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    Rotary This Month (RTM) - Monthly eBulletin of RI District 3310

    My Rotary Moment

    CP Chew Ban Seng

    There is a saying, “Out of adversity arises a giant in us.” This cannot be truer for me than the sum total of my experiences in Rotary.

    Although I was inducted into Rotary Club of Changi on 2 January 1990 (on my birthday) at OCBC Executive Club, I played a relatively low key, attending regular weekly meetings which were then held at Hotel Equatorial. The initial turning point came when I became International Service Director in RY 1994-1995. After having declined the offer by PP David Chung twice earlier, I finally relented and agreed to join his Board. I must be honest and state that at that time, I wanted to “just go through the motions and let the year pass by quickly”. I could never have imagined the series of events that took place which changed my life in the Rotary movement forever!

    My first task as International Service Director was to receive 14 youth exchange students from Japan. They were mostly children of Rotarians from our Sister Club, Rotary Club of Fukaya. We all know that it is never easy to find Singapore hosts - but with PP David’s relentless efforts, we managed to get all our guests proper hosts. By this example, PP David convinced me to shift gears even when facing uphill challenges. A further example of his quiet leadership was the setting up of the reflexology footpath in Singapore Botanic Gardens. Despite opposition, he persevered and the footpath is being well-used today.

    One of my most memorable moments was when the late CP Tan Leong Teck, PP Michael Foo, PP Hoe Boon Huat and I took on the leadership mantle of the Rotary Club of Changi. Leading a Rotary Club is always a challenge but with our weight behind then President David Chung, we managed to get the club up and running under the Rotary theme of “Be A Friend.” Together, we chartered the Rotary Club of Bukit Timah which became the first club in District 3310 where females were in the majority an achievement of which we were very proud. We had 50 charter members.

    In 1995, we helped bring together “International Night 1995” which was held during World Understanding and Peace Month. Many new and old friends came together from the region to help us celebrate this important occasion and its success was recognized when the Rotary Club of Changi received a commendation under RI Significant Award from PDG Ben Chng.

    My association with RYLA today began when the Rotary Club of Kulai invited me to speak on “Financial Literacy” when they hosted RYLA in Kulai. I was so struck by the barriers that were broken and the new friendships made that since then, I have been involved in nearly every RYLA organized; cumulating with the ‘prototype’ Advanced RYLA (‘youth for youth, by youth’) and International RYLA which was a recent development. Advanced RYLA has certainly put District 3310 on the Rotary map as we have received many interested enquiries.

    Thus my Rotary Moment is a culmination of my positive experiences in Rotary and even then, when the chips were down, I took these lesser times to learn valuable lessons.

    If I were asked to leave a legacy for Rotary, this is what I would like to say, “When you help other people to grow, you are also growing with them.” As a firm believer in the development of human potential, I shall continue my journey in Rotary with learning; seeing new possibilities and new beginnings each day so that we can continue to bring hope to the world and communities at large.

    Past offices held:-
    Vice President, Rotary Club of Changi, RY 1995-1996
    President, Rotary Club of Bukit Timah, RY 1999-2000
    Charter President, Rotary E-Club of 3310, RY 2004-2005
    District Internet Communication Coordinator, RY 2000-2001
    Vice-Chair, District Club Extension Committee, RY 2001-2002
    Chair, District Vocational Service Committee, RY 2007-2008, RY 2009-2010, RY 2010-2011
    Assistant Governor, Group 8, District 3310, RY 2011-2012
    Chair, District Preserve Planet Earth Committee, RY 2011-2012

    Last edited by bschew; 10-02-2012 at 11:50 AM.


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