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President's Message for May 2022

Recently, Rotary International President-elect Jennifer Jones asked all incoming district governors to imagine a world which deserves our best and where we Rotarians wake up knowing that we can make a difference.

In line with this philosophy, I’m happy to share that the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club is continuing to invest a lot of effort into mapping out how we can deliver our best and continue to create positive impacts right here in Northern Thailand. I’m looking forward to sharing some of these ideas in my upcoming final Presidential Message, and of course, joining each of you in making these ideas a reality.

Another month has passed, and thankfully our club was able to deliver even more food to the Urban Light Foundation. For those of you who don’t know, the Urban Light Foundation empowers, restores and provides emergency services and support to boys who are victims of human trafficking and exploitation. This incredible food effort continues to operate in large part thanks to Rotarians Bill and Nicha Trempus.

Project Champion Bill Pierce has reported that it’s largely been business as usual at the Burma Children Medical Fund’s B.K. Kee Patient House. The sense of normalcy is returning with new patients finally arriving and long-term patients (who could not leave the facility over the last few years due to regional travel restrictions) are thankfully being able to return home and reunite with their friends and family.

Secretary Nick Dale continues to foster big dreams for our club’s very important Teddy Trekkers project. Personally, I love to stay up-to-date with this project and enjoyed reading this Bulletin article last month.

Past President and Project Champion, John Schorr, announced that our school-based Children’s Water Safety & Drowning Prevention Program (CWSDPP) and School Vision Screening Program (SVSP) is now officially scheduled to resume in August.

My incredible wife, who also happens to be our President-elect, Viki Thomason, and our Thai-speaking daughter, Charlotte (left, in the photo above), attended the District 3360 President-Elect Training Seminar (PETS) & District Team Training Seminar (DTTS) in Lampang on the weekend of April 23, 2022. Charlotte proved to be a pet of the PETS, while successfully continuing to ignore Mommy’s request to translate. Nevertheless, PE Viki enforced our club’s place on the District’s map thanks to her viral dance moves which have become forever memorialized in the hearts and minds of those that got to witness it live, and conveniently also on TikTok for the rest of us.

Sadly, like many Rotary clubs around the world, we are continuing to explore ways to help Ukrainian refugees affected by the crisis in their homeland. Right now, we are trying to locate Rotary clubs in Europe that aid displaced people. If you would like to join this conversation, please reach out to at

The Royal Peninsula Hotel is continuing to operate as a “hospitel” (a hotel turned hospital), which means we are continuing to conduct meetings at our temporary meeting space until further notice. Please remember, we are currently meeting on the first and third Tuesday of every month (7 PM) at the beautiful Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel, located next to the Kad Suan Kaew mall. Some of us gather at 6 PM ahead of the meeting for a meal in the hotel's restaurant.

Please remember, if you’re planning to attend any CMIRC function, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (submit your vaccination record to and you are required to self-administer an ATK test on the day of the event or meeting. While you will have pretested prior to arrival, if you generally experience difficulty in obtaining ATK tests or need assistance administering the test, please check out the table by our entry door and feel free to take a complimentary kit home with you for next time.

In an effort to promote safety and make it easier for all Rotarians to attend meetings, Rotarian Gary Herman helped the club obtain Antigen Test Kits (ATK). These kits are free to all club members, so please take just one kit (per meeting) and use it on the day of the next CMIRC event only.

At right are typical ATK tests, where you simply deposit your saliva into the "Sample" well and wait 15 minutes for the result. If there is a red line at the "C" arrow, then the result is negative for Covid, if there are red lines at both the "C" and "T" arrows, or just the "T" arrow, then the result is positive for Covid. It is possible for someone who is fully vaccinated, boosted and having no symptoms to still contract and spread Covid-19.

Currently, Charter President Roger Lindley and his wife, Treasurer Nancy, are letting the Board meet at their residence until we can get back into the Royal Peninsula Hotel. Of course, that also means that these Board meetings are now occurring under the close feline supervision of Mini & Maneki. In addition to having welcomed everyone into their condo, the Lindleys also went the extra mile and treated everyone to delicious donuts. Want free donuts and feline attention? Join the CMIRC Board of Directors and attend our meetings!

In closing, it’s important to announce that starting from May 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travelers entering Thailand are no longer required to book a quarantine hotel (sometimes called “Test&Go”) or take an RT-PCR COVID-19 test upon arrival. While this change in policy may prove to be a Godsend for the Thai economy, please remember to stay safe in your day-to-day behavior and interactions.


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