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Volume 02 Issue 17

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

It was an unusual meeting last week – with a touch of drama – as our guest speaker, Mr Dominic Brittain, was called away before he even had a chance to begin his presentation, to deal with a potential biological incident. Whilst waiting for his team to collect him, he just had the time to give us a very hurried and brief rundown on the Hong Kong Adventure-Ship and then handed over to Mimi Yeung, the Executive Secretary of Adventure-Ship


Guest speaker Mr Dominic Brittain receiving our Club banner

Consequently, the meeting ran backwards and once all business had been dealt with, we were left with 10 minutes of fellowship at the end of the meeting. A disorientating, but not unpleasant, change.

President Ramesh welcomed back Rtn Peter Daswani, PDG Joseph, PE David, Rtn Susie and Rtn Nigel. We were joined this week by Rtn Rainer Jungjohann from the RC of Norderstedt in Hamburg, Germany, who is becoming a bit of a regular, and PDG Carroll Knicely visiting from the RC of Glasgow, Kentucky, USA, as well as Mr Tommy Tam – a guest of IPP Bill and PDG Joseph – and my own guest Vanessa Stanley-Johns, whom some of you met at our last fellowship evening.


President Ramesh presents PDG Carroll Knicely with our club banner

Our acting Sergeant at Arms, PP Michael, announced that HK$580 in donations to the box, was raised this week.

Finally, bringing a guest to the meeting makes one aware of the courtesies of Rotary. One which seems to have been sadly neglected is that of the Welcoming Committee. We have the sashes, but I could count on the fingers of one hand, the number of times I have seen them worn. It may be that we are not aware of when we are supposed to assume this responsibility – I wasn’t until I checked the website and saw my own name posted there for the meeting of 16th November. I shall therefore be including a section in the newsletter in future as a reminder of who is on the Welcoming Committee each week. Perhaps if you know you will be unable to attend, you can then arrange for another member to assume your responsibility for that week.

Till next week …

Yours in Rotary,
Nicole Burt


SPEAKERS THIS MONTH

Last Week’s Speaker (19th October): was Mr Dominic Brittain who returned, albeit very briefly, in his capacity as Chairman of the Hong Kong Adventure-Ship. Dominic went to sea with the Royal Navy in 1978 and served in the Coastal Forces before coming to Hong Kong in 1984. He joined the Adventure-Ship team as a member of the Ship Operations Committee before being elected as a Director of the organisation in 1990 and as Chairman in 1998 – a post he has held since then.

The Adventure-Ship Project aims to help young people of all abilities, develop self-esteem and self-confidence by providing a physical and mental learning environment that enables them to realise their own strengths and help those around them discover theirs. In particular, the Project encourages young people, some of whom society labels “handicapped” or “disabled” to find the courage to explore beyond their conventionally prescribed limits.

The Adventure-Ship Project is a charity run by a small permanent staff and a number of volunteers. Dominic told us that, whilst cash donations are always welcomed, the most difficult commodity for them to find is volunteers – not necessarily for shipboard activities, but to serve on the various committees and tackle training and operations issues. In particular, they need Cantonese speakers.

The current training ship is the “Huan”, a Chinese-style, three-masted junk with a European-style hull, which is 27.4 metres long and 20 metres tall at the main mast. She was built in 1973 by two Europeans who planned to use her for cruises in the Mediterranean. Sadly for them, they ran out of money and the ship was abandoned in an Aberdeen shipyard where she was discovered in 1976. She was refurbished by volunteers as a training ship and began her maiden voyage with a group of underprivileged children in February 1978.

Looking to the future, a new training ship with purpose-built facilities – designed by the designer of the “Lord Nelson” (a similar ship in the UK) – is currently under construction at a cost of HK$24 million.

After Dominic’s hasty departure, Mimi Yeung took over and showed us a video of the Buddies Programme, in which groups of volunteers from local organisations accompany training trips for participants (children from the age of 9 onwards) with disabilities. The looks on the children’s faces said it all – most memorable being the little boy who was so reluctant to go on board that he had to be carried on. His attitude changed so considerably through the trip that he practically had to be carried off as well.

