ZOOM.
We were fortunate that the Thai government did an effective job handling the outbreak in Chiang Mai and we were able to have a face-to-face board meeting on January 26th with hopeful plans of resuming regular face-to-face meetings on February 2nd. This meeting on the 2nd will be a celebration of Rotary International’s 116th Birthday and our club’s 7th birthday,
On a sad note, we lost our former member, friend and supporter of our club, Bob Carroll, in January due to an unexpected and sudden heart attack while in the USA. Bob had been a big supporter of the BEAM Education Foundation, our club's Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Project and the Burma Children Medical Fund B.K. Kee Patient House. Bob will be missed and remembered by many. Bob remembered our club in his Thai Final Will for helping our club’s efforts here in Thailand. A Bob Carroll CMIRC BEAM Scholarship Fund has been established in remembrance of Bob and his involvement with BEAM.
Our Membership Chair, Viki, has been quite busy recruiting and qualifying new members for our club with four prospective members having pre-induction meetings in January with a planned induction on February 2nd. This Rotary Year we have added three new members (Bonnie, Debra and Joe) and in February will add four more members (Bill, Nicha, Julia and Jim). Way to go Viki and your Membership Committee!
Our Treasurer, Nancy, has migrated from a high level of concern over club solvency (due to Covid-19's impact on fundraising) to an improved note of optimism. The rise in optimism being due to: a generous donation to the club by to-be-inducted Bill Trempus; Bob Carroll’s remembering our club in his Final Will and the awarding of a grant by the Australian Aid Program to support drowning prevention at the eleven Chiang Mai Municipal Schools.
Hopefully, the situation will return to a more “near normal” here in Chiang Mai soon and our service projects can resume.
We do indeed live in interesting times.