The idea of setting up a Rotary Club in Macau was raised for the first time in 1938. However, due to the Pacific War, the idea did not become a reality at that time. In 1946 when Macau and Hong Kong began to recover from the effects of the 2nd World War, the idea of forming a club in Macau was resurrected. Henrique Nolasco Jr., a resident of Macau, was invited to attend the weekly meeting of the Hong Kong Rotary Club. He was very impressed by the fellowship and the ideals of Rotary.
On his return to Macau, urged on by his enthusiasm, meetings were held with the then District Governor (DG) Arthur Woo and others who gave their assistance and advice for setting up a Club. On 11th January, 1947, a dinner was held at the Fat Siu Lau Restaurant at which the 36 founding members appointed their first Board of Directors. The Rotary Club of Macau was thus formed and began functioning as a provisional club. Though still lacking official recognition by Rotary International, the provisional club set its course to fulfill the ideals of Rotary by creating The Welfare Fund of the Rotary Club of Macau which was to help many worthy causes in our community such as Homes for the Destitute and Aged, the Portuguese Red Cross, the inhabitants of Taipa and Coloane, the Canossian Institute, The Salesian Orphanage, Peng Man School, Kiang Wu Hospital, The Tong Sin Tong Association, primary and commercial schools and the S. Rafeal Hosptial Maternity Wing. The Rotary Children’s Library was also set up for the primary school children. On 16th June 1947 the Rotary Club of Macau received official recognition from the Rotary International and was chartered as Club No. 6662 with the then District 57. On 12th and 14th March, 1949, Macau had the honour of being the venue of a District Conference which was attended by hundreds of Rotarians from the 12 clubs in the Far East. During the 1950-51 Rotary Year, The Rotary Club of Macau had the privilege of having its Past President Pedro G. Lobato elected District Governor. In this capacity he attended the Rotary International Convention in Detroit, USA.
In 1951, as of result of the concerted efforts of all Rotarians united in the ideal of service, the Rotary Club of Macau opened the Lara Reis Anti-Cancer Clinic. It was located at Sol Poente, the residence of the late Rotarian Fernando Lara Reis who had bequeathed it in his will to the Portuguese Welfare Organization Santa Casa da Misericórdia which subsequently administered the Clinic. In the beginning of the 1951-52 Rotary Year, political changes in China affected all the Rotary Clubs in the area District 57. Only four clubs from District 57 remained Hong Kong, Kowloon, Macau and Taipei. Being too few in number to form a district, they composed an area under an Administrative Advisor nominated by Rotary International. The situation was brought back to normal when District 345, to which Macau belonged, was created several years later. In 1988, District 3450 was formed, with Hong Kong and Macau being a separate district from Taiwan. The Rotary Club of Macau has been the meeting place for a wide cross section of Macau society, encompassing people of various professions and nationalities. A survey of members indicates that the Club’s members today are made up of 11 nationalities, who can speak a total of 16 languages. This is why, for many years now, English has been adopted as the working language for the Club meetings and proceeding.
In the 70’s, the development of Macau led to growth in the Rotary movement here. New clubs were established, the Rotary Club of Hou Kuong was chartered in 1979, the Rotary Club of Macau Central in 1984, the Rotary Club of Amagao in 1986, the Rotary Club of Guia in 1993 and Rotary Club of Macau Islands in 1997. As mentioned earlier, the Rotary Club of Macau has always shown a strong awareness of the needs of Macau and has contributed much of its capabilities to meet those needs through community projects. In the 60’s, assistance was given in building a reservoir at the Ka Ho Leper Colony and in building and setting up of fully equipped vocational training workshops at the Boy’s Home which at the time was being run by the Macau Police Force. In the 70’s and 80’s, the Club was involved in the construction of new shower rooms for the orphan’s dormitories at the St. Jos School in Ka Ho. Many smaller projects have also been carried out including the provision of bus shelters, children’s playgrounds, donations and scholarships to students in need, subsidies to school canteens, old people’s homes and refugee centers, and dental health programme for students. Preserve Planet Earth, which has become Rotary International’s motto since 1990, has been implemented in Macau, with our club closely cooperating with local environmental activists, by supporting their purchase of equipment to measure pollution, developing a civic education campaign for keeping the city clean and beautiful and also by organizing tree planting activities. Other community service included a van donated to Caritas for the distribution of meals to elderly people living alone. Vegetarian meals were offered to the blind and elderly people at Chinese New Year when Lai See were also offered. Special equipment was sent to the Concordia School for the hearing impared. The Rotary Club of Macau does not only confine its activities to those in need in Macau, it also plays its part in helping the world at large in the true spirit of Rotary International. The Club has taken an active part in the campaign against famine in Ethiopia, and in disaster relief in Columbia, Bangladesh and China. In 1997, we donated funds through our District to provide water storage facilities in outlying provinces in China that suffer from a short rainy season and a consequent water supply problem.
