Nicolas “Nick” Katigbak’s term as club president was highlighted by the visit of RI President Hiroji Mukasa to the MRDC, where he observed classes and later unveiled a marker commemorating his visit. Given that it is physically impossible for a RI president to visit every Rotary Club in the world during his one-year watch, the visit by President Hiroji was a singular honor for the Club.
That year also marked the second time a club member—Roberto “Bert” Montinola—served as district governor. With him as governor, the twin roles of event organizer and host of the district conference fell on RC Makati. Held at the Manila Garden Hotel (now Dusit Hotel) in February 1983, the discon featured a fashion show with the Club’s Rotary Anns as models. The conference had the distinction of being planned, managed, and wo-manned entirely by the Anns, with no help from the secretariat, then housed at the MRCF arcade just a stone’s throw away from the hotel.
Pres. Nick initiated two community service projects—a “Lunch & Merienda on Wheels” project where mothers of children enrolled in the feeding program prepared simple meals and sold them to office workers in Makati. The projects hit two birds with one stone—income generation for the participant mothers and partial subsidy for the Club’s nutrition centers. The Club also launched “Sleeping Children Around the World,” under which the Club gave slumber kits with mosquito nets, blankets, and pillows to some 500 homeless children who spent nights on streets and sidewalks and in parks.
His inclination towards community service prompted Pres. Nick to beef up the services of the MRDC with the opening of a medical clinic. Though operated only once a week, the health facility was able to cater to the medical needs of the Guadalupe Viejo community which at the time had no government health center of its own. The Club also inked a memorandum of agreement with the Kilusang Pangkabuhayan at Kaunlaran for a joint project that offered skills training and livelihood opportunities for the community.
The year’s implementation of the National Awards for Barangay Service was special in that it was graced by the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda Marcos as guest of honor and speaker.
Another significant achievement during Pres. Nick’s watch was the Club’s foray into brother club territory, a place it had not ventured into in the past. This he did by forging brother-clubs ties with two clubs in Camarines Sur—the Rotary Club of Naga and the Rotary Club of Nueva Caceres. Interestingly, Pres. Nick, together with PE Giorgio Bongulielmi, flew to Bicol in a 6-seater private plane for the signing ceremony, and stayed overnight in the city to fellowship with the Bicol Rotarians.
Pres. Nick also headed the RC Makati delegation that flew to Japan to visit the Rotary Club of Osaka-Shirokita and led the welcome party for visiting Rotarians from RC Kota Kinabalu who came to Manila for a renewal of ties with RC Makati.