About Zonta District 17

It’s Beginnings

In the early years of Zonta in Asia, the Philippines, along with 11 other countries, made up what was then Region 1. A letter on file dated January 7, 1975 from the International President Eleanor Jammal advised of ZI’s appointment of Area Directors for Bangladesh, Republic of China (Taiwan), Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand – the 12 countries comprising Region 1. The Regional Representative was Dr. Grit Sawada, A Caucasian married to a Japanese and resident in Nagoya, Japan. Thus in 1975 The Regional Conference (what is now referred to as the District Conference) was held in Nagoya, Japan.

The two subsequent Conferences were held in Hong Kong in 1977 and in Korea in 1979 with Karen Loh and Mary Lee as Regional Representatives, respectively, presiding. Among matters discussed at the 1979 Conference was the forthcoming districting of Region 1 as directed by Zonta International.



As mandated by Zonta International, District Conferences must be held once every biennium. These are held every odd-numbered year and are usually attended by the ZI President or her Representative who, as a usual practice, is a member of the ZI Board.

The purposes of the District Conferences are enumerated and described in the District Manual. Foremosts of these that have a direct bearing on the administration of the district, are the presentation and acceptance of the audit report, election of district officers and nominating committee, adoption of the District budget, presentation of proposed resolution affecting the District, receiving the International President’s message (not exactly in that order).


Organization of District 17

The District 17 officers elected in Korea on September 19, 1979, when the District was born, were installed by IP Evelyn de Witt at the International Convention in Washington, DC in July 1980. They were Governor Cecilia Muñoz-Palma, Lieut. Gov. Nancy Huang, Secretary Ruth C. Tirol, and Area Director (AD) Miyo Yamada of Japan.

The inauguration ceremony celebrating the organization of the District was held in Manila on September 12, 1980.

Pursuant to ZI By-laws and after consultation with clubs, the District was initially divided in 7 Areas with corresponding ADs. This has been reorganized to 6 Areas with their corresponding ADs for 2016 – 2018 as follows:



Area 1


Area 2


Area 3


Area 4


Area 5


Area 6



District 17 Goals 2016 – 2018

One vision, one mission, one voice, one movement. A Season of weaving D.R.E.A.M.S.

D  = Direction for a better future

R = Resources

E   = Empowerment through educational opportunities

A = Advocacy

M = Membership

S   = Service