This Week’s Speaker (26th October): Mr Les Whittle of Holt China Children’s Services will be updating us on the baby formula programme we are involved in with RC of Fox Lake, as well as adoption in China.


Ms Mimi Yeung of HK Adventure-Ship with President Ramesh

Friday 2nd November: Mr Damdinjamts Turbileg – Consulate of Mongolia in Hong Kong
Friday 9th November: MEETING CANCELLED
Friday 16th November: DG Johnson Chu – District Governors Visit
Friday 23rd November: Joint Meeting with Rotary Club of Macau


WELCOMING COMMITTEES

This Week: Gary Harilela Robert Ho
Friday 2nd November: Michael Harilela Brian Wong
Friday 16th November: Nicole Burt M S Kalra
Friday 23rd November: Raju Wadhwani Daniel Hackston
Friday 30th November: Nigel Montague Albert Lam


NEWS – NEWS – NEWS

ROTARY NEWS

Continuing the series on the 2001-02 Presidentation Citation Programmes, this week covers an award which we can all help our President achieve:

Distinguished Club President Citation

This citation has 4 areas of achievement which President Ramesh must complete:

Membership Development (complete both achievements)

1. Attend a District Membership Seminar;
2. Personally sponsor three new members.

Rotary’s Public Image (complete two out of three achievements)

1. Wear his Rotary pin at business and social events;
2. Represent our Club at appropriate community events;
3. Address the local community of the role of Rotary in the community and world at least twice.

Rotary Education and Training (complete four out of five achievements)

1. Attend the Presidents-elect Training Seminar;
2. Attend the 2001 District Assembly;
3. Attend/register for the District Conference;
4. Register for the 2002 Rotary International Convention in Barcelona, Spain;
5. Hold a Rotary information meeting at the club on a minimum of six occasions.

Club Development and Improvement

1. Club must qualify for the Distinguished Club Citation (covered last week).

Let’s all do our best to help President Ramesh qualify for this award, which would bring kudos to our Club as well as to our President.


DISTRICT NEWS

PolioPlus Partners

During the Rotary Foundation Seminar held in September this year, the PolioPlus Partners programme was explained in detail, to delegates. As a result, a number of individuals and clubs in the District made contributions. Our own club made a donation of US$1,000 to this very worthy cause. The following is a letter which has been received by DG Johnson Chu from Mr H. William Ives, Chairman of the PolioPlus Partners Program, which shows us how our contributions have been used.

“Dear District Governor Chu:

On behalf of the PolioPlus Partners Program, please accept my gratitude for the generous support from the Rotarians in your district for the PolioPlus Partners Program in 2000-01. I am pleased to inform you that partly as result of your donation more than 550 million children were immunized in 82 countries. This represents almost one tenth of the worlds population. The number of polio cases declined to 350, a 99% drop since 1988 when the global initiative began.

Enclosed you will find a brief newsletter which will help you understand the significance of your gift within the context of global polio eradication strategies. I would invite you to share this newsletter with your fellow Rotarians so they may have a better understanding how Rotarian participation in the PolioPlus Partners Program will help the achieve the shared Rotary vision of a world without polio.

Click here to view the newsletter (MS Word Format)

I wish both you and your fellow Rotarians continued success in your participation in the global polio eradication initiative and all your future endeavors. It is my hope that you will maintain interest in the exciting PolioPlus Partners Program and adopt other projects as the opportunity arises. Thank you again for becoming a PolioPlus Partner.

With Best Wishes,
H. William Ives, Chairman
PolioPlus Partners Program

Enhancing Rotary’s Public Image (Global Quest)

Rotary District Concert

District 3450 has decided to stage a Concert this Rotary year 2001-2002, to enhance Rotary’s Public image and at the same time raise funds for the Hepatitis B vaccination programme in China. The cost of staging such a concert will be about HK$400,000.00 and it will be staged at the TVB Studios and broadcast live. A separate trust fund will be established and each club is expected to contribute HK$10,000.00 to the fund. The Concert is scheduled for sometime in April 2002 and more details will be forthcoming closer to the time.

