Beijing Rotary in April 2022

Kempinski lunch

Beijing Rotary in April 2022 was still active before one more COVID scare hit Beijing, shutting down all activities.
On Tuesday 19 April 2022 we had our lunch in Kempinski Hotel with Lucia Zhou, Program Manager of HOPE as our guest speaker. Lucia is a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor recognized by PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship).
Topic: Update about HOPE and the Benefits of the Equine Therapy.

HOPE (Horses Offering People Enrichment) offers equine assisted activities and therapy (EAAT) for children with special needs. Founded by a Californian woman, HOPE was brought to Beijing to provide equine assisted therapy for children with sensory disorder, physical/visual, emotional/social disabilities, and autism. RC Beijing has in the past year sponsored an Instructor Training for one equine therapist through the Instructor Educational Course. Lucia Zhou, the program director at HOPE and a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor recognized by PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship), brought to the meeting the instructor trainer who has recently completed her trainer training program, and a young adult who has received the equine therapy from HOPE. Lucia thanked the club for the support and sponsorship. With her training completed, the trainer is now equipped with skills to design and create tailored-made programs to benefit the children in need and is qualified to train other equine therapists to further their service in the community. Lucia and her colleagues expressed their wish that the club could continue to provide financial aid toward their instructor training this year.

Haochuan Tom Zhang also shared his experience at HOPE. While receiving therapy from HOPE, Tom also helps with working around the stable, looking after the horse he had ridden, and assisting with equine therapy.

More about HOPE

I had the chance to meet the HOPE team earlier and I also saw several of the videos showing the remarkable effect of the treatment.On 25 March 2018 Rotaract invited the HOPE people to give an introduction to their program, in the former Restaurant Red Rose.
The effect on kids with mental disabilities can be impressive. We saw kids that refused all communication with adults, they started riding the horses and created a bond with them. Then suddenly they spoke words never heard before…

See also: HOPE 2021 Annual Report Final with Photos

Online China District Conference

I joined the Tencent (Voov) meeting on Saturday afternoon on 23 April.
It was chaired by SR Richard Zi who also introduced the incoming SR Andrew Hill (1 July 2022). I found that part to be the most interesting.
See here the details:
The announced program: 220423 conference1
The updated program: 220423 conference2
The guest speaker: 220423 Conference Speaker

See some screenshots of the online meeting. I only saw myself appearing “life” from our club. And yes we even had a “group picture”, try to find me…
I had hoped to see more updates of all our China clubs as some of the clubs are struggling or even closing. While the guest speaker did a good job. I thought it was not relevant to what we really wanted to learn.
And we never got the slides that were shown…

Rotary lunch 8 March

Kempinski Hotel

For our Rotary lunch 8 March 2022 we had as speaker Sjoerd den Daas, Correspondent of the Dutch Broadcast Corporation NOS who reflected upon his recent experience of the Winter Olympics from a journalist perspective.

We also concluded the auction of the Winter Olympic tea set I donated for the following Rotary Disaster Fund:
The United Nations estimates that number of Ukraine refugees could grow to as many as 5 million people displaced. Inter-country Committees and Rotary clubs in Europe and around the world have stepped up their relief work, some working on the ground to help displaced families.
Rotary International has established a special Committee that will coordinate the provision of assistance from around the world to Ukraine, funds will be used to supply water, food, medicine, shelter, and clothing.
See here to donate directly:

Times a changing

As things become more and more complicated in China, Rotary is not allowed to operate normally, so many restrictions.
How times change. See here an announcement I did in March 2005 for the Rotary Charity Ball.

This today would not be allowed anymore.
Oh well…

Gilbert on Youtube, Introducing Rotary in Beijing

3 August 2012

Rotary eClub 3170 Guest Speaker Gilbert Van Kerckhove
Rotary Club of Beijing, China
I also talk about my origins, what I did in China…

Introducing the Rotary Club of Beijing


Before introducing the Rotary Club of Beijing, a bit of history.
The first meeting leading towards the establishment of the Rotary Club Peking took place over tea on January 18th 1923 when fifteen Americans and one Chinese met in the Wagon Lits Hotel in Peking.
The RC Peking with 22 charter member, was finally admitted by Rotary International (RI) on August 30, 1924.
The Club ceased to function on December 8th 1941 when the Wagon Lits Hotel, which served as the club’s headquarter, was taken over by the Japanese for their own use for many years.
RI re-admitted the RC of Peiping with thirty charter members on August 14th 1946, giving it the old Club No. 1814.
On July 18th 1950, RI approved once again the change of the name to Rotary Club of Peking.
On June 26th 1951 RI terminated the membership of the RC Peking and declared the Charter null and void.

