by Kalyan Banerjee, President Rotary International

In the pages of this month’s magazine, you will be introduced to the marvelous city of Bangkok, Thailand, which will play host to our 2012 Rotary International Convention. Please consider this my personal invitation to join me, my family, and our fellow Rotarians at what promises to be an incredible event in one of the world’s most fascinating locations.

Thailand is a spectacular destination, truly the Land of a Thousand Smiles. I would particularly urge Rotarians who have never visited Thailand before to consider this as your chance. You’ll be surrounded by gracious Rotarian hosts and friends, old and new, from around the world. Bangkok is a fantastic gateway for those wishing to explore Southeast Asia, and a wonderful experience on its own. For those who hail from countries closer by, take the opportunity to visit a major cultural capital, with all it has to offer – including shopping, dining, and sightseeing. Indeed, Bangkok will give you a wonderful value for your time and money.

But the very best reason to visit Bangkok, of course, will be the 2012 RI Convention itself, 6-9 May – the highlight of the Rotary calendar.

All through the year, we reach out to Rotary communities around the globe. At the convention, we have the chance to see all those communities represented in one place – to hear all the languages, see all the people, and learn about all the projects of the past year. Nothing brings home the internationality of Rotary like a Rotary convention – and nothing else has the same power to inspire.

I firmly believe that every Rotary event should be a family event, and this is why Binota and I plan to bring our children and our grandchildren. Why not do the same, and make the Rotary convention part of your family’s vacation next year? With so many wonderful events and activities to choose from, there is something for everyone, and plenty of opportunity to draw our families closer to our Rotary service.

Every year, I go to the convention excited to see old friends and make new ones, to celebrate our successes and learn from our experiences. And every year, I leave with a sense of pride in Rotary, eager to begin another year of service.

Bangkok promises to be the best convention yet. I urge you to register now at, and to begin planning your trip to our 103rd international convention!

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