Members Meeting 17th March 2020
Last week the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. Countries imposed entry restrictions and international travel slowed down to snail pace. However, amidst all this, we still had 4 tables full of members and guests attending this week. A very good show-up in the present climate. We started the meeting with a moment of silence for the lost of two beloved members: A de O Sales and R N Ratnam. PP O Sales dedicated his life to sports development in Hong Kong and helped us to achieve sporting autonomy after 1997. R N has been a prominent figure in the Indian community in Hong Kong and a dedicated member of our Club for 32 years. We mourn their departure and hope they rest in peace. With departures there are newcomers. In the meeting, PP John Lee announced that he will re-join the Club, following PP Selwyn’s example. Thank you, PP John. Your re-joining is a great encouragement to all of us. We also inducted a new member. Ms. Irene Tse, to the family. Irene has been a regular visitor to our Club meetings and have strongly supported our recent face-mask donation project in her personal capacity. Welcome, Irene. I am sure you will become a great rotarian. Irene is the fourth new member this year. According to PE Peter, chair of the Membership Committee, there are 2 to 3 more in the pipeline. Looks like we can expect a year of abundance. The talk by our Elsie Yung was on “Human Resources – What is in it for me?”. The talk gave insights on how the HR role is evolving and gave us a glimpse into the new areas of HR: not just hiring and firing or looking into employment benefits etc. but helping the operation teams to elevate efficiency with their human touch. It was also interesting to note that Elsie studied English, not HR or business, in University but became a highly successful HR professional. Proves that one’s potential need not be restricted by what they study.
Members Meeting 3rd March 2020
After the pause in meetings in late February to avoid the coronavirus threat, members were eager to get together again this week. However, we had a rough start as the scheduled speaker, Ms. Myat Thuzar Than, CG of Myanmar, had to postpone her visit following health advice by their Embassy in the last minute. Being agile and adaptive, we immediately changed plans and our Hon. Treasurer, Connie Leung came to the rescue. She delivered a speech on “Trust and Estate planning – Hong Kong and China Perspective” which was well received by the audience. PP Kelvin was quick to spot that the threshold for a trust was only $10 million. I am sure a lot of members are considering one after listening to Connie’s analysis of the benefits to be achieved! The eventual meeting was well attended with 3 tables full of members and guests. Everybody was relaxed, away from the tense climate outside, and we had good fellowship and fun amidst all the announcements. PP Kelvin reported on the recent ad hoc service project that we just did on 29th February: donating surgery masks and hand sanitizers to the POLCCF Dialysis Centre; PP Mitzi Leung reported on her progress on the establishment of the Rotary Action Group For Peace for District 3450; and PE Peter came up with an innovative face mask holder that he distributed as souvenirs to all attending the lunch. We also admitted one new member in the lunch: Ms Martha Hao who was proposed by PE Peter. Martha was General Manager at Defond Group and currently Chairperson of the Hong Kong Medical and Healthcare Device Industries Association and a Council Member of the Hong Kong Internet of Things Alliance (HKIOTA). Her classification is Innovation and Technology. Apart from Martha, a number of potential new members also attended the lunch, presumably observing our performance to see if it is worth them joining us! Such renewed interest is all due to the great work done by the Membership Committee under the leadership of PE Peter.
Members Meeting 4th February 2020
We started our first lunch meeting in the Year of the Rat today despite the coronavirus threat rampaging in the City. A lot of District events were either cancelled or postponed, but we decided to live our normal life and keep to our luncheon schedule as much as we could. Our guest speaker was Mr Clement Chan, Managing Director of BDO Ltd, which happens also to be our honorary auditor. Clement has served on many public boards, including the SFC, the HK Mortgage Corporation and the Consumer Council. Today, he addressed us on “What it takes to build a Consumers’ Right’s Culture”. Due to the epidemic situation, I must apologize to Clement for a relatively light audience. We did not have any guests (apart from the speaker) visiting us but still had 15 members attending, 8 of which were past presidents. If we did not make up in numbers, I hope that we made it up in seniority. Clement explained the composition of the Consumer Council, its positioning and its latest strategic goals. It was very inspiring and informative. Apart from the Choice magazines, I was never aware that the Consumer Council was doing so much. During the Q&A session, there was extensive discussions on how vast the products the Consumer Council has been covering (not only consumables, but also service products like insurance, Uber etc.) and whether it should try to expand its activities (and influence) to the Greater Bay Area or not. Clement said that it was one of their strategies to connect more within the Greater Bay Area since in this age of online shopping, failure to do so would be a disservice to the customers. However, how to do it and to what details are still to be formulated. Our next speaker on 18th February will be Ms. Priyanka Chauhan, CG of India and her topic will be “India: 70 years of the Republic”. I suddenly have a thought: India is a developing country and densely populated, just as China, yet I cannot recall it having any major epidemic as SARS or the coronavirus. Why is it so? Maybe Ms. Chauhan can give us an answer?
Members Meeting 21st January 2020
This week we presented our RCOHK International Service Award to Dr. Clement Leung for his humanitarian work for the younger generation in Sichuan. Dr. Leung is a specialist in reproductive medicine and, apart from his charity work in China, has also been working hard to arouse the public’s attention to the adverse effect that environment pollution has on the fertility of living animals. Environmental pollution is no longer just climate change and bad weather: it affects the very sustainability of many animal species, including the human race! At the instruction of Dr. Leung, the Award prize money of HK$100,000 was donated to Medicare Resources (MR) to support their education work in Sichuan. Mr. Gary So, director of MR, represented MR to receive the cheque. This is the 11th year of the Award which was initiated by our past PP Robert Fung. Special thanks to our Rtn. Anthony Marr who made the revival of the Award possible by a generous donation to the Golden Jubilee Fund for this purpose.
