Today's Topic: Graham Brain on “I survived COVID”
No. 2840
04 June 2021

Fellow Rotarians,

Can it really be June already? We are fast approaching the end of our Rotary Year and getting ready for the installation of a new President and our new Club Board.

Two members of next year’s Club Board were confirmed at Friday’s meeting, PP Mark confirmed that Rotarian Patrick “Shrimp” Gauvain is now officially President Nominee for the Rotary Year 2022-23 and PE Finbarr confirmed that his board has selected Rotarian Adrian Topham to be one of their two Vice Presidents for 2021-22. Rotarian Adrian missed the announcement as he joined the meeting late and by the time that I tried to congratulate him at the end of the meeting he had gone again, but we took it on good authority that he accepted.

Our programme last Friday was an enlightening talk from Klonnious Blamo, a Rotary Peace fellow from Liberia who spoke to us all about “Building Resilience in a Culturally, Structurally, and Physically Discriminative Society”. After some early Zoom issues we settled nicely into the call and we hope, at some stage, to welcome him in person to our club.

This Friday one of our former Presidents, Graham Brain will be sharing his recent experiences with local medical care under the topic, “I survived COVID”, certainly one not to be missed.

I hope to see many of you online on Friday.


Have a great weekend

President David Record

Please find the link below to join the  Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 870 7013 7423
Passcode: RCBS

Topic: RCBS 2021 2Q

        Every week on Fri, 
        Jun 4, 2021 12:00 PM
        Jun 11, 2021 12:00 PM
        Jun 18, 2021 12:00 PM
        Jun 25, 2021 12:00 PM

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

Last week, we had the opportunity to meet, albeit on Zoom, and to hear, in person, Klonnious Blamo, a current Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University.

With this in mind, and for those who were impressed with his resilience and dedication, we would like to share his story as he has presented on the website.

In his own words …

I was born a happy and healthy boy, with my advent into the family igniting joy and celebration. My father’s desire for a male child was finally realized. At about seven months old I was already running around the house. By the time I turned one year old, my dad bought me my first soccer ball. I would get up early, while everyone else was still in bed, and play in the house, knocking things over.

But one night, before I turned two, something mysterious happened, or at least that was what I was told. My father worked as a security officer and worked nights. According to my mother, late one night while everyone slept, a witch dragon sent by some witches mysteriously entered our house and swallowed both my legs, rendering me impotent.


As I grew up, I could not stop wondering, in my little mind, why witches were so cruel, even though I had only seen pictures of them in movies and fairy tale books. When I asked my mom why I had become a target for the evil beings, she said they were enemies of my father’s and they attacked me because they could not get him. I lived with extreme hatred for witches based on this little story and carried this story of bewitchment for over two decades of my life.


My first encounter with the word polio was in the early 1990s while I was a student at St. Patrick’s School (an all-boys school). I was a troublemaker in school, always embroiled in some sort of trouble. My complaints regularly saw me in the principal’s office. Admittedly, I craved so much attention because there were so many things I could not do like other boys; and so being troublesome got me some attention.


One day when I was caught in one of my pranks, I was summoned to the principal’s office, then one of the Catholic Nuns later murdered by NPFL rebels headed by Charles Taylor. Sister Shirley Kolmer had a PhD in Mathematics and when I got to her, she was furious and asked me, “young man, why do you think you need so much attention,” at the top of her voice.

I was ice cool as she recounted my numerous offenses. After threatening me with final warning that I would be suspended, she told me to get back to class. While I was walking away, she called me back and asked, “what’s wrong with your legs, were you born this way?


Then, like I always did when asked about my condition, I told her mommy’s dragon tale. Sister Shirley looked at me and said, “I think you suffered a polio attack.” I had no idea what she was talking about, even though I was a junior high student. Later, as I grew up and began researching polio, all the shattered pieces of my mother’s bewitchment tale seemed to come together to make sense.


