There are over 34,000 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide. The organisation started with the vision of one man—Paul P. Harris. The US attorney formed one of the world’s first service organisations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23rd February 1905. Rotary is truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had Clubs on six continents. Thailand is no exception with the 1st Rotary Club in Thailand established in 1930. In Hua Hin there are two Rotary Clubs.
The Rotary Club of Hua Hin is a Thai language Club and the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin, is an English language club with 45 members from 17 different nations. Since official Charter in 2010, the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin has installed water purification systems to provide clean drinking water for many schools. The availability of clean drinking water is often an issue, particularly in undeveloped areas. Achieving these results has been primary to the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin’s community development efforts.
The 7th Annual Installation Night Rotarians, family and friends of the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin have celebrated the most important night of the Club’s year at the Amari Hua Hin Resort and Spa on May 21st. President, Christoph Leonhard handed over the reins to incoming President Gianni Battistini and the new Board of Directors was installed. This was a night of fun and fellowship ………………………….. MORE plus pictures Meet the Newly Installed President – Gianni Battistini Incoming President, Gianni Battistini has a multinational profile. Born in Venice, Italy his family immigrated to Zurich, Switzerland when he was nine years of age. He grew up in a bi-cultural environment, Italian culture at home but an education and professional education in a German-Swiss environment. This mixture is still part of his nature; to quote Gianni;
“I feel like having two homelands, two nationalities, two mentalities in one person.” After graduating, he discovered his vocation in computer sciences and began an IT career in software development. Gianni climbed the ladder until becoming the Head of Department in a multi-national Swiss company, which meant travel to many parts of the world. He then founded his own company, specialising in information technology solutions, concentrating on the financial business of private companies. This business occupied the last ten years of his professional life. Gianni came to Thailand for the first time in 1984 then became a regular visitor. In 2006 he decided to move to Thailand after retirement. After the precision of Switzerland he relishes the uncertainties of life in Thailand. Many visitors find this aspect of ‘Thai life’ a real delight and Gianni loves it.
However some methodology was part of choosing Hua Hin as his new home place after exploring and ‘testing out’ other options in the Kingdom. Rotary membership has been on his ‘drawing board’ well before arriving in Thailand; however his demanding professional life and frequent travel precluded the necessary commitment. Moving to Hua Hin allowed Gianni the freedom to follow that inclination. Joining Rotary was one of the first things he did and with his strong financial background, Gianni soon became the Rotary Club Treasurer. As Gianni says “I felt like a Rotarian already before joining and this feeling has now been confirmed within the Club and I am devoted to the principles of Rotary.”
Gianni’s goals as President are to “continue the successful path which the Club has taken over the past 6 years, strengthen the community feeling among members and increase collaboration with other clubs, beginning with sponsor club, The Rotary Club of Hua Hin.” “Having so many different nationalities in the club makes the work challenging, as we always need to make the balance between our different native roots, working with fellows having other mentalities and coping with the constraints of living in a host country.” As for more personal goals, learning the Thai language is important. Gianni is convinced that there is no full integration in a country without lingual integration. Last but not least, he intends never to leave his new home country and to reach 100 years of age. With Gianni’s energy, commitment and determination, you wouldn’t bet against him achieving any of these aims
Becoming a Rotarian
According to Rotary policy, prospective members must hold (or be retired from) a professional, proprietary, executive, managerial, or community position; have demonstrated a commitment to service through personal involvement; be able to meet the club’s weekly attendance or community project-participation requirements, and live or work within the vicinity of the club or surrounding area. New Members are always welcome, but it’s not just a matter of completing an application form.
Typically Rotarians will encourage someone they believe will be able to meet the criteria to attend a Rotary function, a meeting and become involved in a community project as a visitor. If the connection becomes a commitment, then Membership may follow. If you, like President Gianni Battistini, have that ‘Rotary feeling’, visit the Club website and arrange to be a visitor. The friendships you make may last a lifetime. For more information: www.rotaryroyalhuahin.org www.rotary.org