I can fly

I’m proud that I can fly

To give the best of mine

Till the end of time.

(Fiona Fung).


It is Saturday, 21st April, 2018. The warm breeze blows gently across my face, as my fellow Rotarian husband and I enter the Hilton Bali Resort, to attend the Rotary Club Bali, Nusa Dua’s 25th Anniversary Charity Gala Dinner. It will be a very special night, I think, because we will all fly!

From the hotel foyer, I gaze outside at the manicured, landscaped gardens, consisting of tropical plants, sculptures and water features. A large billboard stands proudly behind me. It lists all of our sponsors, all equally important, but too numerous to mention here. The wonderful prizes they have donated to the club, are listed on a large poster, on the opposite side of the room.

A gong sounds! The welcome dancers usher all of the guests, through the magnificent, carved doors fit for royalty, into the Graha Paruman Ballroom. The tables are already perfectly set for dinner and the black chairs, tied with massive silver sashes, sparkle silver and shimmer in the evening light.

I take my place with two fellow Rotarians at the registration table and assist in registering approximately 170 guests, while other guests sip cocktails, provided by Bali Moon in the foyer. The full programme guided by our expert MC and Rotarian Eddie Fitzgerald, in his humourous and relaxed fashion, is about to begin. A traditional Balinese welcome dance (Gabor), performed by Sanggar Tari Dan Tabuh Langlang Bhuana IV Jimbaran, leads guests into the ballroom and commences the dance.

Our President, Edward Naus steps onto the stage. He looks the part in a black suit and sparling silver bow tie and handkerchief. President Edward reflects back on the past twenty-five years of RBCND achievements, through it’s various projects. He mentions several successful programmes: Cleft Lip and Palate, where RCBND has provided more than 1600 operations, to children and young adults in Bali and its surrounding islands; HIV/Aids Programme: Yayasan Puspadi Bali which focuses on providing prosthetic legs and prostheses to people with disabilities; Suryani Institute; Orphange Christmas Party, which together with the Grand Hyatt Bali, hosts a party for some 350 orphaned and disabled children; Bali Children Foundation Scholarships; Secondary School Scholarships; and Deaf School Bali Projects. RCBND also provides part funding to many other projects.

The children’s choir takes the stage – YPAC (Yayasan Penderita Anak Cacat) and Puspadi Bali Foundation provide an excellent performance. Afterwards Nia Firmita who is 11 years old, dances to perfection, despite her disability. I met Nia at the Orphanage Christmas Party last year. She looked as beautiful in her traditional dance costume, as she does now. Raffles and auctions of the wonderful gifts and prizes donated by our sponsors, continue throughout the evening, to raise funds for RCBND’s continuing charity work. Later, prizes are given out for “Best Dressed Couple” and “Best Dressed Lady.”

The guests enjoy a buffet dinner to the sound of a live band: Balination. Uluwatu Lace provides the first glimpse of it’s stunning, new Waterlily Crown Collection. The tall, elegant models including one handsome male model, parade their lovely white lace garments, weaving in and out of tables of guests. A lucky guest wins a garment, donated by Uluwatu Lace. Later in the evening as the guests become merrier and a little less composed, they dance away to All About Percussion Bali band.

I sit back and listen to the music and the chatter of the guests, enjoying themselves. I think about how organisations like Rotary create change, more than the efforts of only one individual. Minke, the main character in one of renowned Indonesian author Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s novels, cleverly advised:

…throw yourself into the organisational work. Make yourself and your friends

a part of a great mountainous wave.

(Pramoedya Ananta Toer – House of Glass).


Rotary Club Bali, Nusa Dua endeavours to unite and modestly carry out such organisational work, for the benefit of others who need it. However, it cannot do it alone. So a great big thank you, to all of our sponsors, for their donations and wonderful prizes. Together, we can spread our wings, so wide!


Thank you also, to all those who contributed to make this event, such a special one: our fellow Rotarians; the Fundraising Committee members; a variety of organisations; hotel staff from the Hilton Bali Resort; the choirs; bands and other performances. Please feel free to join one of RCBND’s Thursday (1-2 p.m.) weekly lunch meetings.


Authored by Christine Velde, Rotarian, Rotary Club Bali, Nusa Dua

On behalf of the President, Edward Naus, Rotary Club Bali, Nusa Dua (2017 – 2018).


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