Posted by Rosana Desanker
The handing-over of office ceremony on Monday, 1st July at the Bühne Restaurant marked the start for President-elect Paul Desanker as President of the Rotary Club Bonn International (RCBI), following President Francesco Belfiori.
This celebratory occasion was well attended by its members, non-Rotarian guests and guests from our sponsor club, Rotary Club Bonn-Rheinbach.
Paul, a born Malawian, is the fourth President of the RCBI; the youngest and only English speaking Rotary Club in Bonn and the sixth English-speaking Rotary Club in Germany.
The ceremony started with a speech from outgoing President Francesco, who thanked his Board and members for their contributions to the success of his year; before handing the office of President of the RCBI to President-elect Paul. This was followed by the first President of the Club, Monika Hörig, raising a toast to President Paul after paying tribute to the out-going President, Board and members.
President Paul appreciatively accepted the insignia of the new office, saying he was honoured to serve as President and thanked out-going President Francesco and all members for entrusting him with the most important role in the club. He reminded members that the Four-Way Test was an inspiration for personal and business relationships; and then proceeded to reciting the test himself.
President Paul emphasised his desire for the RCBI to earn a Rotary Citation by the end of his tenure, by achieving goals, which would:
  • Support and strengthen the club
  • Focus on and increase humanitarian service
  • Enhance public image and awareness
He pointed out that these goals may only be achieved by building on the accomplishments of members over the first three years, and went on to highlight some of the members and their accomplishments. He noted that he could have said something special about every member.
President Paul said special thanks to the sponsor club, Rotary Club Bonn-Rheinbach, for the good relationship that exists.  He then thanked their new President Michael Heider for attending a meeting two weeks earlier and for his extended regrets for being absent due to travel. Following this, he said he felt honoured and privileged at having the pleasure of inducting and welcoming three new members to the club: Ms. Christine Hohn, Dr. Elisabeth Mukuna and Mr. William Mulache. This was done with the supported of out-going President Francesco and their sponsors. All members and guests eagerly stood to listen to the ceremony and welcomed the new members.
President Paul took the opportunity to introduce his new Board and heartily thanked them; saying he was confident that his Board was made up of dedicated members willing to give their all to ensure another successful year. He introduced the offices as follows: Jayne Marquard and Sangita Popat will again share the responsibility of Secretary. Luca Brusa will remain the Treasurer. Colin Dürkop and Ulrich Kresin are responsible for Club Services. Nikolaus Richter will lead Service Projects, Oliver Bayer will lead Membership; with Constantin von Kleinsorgen taking on the responsibility of IT and Media. Past President (2016/17) Monika Hörig will be the club’s Liaison Officer and past President (2017/18) Keith Castelino is the clubs  Executive Secretary.
The last year saw the Rotary Club Bonn International achieve its goal of funding its very first international project to a Malawian Orphanage, St. Mary's Rehabilitation Centre, in Chezi, Malawi; which was mainly supported by our first fundraiser Wine & Dine dinner. Other highlights of the year included hosting two International Tables; supporting the Rotaract Club Bonn Kidscamp 2018; supporting and implementing the Rotary Peace Scholar information dissemination seminar; and planning, implementing and co-hosting a successful Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) with Rotary Club Bonn-Museumsmeile.
The meeting was closed by President Paul thanking everyone for attending and the celebratory evening; and by out-going President Francesco saying the Four-Way Test.