December 2019
It's the Holiday Season in Thailand. The Thai people love the secular aspects of Christmas and New Year's Eve is a big holiday with gift giving, feasting and fireworks. Right now, a chill has descended on much of Thailand, with frost at the higher elevations, making the deliveries from our Annual Winter Clothing Appeal much appreciated.  
Pour your favorite warm beverage, snuggle with your pets and fleece to enjoy our packed bulletin, below. It's a little late this month because we were so busy in November. You can better view each story by clicking on the story's title where you'll be taken to the story on our website, displayed in a full-page, easy-to-view format. 
December 2019 President's Message

I begin the message this month with the sad news that Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC) charter member Laurence O’Keeffe (right) has died at the age of 61 after a long illness. As an experienced Rotarian, Laurence was a key figure in the founding of our club, chartered in 2014. He was also the first chair and organizer of our fundraising committee, introducing the idea that fundraising should be fun, through imaginative projects like his Golf Ball Drop fundraiser where people bought numbered golf balls that were dropped from a tethered hot-air balloon with prizes going to those landing closest to the hole. Laurence lived a life that put service above self; his enthusiasm, energy, and sense of humor will be sorely missed. Those wishing to send condolences to Laurence’s family should contact me and I will send you contact information ( ).

Well as we all suspected, November was a very busy month for the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC).

The month started with a Club Assembly with Pizza from The Duke's and visits by Rotarians from the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, and Katharine Zahr, a Rotary Peace Fellow.

Our Children’s Winter Clothing Project for children in surrounding poor mountain villages got into full swing (delivery leaving for the hills, left). With over 20 truckloads of clothing collected for distribution in December. Just in time, since during the next few weeks temperatures are expected to drop to near 0 C. in some surrounding mountain communities. 

District Governor Kamolsak Visitsakulchai and his wife Rtn. Wanthanee visited our club at our November 19 meeting. We were also joined by PDG Suparie, ADG Saran, and CP Pong from the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai-Wattana and representatives of our sponsored clubs: the Chiang Mai International School Interact Club and the Payap University Rotaract Club. DG Kamolsak was most impressed by how active our club is in conducting our service projects focused on Child Safety, Health, and Education. He also noted that we had a 100% giving rate for the Every Rotarian Every Year program of the RI Foundation plus a generous gift this year to the RI Polio Plus fund drive. Finally, he stated that CMIRC has recruited the largest number of new members in District 3360 thus far this year!

I'm pictured above with the honored guests on November 19. From left, Assistant District Governor Dr. Saran Chantalay, Past District Governor and sponsor of our club, Suparie Chatkunyarat, District Governor Kamolsak Visitsakulchai and his wife Rtn. Wanthanee.  

At the meeting, we added two new members to our club, Moshe Mandelman and Sally Myatt, bringing our club to a record total of 27 active members plus two honorary members. 

On Sunday, November 24, CMIRC fielded a two-person team at the RC of Chiang Mai North’s Bully Bowl charity bowling event, Rtn. Brian’s wife May and I bowled on the CMIRC team (pictured left); we didn’t win but we made a good showing being in the top 25% of teams. CP Roger also sponsored a PYU Rotaract Club team.

Speaking of sports, the CMIRC Fighting Rotarians Pool (8-Ball) Team, featuring PD Mike, PE Clarence, Rtn. Gawain, and P John had an early victory in the latest 8-Ball tournament.

On Friday, November 29, our Beatles Mania Children’s Charity Fundraiser featuring the Fab 4 from Bangkok at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center was a rousing success with over 160 attendees and a lot of dancing and singing along. 

Also in November, a new Memorandum of Understanding with BEAM Educational Foundation has been written and it will be signed in December. We will continue to help BEAM students improve their communication abilities and prepare for the U.S. high school equivalency exams (GEDs) that allow them to seek college admission in Thailand and abroad.

Finally, we have a new drinking water project in Roi Et province thanks to Rtn. Dr. Narong and Rtn. Craig Clark’s Thai Thaim Foundation in Minnesota. We will be building a clean water supply for a small village in that province.

So we are now looking forward to December when we will have our club annual meeting and CMIRC Board elections, a Social Evening on December 10, and hopefully another new member induction at our regular meeting on December 17, and a Let’s Talk Rotary informal luncheon on the 27th.

