v2-31b.jpg

Volume 02 Issue 31

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

With so many people already away, we still had a good turnout last week. We were joined by PP Peter Davis, visiting us from the Rotary Club of Stonehouse in the UK as well as PP Gilbert’s guest Ian Petersen (who will be inducted on 1st March), VP Nic’s colleague Maureen Boost, and Rtn Nicole’s good friend Dennice Allen, who was also our guest speaker.


PP Peter Davis from the RC of Stonehouse, exchanges banners

The contributions to the box totalled HK$430.

President Ramesh presented Rtn Nicole with a birthday present – another first Rotary birthday (as was Rtn May’s the previous week). A brief report on the trip to the Nanchang orphanage the previous week was given by Rtn Nicole, who promised a fuller report on the website shortly after the Chinese New Year.

Rtn Nicole receives the traditional Rotary birthday gift

The luncheon venue was brightened by the presence of a large trophy presented to our Trailwalkers in honour of their having raised an historic amount of sponsorship for the event. The trophy will remain on display for all to admire!

That’s it for this week folks. Don’t forget that the next luncheon meeting will not be until Friday 22nd February.

KUNG HEI FAT CHOY

Yours in Rotary,
Nicole Burt


SPEAKERS

Last Week (8th February) Dennice Allen of Invest IT Limited, London was our guest speaker. Dennice had arrived in Hong Kong at 6.00 am that morning en route from her native Australia to London where she currently works.


Guest speaker Dennice Allen from InvestIT in London

Dennice heads the Mathematical practice at a specialist consultancy firm in London, which is focussed towards investment management and only deals in the finance industry. She has a Bachelor of Business in Economics & Finance and a Masters in Finance.

Originally from Melbourne in Australia, Dennice was based in Hong Kong for 2 years (from 1996 – 1997) and has lived in London for 4 years. During the last 6 years, she has worked with financial companies managing software implementation projects in Asia, the Middle East, South Africa, France, Switzerland, Germany and, of course, London.

The focus of her presentation dealt with the experiences she has enjoyed within the IT industry, specifically between Asia and Europe and how she viewed the different approaches used by each region to both the work ethic and the industry itself.


Dennice receives a commemorative club banner from President Ramesh

This Week (Friday 15th February) MEETING CANCELLED – CHINESE NEW YEAR

Friday 22nd February: Rtn Nicole Burt, RC of Kowloon North
– Adopt-A-Minefield Project


WELCOMING COMMITTEES

Please arrive early if you are on the Welcoming Committee as most guests and visitors arrive at 12.30 prompt.

22nd February: Michael Harilela & Brian Wong
1st March: Susan Young & Peter Lo
8th March: Nicole Burt & M S Kalra
15th March: Raju Wadhwani & Daniel Hackston
22nd March: Nigel Montague & Albert Lam
29th March: Howard Davies & Steve Lan


NEWS – NEWS – NEWS

RI ANNUAL CONVENTION NEWS

The 93rd RI Annual Convention will be held in Barcelona, Spain from 23rd – 26th June 2002.

ROTARY NEWS

The Rotary Centennial History Book Contest

To make the selection of the title of the RI Centennial History Book (to be published July 2004) a truly collaborative effort, Rotarians everywhere are invited to submit creative names for consideration. All entries become the property of RI and winners will be selected by the Centennial History Book Committee. The top five entrants will receive free leather-bound copies of the centennial book, autographed by past RI presidents.

To participate, submit your entry by 31 July 2002 to the Editor-in-Chief, The Rotarian, by mail:
1560 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201, USA.
Submissions can also be made online at www.rotary.org/title/index.html.


DISTRICT NEWS

Invitation to Shanghai

RI President Rick King will be visiting RC Shanghai on Thursday 28 March. Then, on Saturday 30th March they will be hosting their first major fundraiser for the Gift of Life China program. Delegations from each of the clubs in D3450 are invited.


CLUB NEWS

New Members

Two new members have been approved by the Board and, since there have been no objections, they will be inducted at the meeting on 1st March. Let’s all welcome:

Mr Ian Bjarne Petersen of KCRC Freight Head Office (classification Transportation, sub-classification Rail);
and
Mr Terry Hart of MLI Limited – Life & Investments (classification Financial Management).

