Saturday, May 10, 2014

Rotary Club of Thimphu is Two Years Old

The Rotary Club of Thimphu is two years old. The Club celebrated its 2nd Anniversary yesterday, the 9th of May, 2014 at the Clock Tower. On the day, the Chief Guest Hon’ble Lyonpo Damcho Dorji, Minister for Home & Cultural Affairs, released the Club’s magazine. A complimentary copy of the magazine was distributed to the invitees to the celebrations.

The Cover of the Club's maiden publication features my photo of the pretty Mt. Jichu Drake with the frozen Tshophu lake in the foreground:

Upon its Charter on 24th April, 2012, The Rotary Club of Thimphu (RCT) became the 216th member of the Rotary International. The investiture ceremony took place at the Convention Center on 30th April, 2012, which was presided over by the then Deputy Prime Minister, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba. The then President of Rotary International Mr. Kalyan Banerjee flew into Bhutan especially for this occasion, accompanied by a host of Members and Officials from a number of Rotary Clubs from Nepal and India.

The formation of the Club was so important and historical that its founding was announced to the nation by the then Prime Minister, His Excellency Lyonchen Jigmi Y. Thinley, in his State of the Nation speech delivered on the floor of the Parliament on 9th July, 2012.

Lyonpo Minjur Dorji was appointed the first President of the Club. Today, RCT has 13 Charter Members and 3 Honorary Members, headed by the incumbent President Rinzin Ongdra Wangchuk.

In the coming months, the RCT will send out invitations to a privileged few - to join the RCT and be part of a group engaged in selfless service to society.

Membership to the Club is by invitations only.

The following are some of the photographs taken during the Club’s founding and from yesterday’s Anniversary celebrations:

The President of Rotary International, Mr. Kalyan Banerjee, called on Lyonchen Jigme Yoezer Thinley. Present in the photo are two other persons who were pivotal in the founding of the Club - Lyonpo Minjure Dorji and Dasho Penden Wangchuk:

The investiture ceremony at the Convention Centre:

Celebrations at the Clock Tower on 9th May, 2014:

Event backdrop erected at the Clock Tower where the celebrations of the Club’s 2nd Anniversary took place:

Welcome address by the President of the Rotary Club of Thimphu, Mr. Rinzin Ongdra Wangchuk:

Address by the Hon'ble Chief Guest, Lyonpo Damcho Dorji, Minister of Home & Cultural Affairs:

Address by Jaya Rajya Laxmi Shah, President Elect of District 3292 for the year 2015-2016. She was one of the 20-members delegation from RI District 3292 in Nepal:

The day also marked the award of two Awards to the Rotary Club of Thimphu: The 4-Way Test Award and the End Polio Now Award:

Mr. Ashok Mehta, Director of Membership and Website of Rotary Club of Mumbai North Island visited the celebrations and presented his Club's flag to RCT President:

During the celebrations, five of the RCT Rotarians received their Paul Harris Fellow Certificate and Pin. The five are: Karma Gyeltshen, Seargent-at-Arms; Dr. Lam Dorji, Club Secretary; Rinzin Ongdra Wangchuk, Club President; Ugyen Dorji, Charter Member and Yeshey Dorji, Vice President.

The following are my Certificate & Pins:

Paul Harris Fellow Certificate:

My Paul Harris Fellow Pin:

My Rotary Pin as the Club's Vice President:

The celebrations ended with a group photo session of the Members of the RCT with the Chief Guest:

The Chief Guest poses with the Rotarians and guests:

The day’s celebrations were brought to a close with a dinner hosted by the Members of the RCT in honor of the visiting Rotarians from Nepal. It was a modest affair held at the Folk Heritage Museum Restaurant. The highlight of the evening was when the Hon’ble Prime Minister Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay sauntered in, quite casually and all alone - sans Patang, sans Kabney, sans Tshoglham and sans security personnel - but with loads and loads of charm and allure. The Prime Minister’s complete lack of pomp and pageantry had the Nepalese guests completely floored in disbelief and awe!

