The Tatong Rotary Club in Taichung meets every Thursday for lunch. As I couldn’t be in two places at the same time, I reluctantly declined Taipei Rotary’s kind invitation to a second lunch, said good-bye to Robert at the airport, and returned to Taichung where my father was waiting.
One Rotarian asked,”Why are there three different words for the Netherlands? In England, the English people speak English. In Germany, the Germans speak German. But in the Netherlands, the people speak Dutch and live in Holland.”
I answered,”Holland is only two of 12 provinces in the Netherlands. I don’t know where the word Dutch comes from, but yours is a good question.”
After my presentation of the Netherlands and my Rotary Club in Utrecht, I introduced my father. He had prepared a 2-minute speech for the Taichung Rotary.
There is more I can write about that Rotary lunch in Taichung. My father’s speech, for example. He had not given a speech since my late grandmother had died 6 years earlier. He had not given a speech in English since he last taught at university and high school in Taipei.
Perhaps I was indulgent, for I wanted to play the piano for my father. He had not heard me play since 2002. When I asked what he wanted, he said that he wanted to see me give a speech. The Tatong Rotary Club granted both wishes.
Thank you, Tatong Rotary Club, for changing your programme and making room for me and my father at short notice. My father finally got to attend a Rotary meeting, an activity his best friend from his university days had taken part — more than 50 years ago. It was to form a new chapter in his memoirs of his journey from Shanghai to Taiwan.