By Mike Lake
Newcomer Mary Hoagland-Scher from Tacoma, WA was exploring how she might spend time in Chiang Mai if she retired here. When asked for his comments, Mary’s partner Wallace Rosa replied, “I second what she said.” Prospective new members Ken and Jean Brookens invited their friend Kathy from Buffalo, NY to the meeting. Kathy, after recently retiring in (from?) the U.S. is looking for an interesting place to land and possibly teach EFL and/or cooking to teenagers. Snowbird members Linda & Gary Soules from Canada’s Kamloops Rotary will only be here for a few weeks this year instead of staying four their usual four months. And to add some international flavor to the meeting, Nancy invited Benoit from France!
Rotary Day attendance will replace the Tuesday evening meeting on February 23rd. Shana reminded everyone to wear their Rotary shirts and be at JJ Market @ 8 a.m. to wo/man the club’s tables, especially the “English Chat Table.” She added that the golf ball drop will be at 5 p.m. on the Saturday of the International Balloon Festival at Phayap University. CMIRC will have a booth in the International Heritage section of that event, with American activities such as (possibly) apple dunking presented. Jerry announced that he needs volunteers for an ad hoc committee to review/revise club documents, and stressed that the work should only take a few weeks. Lastly, John noted that the club is “giving money away at astonishing rates,” so the treasury needs to be replenished through fundraisers.
Tom Westheimer of the Rotary Club of Peterborough, NH (membership @ 40) stopped by for an informative Q&A with Roger on the trials and tribulations of Rotary growth and management. After serving in the Peace Corps in Iran, Tom spent the 1970s in Bangkok, first at Chulalongkorn University, then at the Asian Institute of Technology, where he met his wife. He’s a self-confessed “tech nerd.”
Here are some of the highlights from the interview:
At the Peterborough Rotary, finding weekly speakers rotates from member to member each week (Roger liked that one.)
The toughest job is finding new members and building club diversity.
Communicating club news through social media is a problem, since some members of the club don’t have computers or smart phones.
Finding the right partners for global grants is “huge,” since the criteria for the grants is fairly strict.
All members of the club are encouraged to become Paul Harris Fellows.
Tom concluded his remarks by saying ”definitely you get better food here than we do.”
Jerry and Joe present Tom Westheimer with a token of CMIRC’s esteem for his words of wisdom concerning Rotary Club challenges.
Odds & Ends
Gary Soules complimented CMIRC on how well it’s taken care of the money it’s raised for projects, noting that we should ”take that to heart, because there are clubs that don’t.” In happy baht news, Des was pleased that he, Joe and Jerry were taking footballs to a school where Des taught for two years, Joe said of the Children’s water safety Meeting, “it’s just flowing,” Mike was relieved to have avoided a probe, and Shana had the chance to chat with bona fide Thai movie star Ananda Everingham at a recent gallery opening.