Volume 02 Issue 34
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
Our regular luncheon meeting last week was held in the pleasant environs of Harry’s Bar. Our speaker was Stephanie Riall, a student at the Li Po Chun United World College, who was accompanied by guest Mms. Michéle Morvan who is a French teacher at the College.
IPP Bill introduces Stephanie and guest Michéle Morvan
Rtn Nigel was our acting Sergeant at Arms this week and made himself popular by not imposing any fines. Donations to the box totalled HK$680.
President Ramesh recognised those members who have achieved 100% attendance to date – Rtn Nicole and new Rtn Ian (keep it up Ian!). PP Bruce announced that there was one other member who has also achieved this – President Ramesh himself.
IPP Bill announced that he had been contacted by the Rotary Foundation to advise that President Ramesh has just become a Paul Harris Fellow for the second time. In recognition of this, he presented President Ramesh with a sapphire pin indicating that he is now a multiple Paul Harris Fellow.
Congratulations to President Ramesh on becoming a multiple Paul Harris Fellow
In honour of our close connection with Camp Quality, a new book entitled “Light in the Life Battle – The Stories of Childhood Cancer Survivors” had been presented to the club by the Prince of Wales Hospital. The book contains information about childhood cancer and the treatment and research being carried out in Hong Kong, as well as 32 moving stories about cancer patients who have received treatment in the Lady Pao Children’s Cancer Centre. The aim of the book is to serve as encouragement to their patients, especially the new patients, and to recognise the dedication and hard work of the health care workers who work selflessly looking after children with cancer. Copies of the book were handed out at the meeting. Anyone who was unable to attend can get a copy from IPP Bill.
Since there have been some changes in the membership of our Club in the past year, new pocket contact cards have been produced and these were handed out at the meeting. Please see IPP Bill if you do not already have one of the new cards.
The Group Study Exchange team from South Carolina in America, will be hosted by our Club on the morning of Friday 15th March. Depending on the time available, President Ramesh will either be taking them for a vocational visit at Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education at Chai Wan or to the Hong Kong History Museum, after which they will join us for our regular luncheon meeting, where one of them will be our guest speaker. If you would like to accompany President Ramesh and the team, please contact him as soon as possible. Members of the team are:
Bill Boyd (58), a Real Estate Broker and the Team Leader;
Patrick Scott (37), Newspaper Editor of the Charlotte Observer;
Ty Houck (30), South Carolina State Park Manager;
Elizabeth Hitchcock (34), a Pediatric Physical Therapist; and
Thuy Nguyen (27), an Occupational Therapist (Thuy pronounces her name TWEE).
Please make a special effort to attend this meeting to welcome the GSE team.
Finally, a new section has been added to The Sampan “An Introduction to Bhichai Rattakull” Rotary International’s President for 2002-2003. Over the next few months I plan to include a number of articles to acquaint us all with next year’s RI President.
Till next week …
Yours in Rotary,
SPEAKERS THIS MONTH
Last Week’s Speaker (Friday 8th March) was Stephanie Raill. Hailing from New Zealand, 18-year old Stephanie is currently completing the second and final year of her International Baccalaureate Diploma at the Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong, with a predicted final score placing her amongst the top 2% of IB students worldwide. She has contributed significantly to the College’s extra-curricular programme and has had major leadership roles in the College’s Change of Pace days for Education and for Conflict Resolution. Last summer she participated in the leadership summer programme held at the Red Cross Nordic UWC. Stephanie has a passion for drama and has been a competitive track and field athlete. She has been offered an Early Decision place and will study at Macalester College in the USA next year.
Stephanie Riall from Li Po Chun United World College
Stephanie started her presentation by quoting Tom Stoppard who said that every exit is an entry to something else. When she left New Zealand 2 years ago, she was a not so big girl but with big dreams – achieving world peace. Now she is a bit bigger but her dreams are smaller – she aspires to be Secretary General of the UN.
She told us that the United World Colleges are a group of ten related International Schools, with locations throughout the world, dedicated to promoting international understanding through education. Students from 16-19 years of age come from all corners of the globe to live and study together, and to learn about each other in an environment that fosters peace, cooperation, and personal challenge. UWC students are chosen on merit, regardless of race, creed, color, background or financial ability and the majority are awarded scholarships.