District Sports Day

The District Sports Day will be held on Sunday 13th January 2002 at the Wanchai Sports Ground. The organizing committee is seeking sponsors of small gift items such as toys, games and stationery etc. for the children’s game competition programme. The prize offered to game winners or participants will certainly make the children’s programme more entertaining and exciting.

If anyone can support this event through such sponsorship, please contact PP Kenneth Chow at Grand@gelhkg.com.hk for collection of the gift boxes.


CLUB NEWS

Meeting Cancellation

Due to a number of prior engagements on that day, the regular luncheon meeting on Friday 9th November has been cancelled. However, President Ebe of the Rotary Club of Kowloon Golden Mile has very kindly agreed to host us in a joint meeting on Wednesday 7th November. The venue and time of the meeting remains the same, only the date changes. In order that they may make arrangements for additional attendees, would you please confirm to VP Nic as soon as possible, whether or not you will be able to attend.

Annual Fund Raiser

PP Bruce updated members of the status of the Annual Fund Raiser, and announced that the committee visited the Football Club last week and it had been decided that this would be a good venue for the event, which is to be held on Saturday 27th April 2002. The committee had talked extensively about a number of aspects and had concluded:

1. The Ball has to have a focus – a charity or good work with which people can identify.
It had been suggested that the charity must be a Hong Kong based operation and, preferably involve children. A decision on this aspect is required very early as everything else is governed by that and options are currently being explored for presentation to the Board of the Club, who will need to ratify it.

2. Cost and prices.
It had been decided that, in the current economic climate, we would like to keep the ticket price under $700 if possible. A notional figure of $680 has been set and we will be trying to make that feasible, which will mean budgetting very carefully.

3. Sponsorship/Prizes etc.
PP Bruce warned members that the committee would be requesting the assistance of all members in obtaining sponsorship and donated prizes.


THE YANTU PROJECT UPDATE (written on 17th October 2001 by Veronique Faure)

Since I sent you the first news of Yantu, an eventful week has gone by, during which I received 5 phone calls from Christian! I want to take this opportunity to thank Stratos for sponsoring the Iridium satellite phone as well as 600 minutes of free calls. It is really wonderful to have telephone contact with Yantu. Not only is it great for loved ones on land to receive news, but it is also a great support for Christian and Sun Haibin to be able to call the outside world and talk about their experience and emotions in their native language.

The most exciting and most recent news is that our two rowers have been doing a lot of whale watching! It started with a killer whale sighted a week ago. Then, this morning, as Christian saw this strange wave approaching the boat from the side… he suddenly realized it was actually a 10-metre wide (i.e longer than the boat) row of 8 whales, swimming shoulder to shoulder (if you can say that for whales…), coming straight towards the boat!

Christian was so excited when he told me the story:
At the last moment, they ever so gracefully dived under the boat to appear on the other side. I stopped rowing, in shock. They also stopped. We looked at each other for a while, and then I went on rowing and they left.

This came at a good time for a morale boost as today both Christian and Sun Haibin were quite depressed: yesterday they decided to change their planned course (row West instead of South) to avoid bad weather forecasted in the South. The row was physically very hard because of unfavourable
wind, and only allowed them to cover very little distance. It is very disheartening to have the feeling to row for nothing. Thankfully the whales cheered them up!

If you have been watching the progress on the internet, you already know that until now, they have always been within the top 15. Pretty good considering that most of the top 10 teams have a lot of rowing experience, unlike Christian and Sun Haibin.

They are getting on well together: “better and better” were Christian’s words today. Sun Haibin, who has no sea experience at all, is taking it all very well so far.

