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Perlita Tiro becomes 1st female president for Singapore Rotary Club

New milestone follows club's 1999 decision to allow women as members

Published on Jun 30, 2014 8:16 AM
One upcoming project involves helping incarcerated women maintain ties with their children. Mrs Tiro says: "We want to address some of the issues faced by women because they are often not given this focus." -- PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

When the Rotary Club of Singapore first opened its doors to female members in 1999, some men opposed the move and threatened to quit.

The leadership stood by its decision and women were finally allowed to join the club, part of a worldwide network of professionals who serve the community through humanitarian aid projects.

Last Saturday, the 84-year-old club marked another milestone by swearing in its first female president, Mrs Perlita Tiro.

At the installation ceremony at Marina Mandarin Singapore, the 70-year-old said in her acceptance speech: "Why am I here? At my age, I have to go for medical examinations every three years before I can continue to drive.

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Background story

Since Mrs Tiro was invited to join the Rotary Club of Singapore in 2000, she has been involved in projects ranging from relief work in the Philippines after the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan to helping local drug offenders with rehabilitation.