RC Angeles 55, the ‘mother club’
When I was president of the Rotary Club of Angeles, I always declare after banging the gavel that our club is a prestigious club. My declaration is not necessarily to remind the members but to impress upon the guests that we are very proud of our organization. The first in Angeles City. The RC Angeles is called the ‘Mother Club’. Rightly so because it is the pioneer club in the city. Rotarians in this part of District 3790 can thank Tatang Johnny Uy for he was the main man responsible in bringing Rotary movement in Angeles City and over the years branched out to Magalang, Mabalacat and Clark Freeport.
In the club it was a mixed of interesting people and culture since we have members of different nationalities. Example, our incoming president, international businessman Arjan Groot Baltink is from Amsterdam and past President Jeev Singh is from Punjab, India. Another past president, Allam Kahil is from Palestine. The late Past President Walt Howard was from the United States. We used to have Buick Bahador, the big man from Iran. There are several Koreans also inducted in the club. Now women were accepted in the Club and Andrea Go, a successful businesswoman is slated to be president. And the millennials in our ranks led by banker RM Mamac looks towards the future and will steer the club in further rendering services.
Here’s our history. The Rotary Club of Angeles was founded in April 9, 1965, some fifty three years ago. ( Though 1964 it was already formalized but that induction was only held the next year).During those years, the young Johnny was running the biggest supermarket in the newly created Angeles City. ( It was a year earlier, 1964 when the city was chartered and Rafael Del Rosario became the last town mayor and the first city mayor).
And since there was no Rotary club as yet in the city, Tatang Johnny was recruited as member of the Rotary Club of San Fernando and joined outstanding citizens of the province the likes of the late Jesus Lazatin, Gerry Rodriguez and Andres Guanzon just to name a few.It was only after years of membership that he saw the need of a Rotary club in Angeles city. Thus, in the summer of 1965 the Rotary Club of Angeles was born.
It was the amiable Geromin Nepomuceno, then president of Holy Angel College who was elected as the first president. To suceed him was Angelo ‘Loy’David, manager then of Prudential Bank. Many of the leading citizens of Angeles City became president of the prestigious organization. To date many of them passed away but will long be remembered by their peers in the Rotary organization.
The roster includes Carding Flores aka Apung Gundo, long time serving president of Holy Angel College, Lawyer Frank Villanueva, businessman Bud Valdes, Al Wilkerson a former American GI who went to motor trading business, lawyer Aciong Guiao, Dr. Jogar Arceo, Dr.Melo Narciso, grocery man Jess Panlilio, Chinese businessman Ben Chu, Ted Suarez of Don Pepe Henson enterprise, furniture maker Benny Sazon, Angeles University Foundation Vice President Tony Angeles, businessman Pete Lansang, (Gen) Ener Lumanlan, Maharajah Hotel owner Romy Pascual, certified public accountant Crescencio Galang, businessman Eddie Antonio of Oasis Hotel and lawyers Casiano ‘Casik’Sabile and Ric Bermudo. Their fellowship is now in heaven. RC. Angeles has now passed its golden anniversary. It’s a good, great and satisfying of fifty five years of serving communities with the guiding motto of ‘Service above Self’.
What draws people to Rotary is the opportunity to render in a collective manner services needed yet not attended or overlooked. The RC Angeles over the years already endeavored in serving people even outside of the city. The list is a long of kind of services rendered, including medical missions, feeding programs, career guidance seminars to high students, free vocational courses and many more. My bragging rights. I was named most outstanding Rotarian in the district during the governorship of Mark Go, now Congressman representing Baguio City. During my presidency at RC Angeles I lined up several projects and highlighted by giving bus loads of students from coming from several barangay high schools in the province and gave them tours inside Clark Freeport and showed how call center agents worked on internet providers. Got them free entrance To Fontana world class swimming resort and served them food at the park. Many presidents of the club also marked their presidency with meaningful activities.
In Rotary what goes hand in hand are friendship that develops among members. I could not have joked and laughed with people like Dante Timbol,Dan Dizon, the late Atty. Ric Bermudo, Berty Reyes, Fred Ayson, Ding Roque, Mars Deang, Ed Sugay, Manny Alfonso, Jojo Flores, Dr. Tony Guzman, Ray Dizon, Jun Tongol, the late Gus Agustin, Efren Tayag, Romy Pecson, Ed Panlilio, the late Walt Howard and many more if I have not joined the club which elected me president in 2005.
Life is more becomes more interesting when you join a Rotary organization. You don’t have to be rich serve your fellow human beings, particularly the marginalized.