President's Message July 2021
July 2021
President Phil Lawrence July Presidential Message.
No one would have believed that in the first quarter of 2020, events unfolding at the time would so dramatically affect our lives and continue to do so well into 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The impact on Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin has seen many of our global members unable to return to Thailand and how we do our business has had to change.  We now hold virtual meetings instead of face-to-face and the social events that underpin our club have been severely restricted.
Our Rotary District 3330 has been unable to continue business as normal with the cancellation of District Conferences, District Training and President Elect Training for the last two years and virtual meetings on LINE App and zoom have become the new world order.
I appreciate that many of our members feel uncomfortable continuing our club business in this way, however; it is important to try and maintain connectivity with members wherever they are in the world and this is something I wish to build on during my tenure as President of the club.
We have witnessed the devastation of the local infrastructure in Hua Hin and this has made our fund raising even more challenging, to ensure we continue to support our local projects. Immediate Past President Brian Anderson and Past President Napa have worked tirelessly to guide us through these last two years and continue the work of our Rotary Club in spite of the global and local challenges.
We have though seen successes in our two-flagship projects ‘Thai Voices: at the Phetchaburi Panyanukul School where we have witnessed the first National document here in Thailand for the assessment of the Thai Core Curriculum eight subjects 2021, to be approved by the Ministry of Education. Also establishing a new website now that the “Thai Voices” project has gone national with 19 Panyanukul Schools.
Also, we have seen the development and official opening of the Rotary Education Centre, Technology Enhanced Learning for Knowledge classroom at the Anuban Hua Hin Nongkhon School with phase 4 of the project soon to be competed.
Both of these projects have been under the leadership of Rotarian Dr Keith Humphreys.
Our annual golf tournament which has been the backbone of our fundraising for the last 11 years appeared under threat through Covid-19, however the tenacity of the fundraising team led by Vice President Michel Zuber raised an amazing 100,000,004 Thai Bhat which was way above our expectations.
On my retirement from life in fire and public protection both in the British fire service and service in the Middle East in 2017, my one concern was finding enough to do to occupy myself. Having come from a charity conscious UK Fire Service, the Rotary Club seemed an excellent choice in trying to give something back to my new adopted country.
My life seems to have been fast tracked into life with the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin, within a month of joining I was asked to become club secretary which was very much like jumping from the Shard Building in London on a piece of elastic and not knowing how long it was.
As with my life in the Fire Service my ethos is ‘if something is worth doing then try and do it to the best of my ability’, this I have hopefully achieved during my time with the club.  I also hope I have helped inspire the development of the club in how we do things and what we give back to our communities.
I look forward to seeing the TELK classroom finally being used to its full capacity giving something back to the local community and identifying new projects our club can engage in.
More importantly I want to welcome back many of our members and friends who have not been able to return to Hua Hin since early 2020, plus new members, especially younger ones to bring a new way of thinking to our club.
I am a great believer that if something is not broken then do not fix it but modify, so that it adapts to take on the challenges of the new world order we now face. The RCRHH has like all clubs been shackled by Covid-19, my hope is to remove those shackles in a safe and controlled manner so that we can fully establish ourselves in the local community and do what we have done successfully over the last 11 years, support those in need.
I wish all our members wherever they are to stay safe, stay healthy and look forward to seeing you in the near future.
President Phil Lawrence