ROTARY CLUB OF INTRAMUROS
Club No. 16964
It was on March 4, 1981 when the Rotary Club of Intramuros was formally chartered into the world of Rotary Service.
It is rather intriguing, albeit intellectually satisfying, to know that almost always it is the busy people who respond to the call of service – service that is not bound by time and space. “If you want things done well, give it to a Rotarian” is an adage proved true by time, especially with the Rotary Club of Intramuros.
That was exactly the order of things when the Rotary Club of Manila – Asia’s First – tasked Doc Ayesa and Tony Esteban to organize a new club in July 1980. Thanks to the leading lights of the RCM at that time ---Doc and Tony, President Liloy Balatbat, and Cesar Yatco, who himself later became President of the Rotary Club of Biñan, Laguna---The Rotary Club of Intramuros came into being.
The eagerness to serve displayed by the individuals who were to become charter members of RCI immediately surfaced to the fore, considering that, even without any charter documents yet, they proceeded to start with regular meetings as a club and immersed themselves in projects for the poor and the underprivileged.
Finally, when the time came for the Club’s charter presentation, the “Group of Four” made no attempt to conceal their happiness for a job well done, In his message, Doc Ayesa stated in clear language the historic significance of the Rotary Club of Intramuros. He wrote: “It was also here where the adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legaspi established the seat of his government. I am proud that this organization carries with it an illustrious name.”
But the charter document was not handed over in a silver platter. It was earned and deserved. When the late Legs Legaspi Jr., the club’s charter president, received it, he knew only too well the twists and turns the newborn club had to negotiate during its gestation period from July 1980 through June 1981. Managing a club from week to week was difficult enough, but to men the likes of Legs Legaspi, difficulties were only opportunities. Did he not explain in the presentation night, “We shall be, as the walls of Intramuros, solid, unwavering, impregnable?” Even up there where he now rests, he should find comfort in those words.
The year 1980 could have been the best year to organize the Rotary Club of Intramuros, for that was the year when the entire universe of Rotary challenged all of humanity to “Take Time To Serve”. In fact, all the efforts of the Rotary Club of Manila – the venerable sponsor – were directed “to take time to serve Manila”, to borrow the words of RCM President Liloy Balatbat. It was a year of “adventures in service.” To Rolf J. Klarich, then RI president, “it was an active year for busy people to take time to serve.”
Busy people they really were, those businessmen who grouped together to form an institution of service – The Rotary Club of Intramurs, Manila. It must have been a challenging job on the part of the “Group of Four” to bring them together, but nevertheless it was a rewarding experience.
The Rotary Club of Intramuros was finally chartered on March 4, 1981 with 40 charter members. Today seven of those original members are still members of the club. Each of the seven has served as club president.
What has distinguished the Rotary Club of Intramuros from its inception has been the number of independent entrepreneurs and business people who head their own enterprises and have made themselves available for community service for which Rotary is primarily noted.
Although the primary area of the club’s concern has been the historic area of Intramuros, the club’s activity has not been limited by this geography. The outreach programs have extended to the Port Area, Binondo, and the schools in the surrounding districts outside the walls.
The club has been active in all four avenues of service and has supported and participated in the activities of Rotary District 3810. Many of the club’s members have been tapped to lead district committees and projects such as District Awards and PETS. It has also produced a District Governor, in the person of PDG Lyne Abanilla.
The club is further strengthened by a very active and supportive Rotary Intramuros Foundation Inc., which manages the funds donated to the club.
With its rich history, strong foundation and active members, the Rotary Club of Intramuros again faces this new year of service with confidence and renewed enthusiasm.