In the past week, they have been going through one challenge after the next : it was really interesting for me to observe how Chrisitan mentioned a different type of problem with every phone call, and when I asked him about it 24 to 48 hours later, he had already forgotten that problem and was preoccupied by something different! Their 24-hour periods must seem much longer than ours…

First there was seasickness, which lasted a good 4 days and was very hard because it dehydrated and weakened them physically as they were not able to retain their food. Christian mentioned feeling so weak that he felt unable to move after lying down. Even making food was strenuous under those conditions. Then came the exhaustion from rowing too hard and wanting to surf the 4 to 5-metre high waves too fast. Even though it was thrilling for both of them to be able to row faster after being sick, they quickly had to learn to pace themselves…

Subsequently came the physical pain from rowing so many hours a day, especially in the joints: knees, shoulders, elbows, hands: “just every joint in our bodies hurts so much, it is unbelievable”.

Then followed the difficulty of adjusting to the rowing/sleeping rythm (approximately 2 hours of each activity, alternatively, so that there is always someone rowing the boat in the right direction and watching what is happening outside). Finally there was the storm-test on Sunday, with rain, thunder, lightning and no visibility, which made it impossible to row for several hours. Both rowers took refuge inside the cabin. Although they were tossed around and had a hard time sleeping, Christian describes the cabin as a safe and dry place. He says that when you go in, it is similar to coming home to a fire when there is a snow storm outside… (I wish this was really true…).

All of the above challenges have been overcome (at least temporarily) by now, as both men are getting into the routine of life aboard Yantu and on the Ocean. Their main difficulty now is to stay motivated and remain psychologically strong.

That’s all for this week! Thanks from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have sent messages of encouragement over the last week. They are very important and appreciated by Christian and Sun Haibin (and by me!). Thank you very much as well for your donations, they make their adventure all the more worthwhile.

Thank you for your support.
Veronique


Christian & Sun Haibin in traditional headgear as they set off on their epic journey


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Sunday 28th October: District Ten Pin Bowling Tournament hosted by The Rotary Club of Kwai Chung at Mei Foo Super Fun Bowl. President Ramesh is still trying to put together a team for this event to represent our club. If you are available for a fun afternoon, please let him know. Bowling experience is not necessary – just the ability to enjoy yourself!

Tuesday 30th October: The District Vocational Service Seminar, hosted by Rotary Club of Peninsula, will be held at their regular luncheon meeting at the Hong Kong Hotel from 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm.

Thursday 1st November: This is the deadline for Rotarians to nominate a non-Rotarian or organisation for the 2002 Rotary Award for World Understanding and Peace. Forms are available from District Governors and the RI website.

Sunday 4th November: The 6th annual “Stride for a Cure” of the Hong Kong Cancer Fund. If you have registered and wish to support the event further, you can contact Rtn Brian Wong to obtain sponsorship forms. The form with the donation may be passed to him during the lunch meetings or on the event day. They will be collectively sent to the Cancer Fund on your behalf.

5th – 11th November: This week is designated World Interact Week by Rotary International, during which we are asked to plan some special activities with our Interactors.

Wednesday 7th November: Since the regular Luncheon Meeting for Friday has been cancelled, a joint meeting is being held with the Rotary Club of Kowloon Golden Mile. The venue and time of day remains the same as our regular Friday meeting.

Friday 9th November: The Luncheon Meeting has been cancelled as a team of intrepid (dare I say “mad”!) Rotarians from our Club will be participating in the Maclehose Trailwalkers event. PE David, IPP Bill, PP Gilbert and Rtn Howard, will be setting off at 1.00 pm on this day and aim to finish in 28 hours.

Friday 16th November: DG Johnson Chu will be joining our Friday luncheon meeting (rather than replacing the luncheon with an evening meeting/fellowship). This will also be the induction of Miss May Chan, so let’s all make an effort to attend this meeting and welcome May as a fellow Rotarian.

Friday 23rd November: Rotary Club of Kowloon North and Rotary Club of Macau Joint Meeting to be held at Macau Military Club, No. 975 Avenida Praia Grande (less than 5 mins. by taxi from the jetfoil pier). All members are encouraged to bring their spouses and families or friends with them so that we can enjoy an evening of fellowship with our Rotary friends in Macau, followed by a relaxing weekend in Macau.


ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY ….

Sunday 21st October
1805 – The Battle of Trafalgar occurred off the coast of Spain. The British defeated the French and Spanish fleet.
1858 – The Can-Can was performed for the first time in Paris.
1879 – Thomas Edison invented the electric incandescent lamp. It would last 13 1/2 hours before it would burn out.

