Members and guests, we will not be holding our regular Club meeting at the Singapore Swimming Club on Friday 13 May or Friday 27 May but will be having our regularly scheduled meeting on the 20th. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to seeing you on the 20th!
Due to Club participation in the District Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand will be not be holding out weekly meeting this week.
Rotarians and Friends,
All members are reminded that our meeting on Friday, 1 April will be our Club Assembly and Board of Directors Meeting. Unfortunately, for that reason, we ask that visiting Rotarians investigate another meeting to attend as this one will be closed to ‘members only’. We apologize to any visitors who may have liked to attend and look forward to seeing our membership for this important Club meeting
Friends, members and Visiting Rotarians:
The Rotary Club of Singapore North will NOT be meeting at our usually scheduled time on Friday, 18 March 2016 (due to the large number of our members attending the District 3310 Training Assembly) or Friday, 25 March 2016 (due to the public holiday). Our normal meeting swill resume at the Singapore Swimming Club in April.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to any Visiting Rotarians
The 24th District Conference for District 3310 was held in Kuching from 1-3 May 2015. Rotary Club of Kuching Central, the home club of DG Andre Suharto played host and received delegates from United Kingdom (D3281), Japan (D2760), Bangladesh (D3281), Nepal (D3292), Malaysia (D3300), Indonesia (D3410) and Korea (D3620).
It all started with a ‘End Polio Walk’ at Riverside Majestic Hotel where hundreds of Rotarians gathered on the morning of labour day to start a 4km walk around Kuching. 3 Rotarians have just completed a grueling 11-day walk from Sibu to Kuching to raise funds for this worthy cause. They were AG Tay Wei Lien (Singapore), Dr Angamuthu Rajoo (Johor Bahru) and Mervyn Voo (Kota Kinabalu). They trekked through the jungles of Sarawak, often stopped by suspicious villages and completed a 420Km walk to raise awareness on the need to end Polio and to help Rotary Foundation raise funds. Every dollar raised by Rotary Foundation will be matched twice by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to eradicate Polio completely. At the end of the walk, Rotarians gathered for some photo taking and it’s noting that Rotaractors from Singapore also flew to Kuching to join in this meaningful expedition.
The ‘Welcome Dinner’ was attended by nearly 450 Rotarians dressed in Indonesian Batik and Past RI Director and RI President’s Representative Dr Keith Barnard Jones addressed the delegates with the need to look at how Rotary Clubs can function more effectively through great leadership and mentoring. More than 100 District awards were also given out on the night with several Assistant Governors bagging the Outstanding Assistant Governor award. Rotary Club of Singapore North would like to congratulate AG Rajamohan Munisamy from Rotary Club of Pandan Valley for being awarded the Outstanding Assistant Governor’s award.
The highlights of the event on 2 May were the inspiring speeches by invited speakers from all walks of life. In particular, two speakers stood out with their great conversational approach to address the audience. Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, a writer who championed women’s rights and an HIV/AIDS activist and TV producer spoke about ‘Values’. She recalled how her dad became a Rotarian in Malaysia, the values her parents instilled in her when she was young. What was noteworthy was the fact that she is straight-shooter who is never afraid of speaking her mind. She would not hesitate to reprimand government officials for their mistakes and would quickly address issues on hand to ensure the interests of the people are protected. You can read more her biography here. She writes regularly and her thoughts and opinions can be found on her blog.
John Soe, the Deputy District Governor from Indonesia struck me as an individual with great resilience. Plagued with Polio when he was four months old and abandoned by his own parents in a Medan hospital, John Soe is one individual who had a hard life since birth. No one came forward to take him home and the nurses cared for him for a few years before they sent him to a Catholic Orphanage in the same city. When he was in third grade, renovations in the Catholic Orphanage meant that he had to be sent him temporarily. The nuns found his mother but his mother refused to take him in. For a week, he was made to live on the outside of the house, in an mosquito infested courtyard and had to sleep on the floor. He was given food that were different from all his eight other siblings. After 10 days, the nuns took him back. Shocked at how bad he was bitten by mosquitos, the nuns never sent him back to his parents.
Plagued by Polio since young, John had difficulties with mobility but in 1973, a Dutch-Italian businessman by the name of Ted de Ponti, a Rotarian from Rotary Club of Singapore West visited the Orphanage and asked to adopt a child who had ‘never experience the feeling of being loved before since birth’. The nuns knew John was the natural choice. Ted de Ponti wanted him to be ‘someone’. It was Sunday, 13th June 1973; John found love.
Ted brought John to Singapore and underwent four operations, and after eight months in hospital, his right leg showed improvement. After the first operation, Straits Times ran a story about him; Mount Alvernia did the operation at no cost to him and Singapore Airlines even sponsored a return airline ticket for him. The money raised by Rotarians later went to his education. Today, John is a qualified architect and is married with a 25-year old son and 16-year old daughter.
Some blame their parents for their misfortune, while other blame God. John is able to lead a ‘normal’ life today because he blamed no one. He never even blame Polio for causing him to be wheelchair bound for his life. He has chosen to see things the positive way and there could never be a better story to tell to end Polio.
The audience was deeply moved and at the end of his speech, the entire ballroom stood to give him a standing ovation. John’s story can be found here.