I, along with all of our CMIRC members, wish all of the readers of this bulletin a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Winter Clothing Appeal 2019 Ends with a Great Success
The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club has wrapped up the collection phase of this year's Winter Clothing & School Supplies Appeal on December 1, 2019. The response from the community has exceeded our greatest expectations and wildest imagination. Our diligent drivers have picked up more than 20 full truckloads of donations since the beginning of the charity drive about six weeks ago.
On Saturday, November 30, CMIRC held its "sorting party" dedicated to organizing winter clothing & school supplies. Considering the record amount of donations, it required an almost heroic effort from Rotarians, friends, and helpful students. However, we are happy to report that we were able to complete the planned mission.
At the beginning of December, we started distributing donations. We delivered our first truckload of winter clothing & school supplies to School for Life, an internationally acclaimed project in Chiang Mai that provides home, care and education for vulnerable youth: children who lost their relatives in the tsunami; children whose parents were killed or are missing, and children who escaped from domestic violence and abuse. We will continue to deliver donations to further locations as follows: Piang Luang, Huai I Khang, Ban Muser, Mae Chaem, Ban Soblan, and Huay Muong Nai.
We cannot thank enough our generous community, friends, and Rotarians for their help. We are grateful for your contributions! Kudos to the Rimping Supermarket chain, Makro, HomePro and Big C Extra Hang Dong, Lanna International School, The Interact Club of Chiang Mai International School, The Rotaract Club of Payap University, Pern’s Bistro & Restaurant, U.N. Irish Pub, The River Market Restaurant and The Chiang Mai Expats Club for making it possible for us to place our donation boxes on their premises.
Interact at CM International School Contributes
Dylan Thomason, the co-champion of the Children's Winter Clothing Appeal project reports that the Interact club at Chiang Mai International School made a significant contribution to the project.  PP Jerry enlisted the help of his favorite tuk-tuk driver in picking up the clothing from CMIS in his electric tuk-tuk.
Unity Concord Int'l School Interact Returns to Chiang Rai Orphanage

This story is compiled from entries on the Facebook page of Unity Concord International School:

In November, members of the Interact club of Unity Concord International School returned to Baan Pak Dek Praporn orphanage in Chiang Rai province for the second consecutive year. They brought up donations from the school's Pillow Drive, inspected the donated bunk beds in the orphanage's newly built dormitory buildings, painted murals and continued to build relationship with the children. The students spent the weekend playing and hanging out with the kids, and when they left, there was not a dry eye to be found.

CMIRC liaison, Rtn. Brian is in the foreground, right, greeting the kids at the orphanage.

Here is what one of the UCIS students wrote: "These three days are the highlight of 2019 for me. I'm so happy to be here again and meet these cute and sweet kids for the second time. They have much grown up from last year. Not only their heights, but also their personalities.

"There also have new buildings, rooms, beds & pillows now. I can see they are very happy about it and appreciate it. I hope they can keep growing happily and healthily, love each other and always don't forget to thank to god. Next time, I wanna prepare better than this time, and make unforgettable memories with them together in every single minute.

"They are one of the biggest motivations to study hard and always do my best. I hope I can be their comfort and power as well. I Love them so much! God bless them and love them."

Rotaract Club of Payap University December Report

The Rotaract Club of Payap University (RCPYU) is in the process of transition from past leadership and members to new ones. However, there are still service opportunities and projects either pending or on the horizon for the club.


For this project, the club gathered English language books to be donated to children living in a local refugee camp. Collection ended November 30th.  Distribution is planned for December 18, along with some clothing collected via the Winter Clothing Appeal. RCPYU extends its thanks to all who donated books and especially a generous donation by Peter and Anne Dawson.


Members of the club gave support to the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North by participating in their annual Bully Bowl fundraising event. There, the members joined with CMIRC members to bowl for charity.


The District Governor for District 3360 made a visit to CMIRC and members of RCPYU were in attendance and participated in the annual dinner and meeting.


The Rotary International Board issued new Rotaract Policies to be effective July 1, 2020, which will change the type of membership of Rotaract Clubs to Rotary Clubs. As such, the new polices will be reviewed and examined by the club management. The club has been informed that its sponsoring Rotary club, CMIRC, has voted to remain its sponsor when the new policies take effect. The club will participate in District discussions on the new policies.



The club has collected clothing on its campus and forwarded them to CMIRC for distribution.


Members of the club joined with CMIRC for their fall fundraising children's charity dinner/dance.  RCPYU proctored the Beatles Trivia contest, a fundraiser for the club.