Continuum of Care in the Community

The report by International Service Director Brian Wong on the visit to St James’ Settlement in respect of the household repair and maintenance service for the elderly, is now available on the website: http://www.rotary3450.org/kowloon-north/service_elderly2.htm.

Annual Ball

The Annual Ball will be held on Saturday 18th May 2002 at the Hong Kong Football Club. The theme will be “Hollywood” and there will be exciting prizes for those judged “best dressed” – or perhaps “best undressed” – depending on which particular Hollywood character you choose to be on the night. Tickets will be priced at $700 and each member will be expected to take four. All proceeds will be used to fund the Camp Quality Summer Camp. Rtn Nic and and Rtn Brian will be handling ticket sales so please give them an early indication of how many tables you will be bringing!!


FELLOWSHIP NEWS

So far, there will be 31 attendees at the Fellowship Champagne Brunch which has been booked on Sunday 10th March at the Football Club in Happy Valley. Brunch runs from 11.30 am to 3.00 pm and as well as a mouth-watering spread, includes free champagne! At HK$135 per person (or HK$94 per child) this must surely be the best value in town. If you haven’t already done so, please confirm with President Ramesh as soon as possible to ensure you are not disappointed.


THE YANTU LOG

December ’01-January ’02

Dear all,

It was quite an unbelievable experience rowing into Port St. Charles! Not only did we have to race to the finish to keep Team Manpower from overtaking us, but suddenly being on land, kissing Veronique, seeing my mother and sister, the other rowers and their supporters … it was almost surreal. Sun Haibin and I had been alone for 56 days, seeing no one, and suddenly there were people all around us, and a lot of commotion!

The next few days passed by quickly. The highlights were to receive the many messages of congratulation, celebrate Veronique’s birthday, sleep in a proper bed, showering with fresh water, and not having to eat standing up … although it hurt to sit down. We quickly became known by the hotel staff as the funny guys with an amazing appetite who asked for extra cushions to sit on.

It took about one week for the pain in our butts to lessen, three weeks for our waists to stop hurting, about one month before I could clench my right fist, and – because of Christmas – only one month to regain the 5-6kg of weight I lost.

In a way, the pain – as long as it was moderate – was quite useful. Rowing 24-hour a day, 7 days a week we initially found it difficult to stay awake during the night shifts, and we therefore used to give ourselves a good slap across the face to wake up. About a week into the race we could no longer do this, because we could neither open, nor close our hands, resulting in a rather pathetic slap and us being tired. Once the butt problems started, pain was instant when we sat down. I cannot remember feeling sleepy on the early watches after that happened, but I do remember wishing I did not have to row!

Probably the biggest highlight was to greet the boats arriving after us. It was very emotional to see the other rowers coming in, knowing what they had been through. It think the race was emotionally toughest for those who did not row. When you are on land it is easy to imagine the worst – out at sea you don’t imagine, you know, and you can therefore better deal with it. Veronique wrote me a diary of the Yantu race as seen from land, which confirms this.

Of all the arrivals we saw, the arrival of American Star (Tom Mailhot and John Zeigler) was the most emotional. In Tenerife we had run together every morning and struck up a good friendship, particularly between Sun Haibin and Tom Mailhot. Sun Haibin was always fastest at running, but Tom and John were planning on smoking us in the race. Given the fact they are approximately twice our size, they seemed to have a point and throughout the race we always checked on American Star’s position, and they checked on ours. Seeing our best race friends arrive safely one day later than us was therefore a big experience.

During the rest of the time in Barbados, the resort of Port St. Charles took great care of us. In particular Kevin and Sandy Reath, who used to be members of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. Lobster was had and drinks consumed, as we cruised around in their powerboat, much to Sun Haibin’s enjoyment.

Before we knew it, it was time to go home. Tracking the plane’s position across a map of the Atlantic on the in flight monitor seemed unreal: “We were here on day 37”, we would say to each other and laugh. It all seemed strange.