The next night (10th May, 2014), Rotarian Thinley Gyamtsho, Rotarian Ugyen Dorji, Sonam Zangmo (Club's AES) and myself - we voluntarily elected ourselves to play host to twelve Nepalese guests and took them to a Karaoke Bar - the spacious Serkhor Restaurant opposite the Changlam Plaza. The Nepalese guests danced to Nepalese and Bhutanese tunes until the wee hours of midnight. The lithesome wiggle by Rotarian Ugyen Dorji set the dance floor on fire - until equally energetic and gaiety Rajendra Lal Shrestha announced that he was out of breadth and out of energy and could not continue any further.

We called it a day - happy in the thought that the bonding that has taken place between the Rotarians from our two countries would go a long way in paving the way in fomenting closer ties and understanding between the people of Nepal and Bhutan. The unbridled friendship and camaraderie that was evident during the entire period we were together should dispel all doubts we may have had about each other.

It became evident to me that we Rotarians should act as goodwill Ambassadors of each other’s countries - to repair any cracks in our relationships, whether real or imagined. I know that twenty Nepalese will take back happy memories of their time in our country - as I did when I returned from the District Convention I attended in Pokhara, Nepal early this year. I was totally enthused by my experience in Nepal. It was not only the happy moments we shared with the Nepalese Rotarians while there - but the bonding that took place among our own members that caused the Thimphu Rotarians to take on the cause of Rotary with renewed vigor and pace.

After the Charter Day Celebrations, the following members of RC Thimphu attended a training session on “New member Orientation”:

President Rinzin Ongdra Wangchuk
Secretary Dr. Lam Dorji
Treasurer Tshering Choki
Sergeant-at-Arms Karma Gyaltshen
Rtn. Ugyen Dorji
Rtn. Sonam Wangmo
Rtn. Rinzi Om
Rtn. Kesang Tshomo
Rtn. Thinlay Gyamtsho

Group photo after the training session:

The training was conducted at the Business Center of Hotel Druk, Thimphu. The trainers were following officials from RI District 3292 in Nepal:

Past District Governor Ratna Man Sakya
Past District Governor Tirtha Man sakya
District Governor Nominee Jaya Shah
The Assistant Governor Rajendra Lal Shrestha facilitated the training session.

As a part of the training course, DGN Jaya spoke on “Rotary Policies and Procedures”,  PDG Tirtha Man Sakya spoke on “Rotary History & Achievements” and PDG Ratna Man Sakya on “Opportunity of Service in Rotary”. 

The participants were awarded Certificates of Participation:

At the end of the session, RC Thimphu President Rinzin Ongdra Wangchuk expressed his satisfaction at having undergone such a useful training course. He stated that all the members of the RC Thimphu were now more confident of the Rotary movement in Bhutan. He hoped that there would me more opportunities in the future for similar courses. He thanked the Assistant Governor Rajendra for his role as the focal person who managed the entire arrangement without a hitch and for the flawless logistical support he rendered to his colleagues from Nepal.


  1. Congratulations Sir for getting Paul Harris Fellow Certificate and Pin.

  2. Many, many congratulations Yeshey.

  3. Hi Mallikarjuna D.G. & DKB,


  4. Tashidelek :) TSNamgyal

  5. I will be visiting Bhutan from 21 Feb 2015 to 04 March 2015; will touch Thimphu as well... wish to and love to meet Rotarian friends of Bhutan if possible :) IPDG Rajani Mukerji, D-3291, Kolkata, India

  6. Hi Rtn. Mukerji,

    Would be honored to have you attend our Weekly Meeting at 6PM at Hotel Phuntsho Pelri. Please let our AES know if you are attending at: 77190182

  7. vsiting bhutan on 14th to 20th will be staying at Phntsho Phelri on 14th /15th June will be happy to meet fellow Rotarians.I am from Rotary district 3190 Rotary Yelahanka Bangalore India.You can reach me on mail

  8. Rtn. Suresh Poonoth , IPP RC Koduvayur, Rotary District 3201, IndiaJuly 15, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    I will be visiting Bhutan from 22nd July 2016 to 26th July 2016 . I am happy to meet Rotarian's of Bhutan if Possible . I am available on or WhatsAp +919946123033

  9. Dear Rtn. Suresh,

    We will be glad to meet you .... please visit our club website for details of meeting.