Kids are Back in the Water!

Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC)-Kru Payu and Safe Child Thailand Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program (CWSDPP)

Sponsored By CMIRC, The Swiss Lanna Society, The Safe Child Thailand Foundation, the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy, and the Thai Thaim Foundation/Rotary Club of Park Rapids, Minnesota, USA

Our Chiang Mai International Rotary Club Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program kids and our great swim teachers are back in the pools here in Chiang Mai as well as in Phrao! We will complete 15-hours of swim instruction for all eleven Chiang Mai Municipal School 4th-graders by March of next year. Once again, this year we will teach about 350 kids!

CMIRC, with the help of an individual Rotarian, is developing a new program at the BanYa Literacy Centre in Phuket. We are planning to begin the program in January.

We will be completing the Swiss Lanna Society-funded portion of our classes at the Bronco Kids Sport Club early in December and we are already planning a certificate ceremony for about 140, 4th-grade program graduates. The date for the ceremony has been set for January 30; time and location details will be shared in next month’s bulletin. These events are always fun, and the Swiss have some special presents for their sponsored kids, so this ceremony should be even more fun.

The British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN) Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program in Phrao is under way and local BCTFN representative, Ian Bushell and I visited Phrao in November (photo, below). With the help of the BCTFN funding, we will teach 140, 4th-graders in the municipal elementary school and for the first time this year we will also be able to teach the children who reside at the Warm Heart Foundation, our local partner.

We are in the initial planning stages to use the remaining Safe Child Thailand funds for a demonstration project in Nonthaburi where the Thai Ministry of Public Health is located. The Ministry has been very involved in drowning prevention and we want to work with them to develop a prototype program for adoption in municipal schools nationwide. It’s a big dream but we have already had positive feedback from the Ministry, and we here at the CMIRC CWSDPP have a great deal of experience to share.

We submitted another proposal for support of our programs to the Australian Direct Aid Program; this year we requested nearly 500,000 baht for three new programs. Unfortunately, we learned that our new program proposal has not been funded. We thank the Australian Aid Program for their wonderful support this year, and we will try again next year!!




BEAM Needs Your Help

It’s that time of the year; Christmas is coming which reminds me of an old nursery rhyme:

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’ penny, God Bless YOU!


At BEAM Education Foundation it’s holiday time and end of term. Over the past months Roger, Bob, Anne, Peter and myself have thoroughly enjoyed sharing with the students on subject matters such as famous people: Neil Armstrong, Nelson Mandela and Christopher Columbus and debates topics such as: “Girls are better at Studying than Boys” and “Smoking should be Banned” to name a few. We have all learnt from each other with a smile, laughter and even a tear, but really good fun.

The coming New Year brings a promises of surprises, opportunities and excitement. For BEAM it’s a new term, with lots of studying for the students in preparation of exam time in March and April.

For Rotary it’s a new role with the coming sessions. In the past, our focus has been to help the students with preparation for exams on GED Social Studies. Lulu (full time volunteer English teacher) needs support, so our role will be to go through her lectures in advance, helping the students in understanding words, their meaning; subject arguments, their structure and interpretation. About half the students are from Chiang Mai and the other half are from Mae Hong Song, Mae Sot and the refugee camps.  

Term begins on Monday, 6 January 2020.
Two classes a week, Monday and Thursday,
Time 1.30 pm to 3 pm.
Class size is 22 students and the plan is to divide the class into two groups of 11, so to be effective this means we need two volunteers per session.
Lulu will supply subject material in advance.

We Need Your Help ……………

Our need is a minimum of four people, ideally one or two more, and at the moment we have two as Bob is away on travels.

So, come and share with the students who dream of getting an education to grow and become successful; their smiles and appreciation is a heart-warming experience.


Upcoming Holiday Party at the BCMF's B.K.Kee Patient House

Last month, I reported that we met at new 6-year-old patient at the Burma Children Medical Fund's B. K. Kee Patient House in Chiang Mai who was very shy. During her stay at the house, she became less withdrawn, as shown in the photo at right. She and her mother have now returned to their home, but she may be back for further follow up with her eye condition. We were able to spend some time with her and her mom in the sala.

We hope to have a wonderful Christmas party for the patients, their parents and the staff at BCMF B.K.Kee patient house. We would appreciate Christmas gifts with a cost of between 100 THB and 200 THB. (We want this to be fair to all concerned). People who may want to attend please let me know.

