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Volume 02 Issue 35

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

We had another full house last week, with 5 Group Study Exchange members, 4 visiting Rotarians and 3 guests. Our visitors and guests from overseas were GSE team leader PP Bill Boyd from the RC of McCormick, South Carolina, with his team members Elizabeth Hitchcock, Thuy Nguyen, Ty Houck, Jr. and Patrick Scott, and PP Dr G Jeyachandran from the RC of Tiruchirapalli, Rock City, India, with his wife Dr Susheela Jeyachandran.


Dr Susheela Jayachandaran & PP Dr G Jayachandaran

From closer to home, we were pleased to see frequent visitors PDG Anthony Hung from the RC of Tai Po, AG Amy Ho from the RC of Admiralty and PP Joseph Kwan from the RC of Kowloon Golden Mile.

Last, but not least of course, IPP Bill hosted guest Mr Willett Bird whose wife Carole was a guest in January, and PP Gilbert hosted Mr Travis Pittman who had recently travelled to New Zealand with PP Papu and the Kowloon Cricket Club.

SAA Frank reported that contributions to the box last week, totalled HK$1,470.

President Ramesh then exchanged banners with PP Dr G Jeyachandran, who told us about his Club’s involvement with the containment of diseases including polio, TB and AIDS (through the National AIDS Control Society).


An exchange of banners

PP Gary thanked Rtn Dan for hosting such an enjoyable fellowship at the Football Club and announced that he and President Ramesh were arranging a fellowship in April at the Viceroy of India (details under Fellowship News).

Don’t forget, this week we will be visited by 10 Rotarians from the Uranienborg Rotary Club in Norway. President Ramesh 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).

Finally, I will be out of Hong Kong from 22nd March to 14th April so PP Bruce has kindly agreed to take on production of the newsletter in my absence. Wishing you all a Happy Easter and a respectful Ching Ming.

Till next month …

Yours in Rotary,
Nicole Burt


SPEAKERS THIS MONTH

Last Week’s Speakers (Friday 15th March) were members of the visiting GSE team from District 7750 South Carolina, who told us about themselves and – with the use of a colourful and interesting Powerpoint presentation – their home. They told us that District 7750 encompasses the western portion of South Carolina and has 55 Rotary clubs and more than 3,000 members. Over the past 35 years, the district has changed from a mostly textile/agricultural economy to an economy driven by such names as BMW, Michelin, Mitsubishi and Fuji.

Bill Boyd, the Team Leader and only Rotarian in the group, is a real estate broker who owns and operates his own firm in McCormick, South Carolina. He has been active in Rotary for many years and has served as president of two different clubs – the RC of Washington, Georgia from 1989-1990 and as charter president for the McCormick club in 1996-1997. He is currently serving as Lt. Governor and is District Governor Nominee for the year 2004-2005. Whilst in Hong Kong, he is looking forward to experiencing the culture and traditions of HK and spending time with fellow real estate professionals and fellow Rotarians – although on Friday he was having a little trouble adjusting to both the humidity and Hong Kong’s public transport, as he tells us there is no public transport in the area he comes from!

PP Bill introduced us to:

Elizabeth Hitchcock, who is a pediatric physical therapist with Self Regional Healthcare in Greenwood, South Carolina. She began her career in 1995 upon graduation with a degree in physical therapy and is now the Outpatient Pediatric Coordinator at the Optimum Life Centre as well as one of the founders of the local wheelchair clinic that is offered monthly at the Centre. In 1998, she participated in a highly specialised 8-week course for children with cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders. Elizabeth is also an active participant in local charity organisations.

Thuy (“Twee”) Nguyen was born in Bien Hoa, Vietnam from where she and her family escaped by boat when she was 5 years old in 1979. It transpires that she and her family spent some time at one the the Vietnamese Refugee Camp where our own Rotarian Susie did volunteer work. She and her family were sponsored to go to North Charleston, South Carolina (where she grew up), and in 1996 she received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and one in occupational therapy in 1998. She is now an occupational therapist evaluating and treating adult patients with physical disabilities, injuries and diseases to assist them with increasing their independence and function.

Ty P Houck, Jr. has always been an outdoor oriented person. He obtained a degree in geology and has been employed by the South Carolina State Park Service since 1995. He is currently the manager of Paris Mountain State Park, a task which he compares to running a small village. He enjoys interacting with and assisting people – whether it be teaching a child about the importance of clean water or helping a camper hook up their trailer, he receives a sense of satisfaction knowing that he has done something to make someone’s life more enjoyable.

Patrick R Scott is a business editor for The Charlotte Observer in Charlotte, North Carolina. A graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia he was employed as a correspondent with the Philadelphia Inquirer prior to moving to South Carolina. Charlotte is the largest city between Washington, DC and Atlanta, Georgia and is well known as a financial centre – not a political city, not a college town, not a cultural destination, Charlotte is a business city. As business editor, Patrick is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the business community are reported fairly and honestly.

