Due to government regulations, Rotary Clubs in China, such as our club in Beijing, are not allowed to have Mainland passport holders as members. As a result, recruiting and keeping members is pretty difficult as potential members must be “of good standing” in the community, in other words, be of a certain level. Most expats are here for a short period, usually like five years. Long-term residents are rather few. Worse, recently we have seen an even larger turnover with people leaving because of the difficulty to have a visa/work permit, for the pollution, because of retirment or simply because they do not feel like staying longer.
So, pretty sad to see always good friends leaving. We had a farewell Peking Duck for our always-smiling Swedish lady. We will miss her, as many others.
New members join and finally I can take some rest from my near-permanent role as Sergeant-at-Arms, with James taking over. Now I can enjoy my lunch and put money in the Happy Box as everybody!
James, stick to your job for a while!