100 years Rotary Club of Beijing


On 20 April 2024 we will celebrate 100 years Rotary Club of Beijing with a sumptuous dinner.
On August 30, 1924, Admiral Tsai Ting Kai, the then Head of Chinese Customs, was appointed the inaugural President of the Rotary Club of Beijing alongside 22 founding members.
Our Club was the 3rd Rotary Club in China following  Shanghai in 1919 and Tianjin in 1923.
Throughout the years the Rotary Club of Beijing has been renowned for its commitment to charitable projects, a mission we continue to champion with pride.

To mark 100 years Rotary Club of Beijing we are organizing a celebratory dinner on 20 April 2024 in the Ballroom of the Kempinski Hotel Beijing. The evening will feature a welcoming reception followed by a  5-course dinner with wines, great entertainment, dancing, raffle prizes and a Silent Auction.
If interested, contact me.

Revised history of 100 years Rotary Club of Beijing

I had already published an earlier version of the history of our club in this post.
As requested I made a new revised history article with the help of my unique and exhaustive collection of documents.

Here it is: 240220 RCBhistory

I had to omit a lot of details as not to make the document too long. Many names of contributors to the success of our club could not be mentioned.
It was also not possible to give an overview of the so many projects the club has carried out over the years. I only mention The Gift of Life. One of our present key projects is about hypospadias. See earlier posts about his very serious problem affecting some young boys.
In late 2023 some 120 surgeries were done.
If I find the time I could make a study only about the projects we did over past decades. Believe me. there are so many…

The magic of drones

Our monthly dinner meeting

During the Rotary Club of Beijing dinner on 27 February 2024 we could watch the magic of drones. Normally we have lunch meetings.
We welcomed Claire Han who works at EFYI, a global leader of intelligent industrial UAVs. With core technology in UAV intelligent control, swarm control system, EFYI offers products and system solutions in the field of UAV intelligent control system, drone formation show, intelligent UAV logistics, and UAV application system customization etc.

EFYI holds a World Record: “26 Min 19 Sec! UAVs Performance of EFYI Group Holds Guinness World Record”. A new record for the Longest Animation Performed by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
Claire gave us a drone demonstration show.
Robbin Bishoen is World UAV Federation Consultant (Netherlands)(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).

Claire and later Robin gave us an interesting insight in the magic of drones. They organize those massive drone shows…

The drone show

See here on Vimeo a glimpse of the show. It was possible because it was indoors, any outside show needs all the necessary approvals.
It was a fun evening, well attended. We also welcomes a Rotarian from the Netherlands.
Food of Kempinski was nice as usual.

Sherry Liu speaking at Beijing Rotary lunch

Kempinski Hotel weekly lunch

On 9 August 2022 we welcomed Sherry Liu speaking at Beijing Rotary lunch.
Sherry Liu was once a prominent lawyer in Arizona, later an executive of Motorola, China. She was named  one of the best solicitors in 2004, graced the cover of American Lawyers Magazine, interviewed by BBC and CNN. At height of her successful career as a top executive at Motorola a disease diagnosis changed her life‘s trajectory, she soon found herself on the journey of self-discovery propelled by the innate desire to heal herself. Today she is a poet, painter and spiritual teacher. Ms. Liu brought some of her original paintings and some books to our meeting.

More about our speaker: Sherry Liu bio2022

See here the pics of our well-attended meeting, the paintings and books of Ms. Liu and the food.
Once more I acted as Sergeant-at-Arms and sold some of the Rotaract mugs, see below.

Rotaract Club of Beijing West and the history of Rotaract

I still miss the Club that at one point was so vibrant and successful. Lynn, a kind Rotaractor and former secretary of the Club, kept the leftover goodies and was so kind to send it all to my office. Included was the banner and many of the mugs they had made.

But who from our members knows the meaning of “Rotaract 50 years: 1968-2018”?
See here: “1968: Expanding our reach with Rotaract

The idea for Rotaract emerged in the mid-1960s, building on the success of Interact, Rotary’s service program for young people, which was founded in 1962.
Rotary members were looking for a way to promote Rotary to college students and other young adults who were over the Interact age limit. The answer was Rotaract: a service program for men and women ages 17-25 that would be sponsored by local Rotary clubs. (The age requirement later changed.)
The idea became reality in January 1968 when Rotary approved the Rotaract proposal. Members of the Rotary Club of Charlotte-North, North Carolina, USA, had worked with local university students, and they seized the opportunity to sponsor a Rotaract club. The first Rotaract club was certified by Rotary on 13 March 1968 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
In the weeks that followed, more Rotaract clubs were started in the United States, Mexico, Italy, and India. About a year later, Rotaract boasted more than 200 clubs in over 25 countries and geographic areas.

Members-only lunch

On 2 August we had our members-only lunch at Kempinski Hotel, to inform our members about the Board Meeting that was held the day before.

Interesting talk and good food. Kevin trying to explain financial stuff. Complicated for an engineer like me.

Looking back Beijing Rotary 2018 (2)

2017-2018 Rotary China Conference

Looking back Beijing Rotary (2) focuses on a full day: 10 March 2018, that started in the Four Seasons Hotel with the China Conference.

The slides show our impressive past when we had so many active clubs, Rotary, Rotaract and Interact. Check the pictures to discover the situation that time and the big turnout.
It’s a piece of history…
Our president was Russell Brown.
You will see also in the pictures: Frank Yih, Ricard Zi, Mike Ma, Gary Huang, among others.
Of the clubs you find in the slides, this is as far as I know the present situation (officially active):

Rotary Clubs:
Rotary Club of Beijing
Rotary Club of Beijing East
Rotary Club of Beijing Riviera

Rotaract Clubs: all terminated as for now

Interact Clubs:
Interact Club of Dulwich College
Interact Club of ISB

Rotary Red Lantern Banquet 2018

The same evening in the Four Seasons Hotel we had our ball with many of our Rotaractors.

I am not sure when we can have any of those remarkable events again, with all the restrictions (COVID, regulations, dwindling membership…).

Looking back Beijing Rotary 2018

Cleaning up my pictures

I have been busy trying to clean up and reorganize my thousands of pictures. I managed to wade through 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018. Result is a first batch of “Looking back Beijing Rotary 2018”.
The year 2018 was a super busy year for me, trips to Indianapolis USA, the shooting of the Jialing River movie, great stay in Phuket, many events, seminars, parties…
Remarkable is the amount of events with Rotary and Rotaract. Our clubs were so busy. It is a bit sad to see the pictures and noticing how many friends left Beijing.
The President of the Rotary Club of Beijing was Russell Brown, later followed by Martin Glatz.
I feel proud to have been so involved with our two Rotaract clubs who were so active.

Buffet dinner at Morel’s Restaurant

On 13 January 2018 I organized a buffet dinner with the help of Rotaract volunteers who also took care of receiving the payments.
It was called “Rotaract & Rotary Meet & Greet & Drink”, the event was very well attended by both Rotarians and Rotaractors, see the pictures that talk for themselves. Sadly many have left Beijing… Some four presidents of our club attended!

We also had the  induction of two new members (Robert Specht & David Boyle) by (then) President Russell, after a banner exchange.
More to come soon! Rotary Conference and Red Lantern Ball!