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INNER WHEEL DISTRICT 330, MALAYSIA, had the singular honour to host our President Christine Kirby to our beautiful Island of Penang to celebrate World Inner Wheel Day with us.
President Chris arrived late night on 10th January 2019 and was welcomed with a jasmine garland at Penang International Airport by the two Inner Wheel clubs on Penang Island. IWC Penang and IWC Pearl of the Orient.
On the next day, 11th January 2019, President Chris was taken on a city tour around the island. She visited the Peranakan Museum. The Peranakan culture, also known as the Babas and Nonyas is a prominent community of Chinese in the Straits Settlements (Penang, Malacca and Singapore) also known as the Straits Chinese. Adopting selected ways of the local Malays and later, the colonial British, the Peranakans had created a unique lifestyle and customs which had not only left behind a rich legacy of antiques but also its cultural influences like cuisine and language which are still evident in Penang today.
In the evening, President Chris had a Meet and Greet session with some Inner Wheel members. There was no fixed agenda on this session as the main purpose was for the members to get close and have a conversation with President. Many of them took this opportunity to exchange club bannerettes and take photos. Dinner that night was held at Maple Palace, a delightful Chinese cuisine restaurant. This dinner was attended by members of the Organising committee and the District Executive committee. Again there were more photo opportunities.
The next day, the 12th January 2019, we had another Meet and Greet session for more members who had missed the opportunity the previous day. At this session we had members from District 331, East Malaysia and Singapore to join in. Many members asked questions, cleared their doubts on various matters, and took more photos.
In the early evening, we had a dialogue with President Chris, which was attended by members of District 330 and 331. The topic of this dialogue was NATIONAL GOVERNING BODY. As District 330 and 331 have separated quite recently, there have been questions arising as to the formation of a National Governing Body. Members asked their questions and cleared their doubts. The final decision that was derived from this dialogue was that we should form more clubs and more districts for this to be a feasible idea.
A charity project by the 2 clubs in Penang was carried out. All members were requested to bring one food item to be donated to a food collection system called THE LIGHTHOUSE DROP CENTRE. This facility is run by a church and assists the homeless and the poor. This was called “FILL THE BARREL” project. Many members brought dry food items, such as rice, biscuits, tea, coffee, sugar and salt. Some also brought sanitary items such as soap and toothpaste. All these items were collected outside the function hall and would later be donated to THE LIGHTHOUSE DROP CENTRE.
In the later part of the evening, the official World Inner Day celebrations took off with much pomp and splendour.
The icing on the cake was the presentation of Charter certificates to
IWC Alor Star, District 330
IWC Temasek, Singapore, District 331
And the recognition of 2 clubs in the making
IWC Johor Bahru, District 330
IWC Butterworth, District 330
The total number of members and guests to this event was 180. This event was very well organised by the 2 clubs in Penang and the friendship and camaraderie among them was evident. Videos of International projects carried out by the clubs in District 330 were shown. Members danced and performed for the President. President Chris gave an inspiring 7 minute speech and further motivated the members. Especially the new members from the two new clubs and the two ‘soon to be’ clubs who were attending an Inner Wheel function for the first time.
As all great things must also come to a great ending, on Sunday the 13th January 2019, the two clubs in Penang, IWC Penang and IWC Pearl of the Orient hosted the President to a South Indian lunch. The purpose of the various different kinds of cuisine over the 3 days was to showcase the different ethnic groups of people that form our unique Malaysia.
In the evening, District Chairman Peggy Lee, Past International Inner Wheel Board Director Pearl Jai Mohan and myself, National Representative Seetha Lakshmi, accompanied President Chris on the connecting flight from Penang to Kuala Lumpur where she boarded her flight to United Kingdom. She left behind many sweet memories.
Report by National Representative Seetha Lakshmi
District 330 & 331