Founded in 1962, by Air Marshall Sir Lawrence Darvall, former Commandant of the NATO Defence College in Paris, and Dr Kurt Hahn, a distinguished educator who had been founding Headmaster of Salem School in Germany and Gordonstoun School in Scotland, the vision shared by these two was to create a school where the youth of the world could unite, to gain a knowledge and understanding of a variety of races and cultures. Their first College was Atlantic College in the UK (which some of you might remember through Christian Havrehed’s efforts to raise funds through the Atlantic Rowing Challenge), but 2 years later another was started and there are now ten Colleges.
Most UWC’s have approximately two hundred students (in Hong Kong 40% are local residents and the rest are overseas students), all of whom study for the International Baccalaureate exams at the end of their two-year stay. However, the I.B. exams are only a part of the busy and diverse life that each of the Colleges provides for its students. The concept of “Service” is central to the UWC life, and this may involve Social Services such as visiting elderly persons, tutoring disadvantaged youths, helping to clean up local parks, or perhaps building a boardwalk through a rainforest to protect the delicate ecosystem. The goal of serving both the local and global communities may be enhanced using skills learned by participating in other activities that range from Scuba diving, to ocean patrol and rescue, to forestry protection, to library and information services.
The life of a student is further filled with learning national dances from other lands, cultural cooking, music, theater productions, and plenty of time spent in lively discussions about everything from religion to politics, to the best way to brew tea or cook rice! Somehow, students also seem to find time to fit in homework and recreation, as well!
Stephanie related a number of her experiences during her stay at Li Po Chun, but it seemed that the life lesson that had affected her the most was that for all nationalities, we are not so different as we are the same.
She ended her presentation by thanking Rotary for all that it has done for students. Whilst scholarship is the ideal, not everyone is awarded this boon and some students are pretty impoverished. Rotary has helped by financing trips to seminars or even visits to their home countries.
A very bright and self-assured young woman, I for one, would not be surprised if Stephanie achieves her dream.
Stephanie receives our club banner
This Week’s Speaker (Friday 15th March) will be a member of the GSE Team who are our guests for lunch. President Ramesh has made a special appeal that as many members as possible try to attend this meeting.
Friday 22nd March: Mr David Williams, Hong Kong Police – Money Laundering
Friday 29th March: MEETING CANCELLED – EASTER
Friday 5th April: MEETING CANCELLED – CHING MING FESTIVAL
Friday 12th April: Mr John Dinglebeck, Alcatel
Friday 19th April: Kate Sun, Special Needs Network
Please arrive early if you are on the Welcoming Committee as most guests and visitors arrive at 12.30 prompt.
15th March: Raju Wadhwani & Daniel Hackston
22nd March: Nigel Montague & Albert Lam
12th April: David Lindsay & Patrick Shum
19th April: Raj Mirpuri & Nic Robinson
26th April: Chris Richardson & Bruce Stinson
AN INTRODUCTION TO BHICHAI RATTAKUL : RI PRESIDENT 2002 – 2003
“…To Sow the Seeds of Love is to find opportunities to serve every day, every moment of our lives. To Sow the Seeds of Love is to think of others first, and ourselves in terms of what we can do for others…”
Bhichai Rattakul was educated in Bangkok and Hong Kong and received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Political Science from the University of Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok and Kensington University in California. A Member of Parliament for nine terms since 1969 and Leader of the Democrat Party, he has served his country as Foreign Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Parliament. He has also led many Thai delegations to the United Nations.
Bhichai Rattakul is Honorary Vice President of the Thai Scout Council. He has also served as Chairman of the Anti Corruption Commission, Anti Drugs Commission, National Audit Commission and the 13th Asian Games Organizing committee. He has been decorated with Special Class Honor from the King of Thailand and honors from the Emperor of Japan, Presidents of the Philippines, Korea, Austria, and Nicaragua. He was also awarded the highest International Olympic Award and the Asian Olympic Award by the International Olympics Committee.
Bhichai Rattakul joined the Rotary Club of Dhonburi in Bangkok as a charter member in 1958 and has served Rotary International as district governor, international assembly group discussion leader, committee member and chairman, trustee of the Rotary Foundation, director and chairman of the Executive Committee of Rotary International. He is the recipient of The Rotary Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award and Citation for Meritorious Service for his support of its international humanitarian and educational programs. He will serve as president of Rotary International in 2002-03.