Our speaker for the day was our own PP Bruce Vaughan who addressed us on the challenges he experienced in promoting chiropractic as an alternative medical profession in Hong Kong. His sharing on how his optimism and persistence eventually changed the attitude of people from scepticism to acceptance was very inspiring, especially in difficult times as now. Before becoming a chiropractor, PP Bruce was also a cowboy, looking after herds of cows in Brazil, in his teenage years. After that he served in the military which eventually brought him to Hong Kong which he now calls home. With such a colourful experience, it is no surprise that he is now also an author with 8 books published already (all books are on sale at the Amazon shop). Read his years as a cowboy and his struggle to promote chiropractic in Hong Kong in his first book: “Brazilian Saddle Sores”.
We had 4 tables of members and guests who contributed generously to the red box. The total collection was HK$2,530. Great fellowship in very cosy atmosphere. Finally, I would take this opportunity to wish all our members a healthy and prosperous Year of the Mouse. Kung Hei Fat Choy!
Members Meeting 7th January 2020
Housing is a major problem in Hong Kong. It has been identified as one of the primary sources of current social unrest. Apart from difficulties in sourcing land, the long time needed for construction also contributes to the difficulties in resolving the problem. Today, we invited Mr Chan Ka Kui, Chairman of the Construction Industry Council, to give us an overview of the current situation and his vision of a New Era of Construction in response to the challenges.
Mr. Chan said the public image of the construction industry is dull, dirty and dangerous. This makes youngsters reluctant to join causing a scarcity in manpower resources. As the average age of the existing working force is very high, the problem will just worsen. The solution is to move as many construction activities as possible from the site into factories where works can be done under better conditions with automated equipment. This is the Modular Integrated Construction (MIC) method and several pilot projects by the Government and the Science Park are being undertaken to test its practicality. An example of such buildings can be seen at the MIC Display Centre at the Zero Carbon Park at Kowloon Bay. The method promises to reduce cost and time and improve quality.
Another new trend is the use of Building Information Technology (BIM) in the design stage. This allows buildings to be designed and built virtually many times before actual construction starts, making sure everything is in order first and thereby avoiding wastage, abortive works and delays.
When asked amidst all the advantages of MIC and BIM, what are the disadvantages? Mr. Chan explained that both methods will need the design to be finalised at an earlier stage. No more changing the design as they are being built. A small price for lower costs, speedier construction and better quality.
Today we also admitted a new member: Ms. Connie Lam, MD of the HK Arts Centre, into our Club. Connie is proposed by PE Peter and is well known to PP Sandra and me. Her vocation is “Arts Management” and her joining will definitely bring more colours to our Club. Welcome, Connie!
Since the beginning of this Rotary year, our Youth Services Director, Dr. Ankie Mak, placed a donation box in her clinic to accept donations on our behalf. To date the box collected around HK$3,000 for the Golden Jubilee Fund. Thank you, Ankie. Please continue doing so. We also had 4 tables of members and guests for the lunch who all contributed generously to the red box. A collection of HK$6,150 was achieved making the total donation received for the day to be $9,150. A very good start for 2020.
Members Meeting 17th December 2019
Today we held our last Members Meeting of 2019 in grace with the Officer Commanding of The Salvation Army (TSA) Hong Kong and Macao District, Lieut- Colonel Bob Lee as our speaker, sharing with us the visions and concepts of their new educational projects to be implemented in Hong Kong. Lieut-Colonel Lee came with his lovely wife, Lieut-Colonel Wendy Lee and their Development Director, Mr. Wilfred Leung. His speech illustrated TSA’s concept of how education should be delivered, covering not only the Government curriculum, but also other core topics like environment, innovation and socializing: an overall approach. Education in Hong Kong is one of the most pressing issues and it is great to see Institutions taking active actions in improving it. During the Q&A session, the cost to provide such desired education facilities was discussed. I pointed out, and the Colonel confirmed, that extra curriculum facilities are not subsidized by Government and will have to be supported by private donations. Rotarians with a heart in educating our next generation please take note!
TSA used to arrange a children choir to sing Christmas carols in our last meeting before Christmas. This year the arrangement had to be cancelled due to risk in transport because of the uncertain conditions in Hong Kong this year. What a pity! We look forward to Hong Kong returning to normal and we can revive this tradition again next year.
We had 3 tables full of members and guests, meeting our target of minimum 3 tables for each regular meeting. Rtn. Mark Tse brought his daughter, Lingsi, who is also a Rotaractor. Happy to see members working hard on our succession planning. At the end of the meeting, PP Frankie Lam surprised us all by a call to the Lieut-Colonel to join our Club, stating that it has been a tradition that the Officer Commanding of TSA is a member during his term in Hong Kong. Lieut-Colonel Bob Lee gracefully agreed to seriously consider! We will definitely follow up on this.
Merry Christmas to all members and looking forward to see you more often in 2020.
Annual General Meeting 3rd December 2019
Today we held the AGM for our two operating entities: the Rotary Club of Hong Kong Ltd (RCOHK) and the Rotary Club of Hong Kong Golden Jubilee Fund Ltd.(GJF). 20 Members attended in person, meeting the quorum requirement without the need of proxies we collected beforehand. Thank you all for coming. Your attendance is a great encouragement to all the Board members. Our Honorary Treasurer, Connie Leung, reported on the finances of the companies which were audited by our Honorary Auditor, BDO Limited. I must take this opportunity to thank PP Selwyn for bringing BDO in as our Honorary Auditor. Their involvement has made finalization of the accounts so much smoother than previous years. The accounts were adopted as is by the members present.
The highlight of the meeting was PE Peter Lau’s presentation of his 2020-2021 Board and his vision to further strengthen the Club under his presidency. His plans might seem very bold but, as we say: “Shoot for the Stars if you want to land on the Moon”. PE Peter is bringing his business acumen into his Rotary work. So happy to be part of his team. Note that the 2020-2021 Board still lacks a PE. The PP Council are working on potential candidates but any member looking to contribute more to society can still come forward.
