1999 – 2000 Bruce Stinson
Membership: 27 – 31
The year will be remembered as one where the club’s fortunes turned around considerably, and also for the memorable sister club visit which was highlighted by the attendance of Rotary International President Carlo Ravizza and District Governor Dipo Sani at a Friday luncheon meeting in late February.
While Kowloon North lost its original female member Dianne Wilcoxon and Past President John Glass – both of whom resigned due to professional commitments – the induction of six new members, including two ladies, during the term saw a new period of development commence.
Club figurehead “Uncle” George Chu’s honorary membership was extended again and much respected Past President Gary Harilela became an exempted member during the course of what was certainly an active and successful year for the club.
International Service Director Brian Wong coordinated a magnificent visit by two of our sister clubs in February. A large delegation from Taipeii North arrived on 23 February and enjoyed a night of fellowship with Kowloon North members at Happy Valley race course. The following day they were joined by an enthusiastic group from Ama Club in Japan. A sightseeing tour, which culminated with dinner on the spectacular Hong Kong Peak, was the feature of the second day of the sister club visit.
On Friday 25 February, a large number of members and spouses from all three clubs attended the regular Friday luncheon meeting and had the pleasure of meeting, and being addressed by, Rotary International president Carlo Ravizza. The historic visit was rounded off with a Gala Banquet at the Regent Hotel on Saturday 26 February.
While in Hong Kong, the sister clubs from Taiwan and Japan agreed to join with Kowloon North on a major International Service Project which involved re-building three schools in the remote Guanxi province of China. Also participating in this endeavour was the Rotary Club of Macau whose members had initially found the project and also offered to manage it through to completion.
Vice-President Ramesh Chugani arranged an excellent array of speakers during the year and the club held a number of highly enjoyable fellowship gatherings, notably a dinner at the home of Rotarian Papu Butani and a day trip on Honorary Secretary Nic Robinson’s junk.
Honorary Secretary Nic provided excellent support for President Bruce Stinson and, under the careful stewardship of Honorary Treasurer David Lindsay, the club’s accounts were brought further into order than had been the case recently, with outstanding debts owed by members significantly reduced.
Community and Vocational Service initiatives included ongoing support for Camp Quality Hong Kong (several members supported the charity’s activities during the year), attendance at the annual Terry Fox run and the Preserve Planet Earth Walkathon, as well as club members acting as judges for a design competition held by the Vocational Training Council to whom a donation had been made.
A number of members attended the successful District Conference in Macau in April where President Bruce had the honor of acting as Master of Ceremonies on the occasion of the District Governor’s Dinner.
The club again benefitted from the philanthropy of President-Elect Bill Benter, who donated substantially to the Rotary Foundation, resulting in both Kowloon North and District 3450 achieving year-end targets for that body.
Late in the Rotary Year, President Bruce, President-Elect Bill and Past President Gilbert Collins attended the Annual Ball of the Rotary Club of Macau where a ceremony was held to mark the completion of the first stage of the ambitious “Three Schools” project.
The term ended with a combined District Handover, held at the Hong Kong Convention Centre, in late June and the Rotary Club of Kowloon North moved into the year 2000-2001 with a number of major initiatives in place and well advanced along a path of regrowth.