Ushering the new year with a bang!

4 01 2006

Joint Rotary-Rotaract Conference 2005/06
30 Dec 05 – 1 Jan 06 @ Crowne Plaza Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Report by Shreen Sugeeta

It was history in the making, as over 600 Rotarians and Rotaractors from all over Peninsular Malaysia (and some from abroad too) gathered at Crowne Plaza Kuala Lumpur this New Year’s weekend for the much anticipated (drumroll)… the District 3300 Joint Rotary-Rotaract Conference!
Day One: 30th December 2005 – “The Opening Ceremony”
Clad in our formal wear, we saw our way to the Grand Nirwana Ballroom. The night started off with a speech, then another speech, then yet another speech… (Ok, there were lots of speeches!!!). The Conference was declared open by DG. Dr. Ken Khoo who said it would certainly be a “conference with a difference”. When the speeches were done, we were then served with food and entertained by the Group Study Exchange Teams. District 1920, Austria serenaded us with tunes from the all time classic “The Sound of Music”, while District 9450, Western Australia gave a lesson on Australian slang, “G’day Mate!” The night didn’t end there of course. We (the boys especially) were then mesmerized by the “art” of belly dancing. Well, gyrating hips and the male species, need I say more? Towards the end of the event, the dance floor was opened and the dancing continued till the wee hours of the morning.

Day Two: 31st December 2005 – “The Conference”
Although lacking beauty sleep, everyone was up and about by 8.30am the following morning for the conference. We were looking forward to the panel discussion: “Rotary-Rotaract Under A Microscope”. Chaired by Hong Kong IPDG Alexander Mak, our DRR Jamie and PDRR Terence Lee spoke with PDRR spoke with much conviction as they represented all Rotaractors to voice our challenges. The panel discussion provided a platform for the members of the floor to speak up as well. We didn’t get much of our concerns answered during the panel discussion, however, later that day, IPDG Alexander joined us at our separate Rotaract session to share with us his thoughts.

A relatively serious half time took a turn towards midday as we started on our team building and fellowship sessions. Creating sky scrapers with cards to stand the test of the 3-speed fan saw the creative (or not so creative) side of the participants. The egg catcher was indeed one that built strong teamwork as everyone in the team had a distinctive role to play. From the auction to the gambling house, the room was buzzing with noise – all in the spirit to build the best Egg Catcher ever! If that wasn’t enough, we were also given a 2am on New Years day deadline to find the Missing Ming. While some teams weren’t really concerned about the precious Ming, others were eagerly trying to solve the clues, as if their lives depended on it!

It was 7.30pm when we yet again found our way to the ballroom for the Governor’s Banquet Dinner. This time, everyone had to adhere to the Black and Gold Theme. Gorgeous ladies and handsomely dressed men dined, drank wine and ushered in 2006 with a whole load of dancing and serious partying. This time, we Rotaractors had to make way for the Rotarians on the dance floor. We boogied all night to music from all eras (Literally, we even had YMCA playing). Who would have thought that being at a conference on New Year’s Eve would prove to be so much fun!!!

Day Three: 1st January 2006 – “Its 2006…ALREADY!”
Yes, we made it to Day Three! It wouldn’t have been complete if there wasn’t charity involved. Joining us at the conference on New Year’s Day were 500 Children from orphanages from all around Malaysia. The kids were treated to a trip to Aquaria, had a yo-yo demo and were then given school and goodie bags to take home. As we ate our chicken rice for lunch, we were entertained by young hip-hop dancers and a magic show – Moudini (Malaysian version of Houdini la!!) It was about 1.30pm when DG declared the conference closed. The children went home with big smiles on their faces and the Rotarians & Rotaractors left with fond memories. Thumbs up to the organizers who diligently worked day and night to make it a success!

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