Beijing Rotary in June

Kempinski Hotel 1 June

Beijing Rotary in June started on 1 June with a lunch for members and potential members only, to discuss internal issues.
Rotary 2021-22 President Didier opened the meeting by welcoming the club guests and introduced his team of 2021-22. In presenting his vision and course of action, he first emphasized diversity as the guiding principle in growing the club membership. He further stressed Service as an integral part of the Rotary spirit and the driving force for achieving that spirit: Fellowship and Programs. To put them in order it is Fellowship, Service, and Engagement.

Didier also referred to the briefing he organized in his residence on 23 May (see the pics) for present and future board members and committee chairs.

Several of the directors and chairs briefed us about their activities.

Encuentro dinner 8 June

I have been a few times to Encuentro, the new place replacing Red Rose, see

The Rotary Club of Beijing has held several dinners there to the general satisfaction, see also this post:

Iris Bula, a friend of Rotary who attended several of our meetings is the new chef! She prepared for us an excellent buffet all included with wine, beers and other drinks. We had a large private room, very convenient.

Our speaker was John Sze Ming Khor, the President of the Shanghai Rotary Club Lujiazui who is on a visit to Beijing. He talked to us about the start of his Education company after being a volunteer teacher and exploring in particular the poor rural areas. He is the founder and CEO of KERU – Shanghai, a social enterprise that provides consulting services to companies in the social sector and offers educational experiences for ambitious student leaders.
He has an impressive background both professionally and for community service.
More about his company:

Rtn Piper thanked the speaker for his well-received talk.

Foundation Project Update – Hypospadias

From April 7th to 9th, the Rotary/Hebei Children’s medical van made the trips to Xingtai, Neiqiu, and Shahe counties, to provide free checkups to rural children, and training to the county doctors. This was the first such medical mission since the lockdown in Shijiazhuang late last year and the travel restrictions imposed after the lockdown. This Rotary/Hebei Children outreach program transports medical experts to the rural counties, from where to reach the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang often involves all day journeys and lost work and wages for the rural families.

With the medical mission resuming, the Shijiazhuang urology experts were able to examine and provide diagnosis to the rural children again. In recent months, 10 Hypospadias surgeries from the current grant have been performed. The pandemic has caused delays and sometimes stoppage to the grant surgeries.
About Hypospadias:

Rotary Beijing discussed mental health

Kempinski Hotel 18 May 2021

Rotary Beijing discussed mental health during their lunch thanks to Enoch Li.
Enoch was our very interesting speaker on the topic of Mental Health, now gaining a lot of attention by Rotary International and the Chinese government. This is a much misunderstood subject. Enoch corrected the wrong understanding of mental issues, illustrated the growing awareness of this medical condition and explained how we can address it correctly.

Enoch is a former member of our Club. Some ten years ago she left as she was going through a personal tough time. Previously she was a successful expat with HSBC, in London, Paris, Tokyo, and Beijing. Originally holding a Master in Law, she furthered her studies in INSEAD and Institutes in the field of Social Systems, Play Therapy and Small Group Training. She has been featured on many international media and is a regular public speaker.
In her talk she looked back at her studies, her successful career and how she was suddenly overwhelmed with depression, as recorded in her book “Stress in the City”.

See here Enoch taking the floor in the British Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.
More about her work:

Enoch Li: “Stress In The City”

I bought her book and I was very impressed.

See here my book review:

Beijing Rotary in March

Wine Tasting Party

Beside our regular meetings, Beijing Rotary in March had an exciting party in ROOTS on 23rd of March.
Cassidy, one of the only five Wine Masters in China gave us an introduction on new world versus old world wines.
To make the concept real he brought a Pinot Noir from New Zealand (cheaper and screw cork) and another one from France (more expensive and real cork) and explained the intricacies of each type of wine and wine processing; key aspects are acidity, transparency, alcohol content, body, hint of earth, hint of oak, hint of berries, tannin content and aroma.

Cassidy also gave a historical overview on how “Wine Masters” are selected and appointed worldwide and how they have to pass theoretical exams along with rigorous tasting tests.
We received two nice wine glasses marked I and II to taste (blindly) the two Pinot Noir wines and to give our opinion.

Good attendance, with members of the Rotary Club of Beijing and Rotary Club of Beijing East, along with visiting Rotarians and guests. It was a fantastic fellowship, a delicious dinner, high quality wine tasting. Zeyu Zhu, a cellist from the Juilliard School (New York famous school) entertained us with a nice classical music.

