President's Blog

Donna Buckland

President 2018-2019

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