Indeed, a lack of knowledge is a major reason for most of our human problems. When Liberia launched the first polio eradication campaign in 1999, I was already in my mid-twenties. In a bid to unmask this myth that seemed commonplace in our society, I embarked on research to find out what other People with Disabilities (PWDs), specifically those inflicted with polio, knew about their physical condition. With my training in journalism, I decided to conduct a small study, targeting ten PWDs in all, including six males and four females.


The result of my little survey, just within the greater Monrovia area, revealed the level of ignorance about polio amongst Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). Of the ten interviewed, four had heard about polio, but did not have many details. Three of my interviewees knew polio to be a crippling disease, while three others were just like me before my meeting with Sister Shirley and had “no idea!” But more interestingly, all ten attributed their conditions to some mysterious and unexplained source and not polio.


Ignorance is a major factor in the spread and high fatality rate caused by many issues that could be prevented and or controlled in countries like my own. The Liberian society is largely susceptible to superstitions, with most of the things happening being attributed to negative supernatural sources.


For example, when Ebola first struck in early 2014, it became widely rumoured that it was some supernatural, unexplained invasion. Later, with the rapid spread and high fatality rate, and owing to international intervention, health authorities in collaboration with international partners had to launch a rigorous sensitization campaign titled, “Ebola Is Real, and it Kills.” It still amazes me to know there are still some communities in Liberia where Ebola is still believed to be a mysterious evil force.


The findings from my research have further inspired my vision to advocate for PWD welfare and empowerment. My desire to educate people about this crippling disease, while also working with victims to shift their negative mindset about themselves, has been strengthened.


While government and partners including Rotary International are administering polio vaccines across the country because of a recent resurgence, it is important victims know the true source of their physically challenged condition so that as they begin to have families of their own, little ones will not suffer a similar fate.


Being a Rotary Peace Fellow has not only strengthened my work in seeking empowerment opportunities for PWDs (especially polio victims); it has also helped me to further unmask its true evil and dispel the myth still, in the 21art century linked to witchcraft.


Much campaigning has been carried out, with millions of dollars spent towards vaccination and sensitization. However, much more needs to be done towards community engagement. Young mothers, mostly in rural communities (and unfortunately in some urban communities), usually do home deliveries and do not have the opportunity to vaccinate their infants who remain vulnerable to polio attacks at some time in life. This has, in turn led to its recent resurgence in Liberia even though the country was declared polio free a few years ago.


As a member of Class 30, I feel hugely privileged as I interact with inspiring change-makers who are all aspiring to make our world a better place in their own ways. I am extremely grateful for Rotary’s fight to eliminate polio from the world. As a complementary effort to that huge task, my efforts will continue along the lines of working with victims through advocacy for society integration, empowerment, and education.

PP Andrew gives a rousing VoT
The Club has had no revenue from South Wind for the past 2+ years, so it is our intention to revamp and reintroduce new advertising rate structures to support the club. At the amazing rate of Baht 3,000 (approx.THB 58 a week) you can place a banner ad for the whole year… and similarly a full size ad for Baht 7,000 per annum (approx.THB 134 a week). Commencing June 4th South Wind will remove all unpaid ads… so we look forward to a plethora of fresh new ads! Sponsors logos will remain. For more information please contact Rtn. Patrick ()
CONVENTION IN TAIPEI - 12-16 June 2021
Registration for the 2021 Virtual Convention:

Registration is open for the 2021 Virtual Convention.

The 2021 Virtual Convention will be better than ever, opening more innovative opportunities to learn and to engage with the family of Rotary, near and far. You’ll be able to network in virtual lounges, meet new partners in service, and join fun activities with Rotary members from around the world.
This event is open to all Rotary members and participants from 12-16 June 2021. Registration fees are as follows:
US$65 - 8 May through 16 June

Registration is also now open for the Rotaract, Youth Exchange Officer and Inter-Country Committee pre-conventions, which will be held 10-11 June 2021. The cost of each pre-convention event is US$20.

Both the convention and pre-convention events include access to the virtual House of Friendship.

