International service was a strong suit under President Ronald “Ronnie” Velayo’s watch.
It was during his term that the Philippines saw the forging on its shores of the first matched districts agreement –between District 382, then led by District Governor Oscar Ravanera, and District 345, which at the time comprised Hong Kong, Macau and the Republic of China. The pact was significant for Pres. Ronnie in that it was brokered by RC Makati.
Preparatory talks in the preceding year bore fruit this year in the form of sister-clubs agreements with three Rotary Clubs in Asia—RC Hou Kuong-Macau, RC Taoyuan-Taiwan and RC Peninsula-Hong Kong, the first two still very much in force. Convinced that visits between clubs are potent tools for reinforcing club ties and keeping relationships fresh, Pres. Ronnie organized trips to Hong Kong to visit RC Peninsula and to Macau to visit RC Hou Kuong. This was the year that the Club started a campaign for Paul Harris Fellows (PHF) in earnest. The drive yielded remarkable returns with the enlistment of 15 PHFs, a record high that would be broken again and again and again in the years to come.
A new project was also launched under the aegis of MRDC—the Portage Project, with the objective of developing a way for parents to detect mental deficiency in their infants and toddlers and to get them to seek the necessary medical and psychological intervention to help mitigate the condition. Also under the MRDC was a “Sponsor a Child Project,” that solicited donations for the school, specifically to underwrite school fees for needy pupils. The MRDC team did their school and the Club proud by turning in an excellent performance at the Pan Pacific Special Olympics for Disabled Children, winning 11 out of 17 medals up for grabs in the competition.
And finally, after ten years, RC Makati was able to pay in full the P660,000 syndicated bank loan it took to fund the construction of the Makati Rotary Foundation Arcade at the Makati Commercial Center in the early ‘70s.