NEWS – NEWS – NEWS
Fulfilling Our Promise : Eradicate Polio
Rotarians are on the verge of ridding the world of polio. The number of polio cases has declined by 99 percent in the 16 years since Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation made polio eradication the highest priority. In this period, many of the challenges and obstacles in the path of the ultimate goal have been overcome through the pioneering work of PolioPlus. But because of the changed priorities following the terrible events of 11 September 2001, it is now clear that without a special effort, governments, agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector will not be able to fill the US$400 million funding gap that threatens to snuff Rotary’s dream of a polio-free world.
The RI Board of Directors and the Foundation Trustees have unanimously resolved to introduce a new campaign to raise additional funds for PolioPlus. The campaign, “Fulfilling Our Promise: Eradicate Polio,” will last only through the 2002-03 Rotary year with the goal of raising $80 million. The funds raised through this campaign will multiply quickly because they will be matched or surpassed by funding from the World Bank, the Gates Foundation, and the United Nations Foundation. In some cases, every dollar brought in by Rotary will become a contribution of up to five dollars that will go to governments, the World Health Organization, or UNICEF to buy and distribute vaccine.
To help spread the word about this new campaign, Rotarians are invited to download a presentation and accompanying script from the following website:
First Rotary Club Chartered In The United Arab Emirates
Rotary International President Richard D. King presented the charter of the Rotary Club of Dubai on 3 March. As the first Rotary club in the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai club represents a historic step in membership growth and extension in the Muslim and Arab world.
“I am flattered to charter the first Rotary club in the UAE,” said President King, according to the Gulf News newspaper. “Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation and chairman of Emirates [local airline], will be the charter president of the club.”
The RI president was hopeful that the 25 members of the new club would join other Rotarians in the region in promoting a positive image of Rotary as a non-political and non-partisan service organization. The charter of the Rotary Club of Dubai brings the number of clubs in District 2450 to 103, with nearly 4,000 members across seven Middle Eastern countries. For those of you travelling to Dubai, the new club meets every Wednesday at 1.00 pm on the 50th Floor of the World Trade Centre.
The 2002 “Best District Web-Site Contest”
The “Best District Web-Site Contest” has now been judged. The nominated clubs were:
Bayview Sunshine HK, Hong Kong Island East, Hong Kong Island West, Hong Kong Northwest, Hong Kong South, Kingspark HK, Kowloon East, Kowloon Golden Mile, Kowloon North, Macau, Queensway, Taipo, Tolo Harbour.
The judges of the contest were the webmasters of each site (who were not allowed to vote for their own site) and an “insider” tells me that the well-deserving winner was Kowloon Golden Mile. Well done KGM!
You can view the details of the nominated clubs at the following link:
Visitors from the North
On 22nd March we will be visited by 10 Rotarians from the Uranienborg Rotary Club in Norway. President Ramesh would welcome ideas for entertaining our guests and asks that, again, everyone makes a special effort to attend the meeting that day (especially since the following 2 meetings will be cancelled due to Easter and Ching Ming).
Anyone who reads Norwegian can visit the Club’s website at the following link:
A breakdown has been received from the Club Accountant, showing that a number of members still have outstanding club dues. If you have an outstanding amount, would you please arrange payment as soon as possible or, if you have any queries, contact Treasurer Albert Lam.
A wonderful fellowship was enjoyed at the Football Club in Happy Valley on Sunday from 11.00 till 3.00 with 12 Rotarians and their guests (35 people in total) enjoying a superb buffet and free-flowing champagne. Rtn Dan “snagged” the last bottle from the ice-bucket at 2.45 and I’m told the die-hards remained until 5.00. Photos will be uploaded to the website in due course.
Brunch 1: Rtn Dan and his wife Renee
If you attended, please would you make sure to pay Rtn Dan at the next meeting (so that he is not out of pocket and may be persuaded to arrange this again). The price was HK$135 for adults and HK$94 for children.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“Committee work is like a soft chair… …easy to get into but hard to get out of”
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK ….