All members of CMIRC have already signed the Child Protection Policy. Visitors are required to sign the same document. It is available at on CMIRC Website. I will have copies available at the time of the party.

At this point it’s impossible to know how many patients will be at the house on 22 December. If we have more Christmas gifts than patients, we will send the extras to BCMF to give to other children they serve inside Myanmar.

The Christmas party at B.K.Kee Patient House last year -- it was wonderful!

We visit the house most Sundays, usually meeting at the Shell petrol station on Huay Kaew Road at 10:30 a.m. Usually we stay at the house until 12:30 or a bit later. Check CMIRC Calendar for confirmation. Time and days may change depending on the requirements of the B.K.Kee House.

If you want to make a financial donation to support the B.K.Kee House please contact for details.

Mae Tao Clinic in December

Introduction for New Readers:

The Mae Tao Clinic with its Child Protection Department and Child Development Center is the oldest project of Chiang Mai International Rotary Club. Those interested in the history are invited to read past bulletins and the running story on our website. Also, please visit Mae Tao Clinic’s website 

November was a time for planning

On the 21st of November, we had a brainstorming lunch in Chiang Mai for those interested in supporting the Mae Tao Clinic. People who care about the clinic, not just Rotarians, gathered to discuss possible ways we could better support the Mae Tao Clinic. Knowing that the Mae Tao Clinic’s needs are constantly changing and that often their donors earmark money for particular departments or projects, CMIRC always consults with MTC prior to making any commitment.

On 27 November we met with MTC staff to discuss our ideas, most of which were accepted. Highlights include:

  • We will continue to conduct awareness tours.
  • Depending on demand, some awareness tours will be expanded to awareness and cultural exchange tours (the first is described in February Awareness/Exchange Week, below).
  • Acceptable behavior and dress code standards with be provided to all future attendees of our tours.
  • CMIRC & MTC will continue to explore Rotary Global Grant opportunities. Current thinking is for a Global Grant focused on training conducted by the Child Protection Department emphasizing safety from human trafficking and other forms of abuse.
  • We will help MTC find commercial sponsors.
  • We would like to set up a scholarship fund for CDC graduates.
  • We plan one Fundraising Event, the proceeds of which would be dedicated to operational expenses not normally eligible for Rotary Global Grants such as Teacher Stipends
  • We will continue to support MTC fundraising efforts. See 30 Years ++ below
  • And, we will encourage our fellow Rotarians and other friends to participate in Facebook and other multi-media efforts to support MTC.

Gentle Reader: DO NOT BE AFRAID! While this is indeed a tall order, it is doable. All I ask is for support the of the MTC in the way(s) which make sense to you! Together we can make a real difference in the lives of the children supported by MTC!

Happy New Year: The next tour is scheduled to leave Chiang Mai on 1 January 2020. We set this date to be able to accommodate a group of Rotarians from the Netherlands. The van to and from Mae Sot is fully booked. However, Rotarians and others are welcome to meet us in Mae Sot. Please let me know so I can make reservations and other plans.

February Awareness/Exchange Week: We will combine our customary tour with an English Language Cultural Exchange with the 11th grade, 12th grade and Pre-GED students at the MTC Child Development Center. The tentative schedule is:

  • Monday, 10 February: Travel to Mae Sot
  • Tuesday, 11 February morning: Tour Old Campus of MTC and Child Development Center
  • Tuesday, 11 February afternoon: English Language Cultural Language Exchange at CDC
  • Wednesday, 12 February morning: Tour New Campus of MTC
  • Wednesday, 12 February afternoon: English Language Cultural Language Exchange at CDC
  • Thursday, 13 February morning: Visit other learning centers and/or Global Alms
  • Thursday, 13 February afternoon: English Language Cultural Exchange at CDC
  • Friday, 14 February: Visit other organizations?
  • Friday, 14 February: Return to starting point (Chiang Mai or other location).

Please let me know as soon as possible if you wish to participate, and please send specific questions as soon as possible. The staff of CDC will be re-arranging their schedules to accommodate the English Language Cultural Exchange.

30 Years ++ The MTC 30TH Anniversary book is now available for a nominal donation of only 800 THB. (cover shown, left) A preview is available at I will take pre-paid orders in Chiang Mai and deliver them 4 January when I return from the next tour.

The Mae Tao Clinic supports Burmese migrants and citizens through health care, training, child protection and education. Everyone is invited and encouraged to support this marvelous organization!


