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What Happened At Our Meeting Of 12 January 2016

By Mike Lake

The second-floor meeting room at Hong Kong Lucky was nearly standing room only Tuesday night, with visitors from all points of the compass present at the weekly CMIRC gathering. Honorary member Elsie Choy brought friends Mark & Kathleen Merriam of the Rotary Club of Metropolitan Honolulu (the two met at a Rotary meeting – who says Rotarians aren’t romantic?), while John Schorr invited Anette Biskup and Volker Burck (from the Black Forest region of Germany) to drop in and explore the club. Other guests included Tony Richards, a Denver Rotarian invited by Joe, visiting professor Gayle Avant of the Waco Texas Lion’s Club, who’s teaching at CMU for a semester, Noriko Yabata (club speaker on Jan. 26), and Gordana Nardini from Rotary Klub Zagreb Centar (Croatia). Gordana lived in Burma for 3 years as a teenager and now wants to return there to teach. Elsie and the Merriams had been to a recent English Camp in Phayao, along with rotary members from Taiwan and Mexico, illustrating, as Elsie noted, the truly international nature of Rotary. SPEAKERS

Victoria Dutcher and Ken Granle, law students from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, described the “World Without Genocide” program their school created and sponsors. They addressed the 20th century genocide of the Armenians, the Holocaust, the Khmer Rouge horror in Cambodia, and the Rwandan tragedy. When John Schorr asked about the current ISIL attempt to exterminate minorities such as the Yazidis in Iraq and Syria, Ken and Victoria said that they will give a presentation on that subject in April. “Our mission is simple: to create a world without genocide,” Ken concluded. For more information, go to:


In happy baht news, Tom & Cindy, recently returned from a visit to cold Minnesota, were glad to be back in Chiang Mai, “where it’s warm;” Shana proudly announced discovering a $900 roundtrip BKK-DC ticket on Qatar Air; John was heartened to find the Children’s Water Safety Program alive and well, with four instructors teaching about 20 kids when he stopped by the pool; Roger was relieved that Nancy got her new retirement visa, but was less happy that it took an entire day; and Mike was gratified to have been to a David Bowie concert before the influential pop star passed away last week….finally, John won the weekly raffle, gave his share to the Children’s Water Safety Program, then graciously donated his can of hickory-smoke-flavored Spam to the visiting Merriams – true CMIRC hospitality! Kathleen Merriam and her husband Mark came all the way from Honolulu to Chiang Mai for this highly coveted can of CMIRC Spam.


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