On Club matters, we announced that we will award the revived RCOHK International Services Award to Dr. Clement Leung for his charity work in Sichuan and the Faith Hope Love School there for the children of the Yi minority community. We have also nominated Mr. Jeffery Andrews to the District for the ONE Humanitarian Award for his humanitarian work in respect of refugees, asylum seekers and ethnic minorities in Hong Kong.
Christmas is approaching and for the next meeting we have invited the Salvation Army children choir to come and sing for us as in last year (subject to street conditions). Come and join us to enjoy the festival sensation.
Members Meeting 19th November 2019
Today with the help of our honorary member, Mr. Henry Litton as speaker, we returned to the grandeur of our old time lunches. With 83 members and guests attending, we had to move the venue from our customary Bankers Club to the Hong Kong Club to accommodate all.
The title of Mr. Litton’s speech was “Is the Hong Kong Community Mesmerized by Slogans?”. It was a timely expression by a respected legal practitioner on the current situation in Hong Kong. He touched on the five demands insisted by the protestors and deliberated on how some of the demands appear to contravene the Basic Law. On their call for amnesty because protestors are not acting for their own benefit but for society, he expressed that the Law should be blind and hard edged but sentences can always be compassionate according to the circumstances. He criticised the judiciary system itself as he believed that if the judiciary could work faster, the harsher sentences handed down to rioters who caused damage versus the more lenient sentences to peaceful protestors who were just tagging along would help society form consensus on what actions are acceptable and what are not.
In a twist to the legal arguments in his speech, Mr Litton showed his passion for the younger generation when he suddenly mentioned the milky way and the stars in the sky. How children in the Australian Outback can rely on the stars to lead their way whereas teenagers in Hong Kong can only rely on their iPads or iPhones to guide them. He also mentioned a documentary that described how teenagers found camping in the streets together during the 2014 Occupy Movement gave them a sense of freedom and solicitude. We have a lot to do to mend the deep flaws in our society.
It was a pity that due to time restraint we had to drop the Q&A session. I know that a lot of members were burning with questions to ask. Luckily Mr Litton stayed on for a while after lunch and I hope members had the chance to talk to him directly to discuss.
To close, I would like to give special thanks to Mr Litton for his generosity in matching the red box collections (up to a ceiling of HK$6,000). We collected over HK$9,000 and, adding Mr. Litton’s donation, made a total collection over HK$15,000 to be used on our service projects.
Members Meeting 5th November 2019
Kicking off our Honorary Member month, we had Professor Samuel Leong, co-founder of the UNESCO Glocal Peace Centre, speaking to us on “Glocalizing Culture for Peace. Together with Rotary and our PP Mitzi Leung, the UNESCO Glocal Peace Centre in Hong Kong have been doing a lot of peacemaking work over the years by bringing children of different cultures to work and play together and create mutual understanding and respect. Professor Leong’s concept is to achieve global peace, we must start locally. When challenged in the Q&A session on how his idea will work in the present Hong Kong chaotic situation, he gave a very convincing answer with vivid examples of why, in situations of unrest, we need to maintain control and peace within ourselves first otherwise not only that we would not be able to help the situation, we will be intensifying it, causing it difficult to calm down. Bravo to such wise words.
We also had PDG Eugene Fong to come to introduce the ONE Humanitarian Award that is being organised both by Rotary International and Rotary District to us. What a coincidence with our Peace theme for this lunch. Deadline for nominations is end of November.
We also had a “happy” problem. Due to Professor Leong’s draw, an unexpected number of members and guests attended and the Club had to rush in additional tables, chairs and meals to cope. As a result, the meeting started and finished both by 10 to 15 minutes late. That caused inconvenience to members who had made appointments relying on the punctuality of our luncheon meetings. To those affected, I give my sincere apologies and promise to control the schedule better in the future!
Following PP Selwyn’s suggestion, we started a new practice on the red box. Red boxes will be placed in each table for volunteer contributions. No more arm twisting by the Sergeant at Arms. We collected over $3,000: good proof that Rotarians do not need pushing to do good deeds.
In our next luncheon on 19th Nov. we will have another Honorary Member, Mr. Justice Henry Litton, coming to speak to us. His title will be “Is the Hong Kong Community Mesmerized by Slogans?”. Due again to great interest by members and guests, the lunch will be moved to the Hong Kong Club to accommodate the increase in numbers. Register immediately if you have not yet done so as only a small number of seats are still available.
Members Meeting 15th October 2019
This Tuesday we had Ms. Alice Mong, Executive Director of Asia Society Hong Kong Center, to come and speak to us on the background of Asia Society and how the Hong Kong Center, an architectural masterpiece, came to be established. The Society was established in 1956 in New York by John Rockefeller with an aim to promote knowledge of Asia to the USA. Today, apart from offices in USA, the Society has a number of offices in Asia including: Hong Kong, Manila, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Asked why establish offices in Asia as they seem to conflict the original intent? Alice answered that unlike that of the West, Asia has more diversified cultures and the primary role of the Asian offices is to promote knowledge of different Asian cultures to each other. In addition they also do community services by promoting arts, business, culture, education, and policy in a local sense. It seems that the policy of Asia Society blends well with our Rotary theme of “Connect”. Steve Dekrey gave the vote of thanks and mentioned that Alice was one of his former MBA students. Well done, Steve. Train more business leaders for Hong Kong! The following month in November will be dedicated to our Honorary members. First in 5th November we will have Prof. Samuel Leong on “Glocalizing Culture for Peace” and in 19th November we will have Mr. Justice Henry Litton on “Is the HK Society Mesmerized by Slogans?”. Register early for the talks as seats are limited!
Members Meeting 8th October 2019
Upon request from a number of members, we held a special lunch meeting on 8th October, the second Tuesday of the month. The meeting was in the form of an “open platform” for any member to express and discuss club matters covering membership, attendance, services etc. any related topic. It was a Club Assembly with no fixed agenda. No speaker was invited.