Kempinski 30 March 2021

Acting President Didier chaired the meeting and gave an update on the upcoming events of the club.
Our latest member was inducted, Kevin Gouldmann. He received his certificate and pin from Didier.

Kevin was also the speaker of the day, to tell us about his unusual profession as a “Klavierbaumeister” (master piano maker).
Kevin studied piano and music in USA but left for Germany when 21 because he felt he was not good enough to play piano. Instead of playing the piano he later chose the guitar instead.

What makes a good piano? Design, choice of materials and workmanship are the key factors. He learned the different aspects to achieve the right result, first as an apprentice in Berlin for over two years. He then moved to Hildesheim, for several years. Later he followed the complete Ludwigsburg Master Program as a master piano maker. He graduated successfully after a second tough exam.

He worked in a piano factory until he was recruited by a Danish company where he became owner and partner. Later he moved again to Germany and then to China. In China he is one of the only three master piano makers. He is still active with manufacturers in Europe and also did a stint in Abuja (Nigeria), where he lived colorful experiences.
He explained some of the key issues in making a good piano and also explained the different piano types.
He had to field many questions from the audience.

Gilbert let our visitor Sarah Wagner announce the publication of her book “Unleash Today”, that came out exactly on this day in all the major Amazon shops. We look forward for Sarah to give us a talk about her book that she wrote together with Kate Surala.

I already bought the Kindle version!

Discrimination in International School Education

Rotary Club of Beijing meets

On 11 May 2021 Lucas Roberts gave us a talk on “Perceptions of Discrimination in International School Education and Rotary International’s Drive for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”.
Location: Morel’s Restaurant and Café.
I had to do magic as the restaurant was overbooked and we had 21 attendants for our 18 seats. We managed…

Lucas aka Luke was also officially inducted as our new member of the Club.
Members and guests enjoyed the food, drinks and dessert!

Luke’s talk

Luke is currently the Head of Primary at Tsinghua University High School International (Chaoyang). Since coming to China to work as a Humanities teacher with a liberal arts major background in 2009, Luke has served as Vice-Principal and Principal in four international and bilingual schools and amidst all those positions, has also acquired a master’s degree in educational administration. Luke also serves on international school accreditation /inspection committees around Asia. Having witnessed the hiring practices first-hand, Luke wanted to share the research findings from his doctor’s dissertation, still in progress, on discrimination in international schools. Additionally, he wanted to highlight Rotary International’s drive on DEI and how this drive amplified the phenomenon of discrimination.

Luke started the talk by sharing the origin of his dissertation and the current lack of research on gender and racism in international education. There has been a growing awareness of racism and diversity within international education in recent years as part of the response to Black Lives Matter.  For his dissertation, Luke investigated the experiences of racially and ethnically diverse international educators who experience discrimination (e.g., racism, native-speakerism) in recruiting, hiring, and promotion opportunities, thus limiting their professional path in international education.

Luke was careful not to take positions in his research but to show the phenomena of discrimination, so as not to compromise the findings of his research. He did, however, share his own experience of fighting for his recruiting for qualifications over skin color in his work. Lastly, Luke showed how his research dovetailed with Rotary International’s statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), which showed the value RI places on building community across cultures and ideas.

(As reported by Piper)

Rotary Club of Beijing in April

Rotary lunch 6 April

Rotary Club of Beijing in April had a busy month, started with the board meeting before the lunch, in a private room of Kempinski Hotel on 6 April 2021.

Lunch was in Via Roma, the Italian restaurant of Kempinski. PE Didier inducted our new member Vivian.

A new venue: Encuentro

The dinner on 13 April 2021 was held in the new South American restaurant Encuentro, located opposite Worker’s Stadium North gate.

Happens that our guest Iris from Panama is a professional food expert and has been advising the restaurant. She also tried an impressive and colorful cocktail, or was it a fruit cup…

Two new members were inducted by PE Didier, Hans and Chris.

A Spanish evening in The Roots

On 27 April 2021 the Rotary Club of Beijing had a Spanish-themed evening party, attended by visiting Rotarians, guests and Rotaractors. Full house at The Roots Restaurant that did a good job with the food, drinks and service.

PE Didier presided the dinner and brought along two guitarists (both from … Xinjiang, not Spain) who entertained us during the evening.

See here a short video (VPN needed in China):
Rotary Spanish evening in Beijing The Roots on 27 April 2021,