More District awards were given out during the Governor’s Banquet on the evening of 2 May. PP Jayapal Ramasamy was awarded the Outstanding Rotarian award and Pres KS Low was among the 32 Presidents who was accorded Outstanding Club President. It was a year well worth the effort put in by the Board of Directors as well as members of Rotary Club of Singapore North. Congratulations to PP Jayapal and Pres KS Low.
It’s time of the month again….18 members of the Rotary Club of Singapore North gathered at the Yan Palace at BLK 531 Upper Cross Street and within a private function room, we had a fair share of fun, fellowships and not to mention, great delicious food that could get the digestive enzymes of the stomach working overtime. Although none of the members attempted at the karaoke set, we ended the dinner on a high, and all could be possibly looking forward to our next fellowship session at the end of May at Grand Shanghai restaurant in Havelock road.
Many thanks to Vocational Service Director, Rtn Ong Wee Heng for organizing this.
On behalf of the board, the President would like to wish all members a great May day holiday and a long weekend.
17 April 2015 saw the induction of the second new member for the Rotary Club of Singapore North. The new member – Rtn Jeremy Seah, who had an illustrious career in several MNCs for a few decades before finally settling down to open his chain of restaurants – Ruby Thai; his flagship restaurant being the one in Marina Square. PP Goh Kim Seng was instrumental in bringing Rtn Jeremy Seah into Rotary Club of Singapore North. Rtn Jeremy has attended several lunch meetings including one of our fellowship dinners at Cathay restaurant where our club celebrated the Chinese New Year dinner on the 28 Feb 2015.
AG Mohan was at the lunch meeting to witness the induction ceremony along with 14 members and the ann of IPP Kelvin Chan, Esther. Rotary Club of Singapore North members would like welcome Rtn Jeremy Seah to our club and thank PP Goh Kim Seng for identifying and bringing in a new member with whom many believe will be a valuable asset to the club in the foreseeable future.
PE Amit Bhushan attended the 25th PETS Training on the 26th-27th March at KSL Resort in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. He successfully completed the entire training and received the certificate of attendance from DGE Philip Chong. Being relatively new to Rotary, he has benefitted immensely from the training. On the 27th March, there was a welcome dinner for the opening of the District Assembly (DISTAS) and was accompanied by PP David See, PP Jayapal, IPP Kelvin Chan, PP Dannis Teo, PP Philip Kee, and Pres KS Low. The delegate was joined by Pres Elsie Chua and AG Mohan, both from RC Pandan Valley and PP Venka from RC Pasir Gudang.
On the night of 28th March was the Governor’s Banquet. The delegate was joined by PP Chan Hiap Kong who made his way to Johor Bahru braving a 2-hour traffic jam with his bursting bladder and despite all these challenges, he managed to make it to the KSL Resort on time.
This is the single largest delegate consisting of all Past Presidents who made their way to Johor Bahru to support the current and incoming Presidents in a long time. Both Pres KS Low and PE Amit would like to extend their sincere appreciation to these members.
31 members and spouses including an invited guest celebrated Chinese New Year with their annual fellowship dinner at Cathay restuarant on the 28 February 2015. Members brought along bottles of wine, high spirits and their smiles and by 7.45pm the dinner started with the traditional Lou Hei (vegetarian salad with salmon) followed by other delicacies including roasted chicken, seaweed tou fu, wasabi prawns, glutinous rice, steam fish and the traditional fried nian gao. It was a fabulous evening filled with fun, laughter. The club members wish to thank PP Chan Hiap Kong and spouse Kueh Siang Noi for making the arrangements and PE Amit for bringing along an Indian dessert to complement the dinner. Rtn Thomas made his way all the way from Germany back to Singapore and attended the dinner while Katrina, the spouse of our newly inducted member Troy, joined us for the first time and according to them, was one of the finest nights they have had since moving to Singapore.
Members are looking forward to the next fellowship dinner on the 20 March which will take place at Imperial Treasure restaurant in Asia Square.
The Rotary Club of Singapore North sponsored a total of 8 Interactors and 2 Teacher Advisors, namely 5 Interactors and their Teacher Advisor from ITE Central and 3 Interactors and their Teacher Advisor from ITE West, who attended the RYLA 2014 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia over a 4-day 3-night duration.
The Programme is Rotary International’s continuous youth training camp aim at developing the leadership skills of the young and upcoming aspiring leaders of the next generation. Rotary Club of Singapore North has been actively supporting this meaningful youth programme and had sponsored many of our Interactors and Rotaractors for this training in the past. The feedback received from the participants was always positive; and hence our continuous participation to help train leaders of the future.
The following passages are extracts from our Interactors who attended the RYLA in Kuching:
“This is something new and exciting for all of us, having a camp overseas in Kuching! We are glad that we made the right choice by signing up for it. During these 4 days 3 nights, we have really enjoyed ourselves because of the people that we met along with my Singapore friends.”
“Before the camp, we have our own doubts but we did it in the end as we all learn to be a good leader and worked well with our fellow Interactors and Rotaractors, this camp has changed us.”
“The camp taught us values and how to be a better person”.
“I am grateful to be part of RYLA Kuching as I learnt a lot from the camp and mostly the things I did were the first time. Thank you for the opportunity.”
“I was really touched by the actions of bonding and spirit which I’ve never experienced in my life”.
“The learning points that I had picked up along the way will also be with me. I am indeed thankful to be given such an opportunity to attend a camp which is meaningful and an experience that will benefit me in many ways.”
Contributed by PP Philip Kee – Youth Chair, Rotary Club of Singapore North