“Rotary Connects the World” What a marvelous theme! Connections really matter, especially when we are trying to find ways to improve CHILD SAFETY, HEALTH AND EDUCATION. We are half way through Rotary Year 2019 – 2020 so I would like to take a moment and review a few connections that resulted from our reaching out. Before I even start there are three things I need to say:

1. When I first came to Rotary, my dear friend Charter Member Laurence O’Keeffe told me “A Rotarian will do just about anything (good) that you want, if you ask". So, I ask you: Please think about connections for CMIRC that you may be able to develop or improve.

2. Throughout this article I will make more requests. They are things you may be able to do; they won’t cost much (if any) money and they will make a difference in the lives of the children we serve.

3. Much credit for successful connections goes to Rotarian Nancy Lindley; especially for her excellent work on our bulletin!

We have a great connection with Nel de Betue and her team in Melbourne. The ladies make the Trekker Teddies knitted toys that we have so successfully given to needy children in Northern Thailand and Myanmar. One of the challenges is transporting the Trekker Teddies to Northern Thailand. Here is the ask: If you are flying from Australia to Thailand please consider bringing a suitcase full of trekkers for us to distribute.

One amazing connection we have is with the Rotary Club of Aireborough (U.K.) and the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin. Roger and Carol Ward are members of the RC of Aireborough and spend their winters with the RC of Royal Hua Hin. Recently Carol contacted Nel de Blue and received the pattern for knitting the Trekker Teddies. She had already set up a “Knit and Natter” and they were making things for children. We met in Chiang Mai on Sunday morning and by noon the first of their dolls had been delivered to the Burma Children Medical Fund's B. K. Kee Patient House in Chiang Mai.

Now Carol and Roger are introducing me to a NGO that supports Hilltribe children in Southern Thailand. Will that be a connection I can use in my role as Thailand Coordinator for the Rotary Action Group Against Slavery? I ask that every reader of this article check out the RAGAS website. I’m new at this, but can assure you that RAGAS may well be a great reason to join Rotary or remain in Rotary. More on Thailand and our Rotary efforts to combat slavery in the coming months.

Not long ago I received an email from a young lady who is in university studying medicine. She is interested in volunteering at the Mae Tao Clinic. The connection came from this bulletin! We are now connected with a wonderful organization called Not Just Tourists. I ask that you check them out. You may be able to bring a suitcase full of medical supplies that we can pass on to the Mae Tao Clinic. Mae Tao Clinic cannot accept supplies that have expired or are in containers with broken seals. CMIRC has projects at both the Burma Children’s Medical Fund and the Mae Tao Clinic so it’s easy for us to accept your suitcase and pass it on the people who are in most need. I ask you to accept our appreciation for your help.

Remember our 2019-2020 Theme! Rotary Connects The World! I ask you to go make a connection that will do good in the world.

Meanwhile, from the Other Side of the World

This seems relevant given the heated politics going on now in the U.S. and the U.K.  How do Rotary clubs there handle it?

Clubs: The Body Politic

From the April 2016 issue of The Rotarian by Nancy Shepherdson 

Rotary clubs are catnip to people running for public office: Rotarians are involved in their communities, civic-minded, and engaged in public improvement. Especially in an election year, clubs are likely to receive calls from candidates in search of a receptive audience.

How a club responds to these requests is completely up to the club itself. For many, it depends on experience with politicians and the preferences of the club officers. Rotary International requires only that clubs not endorse candidates or take sides on public issues.

But the role of politics in Rotary has been debated since the organization’s earliest years. At the 1916 Rotary Convention, R.B. Campbell of Wichita, Kan., opined on how involved clubs should be in political (“civic”) affairs: “I believe that politics should be brought into the meetings,” he said. “We are a business organization, and it is to our interest to see that the government of our city and state is run properly.”

Samuel Botsford of Buffalo, N.Y., took the opposing view: “Rotary clubs have no business in politics.” Politics, he said, was about personality rather than facts, and therefore should not be brought into clubs.

Eventually, it was decided that clubs should educate their members on local political issues and that individual members should do with the information as they saw fit. One hundred years later, that continues to be Rotary’s position on the place of politics in clubs.

Given that freedom, some clubs have embraced a role in local politics. In 2014, Alan Burns, president of the Rotary Club of Cape Charles, Va., saw a chance to provide a service to the community and raise Rotary’s profile at the same time by hosting a candidates forum. Local organizations that had held such gatherings were no longer stepping up, so he asked the members of his club to put on the forum as a community service project. They agreed. “We wanted to be able to educate the community about the candidates,” says Wayne Bell, who organized and moderated the event.