Friday 15th March: Rtn Raju celebrates his birthday on Friday, a date which also marks the birthdates in 0076 of Roman Emperor Hadrian (the builder of Hadrian’s Wall); in 1713 of Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, the astronomer who mapped the Southern Hemisphere; in 1835 of composer Eduard Strauss; and in 1941 of Mike Love, rock saxophonist and vocalist with The Beach Boys.
On this day in history
44 B.C. – General, Statesman, & Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, was assassinated on the Ides of March by a group of nobles that included Brutus, Cassius, & other Romans. Born on 12th July 100 BC, he ordered the month of his birth to be named after him.
1493 – Christopher Columbus returned to Spain following his first voyage to the New World. The Nina & Pinta ships returned to Palos.
1892 – The 1st escalator was patented by inventor Jesse W Reno in New York
1906 – The Hon. Charles Rolls & Sir Henry Royce founded Rolls-Royce Ltd.
1917 – Czar Nicholas II, the last Russian Czar, abdicated.
1938 – Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.
1972 – A Los Angeles Radio station was raided by L.A. police after calls from listeners who feared there’d been a revolution at the station from 6:00 to 7:30 in the morning. DJ Robert W Morgan had played Donny Osmond’s “Puppy Love” over and over. The police left without making any arrests.
1975 – Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate, died. In 1968 he had married Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Sat 16th & Sun 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.
Thurs 28th March: RI Presidential visit to (Provisional) Rotary Club of Shanghai
Sat 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.
Fri 22nd – Sun 24th March: The Rotary International Asian Presidential Conference will be held at The Grand Hotel in Taipei.
Sat 20th April: District Assembly (more details in upcoming editions of The Sampan)
Sun 21st April: District Tree Planting Day / Walkathon Fund Raiser
Sat 18th May: Annual Fund Raising Ball to be held at The Football Club in Happy Valley.
Sun 23rd – Wed 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
FROM THE BREADBASKET
FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD
“INSTANT FRIENDS – FINLAND”
(By Frank Deaver, Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa)
In a world of instant coffee and instant tea, instant soup and instant oatmeal, Rotarians have access to the ultimate instant-instant friendships. And in a world in which people tend to treat each other with some distance, if not suspicion, Rotarians who meet Rotarians break down those barriers instantly.
The Rotary pin is the magic key that opens new relationships. In a strange land, even with a seemingly impenetrable language barrier, the miniature Rotary wheel on one lapel seems magnetically attracted to the lapels of others wearing the same emblem.
During a sabbatical semester from my teaching duties at The University of Alabama, I was researching characteristics of the media in Scandinavian countries. For two days, I had been trying to get an appointment with the editor of a daily newspaper in Helsinki, Finland – only to be repeatedly put off by a secretary who was doing her assigned task of protecting the executive’s time.
Then came Thursday, and according to my Clubs Directory the day for the Helsinki Rotary Club to meet. Hungry for Rotary fellowship as well as for lunch, I found the designated place, signed in as a visiting Rotarian, and relished the new friendships around one of the tables.
When guests were recognized, I was introduced as a journalism professor from the United States, and along with other guests, stood and received the members’ applause of welcome. At the end of the meeting, a gentleman from another table rushed to greet me, saying he was anxious to visit with this journalism colleague. I immediately recognized from his name badge that this was the newspaper editor I had been trying to see.
“Of course,” I said, “I know your name and that of your paper. In fact, I’ve been wanting to meet you and learn from you more about your paper, and about the media of Finland.”
“Then come,” he said, “let’s go back to my office for a visit, a tour of our facilities, and some coffee.”
As we walked into his office, past his efficient secretary who had turned me away only hours earlier, I tried very hard to conceal any appearance of smug satisfaction. After all, she was not a Rotarian. How could she know the “instant friendship” that characterizes our fellowship?
Now, however, years later and after the increasing inclusion of women into executive positions and into Rotary, it just might be that she also has come to know the quality of “instant friendship” that characterizes Rotary.
AND FINALLY ….
American sportsmen proving they can be just as “smart” as UK soccer players:
New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season:
“I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first.”
Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann 1996:
“Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.”
Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach:
“You guys line up alphabetically by height.”
And “You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle.”
Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining why he keeps a color photo of himself above his locker:
“That’s so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find my clothes.”