Interview with Seung Ping Riggs, first lady President of Wantage Rotary (March 2019)

We were delighted to meet Seung Ping Riggs, first female president of the Wantage Rotary Club.

How long have you been involved with Rotary?

I first got involved with Rotary in 1993 when I was living in Hong Kong. I was working in a charity organisation called Hong Kong Kidney Trust Fund to help end-stage kidney failure patients to have dialysis. The Hong Kong Rotary Club was one of the organisations that helped me raise the money.

Since then I made many Rotary friends and I was inspired by Rotary laws that have high regard to ethical and professional standards in business, bringing together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and advance goodwill and peace around the world. I also admired Rotary for being a non-political and non-sectarian organization open to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference, with over a million Rotarians around the world.

I joined the Hong Kong Rotary and was a member for 7 years. From 1997 – 98 I was very honoured to be their second lady President.

What was your journey to Wantage?

I moved to the U.K. for my daughter’s secondary education placement at Wycombe High School and continued my Rotary service at Windsor St George Rotary club for five years.

When I moved to Wantage in 1999 I was delighted to discover the Wantage Rotary Club and after a few years it made sense to continue my Rotary service here in Wantage.

I am now very honoured to be the first lady president of Wantage Rotary, among all the respectful, experienced local Rotarians and their families. 

As I don’t have my own family close by (they are in Hong Kong), Rotary provides my shelter, warmth, friendship and commitment. I am also very lucky to have the support of my husband.

Rotary gives me the strength and hope to view the world and our community’s needs differently. Rotary’s objectives inspire me to become a better person, creating peace through goodwill and fellowship. 

 

Why is Rotary so important to you?

In my experience, I feel it is important to be part of a team which helps and supports each other for the good of Rotary. We respect each other to achieve the club’s objectives as well as cultivating a no-blame culture where people complement each other, and embrace differences and diversity.

We meet weekly, twice a month at lunchtime and twice a month in the evening as many people have fulltime jobs.

 

I myself am the new manager of St Katharine’s House Care Home and have been working hard with regional management to build up a brilliant team of staff to turn the care home around.

All the values that are important to me at Rotary, I use in my work and daily life. 

Anyone is welcome to visit me at St Katharine’s. You do not need to make an appointment.

Do you welcome new members to Wantage Rotary?

Yes absolutely! We currently have about 30 members and I look forward to welcoming more local residents, including more women, into Wantage Rotary. We have interesting speakers at our weekly meetings and we organise several events throughout the year to raise money for worthy local causes, and those in need. We have also provided, and will maintain, a defibrillator outside the town library. 

We continue to support the End Polio Now campaign, and two separate charities helping very poor children in Africa. Each year, we help to fund a two week eye surgery clinic in India, which restores sight to significant numbers of people with cataracts and other eye problems.

If you think that you might be interested in joining us, please email Bill Roycroft on billroycroft@hotmail.com, or our secretary, David Godding, on dgodding2@btinternet.com, and come along to one or two of our meetings, which are split between lunch and dinner. There is no age limit, and there is no discrimination.

For more information about Wantage Rotary please visit our website.

 

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