District Chairman Datin Gillian Lee's visit to the Inner Wheel Clubs of Sabah and Sarawak

  District 331

30 Jun 2021





To be with the members of IWC Kinabalu Rafflesia (“IWCKR”) in Kota Kinabalu one minute, and with the ladies of IWC Sandakan more than 300km away and with a cup of tea thrown into the equation, the next… would have been impossible pre-Covid 19 days. However, with the pandemic, we have embraced many “new” technological innovations and what would have once been unthinkable, is now part and parcel of our Inner Wheel life.



At 2.00pm on 17th January 2021, I had the pleasure of paying a virtual Club Visit to IWCKR. Although a relatively young club, IWCKR has performed reasonably well under the able leadership of VP Audrey Wong and two of their more senior members. Small in number, they cleverly collaborated with another NGO to donate diapers, milk powder and packets of cereal to the needy, and also organised the collection of blankets and other essentials for an orphanage in the district of Tambunan. We had a most fruitful and interactive session on the administrative and statutory duties of the Club Officers, and I was duly impressed by the tenacity of the members to keep their recruitment efforts going even during this trying time. I shall certainly look forward to seeing IWCKR grow from strength to strength in the not too distant future!


At 4.00pm that same afternoon, I was “whisked” … to my second virtual meeting with the members of the Inner Wheel Club of Sandakan. It was lovely to see the many friendly and familiar faces of our members there. Despite being one of the more badly affected towns in Sabah during the Coronavirus pandemic, the members of the Sandakan Club managed to do their bit for their community. This included the donation of ceiling fans to an Old Folks Home and cartons of soy milk to the Duchess of Kent Hospital, the Cheshire Home and the Educare Project, and the presentation of RM3,600 worth of PPEs to the Duchess of Kent Hospital. What an amazing group of ladies!






The afternoon of 30th January 2021 was my virtual Club Visit to the Inner Wheel Club of Kuching, the first among the three clubs in Sarawak. Although it has been more than a year since I last visited Kuching, our meeting took off as if it were only the day before that we met each other. It was certainly a meeting of “old” friends with everyone eager to contribute towards the discussion. As with the other clubs, IWC Kuching had, under the passionate leadership of President Anie, also been busy during the pandemic, donating basic household necessities to fire victims and the less privileged, a commode chair and a wheel chair to 2 senior citizens and PPEs to several rural clinics in between lockdowns and in compliance with the SOPs. I was truly impressed by their dedication to serve their community!






The 3rd of February 2021 marked my District Chairman’s visit to IWC Miri. To accommodate the busy work schedule of certain of their members, the meeting was held at 8.00pm that Wednesday evening. However, even after a long day at work, everyone was very accommodating and eager to meet both myself and District Extension Chairman Phyllis Fong, who accompanied me to the meeting that day. Apart from sharing the various District news with the members, we also touched on several Club matters. It was heartening to note that although IWC Miri is a small Club, it is doing as well as can be expected under the leadership of our stalwart President Florence Enau and her very dedicated team of ladies. Their community service projects included the donation of food packages to the underprivileged families living in the Tudan area, and their participation in the District 331 Joint Clubs Water Project in Kampung Palak on the island of Pulau Banggi in Sabah, for which President Florence managed to obtain a generous donation from a donor in Australia. What a remarkable achievement during such trying times!!






My Official Visit to the Inner Wheel Club of Sibu, the home club of our National Representative Alice Lau, was held on 11th of April 2021. Sibu was also badly affected by the pandemic and the lockdown affected the Club’s programme for the year. However, prior to the lockdown in the State, the members managed to get together for the Installation Ceremony of President Alice Lim, made a cheque donation to a family member of a brain stroke patient, and celebrated the birthdays of several club members. I was especially touched to see their most senior Club member, PDC Datin Lau Dai Hee, and also Club Treasurer Datin Tiong Wee Huong who was in Melbourne, Australia joining us for the virtual meeting. That, is commitment for you, and the happy smiles of all the lovely ladies of IWC Sibu will forever be etched in my memory cake!






When hopes of the lifting of the lockdown and relaxation of the stringent SOPs imposed in Kota Kinabalu grew dim, President Gina Yaakub of Inner Wheel Club of Kota Kinabalu and her Executive Committee members had no choice but to arrange for a virtual, instead of a physical District Chairman visit to their Club. I was happy to note that despite the lockdown in the State of Sabah, the members not only made a cheque donation to the Sabah Mental Health Association, but also donated a Powered Air Purifying Respirator TR-600 and various urgently required PPEs to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1. My meeting with the members that evening was a most insightful and interactive one, with the sharing of ideas on how to make future club meetings more interesting, and probable topics for future training sessions. Thank you President Gina and members of IWCKK for that engaging session!






And that concludes my District Chairman’s Official Club Visits for 2020-2021. A year which came with many challenges, but which our clubs have safely pulled through, not only because of the strength, determination and creativity of their members, but also because of that special bond of Inner Wheel friendship among them!



In Inner Wheel Friendship

Datin Gillian Lee

District Chairman 2020-2021

Inner Wheel District 331