The key to success, says Bell, was the establishment of a set of ground rules. The candidates were expected to answer screened questions from the audience, to respect time limits, and, most crucially, to be respectful of one another. Nearly 100 community members showed up to hear the candidates speak, he says. “It was very successful. We’ll do it again this election year.”

Taking a different approach, the Rotary Club of Bangor, Maine, decided to devote a series of club meetings in fall 2014 to question-and-answer sessions with candidates for major political offices in the state. “We asked every candidate in our area, regardless of their prospect of winning,” says Susan Chaar, speaker coordinator for the club. Club leaders prepared a single set of questions for all the candidates in each race on issues such as Medicaid expansion, national security, and open primaries. Members of the audience also submitted questions.

One of the region’s incumbent politicians who had previously visited the club regularly, Chaar says, decided against it in 2014 when she learned she would have to answer specific questions and not simply give a speech. “With everyone who came, it was a positive experience, very educational, because we

tried very hard to be fair,” says Chaar. “It was well-received by our members, and we got to know the candidates’ views on specific issues.”

The Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset, Maui, is an hour’s drive from the seat of county government and a plane ride away from Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, on the island of Oahu. The club is open to visits from any elected official or candidate, anytime. “We want to know what’s going on,” says Jenelle Van Eynde, a charter member of the club. “If they want to come, we want them. Some of our largest audiences have been for elected officials.”

The club also got a lot of recognition for bringing the mayor and his opponent to a town hall-style meeting about a month before the election. “We felt we were lucky to get them both as speakers,” Van Eynde says. “We always try to get all sides. We think our club meetings are a healthy place for dialogue.”

Many clubs invite elected officials to become members and believe they benefit from having these officials easily accessible. Other clubs, such as the Rotary Club of Barrington Breakfast, Ill., bestow honorary memberships on local politicians.

Still, your mother warned you against talking politics in polite company for a reason. As Rotary attracts a more diverse membership, people on all points of the political spectrum are likely to be at your club. That can be a problem if politicians, making assumptions that Rotarians all share a certain political leaning, go on the attack against their opponents. An incident of that sort, involving a prominent elected official, occurred at my own club several years ago, embarrassing the members who supported that politician and outraging the rest.

My club responded by barring political speakers, incumbent or not, during the year before their elections, a solution that has removed politics from the club but perhaps also robbed it of a certain sense of civic involvement.

The Rotary Club of Greater Rochester, Minn., devised a subtler approach. Its policy, posted on the club’s website, allows officeholders to give presentations at meetings on preapproved informational topics related to their office. One candidate or incumbent per meeting is also allowed to give a five-minute stump speech. The policy also states that no political activity is permitted in the 90 days leading up to an election.

“We have a lot of requests during election season from political speakers, and we wanted to be ‘fair to all concerned,’” notes member Bill Brueck. “This policy gives us more control over the number of requests and the content. We want to avoid devoting a whole program to something that is political and not informational.”

Instead of listening to politicians, your club could just make money off them – and have fun doing it. The Rotary Club of Salem, Ind., finds that they are an irresistible attraction at its dunk tank at the county fair. “People stand in line to dunk the mayor, sheriff, councilmen, and other candidates and elected officials,” says John Mead, who helps organize the annual event at the Washington County Fair. The club makes about $2,000 every time – and now it’s rebuilding the dunk tank and putting it on wheels. Is any politician safe this year?

Nancy Shepherdson is a freelance writer and a member of the Rotary Club of Lake Zurich, Ill.


Club Partnerships via Sister Club/Twin Club Agreement

Having sister club/twin club arrangements is within the scope of International Service where such initiatives can create better understanding and goodwill through joint activities and community projects.

Twin clubs, or sister clubs, are two clubs from different countries that form a long-term relationship to promote international understanding and goodwill and carry out service projects in their communities. When looking for a partner, consider clubs that:

  • Share similar interests, challenges or history
  • You’ve worked with in the past
  • Are located in a place that matches your club’s service interests
  • Speak a common language

Clubs need to know their objectives for a sister/twin club agreement to avoid possible misunderstanding later.

Clubs intending to have a sister/twin club should send their club profile to each other so that an assessment of the suitability of the clubs can be done.