Read the full story: RCBhistory by GVK

The item “Provisional Rotary Club Beijing” was placed on the agenda of the June 2001 RI Board meeting. The RI board passed the motion to grant provisional status not only to Beijing but Shanghai as well, on 16 June 2001.
The Rotary Club of Beijing (Provisional) on 31 March 2005 had 53 members and 7 honorary members. President: Mosud Mannan – President Elect: Carl-Ludwig Dörwald.
On 8 February 2006 The Rotary Club of Beijing was formally chartered by RI, signed by RI President Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar.
In that Charter year the Club had 57 members from about 16 different countries with Carl- Ludwig Doerwald – Charter President 2005-2006.
RCB received the new charter on 3 April 2014 referring to the original charter date of 30 August 1924.

What is Rotary, Rotaract & Interact?

Rotary International ( is the world’s largest member charity organization with over 1.2 million members belonging to approximately 35,000+ clubs in over 200 countries and territories.
Founded in 1906 in Chicago by Paul Harris and a group of Chicago business philanthropists, it has its current headquarters located in Evanston IL and administers the world’s largest charity trust fund with more than $2 billion which has been significantly boosted by major contributions from the Gates Foundation and Warren Buffet; both of whom have historical family ties to Rotary.

Rotary International’s current Global Flagship Project is called ‘Polio Plus’ which is in its 36th year and has successfully reduced the global headcount of Polio sufferers from more than 350,000 at the campaign commencement to close to zero globally today and zero cases in India for more than 5 years.
See the details here: Rotary_introduction
and: Rotary_factsheet

Sadly we had to terminate our two Rotaract Clubs, due to lack of student members. We still have the Dulwich and ISB Interact Clubs.

RCB is back!

Rotary Club of Beijing, District 0052, Club Number: 60724.
In January 2022:
  Number of Members: 30
  Average age: 53
  Male – 89% Female – 11%

I became myself a member on 11 January 2005.
RCB has been involved in many projects serving the community.
Some: Gift of Life (surgeries for congenital heart disease), The Library Project, and many more.
Current examples: surgeries for hypospadias and HOPE (Horses Offering People Enrichment), among other.

A look back on the Rotary Club of Beijing

Dinner in Morel’s

A look back at the Rotary Club of Beijing, starting with our dinner on 18 January. Small crowd with a special guest, Jingfu, honorary member of the Rotary Club of Shanghai.

We were impressed with our member Kevin who fasted one day so he could deal with the really big trout (I usually recommend it for 3 people to share).

Krankin’ thru China

“Krankin’ thru China”, a program launched by Joshua Dominick and Domonic Corradin, helps people with physical disabilities enjoy outdoor sports like paragliding, horseback riding, swimming, surfing and cycling. They presented their project to our club, on 10 August 2021, see:

They were featured in an article by China Daily:
19 January 2022 – Overcoming hurdles:
See attached the full article: 220119 Krankin

Otto Bock

See this article of Business Beijing of 1 June 2007 to read how our Georg Hoffman started working with protheses. See: 070601 OttoBock
He presented his project in our club on 17 August 2021.

See earlier post:

That’s January 2022

Happy to read this article: 220101 poledancing
I quote:
“Despite studios trying to promote the benefits, there is still a stigma attached to the sport by those who don’t fully understand it.
When I tell some guys I’m a pole dancer, they say, ‘Oh, you’re a stripper?’ I don’t get offended, they just don’t understand that pole dancing doesn’t have to be linked to stripping. I think a lot of people still don’t understand pole dancing and it’s still very niche.”

Indeed some in my circle made a scandal about pole dancing, being pretty ignorant about it.
See my earlier posts:
Pole dancing is a sport,
Pole dancing is a sport (part 2),

21 December 2021 Rotary lunch with inductions


On Tuesday 21 December 2021 Rotary lunch with inductions followed by a presentation by Rtn Victor.

Rtn Kevin presided the meeting and Gilbert acted as Sergeant-at-Arms.
The induction of our two new members was done by Gilbert who is also their sponsor. We welcome two amazing individuals, Thierry and John who both previously gave us fascinating insights into their business. See:
– “John van de Water talked to Rotary”,
– 14 December 2021 Rotary dinner in Schindlers, with Thierry as a speaker:

Speaker: Victor Montalva Salaverry

Topic: Introduction to Mining Industry and Community Relations in a Mining Town
Our Rotary member Victor gave us a speech about Mining Industry and the Community Relation in Peru, his home country. Victor is the director for Minera Tungsteno (tungsten mine) and director/co-owner of Agropex (copper/ gold mining) . He gave an introduction of his experience in gold, copper and tungsten mining and trading, and then he talked about the challenges and the positive significances of a good Community Relation in the mining towns, which are mostly located in the remote, economically undeveloped areas of Peru.