International Service took center stage during Pres. Robert “Robert” Kuan’s watch.
Through his personal efforts, the Club expanded its circle of fellowship on the national level with the addition on nine brother clubs—RC Intramuros in Manila, RC Metro San Fernando and RC Baguio North in Northern Luzon, RC Bay, RC Lucena South, and RC Gumaca in Southern Luzon, RC Brooke’s Point in Palawan, and RC Tagbilaran and RC Boracay in the Visayas.
He also established a connection to China by forging a pact with RC Shanghai. A significant move Pres. Robert took was the revival of long-lost ties with the Rotary Club of Taoyuan-Taiwan. Started in 1981-1982, 21 years earlier, the alliance somehow lost fire along the way, causing the two clubs to lose contact for many years. After the reunion, which took place at the zone institute held in Manila that year, relations between the two clubs have steadily grown closer, made stronger by an annual exchange of visits on important occasions and deep personal friendships among members. The Club also organized a new club—the Rotary Club of Makati-Poblacion, its 6th daughter club.
On Pres. Robert’s invitation, Philanthropist Angelo King made a substantial contribution to The Rotary Foundation that boosted the Club’s total giving and swelled its Paul Harris Fellows roster by an unprecedented, and likely unbreakable, 250. The $250,000 gift automatically qualified Angelo King for membership in the elite Arch Klumph Society of TRF major donors.
The PSP gained a headway with its annual outlay surging to P2.63 million owing to an increase in its budget allocation and pumped up by a personal donation of P500,000 from the president and $3,000 from Sister Club RC Peninsula-Hong Kong. This allowed the Club to approve grants of up to P50,000 each to finance the projects of 54 clubs both within and outside District 3830.
The year saw the completion of the water system project in San Fernando, Pampanga that broke ground in 1999-2000 during the term of PP Tito Panlilio. Funded by a 3-H grant of $189,000 (the Club’s only 3H grant and its biggest TRF grant yet), the project brought piped potable water to some 1,000 households in the barangays of Panipuan, Molino and Balite. It was inaugurated in March 2003.
Another water project was seen through during the year with the laying of pipes to bring clean water to the Adiwang Elementary School, adopted school of Brother Club RC Baguio North. The water project was funded by a donation by Pres. Robert, which also covered the repair of the school building. As beneficiaries of the Last Angel Project, the pupils of Adiwang, most of whom had never been to Baguio, were treated to a trip to the city where they picnicked at Burnham Park, enjoyed boat rides in the lagoon, and were toured around the city. They were also given gifts of toys. The Last Angel Christmas gift giving that year was expanded to include children in public schools in Brother Club locations in Northern Luzon. To complete the assistance package to Adiwang, the Club filled its library with hundreds of books from Books Across the Seas.
The Club also made time to express its appreciation of the Brother’s Brother Foundation (BBF), primary source of the books that BATS had been giving away since 1988, by inviting its president, Luke Hingson, to travel from the BBF headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Manila. Mr. Hingson spent his stay in Manila observing BATS operations, interacting with Rotarians and BATS staff, and sampling Filipino cuisine and culture.
That year, the Club once again brought home the choicest bacon from the district yearend awards:14 trophies and plaques crowned by the prized twin awards of Most Outstanding Club-Overall and Most Outstanding Club President-Overall. Aside from awards for exemplary performance in the avenues of service, the Club was conferred two Gold Awards for achievement in TRF: Highest Contribution in Absolute Amount and Highest Contribution to the Polio Fund.