As expected, the discussions were kicked off by PP Selwyn Mar, first on membership. PE Peter, the Membership Chair, took the opportunity to introduce his strategy of attracting new members. Quality must be upheld as we, being the first Club in the District, have always enjoyed a reputation for high standards. That should be the way to differentiate our Club from others. PP Sandra expressed that new members must be dedicated to the Club and one way to ensure this is to require that they sign up to one of the Club’s committees upon joining. PE Peter agreed and advised that this has been taken care of. The revised new member admission forms that was recently approved by the Board was tabled for everyone’s information.
The next topic was on attendance and PP Selwyn expressed that all Board members should act as a role model in this. He suggested that at least 50% of the Board members should be present in every lunch meeting. Luckily that day, we had 70% of the Board members present!
PP Kelvin and Dr. Ankie gave a short report on the Club services being done. The Art Therapy for dementia elders is now our main project after the successful completion of the Test for Life Mobile Clinic last year. With the current unrest in Hong Kong, we will be focusing more on local projects by involving our rotaractor clubs.
I also announced that, with the help of Rtn. Anthony Marr, we will revive the Club’s International Services Award this year and invited nominations by members for suitable candidates before the end of October.
The meeting went on with a very cheerful atmosphere. I believe everyone enjoyed the fellowship it offered. PP George Koo was right in expressing that sometimes in our eagerness to secure prominent speakers, we neglect the opportunities to listen to and understand our own members. Point taken and will be considered in the future programs.
Members Meeting 17th September 2019
Whilst I was absent in the week due to travelling, IPP Donna stepped in again and saved my day. Thank you IPP Donna for your unrivalled support!
I know that Simon Mak, CEO of Friends of the Earth HK, gave an inspirational speech on the environment and what we can do to become more sustainable. All policies work towards changing the mentality and habits of people on how to lead their daily lives in a more environmentally sustainable manner. My trip was a pilgrimage trip that took me to the second or third tier cities in Italy. Throughout the journey, until we reached Rome, the skies were blue and the streets were clean. The residents showed a strong sense of sustainability concepts that we find so difficult to promote in Hong Kong: in one case, the hotel staff came out and demanded that our driver turned off the engine of the tour bus even though it had just stopped for a short while for us to board. It was a great first-hand experience on how serious people in Europe are taking the environmental crisis. Hong Kong has a long way to catch up.
One thing, however, took me by a bit of surprise. We visited 30 churches in 12 days and attended mass every day. Even in the most remote cities, our tour guides were very interested about the situation in Hong Kong and asked us what caused all the unrest. Even a priest, after hearing the confession of one of our members, asked about the situation in Hong Kong and what is to become of it. We are now famous. Hong Kong has definitely made the headlines on the international stage in the past few months.
What can be done? A difficult question. A statement by St. Benedict which I found in the monastery at Montecassino might guide the way: “Ora et Labora” - Pray and Work Hard. As with so many things in life, we can only wait it out and hope for the best. May God have mercy on Hong Kong.
Members Meeting 3rd September 2019
We were very fortunate to be able to get hold of Dr. Leo Cheng and his wife Hilary during their short stay in Hong Kong to come and talk to us on the humanitarian work of the Mercy Ships which provide free surgical operations to the sick and poor in Third World Countries on board their floating hospital. Dr. Leo, a cancer surgeon, has been using his annual leave from his hospital job in UK to serve on the Africa Mercy for the last 12 years .He has been on the vessel 16 times. The Africa Mercy is the flagship vessel of the Mercy Ships and has been bringing hope and healing to the people of West Africa since 2007. We had 3 tables full of members and guests, all who were deeply moved when seeing the many cases of patients suffering from oversized thyroid and neck tumours and other deformations that were cured, restoring their health and dignity. Also glad to know that a new Mercy Ship is being built in Tianjin which is expected to come into service in 2020. Being so close to us, this new ship will definitely provide opportunities for our Rotary Clubs to participate in its humanitarian missions (Rotary District 1260 in UK is a major sponsor of Africa Mercy).
Mrs. Hilary Cheng, wife of our speaker, gave an inspiring Positive Peace Sharing Moment for the lunch. She expressed that in Church, we give blessings to each other by shaking the hands of the persons next to us. This simple gesture brings us closer and promotes harmony of peace. A good example of how easily we can promote peace in our everyday life.
We also had our happy moments. Happy birthday to PE Peter and Director Seishu who were the birthday boys present in the meeting. And a new member - welcome Elsie Yung to the Rotarian family. Elsie is a very respected Human Resources professional and her classification is “People Development“. Nowadays management of people is one of the most difficult tasks. Our Club will benefit a lot from Elsie’s participation.
The speaker in the next lunch meeting on 17th September will be Mr. Simon Mak, CEO of Friends of the Earth HK. After listening to medical attention to humans, let’s go further to medical attention to the Earth itself. Please mark your diary for another interesting talk.
Members Meeting 20th August 2019
While P Kenneth and PE Peter were handsomely representing RCOHK in Mongolia and checking our signature project, we gathered for our Rotary luncheon at the Bankers Club overlooking beautiful Victoria harbour. A full house celebrated many things – PP Patrick Yeung’s birthday, the Club’s continued awarding as a certified green club, a media article featuring RCOHK’s organisational resilience. Thank you, our service support partners and Rotarians.
The theme “Rotary connects the world” was well represented in the talk from our honourable guest Consul General Kim of the Republic of Korea. The CG began his speech by sharing that he had decided not to issue a travel warning to Hong Kong despite the recent protests, winning over the audience immediately. He then took us through the economic relationship between Hong Kong and Korea, insights into the current political situation in the Korean Peninsula, then finished off with his forward looking view on the trade tension between Korea and Japan.