This Week’s Speaker (Friday 22nd March) will be Mr David Williams from the Hong Kong Police, who will be talking to us about Money Laundering (the prevention of!).

Friday 29th March: MEETING CANCELLED – EASTER
Friday 5th April: MEETING CANCELLED – CHING MING FESTIVAL
Friday 12th April: Mr John Dinglebeck, Alcatel – Internet Service Providers
Friday 19th April: Kate Sun, Special Needs Network – Children in HK with special needs


WELCOMING COMMITTEES

Please arrive early if you are on the Welcoming Committee as most guests and visitors arrive at 12.30 prompt. If you are unable to attend on that day, please ensure you make arrangements for a replacement (or else face the wrath of our Sergeant at Arms and his fine box!)

22nd March: Nigel Montague & Albert Lam
12th April: David Lindsay & Patrick Shum
19th April: Raj Mirpuri & Nic Robinson
26th April: Chris Richardson & Bruce Stinson
3rd May: Peter Daswani & Harish Budhrani
10th May: May Chan & Joseph Lee


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…”

 

Why I am a Rotarian

Because I did not have any faith in Rotary at all, I used to “tease” Rotarians. I never believed that Rotary was really a service club, but a mere luncheon club.

I used to “tease” Rotarians, especially the one who happened to be a medical doctor in the pharmaceuticals manufacturing plant where I worked as Managing Director. I did not understand, then, why he should be so excited before noon every Thursday, just because he was about to attend his Rotary club luncheon meeting. I did not understand why this Rotarian doctor so very often did not charge his patients when he knew that they came from the rural areas of Thailand and had hardly enough money for their transport down to Bangkok. They brought bananas and mangoes from their farms and fields to pay for the medical bills. I did not have the answers even after his death! I was not really interested in Rotary anyway!

But, as fate would have it, I was “drawn” into Rotary by an elderly gentleman who approached my father in 1958 and invited my father to help him to form a new Rotary club, the second club in Thailand, which was to be born on 14 May 1958.

My father, like me, was not at all interested in Rotary; however, out of respect for his friend, he “forced” me to help that elderly gentleman, who I later on learned was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Bangkok, founded in 1930, and who was to become the charter president of the second club in the country, the Rotary Club of Dhonburi.

I can still remember very well his quotation from George Bernard Shaw: “Life is not a ‘brief’ candle. It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

He had indeed handed on to me a splendid torch that was to change my life completely, from being a very selfish man, a man who minded only his own business, who had never had the idea that giving is grace, that not giving is disgrace, a man without thoughtfulness of and helpfulness to others. Being a Rotarian changed me into a responsible citizen, a Rotarian and a politician with a vision and a mission who plans every deed with the thought of giving as much joy to others as possible.

He who shared Rotary with me back in 1958 exists no longer. But his wisdom and his belief that Rotary was good and did good will always be a guiding torch, whatever I do. I, too, want to make this torch burn as brightly as possible before I hand it on to future generations.


 

NEWS – NEWS – NEWS

ROTARY NEWS

Fulfilling Our Promise : Eradicate Polio
Information fromhttp://www.rotary.org/foundation/polioplus/milestones/index.html

1350 B.C. Images throughout history have depicted individuals with withered arms and legs walking with assistance from a staff or crutch.
1908 Karl Landsteiner determines that polio is a virus rather than bacteria.
1916 Thousands of New Yorkers flee the city as one of the largest epidemics of the century occurs, paralyzing 27,000 people and killing 9,000.
1952 558,000 people contract polio, leaving thousands permanently afflicted.
1954 Nobel Peace Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded to John Franklin Enders, Thomas Huckle Weller, and Frederick Chapman Robbins for their discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue.
1954 First inactivated polio vaccine announced by Dr. Jonas Salk. 1.8 million school children participate in trials of the Salk vaccine.
1961 Dr. Albert Sabin’s oral polio vaccine approved for use by the American Medical Association.
1974 The World Health Organization begins its Expanded Programme on Immunization to combat measles, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, tuberculosis, and polio.
1979 Rotary clubs of Manila, Philippines, fund children immunization initiatives. World certified free of smallpox, the first disease to be eradicated by mankind.
1985 Rotary International launches a global health campaign to aid international agencies in immunizing children in developing countries. PolioPlus is the first and largest internationally coordinated private-sector support of a public health initiative.
1988 Rotarians around the world raise more than US$246 million in PolioPlus funds, which will grow to almost US$500 million by 1999.
1988 The 160 member countries of the World Health Assembly set the goal of eradicating polio worldwide by 2000, with certification by 2005. Public sector partners in the global eradication effort include the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
1991 Massive immunization campaigns take place in Central and South America. Luis Fermin Tenorio, a toddler from Peru, is identified as the last polio-stricken child in the Americas.
1993 China holds its first National Immunization Days (NIDs) against polio for 80 million children. Rotary has helped to immunize more than 500 million children against polio by this date.
1994 The Americas are certified polio-free
1995 Nearly 300 million children receive OPV during NIDs conducted in 51 countries including China and India. This represents almost 50 percent of all the world’s children under the age of five.
1996 26 sub-Saharan African countries hold coordinated NIDs against polio, signaling the beginning of the last push against the crippling disease. More than 50 million children are to be immunized.
1996: 150 polio-free countries worldwide
1997 More than 260 million children are vaccinated in nine countries in Asia.
In India more than 100,000 Rotary members, their families, friends, and co-workers join the Indian government in immunizing 130 million children on one day – the largest public health event in history.
90 percent reduction in polio cases since 1988
1999 Liberia holds its first National Immunization Day, signaling the last polio-endemic country in the world to conduct mass polio immunization drive.
1999: 7,083 cases of polio reported worldwide
2000: Western Pacific region is polio-free
2005 Anticipated certification of a polio-free world.