Please note: Cancellations and refunds for registrations or associated events will be accepted through 11:59:59 (Chicago time – CDT) 31 May 2021. The cancellation fee is 20% of the registrant’s total fees paid. No refunds will be given after 31 May.
Please note that the event has been rescheduled until 28-29th August 2021
Friday 4 June
Zoom Meeting -  Graham Brain
on “I survived COVID”

Friday 11 June
Zoom Meeting - Djoann Fal on “Digital Economy during Covid-19 Times”.

Friday 18 June
Zoom Meeting - Program to be advised
Friday 25 June
Zoom Meeting - Program to be advised

Saturday 26 June 
Installation Ball at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. Please book your intention with Khun Khob

Chartered in 1972
Meets first and third Monday of each month at Royal Cliff Beach Resort. 
Fellowship from 18.30 pm and meeting starts
at 19.15 pm. 
Facebook group: Rotary Club of Pattaya (Thailand)
News Link:
Rotary Thailand E-Magazine (English Version)
January - February 2021 

For online reading

For off line reading (Download)
RC Royal Hua Hin meeting schedule 2020 / 2021
P Brian Anderson of our daughter club , RC Royal Hua Hin , has confirmed the Club’s meeting schedule for the current Rotary year . RC Royal Hua Hin would be delighted to welcome any of our members who may be taking a break in Hua Hin to attend their meetings , with the monthly schedule as follows :

1st Tuesday is Fellowship Night
2nd Tuesday is 12:00 Lunch meeting at Amari
3rd Tuesday is Board meeting only
4th Tuesday is 12:00 Lunch meeting at Amari
5th Tuesday is 12:00 Lunch meeting at Amari (if we have a 5th Tuesday in the month)

The location of Fellowship Night events should be confirmed with P Brian
For more information about the best Irish Pub in town click below:
Khun Khob’s Club Almanac #2840
4 JUNE 2021

Happy Birthdays:

Rüdiger Treu               June 4

Wedding Anniversary Greetings:


Attendance for 28 May 2021: 44% (6th Zoom Meeting)
Active Logged-in 36, Exemption Logged-in 5, Absent 67, Total 108

Visiting Rotarians:
Local Club

P Francois Van Den Bosch     RC Bangkapi
PP Margaret McMillion            RC Srapathum
Paul Salk                                 RC Bangkok DACH
PP Santi Chartejee                  RC Bangkok
PE Vasana Mututanont            RC Bangkok

Udaya  Gartaula                      RC Kathmandu West 

Andrew Hamilton                     P David Record
Tee Chayakul                          Mark Wolf

Recent Makeups:
DG Meets Class 116 Presidents, 22 May 2021: P David Record
RC Feldkirch, Austria, 25 May 2021: Elmar Lins
RC Bangkok Zoom, 27 May 2021: PP Dougie Riach
Zoom Weekly Meeting, 28 May 2021: Adrian Topham, PDG Alex Mavro, PP Andrew MacPherson, Arie Bloed, Chris Trogh, PP Christph Leonhard, David Ravenscroft, P David Record, Dean Douglas, PP Dougie Riach, Elmar Lins, PE Finbarr O'Connor, Frank Crocker, Frank Janik, Jan Cederwall, Joe Ravensrcoft, Joe Scuderi, John Fotiadis, Klaus Feilkas, PP Krin Charnmayteesakul, PP Mark Butters, Mark Shaw, Mark Wolf, Mototoshi Kakiuchi, PP Narinder Sachdev, Patrick Gauvain, Peter Upperton, PP Peter-Michael Schuster, Ragil Ratnam, Rakesh Sodhia, Ravi Sehgal, PP Renato Porzio, Rod Vergara, Ron Livingston, Rudi Treu, Sanjeev Chowdhury, Scott Ledwell, Sunny Patel, IPP Tim Cornwall, PP Vichai Tantrativud, Worrakit Pholsawad, Yannick Thevenot          

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