In the Rotary luncheon, we covered current topics involving 3 influential economic power houses in North Asia – it is truly good to be a Rotarian where we can learn in the fellowship of business leaders. Special thanks to PP Connie for inviting the guest and being the enthusiastic host throughout, and PP Frankie for giving an impressive vote of thanks in RCOHK style – thorough, candid comments based on quantitative rationale and facts, the similarities between Rotary HK and Korea, and respective achievements.
We learn a lot from each other, within our club, inter-club, locally and internationally. Rotary connects the world, indeed.
Members Meeting 6th August 2019
We pride ourselves to be the first choice of visit for oversea rotarians visiting Hong Kong. Today we had Rtn. Alan Cheng from Rotary Club of Vancouver visiting us. Originally we also expected P Arvind Batra and Rtn. Raj Jain both from the Rotary Club of Jaipur Central, India. However prior to coming, they inquired about the safety in Hong Kong and eventually cancelled their visit. It is really sad to see Hong Kong’s image dropping to that equivalent to a Third World Country!
As our Club has registered as a Rotary Peacebuilding Club, I initiated a Peace Experience Sharing Moment into the Lunch Meeting. PP George Koo followed up on it to discuss the dire situation in Hong Kong. PP Selwyn asked what I think we could do. I replied with a quote from the senior partner in my previous Partnership Firm: “Work hard and pray hard”. We all need to have faith in Hong Kong.
Our speaker on the day was Mr. Sam Kong from the Hong Kong Productivity Centre (HKPC). His topic was “Industry 4.0”. Industry 4.0 is dubbed the fourth industrial revolution that makes use of the latest IT, AI and IoT in manufacturing to deliver products just in time and tailored to need. HKPC have been working in partnership with Fraunhoter IPT of Germany to assist SMEs in Hong Kong to upgrade themselves to meet the Industry 4.0 criteria since 2015. Hong Kong is pushing hard on innovation, but innovation without a high value manufacturing base to follow up makes it difficult to realize all those great ideas we have. It was great to hear the work HKPC is doing in this area.
I will be away for the next lunch meeting on 20th August, joining DG on his trip to Mongolia. IPP Donna has kindly agreed to step in for me. Thank you Donna. In the next two weeks there will be a host of events. Starting on 14th, Wednesday, we will have a Club visit to the Rotary Club of Admiralty as part of our “connect” efforts. On 19th, Monday, we will be holding the fellowship event “ Age 5 Masters meet The Masters” at the Opera Art Gallery at Wyndham Street where we will be awarding prizes on behalf of the Rotary Club of Kherson, Ukraine to the winners of the Stamp of Friendship International Art Competition. On the 20th, Tuesday, will be our regular lunch meeting. Our speaker on that day will be the Consul General of Korea. Given the recent situation between Korea and Japan, his speech will be very interesting. Then on 20th, Tuesday again, after the lunch will be a fellowship event to visit the European Office in Hong Kong for a deeper understanding of this entity that has made the news since the announcement of Briexit. There must be an event that you like!
Members Meeting 16th July 2019
Today we had overseas visitors, Rtn. Mike Hebert and his wife Diane from Rotary Club of Brunswick, North Carolina. We also had Ms. Elike Hon, our ex-member who initiated our signatory “Test for Life” project whilst she was with us, Rtn. Jones Chan from RC Admiralty and Rtn. Sherman Chan from RC Lan Kwai Fong plus other guests by members.
The speaker was our own PP Kelvin Mui. The title of his speech was “Design and Business”. IPP Donna has always said that our own members are masters in their fields and their insights are as good as any prominent speaker we can get from outside the Club. Listening to PP Kelvin’s speech proves that point. He took us through the process when he approaches a project, be it a shop, an office or residence. His principle is the design has to be balanced between irrational desires and rational facts. E.g. in a shop, how to balance the desire to show as many merchandise as possible and still keep the shopping environment spacious and comfortable? In offices, how much common areas should be provided so that it encourages collaboration but at the same time allow sufficient space for focused work? PP Kelvin’s studio get around these problems by using statistic approaches like measuring the time spent by staff on focused work and collaboration discussions and plan it accordingly. Such scientific assistance to their artistic design work ensures that the completed environment will play its part in enhancing the business, making it more profitable or efficient.
The Q&A part was also interesting. PP Selwyn Mar, who used to run one of the largest department stores in Hong Kong, asked how to design and improve the business of a “Tai Pai Dong” or a street stall in “Women’s Street”? The vote of thanks was given by Rtn. Dr. Ankie Mak whose clinic was designed by PP Kelvin himself. She said the environment of the clinic is so comfortable that her patients tend to stay on after their treatments for their daily gossips. Nothing better to a professional than commendation from his customers!
Installation Speech 9th July 2019
DG Wilson, VIPs from the District, Presidents and Past Presidents from fellow clubs in Area 2 and Area 7, all guests, welcome to our Club Installation Lunch.
It is indeed my honour to be elected as the President of the Rotary Club of Hong Kong, the first club to be chartered in District 3450. I joined Rotary quite early, admitted in 1991. In those days we met every Tuesday at the Mandarin Hotel and often had 8 to 10 tables full. PP Vernon told us in our Annual Gala Dinner that Radio Hong Kong used to broadcast the speeches made by our speakers. Those were before my days, but I do remember groups of reporters waiting outside our dining area for an interview with the speaker after he or she delivered the speech.
I am a surveyor and was made a partner in my firm at the age of 30, the youngest in its history. After I was made a partner, I was told by my senior partners that I now had to go out and find jobs for the firm. So they ushered me into the Rotary Club to establish connections. I made a lot of good friends in Rotary, but I never managed to get a job from it. However, Rotary did open my eyes as it allowed me to establish a network beyond my industry and build up my confidence in social connections. These assisted me greatly in the build-up of my career. For this, I am indebted to the Club. So after I retired and Donna asked me to take the role of President-Elect, I could not find any excuse to turn it down and therefore deliberately took on the challenge.