Before leaving Hong Kong for the race our adventure had been considered a bit loony. We were frequently asked questions such as: “What if you see a shark?”, “What if you get run down by a ship?”, and “What if you die?”. Meeting the other rowers in Tenerife had therefore been a big relief, because suddenly rowing across the Atlantic was what everyone was doing and it therefore seemed perfectly normal. But hanging out with the rowers in Barbados after the race had the opposite effect; now everybody you spoke to had just rowed the Atlantic, so it did not seem like anything special.

The reality of what we had achieved therefore only really struck when we returned to Hong Kong 13 December. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club had put on a great media reception, with home coming banners and lots of reporters. In the evening they even hosted a cocktail reception for us with maybe about 100 people showing up.

We did not stay long in Hong Kong and 16 December we flew back to a reception in Beijing. Even before clearing customs we could see huge banners welcoming Sun Haibin back and lots of people were waiting. When we got out in the arrival hall, a crowd of journalists descended on us, sticking cameras and microphones in our faces. We also got some flowers. I was pretty stunned and Sun Haibin was pretty happy, as he was finally reunited with his girlfriend after nearly four months apart. The next days were filled with interviews and we even did a talk show on TV (I am dreading to see how my Chinese came out…).

20 December I said goodbye to Sun Haibin and flew back to Hong Kong. Having run several front pages in the newspapers and been on TV, Sun Haibin is now a celebrity in China. I hope he can use it to his advantage to find a good job when he graduates from Beijing Sports University this year in April. He deserves it. Not many people would have the courage, will power or personality required to achieve what he has done. He did the race despite never having been to sea before, nor had he rowed before, nor had he been outside China, and he was unable to communicate with the other rowers because he did not speak English. A unique individual, who I have been proud to partner with.

From Hong Kong I flew to France for Christmas, then to Denmark for New Year, and then to Germany for relaxation. 24 January I was back in Hong Kong to catch up on paperwork so that I can close down the Yantu Project.

Due to the excellent initiative of our sponsor Olav Storm from the team building company Storm-Vision, we will be exhibiting Yantu at the Copenhagen Boat Show together with another of our Danish sponsors, Viking Life Saving Equipment. This should raise some extra money for our scholarship campaign. The Copenhagen Boat Show will also mark the end of the Yantu Project. The project will then be over, and it will be time to move on, and hey! – new adventures are already spotted on the horizon.

I would like to thank those of you who have already sponsored the project. It was great to return to Hong Kong to find a very generous anonymous scholarship donation of USD19,000. We are now only USD24,000 short of being able to send another Mainland Chinese student to Atlantic College this September. In addition, 26% of race costs have been sponsored, so I am now only(!?) USD65,000 out of pocket. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

A lot of you sent Veronique E-mails throughout the trip encouraging us to go on. She read them out to us over the Stratos Iridium phone and it was a huge moral booster. It kept us going when times were tough! We really appreciated your support … and your messages of congratulation made our ears turn red!

The next Yantu update will be the last one. We will report on the boat show. If you are interested, you can check out the Press articles and Pictures on the website, which have been updated. If you are in possession of any additional articles, please E-mail or post them to us.

See ya!
Christian


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him


BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK

Wednesday 13th February: Rtn Nicole celebrates her birthday. This date is also the birthdate of “The Right Stuff” test pilot Chuck Yeager (1923) – the first man to break the sound barrier; French fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro (1933); and British actor Oliver Reed (1938), infamous for his legendary drinking prowess and subsequent antics!

On this day in history …
1542 – Catherine Howard was executed for adultery. She was the fifth wife of England’s King Henry VIII.
1633 – Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before the Inquisition, for professing belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun
1866 – Jesse James held up his 1st bank in Liberty, Missouri. He got away with US$15,000.
1880 – Thomas Edison observed what became known as the Edison Effect for the first time.
1907 – English suffragettes stormed British Parliament & 60 women were arrested.
1924 – King Tutankhamun’s tomb (discovered in 1922) was opened.
1972 – Led Zeppelin was forced to cancel a concert in Singapore when officials wouldn’t let them off the plane because of their long hair!


