Our duo’s most interesting moments often occur when we have the least time to reflect and write about them. The April 2010 trip to Taiwan was, for us, an incredible event that took much planning and deliberation. While the main purpose was to see my family and relatives, I was keen to find a way to return for a longer period.
As a Rotarian, I was curious about other Rotary Clubs and in particular those that had substantial fundraising experience. I googled and found the first Rotary Club in Taiwan. I was amazed at their range of activities and online documentation. It seemed like a very interesting club to visit.
To conform to the weekly Thursday meeting schedule of the Rotary Club of Taipei, we decided to go straight to Taipei after we landed, instead of going to see my 79-year old father further south.
The Rotary Club of Taipei was the first Rotary Club in Taiwan, the first of 550. My father later told me that his best friend was secretary of the club in 1957-58.
As the mother club, the Taipei Rotary Club members followed the traditions of song and ritual. Every member had a Rotary name related to his/her profession or interest. Everyone wore a badge. The guests signed into a guestbook. It was very well organised.
We gave a short performance of Vivaldi and de Falla. Afterwards many members came to talk to us. One Rotarian suggested that we visit the Tatong Rotary Club in Taichung. He promised to make the necessary introductions.
I was most impressed by the auction of the Sargeant at Arms in the end. In a matter of minutes, the Club raised 10,000 NT from two gifts donated by members. The first item was a German dessert wine which the president nominated as a gift to my father.