If the initial assessment indicates a possible match, the next logical step is to make an effort to arrange for a face-to-face meeting.

After the meeting, each club should be able to have a feel if it is worth pursuing the sister/twin club agreement.

Unless the intended matched clubs already have established prior engagements, it is advised that a joint project should be taken up so that members from the respective Rotary clubs can get know each other before proceeding with any proposal for a sister/twin club agreement.

Matched sister/twin clubs must also be willing to reciprocate project funding such that funding for a joint project is not only (or always) provided by one club while the other club is only (or always) on the receiving end.


December is Rotary International Disease Prevention & Treatment Month

The work of Rotary begins in the community, and every community has its own unique needs and concerns. The Rotary Foundation has focused its efforts in six key areas to maximize our impact. These areas encompass some of the world’s most critical and widespread humanitarian needs, and we have a proven record of success in addressing them. One of them is Disease Prevention and Treatment.

Rotary's top priority is the eradication of polio, but our members take on far greater responsibilities to fight disease. We set up health camps and training facilities in undeveloped countries and in communities struggling with HIV/AIDS and malaria. We design and build the infrastructure for doctors, nurses, governments, and partners to reach the one in six people in the world who can't afford to pay for health care.

Disease prevention and treatment takes on many forms, from supporting studies to helping immunize people to improving drinking water and the sanitation infrastructure. The world relies on Rotary to tackle these global challenges, and to set an example for others to follow.

Here are some suggestions on how Rotary clubs, Districts and our service partners can address these needs both locally and internationally:

  • Support health education programs that explain how diseases are spread and promote ways to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Help immunize people against infectious diseases.
  • Support continuing education and training for health workers through scholarships, and public recognition.
  • Improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care in underserved areas.
  • Improve sanitation facilities by providing toilets and latrines that flush into a sewer or safe enclosure.
  • Promote good hygiene habits through education. Proper hand washing with soap and water can reduce diarrhea cases by up to 35 percent.
  • Develop or support programs that provide immunizations and antibiotics. Measles, malaria, pneumonia, AIDS, and diarrheal diseases are the leading causes of death in children under five.

What You May Have Missed In November

The regular every Sunday morning visits by club members to the patients and their families at the BCMF B.K. Kee Patient House here in Chiang Mai.

Each Monday, Tuesday and Friday, club members participated in the English Language Cultural Club at the BEAM Educational Foundation.

On the first and third Fridays of the month and the fourth Saturday, CMIRC members represented our club at the Chiang Mai Expats Club meetings where the Beetles Mania event was promoted and full Owl Banks were exchanged for empty Change for Children Owl Banks.

Tuesday, November 5,  we had our regular club meeting at the Royal Peninsula Hotel. Programs were presented by Avis Rideout on “Agape Home (Nikki's Place)” and by Dr. Barry Lycka on “What I discovered by Surviving Death”

Tuesday, November 19, was the annual visit by the District Governor Kamolsak Visitsakulchai and his wife Rtn. Wanthanee. Photos from Citylife. Also we inducted new members Moshe and Sally.

Below, in left photo, Moshe is at right, with his back to the camera receiving congratulations from the District Governor Kamolsak Visitsakulchai and his wife Rtn. Wanthanee. At right, Rtn. Wanthanee helps Sally with her new Rotary pin. 

Friday, November 22, we had our last Friday in the month “Let’s Talk Rotary” get together at the Daifa Café. Note, this was moved up one week due to the Beatles Mania Fundraiser on the last Friday of the month.

Saturday, November 23 CMIRC had tables at the City Life Garden Fair where we promoted our club and also offered tickets for the Beatles Mania Fundraiser event. Photos from City Life. 

Right, P. John congratulates top raffle prize winner Jume while Raffle Queen Sally looks on.

Sunday, November 24, members of CMIRC and PYU Rotaract participated in RC of Chiang Mai North's Bully Bowl fundraiser at Kad Suan Kaew.

Below, CMIRC and Rotaract members celebrate with members of CM Rotary Club North.


Tuesday, November 26, there was the monthly CMIRC Board meeting at the Royal Peninsula Hotel.

Friday, November 29, The Fab Four came to town in their Yellow Submarine for the CMIRC Beetles Mania Fundraiser at Old Chiang Mai. Photos from Citylife.

Saturday, November 30, Dylan and Viki Thomason hosted a sorting party at their home for Rotarians, family and friends of the Winter Clothing Appeal.