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Saturday 23rd February: Rotary World Understanding and Peace Day.

Sunday 3rd March: The District Badminton Tournament 2001-2002 is being organised by the RC of Peninsula South, at Western Park Indoor Games Hall. The tournament will start at 9.00 am and is expected to finish by 4.00 pm. The fees are HK$250 per person per event, with water and a sandwich lunch included. The events will be Men’s Doubles, Men’s Singles, Ladies’ Doubles, Ladies’ Singles and Mixed Doubles. For enquiries contact P.F. Tsui at Tel : 93054112, Email : pftsui@hotmail.com.

Sunday 10th March: A Champagne Brunch Fellowship will be held at the HK Football Club in Happy Valley from 11.30 am to 3.00 pm.

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th March: The District Conference will be held at the Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel with the official Conference opening beginning at 2.00 pm on Saturday 16th. Registration forms and other information can be obtained from the District website. The conference will be preceded, as usual, by a golf tournament on 8 March and there will also be a pre-conference cruise on 10 March. Click here for information about the cruise.

Thursday 28th March: RI Presidential visit to (Provisional) Rotary Club of Shanghai

Saturday 30th March: Fundraiser for the “Gift of Life” China program by the RC of Shanghai.

10th March -10th April: Group Study Exchange (“GSE”) 2001-2002. The Incoming GSE Team from District 7750 (South Carolina, USA), will visit District 3450 from March 10 to April 10, 2002. Our Outgoing GSE Team, led by PP Simon Wong of RC of Peninsula Sunrise, will depart Hong Kong on April 10 and return on May 10.

Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th March: Rotary International Asian Presidential Conference will be held at The Grand Hotel in Taipei.

Sunday 21st April: District Tree Planting Day

Saturday 18th May: Annual Fund Raising Ball to be held at The Football Club in Happy Valley.

Sunday 23rd – Wednesday 26th June: The 93rd RI Annual Convention will be held in Barcelona, Spain.

1st – 4th June 2003: The 94th RI Annual Convention will be held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


ROTARY WORLD

The Rotary Club of Keyworth & Ruddington in Nottingham, UK, is a 44 member club in District 1220.

In 2001 they participated in the Jubilee Sailing Trust which supports disabled people and takes them on Tall Ships Races. Members have, in the past, assisted with building and maintaining these ships apart from Financial Assistance. Another Club project is help with the Rainbows Hospice – the only Children’s Hospice in the Midlands region (and not financed to any extent by the Government). To this end they had a recent Concert with a Big Band of Frank Sinatra music songs and other jazz for 250 people which raised £2,000 plus for the Hospice. Additionally, their Golf Day, held every June, generally raises about £2,500 for charities.

Locally they help single-parent families and those in housing with limited finances, with gardening, decorating, and basic furniture. In addition, they are hosting an Ambassadorial Scholar from USA.

Club contact: Brian Parkinson
<bparki@chilwell58.freeserve.co.uk>


FROM THE BREADBASKET

THE PICKLE JAR
(Submitted to Roti by Scott Greene)

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents’ bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled. I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate’s treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window.

When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank. Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck. Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully.

“Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son. You’re going to do better than me. This old mill town’s not going to hold you back.” Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly.

“These are for my son’s college fund. He’ll never work at the mill all his life like me.”

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlour handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. “When we get home, we’ll start filling the jar again.”

He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. “You’ll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters,” he said.

“But you’ll get there. I’ll see to that.”

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town.

Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed. A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done.

When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me. No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make away out for me. “When you finish college, Son,” he told me, his eyes glistening, “You’ll never have to eat beans again…unless you want to.”

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad’s arms. “She probably needs to be changed,” she said, carrying the baby into my parents’ bedroom to diaper her.

When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes. She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room.

“Look,” she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins.

With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and although neither one of us could speak, I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt.


AND FINALLY ….

“May we never permit ourselves to speak in a derogatory manner of the people of any nation. If we do speak in such a manner, we shall be guilty of defamation of character; we shall be saying that which is not true.”