Below is a portion of a paper written by Past Gov. Sonny Coloma, a clubmate of Pres. Edwin Afzelius. Sonny is among the past Governors of our District that I highly respect.
For The Alabang Scoresheet – 7 June 2007
PDG Sonny Coloma
President Edwin’s Will to Serve
... An overall Most Outstanding Club award was also given to Rotary Club of Makati, the second to the last award to be given out by Governor Rafael “Butch” Francisco in the Awards Night held last Friday, 1 June, at the Manila Peninsula. But it was only the second most applauded award.
The night belonged to Pres. Edwin Afzelius. When his name was announced as Most Outstanding Club President, a roar issued from the crowd. A loud standing ovation ensued. Then his fellow Lead Presidents swarmed all over him to offer him handshakes, hugs, kisses and effusive best wishes....
What’s the secret behind the Club’s success under Pres. Edwin’s dynamic leadership? There is no secret. Hard work, determination, and the will to serve were the key success factors.
I happen to be a believer in the Aruego principle enunciated by Past District Governor Johnny Aruego: “There is no such thing as strong clubs or weak clubs, only strong Club Presidents and weak Club Presidents.” I have framed a corollary principle: “Strong clubs led by strong Presidents become effective because these are powered by strongly committed Rotarians.”
Pres. Edwin was definitely hard working. As a founder-owner- CEO of a well-performing business enterprise, he dedicated more than ample stores of time to being Club President. His determination was evident. He was always an ardent promoter of club projects and he sought out the participation of each and every Rotarian and spouse. He also networked with community leaders and organizations to ensure that our projects would have wide-ranging impact. He did a lot to project a positive public image for the club, thereby attracting community support and garnering a good number of new members.
Above all, he had the will to serve. He stepped up and stood out. He embraced the responsibility of leading our club, even if he had already served previously (in RY 1994-1995 under then Governor Romy del Rosario) as President of RC Las Pinas. His enthusiasm infected us all, and his go-getting style was contagious.
Above all, Pres. Edwin demonstrated generosity of spirit and genuine compassion. He shared his time, talents and resources selflessly --- and his generosity returned to him in manifold ways. He had an abundance mindset, so his actions brought forth an abundance of productive and beneficial results.
Many months before his term began, I was with then President-elect Edwin and spouse Panggay, and Past Presidents Polie de los Santos and Jun Manas with their spouses Bubut and Cely at a social event in a Makati hotel. In jest, I told Edwin, “The real reason why we elected you Club President is not that we wanted you to be President. We really want Panggay to be first Lady of RC Alabang!”
In good humor, Edwin took that in stride. But that was really meant to be an indirect compliment. Edwin Afzelius resolved and committed to serve RC Alabang as Club President at a time when there was great reluctance among many of our colleagues to take on the mantle of Club leadership. He did not just accept the responsibility. He heeded the call to serve, embraced the challenge, led the way and made a great difference.