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Histories of Clubs of RI Presidents

Rotary Club of Dhonburi in Bangkok, Thailand

Rotary International District 3350


Home of RI President

Bhichai Rattakul, 2002-2003 (convention)


President's home page

RIP Bhichai's 2002 UN Day speech



The Rotary Club of Dhonburi

The first Rotary Club in Thailand, the Rotary Club of Bangkok, was founded on September 17, 1930 by Jim Davidson of Alberta, Canada and Prince Purachatra of Thailand. Since then, the activities of Rotary in Thailand have progressed satisfactorily.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Rotary in Thailand, His Majesty the King Bhumipol Aduldej has accepted to have the Rotary Club in Thailand under the Royal Patronage.

The Rotary Club of Bangkok has performed its activities and meetings in English language. Hence, several senior members such as HRH. Prince Pitayalarp Pritiyakorn, Phraya Sriwisanwaja, Phraya Mahaisawan, Luang Sithisiamkarn and Mr. Direk Chaiyanam, had been asked to organize another Rotary Club to conduct in Thai language. They tried for a long time before achieving the goal.

One day in March 1957, Phraya Mahaisawan hosted a dinner party at his residence to welcome his guests from aboard and invited several close friends to join the dinner. Among them was President Direk Chaiyanam, the President of the Rotary Club of Bangkok. He persued Phraya Mahaisawan to form second Rotary Club in Thailand with the belief that Rotary Club could help a lot of Thai needy people in rural area.

Phraya Mahaisawan finally agreed to take the role and gathered many friends including Mr. Bhichai Rattakul to charter the first Thai Speaking Club in Dhonburi area in 1958. At that time, there were 40 businessmen gathered together to have several rounds of meeting to set up the Rotary Club of Dhonburi and Phraya Mahaisawan had accepted to be the Charter President. As well as this, the Rotary members have voted to have weekly meeting on every Wednesday at Rattanakosin Hotel at 12.30 hrs. When the formalities had been completed, the application was sent to the Head Office of Rotary International at Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A. on May 14, 1958.

Finally, the Rotary International approved the Charter of the Rotary Club of Dhonburi on June 25, 1958 by Clifford A. Randall, Rotary International President, under District 330 RI.

On September 6, 1958, the Charter Ceremony was held. Mr. Ny Tihon, the District Governor District 330 RI, presented Charter Certificate to Charter President Phraya Mahaisawan and the celebration was also held on the same day.
Since then, the Rotary Club of Dhonburi has successfully carried out activities adhering to the idea of Rotary in the Four Avenues of Service. Ever since, the Rotary Club of Dhonburi have 8 District Governors, under District 330, 335, 3350 RI as shown below:-

DG. Luang Sithisiamkarn, District 330 RI., RY. 1959 – 1960
DG. Bhichai Rattakul, District 330 RI., RY. 1963 - 1964
DG. Dr.Rith Boozayaangool, District 330 RI., RY. 1970 – 1971
DG. DR.Lert Srichandra, District 330 RI., RY. 1978 – 1979
DG. Liewlalong Bunnag, District 335 RI., RY. 1984 - 1985
DG. Kovit Suvanasingha, District 3350 RI., RY. 1995 – 1996
DG. Dr.Thongpoon Watanavit, District 3350 RI., RY. 1997 – 1998
DG. Vuttichai Wanglee, District 3350 RI., RY. 1999 – 2000

To this date, the Rotary Club of Dhonburi has supported and encouraged its numbers to contribute to the Rotary Foundation every year. Most of its numbers have donated to support both annual program fund and designated fund for supporting matching grant project as below.

- There are a total of 231 rotarians, spouses and family members that have donated
as Paul Harris Fellow amounting to USD 385,000.-
- There are 6 benefactors and 7 major donors who have donated amounting to
USD 150,000.-

However, the charter member of the club, Bhichai Rattakul, had served Rotary International in various positions and occasions, here are some important roles, such as :-

1966 – 2009 : RI President’s Representative for District Conference in 52 Districts
1985 – 1986 : Trustee, The Rotary Foundation, RI.
1991 – 1992 : Chairman, Executive Committee, RI.
1992 – 1994 : Chairman, Taipei Convention Committee, RI.
2001 – 2002 : President – Elect, RI.
2002 – 2003 : President, RI.
2007 : Chairman, The Rotary Foundation, RI.

Besides the above, he also took many important positions and roles in Rotary Foundation and Rotary International.

Currently, the Rotary Club of Dhonburi has 100 members, and has chartered and co-chartered a total of 29 Rotary Clubs throughout Thailand in the past 51 years.

Amongst of this 100 members, two senior members have attended 45 years of 100 percent meeting attendant. To mark the club’s presence, Rotary Club of Dhonburi had celebrated its 50th anniversary on May 14, 2008 at Montien Riverside Hotel. We, Rotarians are proud to make contributions to the Rotary World and we have serviced with pride for the last 51 years and looking for furthermore in the forever future.

At present, the Rotary Club of Dhonburi has a weekly meeting on Wednesday at 12.30 pm
in Narai Hotel, Silom Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Provided by PANNEE PEERASTHIEN, RC of Dhonburi. Thanks to Greg Barlow, and posted by Jack Selway
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