Save the Dates: December & Beyond

For a complete and up-to-date list of events, check our online calendar.

Here are just a few of the important dates for members of Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC). These are opportunities to meet some of us and to meet other Rotarians from around the world!

Every Sunday at 10:30 am, regular visit by club members to Burma Children Medical Fund's  (BCMF) B. K. Kee Patient House. Interested? Contact Rotarian Maliwan.

10 December 2019 - Social Night, 7 pm at Duke's Restaurant at Maya Mall. Invite your family and potential members to come learn about community service opportunities in Northern Thailand.  Club supplies the pizza, you supply your beverages.  

11 - 15 December 2019 Access to Justice Week, Chiang Mai see
14 – 15 December 2019 – District 3360 Intercity Meeting, Chiang Khong.
17 December 2019 - Regular club meeting, 7 pm at the Royal Peninsula Hotel. The program will be presented by Bob Ashley on "Clean Water Projects". Gather at 5:45 pm for fellowship and an optional dinner; order from the menu of Thai food at the hotel.
1 – 3 January 2019 - Tour of Mae Tao Clinic contact Jerry Nelson
9 January – 19 January 2020  Rotary Guided Tour of Cambodia 
30 January – 09 February 2020  Rotary Guided Tour of Cambodia

10 – 14 February 2020 – Extended Tour of Mae Tao Clinic with English Language Cultural Exchange opportunities contact Jerry Nelson

22  February 2020 – CMIRC Duck Race & 6th Birthday contact Sally Myatt
5 – 6 March 2019 - Tour of Mae Tao Clinic contact Jerry Nelson
14 – 15 March 2020 District 3360 Conference, Lampang
31 March 2020 - CMIRC Social Meeting contact Colin Jarvis
4 – 5 June 2019 - Tour of Mae Tao Clinic contact Jerry Nelson
06 – 10 June 2020 - Rotary International Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
27 June 2020 - District Governor's Salute, Chiang Rai.
30 June 2020 - CMIRC Social Meeting/Changing of the Guard Party contact Colin Jarvis
12 – 16 June 2021 - Rotary International Convention, Taipei, Taiwan.
4 – 8 June 2022 - Rotary International Convention, Houston, Texas, USA

Thank You to Our Sponsors
 Rotary is not free; we give our hearts, we give our time and to some extent we give our money. Most of our heart, most of our time and most of our money goes to support our children’s projects. Yet we have operational expenses, for example, our website with its powerful tools such as this bulletin. We ask that you consider our sponsors for your needs.
Pern's Restaurant, a Mediterranean restaurant on Huey Kaew Road, near Central Kad Suan Kaew mall, is located across from the Shell Petrol station. Brian Pern and his friendly staff (including the legendary Mickey) create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for diners to enjoy steaks, seafood, chicken, pasta and vegetarian offerings. There are nightly specials and half-price house wine on Wednesdays. Most Wednesday and Sunday evenings you can enjoy smooth jazz while dining. First time diners receive a free glass of house wine when they reserve through Pern's website. Book here. 

Fashion King is the best tailor in Chiang Mai. They have been in the same shop for over 12 years and receive the highest ratings from Trip Advisor and others. They feature authentic craftsmanship, superior materials and a great value! Their success is measured in customer satisfaction. The owners, Frank and Vanita will personally guide you through the entire process: design, material selection, fitting and delivery. CMIRC members -- this is the place to order a custom-made CMIRC dress-shirt or have a CMIRC emblem embroidered on your casual polo shirt. Frank and Vanita are the sponsors of the famous Chiang Mai fundraising event called “Bollywood Night”. They do a lot to give back to their community, helping the underprivileged in and around Chiang Mai.
Royal Peninsula Hotel is an excellent international standard hotel located in the heart of Chiang Mai. They have 150 guest rooms with all amenities including free wi-fi. There is ample onsite, covered parking. The outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi are available to guests. There is both an indoor restaurant, featuring Thai cuisine and outdoor beer garden next to the swimming pool. The Royal Peninsula Hotel has two conference and banquet rooms, well decorated, with good acoustics. The staff at Royal Peninsula are very accommodating. The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club meets at the Royal Peninsula at 7:00 PM on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, with many members and guests gathering about an hour before the meeting in the hotel's restaurant for fellowship and an optional meal, ordering from the restaurant's menu of reasonably-priced Thai food.
Our sponsors donate money that supports our operational expenses, freeing funds for the projects we love. Please give them your support.