Volume XII, Issue 13: October 5, 2012


Last Friday, we opened our meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a recitation of the Four-Way Test:
Of the things we think, say, or do …

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will It build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Is it fair to all concerned?
Fa with Kahuna Kavinta

The Four-Way Test was devised by Herbert J. Taylor, who brought it to Rotary when he became a director of Rotary International in the 1940’s. Taylor devised the test during the previous decade, when he was turning around his failing aluminum distributing company.

President George also shared the October message from District Governor Michael Juric. If you missed it, click on this link: Michael’s October Update.


Former Club President Lori Breyer was in charge of recognizing Sunrisers last Friday. Her theme du jour was “The Bridgers”. Lori explained that those who were born prior to 1945 are the Builders, the 1946-1964 group are the Boomers, from 1965 to 1983 came the Busters, and those born between 1984 and 2001 are the Bridgers.

The first Bridger that Lori asked about was a Bridger Bruce – Mark Bruce’s son Adam. Mark said that Adam is doing well at UC Berkeley, where he is involved in research with the winner of a Nobel Prize. He did have a girlfriend, but that only lasted about two months. That’s probably because Adam is so busy – he has oneyear to go before graduating. Mark had his own news as well – The Man In White (Mark) will be performing at the Bayshore Mall this Friday, October 12th. He said he will be playing from 5:30 until he’s tired.

Dawn Elsbree’s son Nicholas is also working in a lab at Berkeley, and doing quite well. Her other son, Trevor is attending Cal Poly, and riding the occasional surfboard. Her daughter Claire is more than happy to be riding horses closer to home.

Bob Johnson’s two Bridger sons are also doing well. Patrick is working as a Medical Assistant in the Open Door Clinic’s Community Outreach Program. Aaron is in his second semester at the University of Hawaii, and Bob told us that this is “the hard semester” for students.

Our Club’s JOYC (“Justice Of Your Club”) has two Bridger daughters, and they are living near one another. Kayla graduated from college last year from the San Francisco Academy of Arts University. JOYC tells us that now, she’s considering applying to law school! Her sister Lacey’s field is science – she is working toward her degree in Biology.

Lori had an update on a Bridger who is also a former Rotary Kid. Hayley Madsen was married a few weeks ago, with a number of past and present Sunrisers in attendance.

Lori closed by mentioning her own Bridgers – Alli, who is doing well in Southern California; Kate, who is still at home (and working on homework during our meeting); Natalie, also in SoCal, studying Psychology; and Megan, who is in her freshman year at the University of Nevada, majoring in Accounting. Her other “daughter”, former Exchanger Noëmi Schöenenberger, is also doing well back in Switzerland.


It’s always a treat when our Exchange Students provide us with a glimpse into life in their home countries, and last Friday was no exception. Punyanuch Sillapajarn is better known as “Fa”, and last week she talked with us about her native Thailand.

Fa said that the Thai ruler, King Rama IX, has had the longest reign in the country’s history. The King is the head of state, he leads the Thai armed forces, and he upholds the Buddhist religion. He is also the Defender of All Faiths, which is important since, as Fa told us, culture, faith, and tradition are central to the Thai way of life.

Thai culture has many elements. Thai dancing is a very important cultural touchstone. Marriage in Thailand is also important, and it involves two main parts – the legal part and the ceremonial part. One important cultural element is the Tak Bat, or morning alms, where Buddhist monks are fed by the faithful.

Fa also talked about other important parts of Thai culture, including Thai boxing, the delicious food, and (it’s a separate category) dessert. She also noted that the geography of Thailand contains a variety of features – mountains, waterfalls, and of course, the sea.

Fa told us that there are many festivals in Thailand. She mentioned the Loi Krathong Festival, celebrated throughout Southeast Asia as an example. Krathongs are generally small vessels or rafts that are floated on a convenient body of water. These are launched under a full moon, usually in November. The floats contain coins, food, flowers, and a candle. Fa’s home town of Nakhon Sawan has a big celebration in honor of the Chinese New Year.

Fa said that she has a big family, which includes her Rotarian father, Kaisin; her mother Punyanat; her older brother Chawametha, who is 19; and her 12-year-old sister, Apinpom. Fa has a lot of experience with Rotary, helping her father’s club with its Casino Night, and attending the District 3350 Youth Exchange Orientation Camp.

In case you’re wondering what “sawa dee” means, Fa explained that it is a multi-purpose phrase. It can either mean “hello” or “goodbye”, depending on the context. (Much like “aloha” for Hawaiians.) So, whether you’re coming or going, when you see Fa, now you know what to say!