Monday 22nd October
1797 – Andre-Jacques Garnerin made the first recorded parachute jump. He made the jump from about 3,000 feet.
1975 – Air Force Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich was discharged after publicly declaring his homosexuality. His tombstone reads ” “A gay Vietnam Veteran. When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

Tuesday 23rd October
42 B.C. – Marcus Junius Brutus committed suicide after his defeat at the Battle of Philippi. He was a leading conspirator in the assassination of Julius Caesar.
1989 – Hungary became an independent republic, after 33 years of Soviet rule.
1998 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reach a breakthrough in a land-for-peace West Bank accord.

Wednesday 24th October
1537 – Jane Seymour, the third wife of England’s King Henry VIII, died after giving birth to Prince Edward. Prince Edward became King Edward VI.
1788 – Poet Sarah Joseph Hale was born. She wrote the poem “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”
1901 – Daredevil Anna Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. She was 43 years old. (No word on whether she survived!)

Thursday 25th October
2137 B.C. – Chinese Royal astronomers, Ho and Hsi, were executed after not predicting a solar eclipse which caused panic in the streets of China. (Did you see that date folks!!)
1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade took place during the Crimean War:
“Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
Forward, the Light Brigade! “Charge for the guns!” he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred”
1881 – The founder of “Cubism,” Pablo Picasso, was born in Malaga, Spain.

Friday 26th October
1881 – The “Gunfight at the OK Corral” took place in Tombstone, Arizona. The fight was between Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and Doc Holiday and the Ike Clanton Gang.
1951 – Winston Churchill became the prime minister of Great Britain
1988 – Two whales were freed by Soviet and American icebreakers. The whales had been trapped for nearly 3 weeks in an Arctic ice pack.

Saturday 27th October
1939 – John Cleese, Basil Fawlty’s alter ego and founder of the Ministry of Silly Walks, was born.
1978 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin were named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for their progress toward achieving a Middle East accord.


FROM THE BREADBASKET

The China Gift of Life
(Submitted by Randal Eastman)

We have been struggling away here in Shanghai for over 3 years to help lay the foundation for the return of Rotary to China after a 50 year absence and more than 80 years since the first Rotary Club was chartered here in Shanghai. We live and pursue our livelihoods in one of the most exciting cities in the world, the present and historical heart of commerce and trade with China. Known as the Dragon’s Head for its position at the head of the mighty Yangtze River, Shanghai is a pearl that is now beginning to shine brighter every day. In the midst of its explosive growth, however, there is a growing vacuum that needs to be filled by professional men and women who hold forth a strong ethical creed and who understand the meaning of Service Above Self within our communities – helping those less fortunate to join in the growing prosperity and to cope with the dramatic changes that surround us.

Rotary and Rotarians have a key role to play here in the development of Shanghai society as it integrates ever closer with the outside world. Rotarians’ good works and concerned hearts are being welcomed within our community, and nowhere more profoundly than with our China Gift of Life Program here in Shanghai. We would welcome the immediate participation of Taiwan Rotarians to help us save the lives of young children in need of heart surgery to alleviate congenital heart defects.

If only a single Rotary District or a few Rotary Clubs were to pledge their support, we could dramatically increase the scope of this project and save not just a few children’s lives, but dozens! Why target 8 when we could target 88?!

If Rotarians and Rotary Clubs would like to join with us in saving a child’s life – and it will cost little more than US $3000 to save each life – we can help them find the needy candidate. We are told that there are over 600,000 children in China that need this life-saving surgery, but it all starts with a single step forward.

We ask any willing Clubs or Club members to contact our club’s secretary, former RC Taipei Rotarian ‘Semi’ (Frank Yih) whose own heart is in the right place — and we will do our best to make this miracle happen.

Randal Eastman, President
Expatriate Rotarians & Friends Shanghai


AND FINALLY ….

When he started out he didn’t know where he was going, when he got there he didn’t know where he was and when he got back he didn’t know where he had been. Who was he? Christopher Columbus!