South Wind No 287 Page 1The first Rotary Club in Thailand was the Rotary Club of Bangkok, whose Charter was granted on 28 November 1930.

After a hiatus that covered the years of the Great Depression and World War 2, the second club in Thailand was chartered on 25 June 1958, the Rotary Club of Dhonburi.

Myth and folklore has it that The Rotary Club of Bangkok South was the next club to be chartered and is actually the third club in Bangkok.

But in between, clubs were established in Chiang  Mai (October 1959) and Nakhon Sawan (May 1960). So, when it was chartered on 6 August 1961, The Rotary Club of Bangkok South was actually the fifth club established in Thailand.

Other clubs then followed in rapid succession, and at 31 December 2014 there were 317 clubs in Thailand in all, with a total of 7,994 members.

South Wind No 94 Page 1Not all, but nearly every, province in the country has at least one club, and many, obviously, have more than one.

There are eight English-speaking clubs, as well as one each using Chinese, Japanese, French and German.

Initially Thailand was part of a Rotary District that encompassed clubs in several countries. An indication of the strength of Rotary in Thailand is that the country now has four Rotary Districts:Bhichai Rattakul

    • R.I. District 3330, covering Kanchanaburi/Nakhon Pathom down and the South
    • R.I. District 3340, covering the east/south-east and the north-east
    • R.I. District 3350, covering the central plains up to Nakhon Sawan
    • R.I. District 3360, covering the north above Nakhon Sawan

Other indications of the strength of Rotary in Thailand are the facts that, in 2002-03 Khun Bichai Rattakul was the President of Rotary International, the first Thai to hold the position (and the only one…so far), and that in May 2012 the annual Rotary International Convention was held in Bangkok.

This brought tens of thousands of Rotarians from all around the world to Thailand and showcased the achievements of Rotary clubs here.