In 1999-2000, the Rotary Club of Macau together with the Rotary Club of Kowloon North, the Rotary Club of Taipei North, the Ama Rotary Club in Nagoya, and the Macau Catholic Social Services, built three primary schools in remote mountain villages in Du’An, Guangxi province. The 2001-2002 Rotary Year, in a joint project with the Rotary Club of Kowloon North, two more primary schools were built, the Yan Ma and the Jian Qiao primary schools. In addition, the completion of the unfinished building and the construction of new facilities and a dormitory for the Experimental Middle School n Du’An Town had its ceremonial inauguration that August. We have also provided funds for the disaster relief that have been administered through both the Catholic Social Service and through Rotary District 3450. We will continue to make funds available for such emergency relief. Our Club is honoured with 34 Paul Harris Fellow and 4 Benefactors, who have made contributions to the Rotary Foundation, and through which the Rotary Club of Macau has sponsored promising young men and women to further their studies abroad in order to better serve Macau on their return. In 1978, Dr. Alfredo Ritchie was awarded a scholarship to study endoscopy in the USA and on his return, he was pioneer of this technique in Macau and later became the head of the Endoscopy Department in the Macau Government Hospital. Dr. Ritchie became a Rotarian in 1983 and was the President for the 1987-88 Rotary year and 2001-02 Rotary year. Another scholarship was awarded to Dr. Tito Lopes who went to Australia to specialize in geriatrics, a speciality much in demand in Macau. For the Rotary year 2001-02, our Club sponsored Dr. Mok Toi Meng, who went to Melbourne as an ambassadorial scholar and furthered her studies in the field of cardiology. With the increase of females in the professional world, our Club inducted its first female member in 1992 and by this year our Club has 9 active female members. Out of the 9 female members, Stella Kan became the first female President for the Rotary year 1996-97, followed by Synthia Chan as this years President and Fatima Ferreira as President Elect for the year 2004-05. To commemorate our 50th Anniversary, a special post mark and specially designed envelope was introduced to the public on our birthday, 16th June, 1997, in Macau. Another event to mark the 50 years movement in Macau, the Blind-Aid Charity Concert was held on 13th December, 1997, at the Macau Stadium, Taipa, to help blind persons in Macau and China. The concert was co-organized by the Macau Catholic Social Services and the Orbis Charity, with the support of Macau Government. The effort put into this concert by our Club led to the award of The Best Achievement in International Service that year.
For 3 consecutive years since the Rotary year 1999-2000, Rotary Club of Macau has organized Christmas Parties, together with the 3 Centers of the Macau Association for the Mentally Handicapped, where we share during this festive seasons our love and care to these special children and their families. In the Rotary year 2001-02, the 5 Rotary Clubs in Macau with the cooperation of the Blood Transfusion Center, joined together to formed the first Blood Donation Day on 13th January, 2002 where 88 persons donated blood on that single day. Last year, the 2nd Blood Donation Day was held on 23rd March, 2003 where there was an increase in the donors. Hence, this has become an annual event for the 5 Rotary Clubs in Macau and shall continue to be so. Now, Rotary Club of Macau has began its 60th year where we are certainly looking forward to continuing serving and Lend A Hand to the local and international communities in the best Rotary Spirit Service is the commitment we shall always be faithful to.
Texto do site do Rotary Club of Macau – District 3450
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