We pride ourselves in doing community services. Last year we had a full year of activities including visits to Guizhou to see the Left Behind Children, medical support visits and improvement works to Elderly Homes for the Salvation Army. We started an Art Therapy project together with our Rotaractors to assist elders with dementia. We eventually managed to accomplish our pledge to retro-fit a 6 by 6 Land Rover into a mobile clinic suited to roam desert terrain and deliver it to our partner Club in Mongolia to provide cervical cancer screening services after more than 3 years of hard work.
I found that Rotary is more than doing services. RI President Mark Maloney said: “you do not have to choose between Rotary and family. You can have both”. To ensure I can have both, I deliberately asked my wife, Ellen, to come and join me today as endorsement of her support for me to act as President. There is also truth in P Maloney’s statement from a different angle. Rotary is not just a club that brings professionals together to uphold business ethics and pay back to society by doing community work. The Rotary principles can also be a way of life. The 4-way test: Is it true? Is it fair? Will it build goodwill and friendship? Will it be beneficial to all? These principles can be applied in life and business also. Nowadays, social inequality has caused confrontation on a worldwide scale. A “Us” versus “Them” mentality keeps spreading. In EU, locals reject immigrants. In America, the working class are indignant that they are stripped off by the elites in Wall Street. In Hong Kong … I do not know what to say. Why should society be seen as so unfair? So lack of goodwill? Applying the Rotary principles in life could make our society more stable and sustainable.
In the coming year, we will continue with our existing work and at the same time adopt “Peace Making” as the core theme in planning new services. We have already started by registering as a Peace Builder Club with the Rotarian Action Group for Peace and will be setting up a Peace Committee in our Club to drive the movement. Initially, we intend to work with our Rotaract Clubs and Interact Clubs to build peace by providing mediation skill building to youngsters so that when they have disputes, they can think in each other’s shoes. We believe that if one can understand the underlying restraints of the other party, disputes can be avoided and mutual agreements can be more readily made.
To finalize, please let me introduce to you my Board Members: To start, IPP Donna Buckland who has also kindly consented to be the Programme Director; Hon. Secretary Janice Leung who we all rely on
to keep ourselves in line and in compliance; PE Peter Lau who has kindly agreed to take on the Membership Committee Chair shouldering the arduous task of getting new members. Peter is out of Town and cannot join us today; PP Dr. Frankie Lam, our Foundation Chair and link to the RI Foundation; Priscilla Law as Vice President and Public Relations Director; Connie Leung as our Hon Treasurer. Connie is in China and cannot join us today either; we have a strong services team consisting of PP Kelvin Mui as Services and PPE Director, Dr. Ankie Mak as Youth Services Director and Seishu Tanetani as International Services Director. Both Ankie and Seishu are also overseas and cannot join us today. I am deeply indebted to all of them for their unrivalled support and pledge herewith that I will do my best to keep up with the great work that my predecessors have done in keeping the Rotary Club of Hong Kong thriving for the past 88 years.
Installation Lunch 9th July 2019
Today we held a modest lunch to conduct my installation as the 89th President of the Club. Before the lunch, we had a meeting with DG Wilson and other members from the District to report on our work in the last year and our plans for the coming year. I would herewith express my thanks to DG Wilson for his acknowledge of the great work done by IPP Donna and his encouraging words regarding my plans.
Over 50 Rotarians, guests and Rotaractors attended. I am particularly happy that my wife, Ellen, and my daughter, Stephanie, attended also to witness my installation. The ceiling in the Bankers Club is a bit low therefore the venue was as noisy and exuberant as a Chinese restaurant but it was great to see everybody enjoying the fellowship.
The Installation eventually started off with IPP Donna reporting on our work in the past year. Instead of speaking, she used a video and it was amazing to see everyone quieting down to watch it. Good move, Donna! She was followed by a speech from IPDG YC, then by my installation speech and finally an address by DG Wilson. The message from DG was membership growth is important (and encouraged by RI) but membership quality is equally important. Take good care of your rotaractors and encourage them to join Rotary when they feel they are ready as it will be definite that they share our same value. The whole Installation process, including the mini raffles draw, ran smoothly. Thanks to the hard work by our Executive Secretary, Yancy!
The event was closed by a toast to all the Clubs who had members present. These include: RC Admiralty, RC Central, RC HK Bayview, RC HK financial Center, RC Kowloon Golden Mile, RC Kowloon Tong, RC Lan Kwai Fong, RC Mandarin HK, RC Metropolitan, RC Peninsula, RC Peninsula South, RC Smart HK, RC Victoria, RC Wanchai and Rotaract Club of HKU.
Over the past few days, I attended a number of installation dinners and found that every Club has their own style. Some started with singing the Rotary song and some held a solemn oath taking pledge by the new Board. The only part that is the same is the passing of the sash from the IPP to IPDG to DG and then to the incoming President. Great diversity with a common core!
Members Meeting 2nd July 2019
Today was my first luncheon meeting as President of the Rotary Club of Hong Kong. A bit clumsy in my handling but I will improve at it. I was warned that attendance might be light as it was the first working day after a long public holiday weekend. And what a holiday it was, as we witnessed half a million people protesting down the streets and riots in the Legislative Building until mid-night! Many must have been worried and stayed up late at night to witness the events.
I took the advice and arranged a “Review and Preview” session instead of inviting a guest speaker. IPP Donna gave a review on the magnificent work done under her leadership in 2018-2019 (her full report is uploaded on our website) and I took the chance to have a direct discussion with the attending members on what I planned to do in the coming 2019-2020 year and invited their comments. The meeting was attended by 15 members and we had a very good discussion with members proposing many ideas on how to raise members’ commitments and attendance. Our senior members shared their valuable experience on how they managed to run the Club when it had near to a 100 active members. Very inspiring and helpful for my future running of events.
