Rotary Moment by Catherine Chan
A Non-Rotarian’s Rotary Moment
What does Rotary mean to me? Rotary is not just another charitable organization, but a group of amazing people who have got together to spend their time to improve the lives of the needy. Let me share with you my Rotary Moments with these amazing people.
THE ONE is the first and the greatest project that made a great impact on me. The concept of THE ONE was initiated by my boss and mentor, PDG David Harilela. Under his lead, we built up this award from nothing to the stage today where we have found and recognized 13 unsung heroes from all over the world.
I can never forget the moment when I met the first winner, Ms. Valerie Browning at the Inaugural Ball. She was an Australian nurse who left her homeland and spent her whole life to serve the Afar people in Ethiopia. On that night, I ran up to her to express my greatest gratitude and she humbly responded with “I didn’t do anything. But I thank the Afar people for accepting me.”
Two years later, Dr. Dan (THE ONE finalist 2012) was running short of medicines so he asked us for help that he vitally needed which would allow him to continue his free medical services for the needy in East Timor. We turned for this and looked for donations as there were no surplus monies available from THE ONE. A Rotarian Doctor appeared from nowhere to help us in due course. He worked hard to collect these medicines from friends and his own inventory. However, he was not happy with the quantities of medicines he had finally collected. He told me “Please wait for a few more days, I will arrange for you more “. Later, I found out that he had indeed bought these balance medicines for us from his own pocket. We never asked him to do so, but he was such a nice man who just loved to help others. This doctor was the President of Kowloon Golden Mile, the late Dr. Edwin Poon.
Because of his greatness, PDG David, decided to establish an Emergency fund of US$100,000 so that THE ONE could continue to help sustaining THE ONE angels.