The next meeting will be our Club’s Installation Meeting on 9th July, Tuesday. We expect visitors from District including DG Wilson and Presidents from friendly Clubs to attend and witness the event. Looking forward to meeting you all on this big day.
Yours In Rotary
Membership Fellowship Sustainable Service meeting 18th June, 2019
The final luncheon meeting of the Rotary year 2018-2019 was dedicated to our members.
We celebrated our long serving members. There are 25 members in our club with over 25 years of Rotary under their belts, with the longest serving member being Rtn James Wu with 52 years in service. Collectively there are over 880 years of Rotary. As a club, we have approx 1280 years of Rotary service among our current members.
A wise man said it’s not the number of years in your life that matters but the life in your years. I do hope that our members have filled and will continue to fill their years with more meaningful Rotary fellowship and service life.
Guest speaker Dr. Kit Sinclair helped us reconnect with international rehabilitation service projects RCOHK supported in the past. A good session to understand occupational therapy - it was wonderful to see Rtn Adrian reconnecting with Dr. Sinclair and PP Vernon.
Members are our biggest asset. Our members define our prestigious club - a diverse hub of business leaders. The achievements our club enjoyed this year in Rotary service making global and local impact, is owing to the members’ continuous support. It was my true previlege to have served you as your club president - I will sign off on that note and look forward to a great year ahead under P Kenneth’s leadership.
YIR / P Donna
District Conference 18th May 2019
The 59th District Conference concluded with 500 participants and with representatives from RI. 7 delegates from our club was present to showcase our club’s achievement in the house of friendship. Special thanks to PP Arun who attended as the mother club’s CP delegate. We marched in first- after all, our founding members brought Rotary, an international service organization, to this part of the world. Our new addition to the club DDS Connie did a marvelous job of introducing the guest of honour - Mr Ronnie Chan, GBS. Ronnie spoke to us about the current situation of US and China with future context. For me personally, I was humbled that we had 7 delegates and 1 Rotaract president representing our club. We are 88 years old but we are not sleeping! Rotary is a big family and like any family, a gathering like this makes you realize we have challenges but also an opportunity to pave way for district’s future. We, as a mother club, do our bit by participating.
See you next Tuesday for a joint meeting at Grand Hyatt. Let’s participate in the fellowship and service Rotary stands for.
YIR / P Donna
Membership Fellowship & Sustainable Service Meeting 7th May 2019
We had the pleasure of having Mr. Leon Naidoo, South African Consul to Hong Kong join us, one day before South Africa's national election day. I know the votes are still being counted as we speak - oh the thrills!
It was lovely to see Rtn HJ Isler joining with Rotarianne Lucy Isler- a South African compatriot. I value the international nature of our club- a hub for diverse and laser sharp minds, we meet for friendly meals and work together to support services.
And speaking of services, three cheers for our services team with IPP Kelvin relentlessly executing the shipment of our mobile clinic to Mongolia. The renovated mobile clinic can now continue its journey providing cancer screening services to Mongolia’s poor. The recent 88th anniversary charity Gala’s fundraising success has greatly contributed to the financial resources needed to enable the shipment - thank you all members who supported. Service and fellowship is what our club is about. And building on this, perhaps an element of genuine friendship too. We had a cake for Rtn Janice and HJ’s birthdays, and also for Mother’s Day- one for PP Marta. All the best for your new arrival in June PP Marta - you are making history again.
The next club meeting will be a 3 Generation joint meeting at Grand Hyatt. Please mark your diary for the 21st of May and let’s be there for fellowship, service and friendship.
YIR / P Donna
Membership Fellowship & Sustainable Service Meeting 16 April 2019
April’s last luncheon was truly happy occasion to welcome back PP Selwyn Mar. We celebrated with PDG Jones Wong, who was the DG when PP Selwyn was the President for RCOHK. He joined us in short notice to re- pin PP Selwyn. PP Patrick Yeung gave a warm welcome note of a good friend coming back and all of this was witnessed by visiting Rotarians from Minnesota and Mumbai. Hats off to Rtn Benjamin and PP Steve turning up for Rotary luncheon on their birthday too ! Attendance matters as it is reenergizing to see good friends for lunch. And for a junior Rotarian like me, I learn from my conversations with senior Rotarians at lunch. 😊 Amongst this fellowship we made sure we are reminded that we here to serve- our guest speaker shared remarkable service stories for people in need in China. Our club will form a due diligence committee to learn more about this service project in Sichuan so we can be of help in a best way possible.
Easter break is great to reset after busy Q1, I hope most of you are going to have a relaxing one. For me, I finished my annual market visit, so will enjoy my Easter in HK- travelling 8 countries in 8 weeks was tough but I got my energy back from Tuesday lunches. Look forward to seeing you on the 7th May, for fellowship, service and knowledge. Happy Easter Everyone !
YIR / P Donna
Membership, Fellowship &Sustainable Service Meeting 2 April 2019
As a corporate person, I have a habit of looking for an organisation’s unique value proposition. For our club, I think it’s “International, Prestigious & Heritage bound”. April’s first meeting indeed demonstrated this quality, where we had visiting Rotarian from San Francisco (world’s #2 club) and from Kyoto (very prestigious)- they enjoyed meeting our members of RCOHK the #1 Rotary club in Hong Kong ( I would say this, right? 😄). We enjoyed learning about media in digital era presentation by our guest speaker- P Derek of RC Wanchai, our daughter club.
Rotary indeed is a big international family and I enjoyed singing the birthday song together with you all at the lunch for our loyal, long serving members, Rtn Benjamin and PP Steve. They share the same birthdays and between two of them, there is 56 years of Rotary service. Amazing dedication indeed.
Dear members - with 2 months left to go in this Rotary year, I am delighted to see more of you turning up at the regular lunches. It gives me that “push and pick me up”. I truly believe that the membership of our club is our biggest assset. You, the members, make and define our club’s unique value proposition.
Next regular luncheon is on the 16 April and we will have one of our previous member coming back on that day officially, so let’s “be there”.
YIR / P Donna (Writing from Hong Kong !)
Membership Fellowship & Sustainable Service Meeting 19 March 2019
Re-connection, reintroduction and recollection was in the air today. We welcomed two great members into our club, PP Connie Leung and Rtn Danielle Hou. We look forward to your contribution to our club and fellowship. The induction of the two members was made special by having 11 PPs present to witness the special occasion. As the oldest club in the District, we are lucky to be guided by the wealth of knowledge and advice PP Council provides in order for us to reconnect with our heritage while reinventing ourselves to stay relevant. Much to our delight, PP Selwyn Marr announced coming back today - a great example of our members reconnecting. The credit goes to you all loyal members, your years of dedication to our club’s service and fellowship is an huge intangible asset to Rotary in Hong Kong. Special thank you to Rtn Ankie, our new PHS member, for your charming introduction to skin health. Everyone enjoyed Dr. Ankie’s talk, I got some tips today too :) Fellow Rotarians, did you know Rotary was the first genuine social network? Through the fellowship and friendship we develop through Rotary, we can achieve some amazing things for our community. Let’s celebrate this in style at the upcoming 88th anniversary charity gala on the 10 April at Hong Kong Club. Chat soon.
YIR / P Donna ( in Bangkok)
Membership Fellowship & Sustainable Service meeting 5 March 2019
First meeting of March was full of international affairs. Rotarians from US, UK, Mexico, and Germany came to visit, among our international club members who all call Hong Kong home. Rotary is special in connecting people internationally, for those of us who travel a lot, it’s nice to be able to find a Rotary club everywhere you go, to broaden your network and build social and cultural capital. Rtn Joseph Pang I hope you enjoyed our members and the international visitors singing birthday song for you- your dedication to our club and the stellar attendance record is a real example and inspiration. For those of our members who celebrate birthdays in March, hope to see you at the next meeting. This month, we have another member joining us, PP Connie Leung, who is an international woman leader in her field. I look forward to welcoming her formally at the next club meeting on the 19 March, we have 4+ tables organized for the induction. Befitting to this occasion, our very own Dr. Ankie Mak will be the speaker to share her areas of expertise. I look forward to seeing as many of you.
YIR / P Donna ( writing from Hochimin )
Membership, Fellowship & Sustainable Service Meeting 19th February
Today was rather an auspicious occasion. Full house luncheon to celebrate the birthday of loyal members, including PP Vernon, on the eve of our 88th club birthday. 88 years is a long time of service and fellowship. Thank you PP Mitzi, PP Sandra and PP George, for sharing your tribute and fellowship memory of Rtn Randy Kwei. Rtn Adrian, thank you for educating the younger member of the club like myself, on the club's heritage. As you may have read in the club's half year newsletter full of club's achievements, we are reinventing ourselves, built on the solid foundation we inherited. The guest speaker of the luncheon talked us through the financial and marketing innovation linked to social values. I looked at the interaction between our members and the speaker and thought, 'where else would you go to find a group of business and community leaders, who genuinely believe in developing themselves, through building social capital and contribute to our community'. Rotary is a special place and I am proud to be part of this club, who brought Rotary to Hong Kong, 88 years ago. I look forward to coming back to Hong Kong this weekend to volunteer at our service partner event, UNESCO peacemaker's celebration. See some of you this weekend and the next club lunch 5 March.
Yours in Rotary P Donna (writing from Thailand)
Membership Fellowship Sustainable Service Meeting 8 January 2019
New Years’s Fellowship Meeting was full of happy reconnection. We celebrated the anniversary of the 18th birthday for PP Frankie and PP George. Brilliant.
Then we ran the happy broadcast sergeant- Rotary tradition I brought from New Zealand.
Rtn Ray Bera - announcing successful operation- he has iron man legs now! So good to see you back.
Rtn Michael Duck - announcing his daughter’s wedding in June, we wish for a magical one.
PP George - just celebrated 60 years wedding anniversary. That’s truly diamond standard loyalty, trust and love.
PE Kenneth - just had his first grandson, PE Kenneth good things keep coming to you !
PP Steve - spent family Christmas in HK first time in 20 years and is launching EMBA course focused on Russia. Legends don’t rest - they keep going ! Rtn Adrian wished everyone happy new year as his portion of happy broadcast. Visiting Rotarians PP Alex Leung and PP Connie Leung also shared happy news and the redbox got full with over HK 2,600. Well done RCOHK - Sharing the happy news and giving towards community service.
The next club meeting on the 15th will be run by our PP Arun, as I will be professional duty-bound to attend the AFF. I may spot one of our own PPs there on the stage too. 😄
Dear Rotarians, let’s keep reaching out to each other, we all want to hear and share.
YIR / Donna
Membership Fellowship Sustainable Service Meeting 18 December 2018
The last meeting of 2018 was made special by many factors - the Salvation Army colonel’s message of giving, the children’s choir, and visiting Rotarians including a PDG from the US. But most importantly your presence made it special for me.
Dear fellow Rotarians, my heartfelt thanks for the great turn out at the AGM. Your voice and endorsement matters. As a volunteer to this organization, your feedback is the most meaningful motivation. The board of directors worked hard to do justice to the heritage of our club and their hard work crystalised into a great outcome of our club once again getting recognized as a leading club by the district and by international Rotary leaders.
To take this momentum to the next level, I can’t be more thrilled to have our VP Kenneth Poon as our President Elect for our 89th year. Our membership is stable, our fellowship is strengthening and our services continue to make sustainable impact. So well done Rotary Club of Hong Kong, the club is made of you, by you, and for you.
Let’s have another great 6 months. We have our 88th year anniversary, community services projects and great fellowship events ahead. Merry Christmas to you all and see you on the 8th of January for our New Year lunch.
YIR / P Donna