Georgia Rotary Student Program brings Nations Together.

What is the Georgia Rotary Student Program (GRSP)? The Rotarians of the State of Georgia, USA, operate GRSP by granting scholarships to international students to study in the colleges and universities in Georgia. By using the means of scholarships, they are trying to promote international goodwill through the bonds of friendship and understanding with one another.

Scholarship Covers one scholastic year, from August to May, and is for study in colleges and universities in the State of Georgia. Scholarship pays for tuition, books, meals, college room. The applicant is required to pay for the return air ticket from this District to Georgia, USA and their own medical insurance. They must also have at least US$3,000 to spend.

Eligibility Requirements: Age 18-24, cannot have previously studied in the USA for a period exceeding four months, must be single. Unlike the Rotary scholarships, children of Rotarians can apply for this scholarship.

For further information, visit website www.grsp.org.

World Peace Scholarships

The Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution offer individuals committed to peace and cooperation, the opportunity to pursue a two-year master’s-level degree in international studies, peace studies, and conflict resolution at one of the seven Rotary Centers.

The scholarship selection process consists of three levels: club, district, and world, and on Thursday 18th April, the UN will officially announce the names of successful applicants for Rotary’s World Peace Scholarships for 2002-2004.


CLUB NEWS

Ambassadorial Scholarships

For those of you who did not know, the District now sponsors 3 Ambassadorial Scholarships – one of which is The Rotary Club of Kowloon North Ambassadorial Scholarship (which is an endowed scholarship).

The purpose of the Ambassadorial Scholarships program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries. Today, the program sponsors several types of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students as well as qualified professionals pursuing vocational studies. While abroad, scholars serve as ambassadors of goodwill to the people of the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups. Upon returning home, scholars share with local Rotarians and others the experiences that led to greater understanding of their host countries.

Scholarship availability is determined by local Rotarian contributions to The Rotary Foundation. As a result, not all Rotary clubs will offer scholarships. Prospective scholars must apply through a local Rotary club. The District is now receiving applications for this Scholarship which must be used towards a course beginning anytime between 1st July 2003 and 30th June 2004.

Outstanding Dues

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.


FELLOWSHIP NEWS

PP Gary has organized an Indian BBQ fellowship to be held on the terrace of the “Viceroy of India” (2nd Floor, Sun Hung Kai Centre, Wanchai) from 7.30 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. on Friday 26th April. The cost will be HK$350.00 inclusive of All Drinks throughout.

Please support the fellowship by inviting your Spouses, Partners, guests and any friend whom you feel would make a good Rotarian in the future.

Please confirm by e-mailing to PP Gary at: midco@harilela.com


THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“If you put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price”


BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK ….

Thursday 21st March: Happy Birthday to President Ramesh and PDG Joseph who share their birthdays with composer Johann Sebastian Bach, born in 1685; English novelist & poet Charlotte Bronte, in 1816; Florenz Ziegfeld, producer of the Ziegfield Follies, in 1869; and billionaire philanthropist and oil man, John D Rockefeller III in 1906.

They can also look forward to sharing a birth date with the man who dares to go “where no man has gone before” – Captain James T. Kirk, captain of the Starship Enterprise, in 2228.

On this day in history
1556 – Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was burned at the stake at Oxford after retracting the last of seven recantations that same day.
1851 – Yosemite Valley was discovered in California.
1891 – A Hatfield married a McCoy, ending a long feud in West Virginia which started with an accusation of pig-stealing and lasted for 20 years.
1918 – During World War I, the Germans launched the Somme Offensive.
1927 – The Guomindang Army conquered Shanghai as British marines fled.
1935 – Persia was officially renamed Iran.
1960 – Sharpeville Massacre: Police killed 72 in South Africa and outlawed the ANC.
1961 – The Beatles played at Liverpool’s Cavern Club for the first time.
1974 – An attempt was made to kidnap Princess Anne in London’s Pall Mall.
1975 – Ethiopia ended monarchy after 3000 years.
1980 – “Who Shot J.R.?” It is night, and coldhearted J.R. Ewing sits in his office alone. And no wonder: In the course of the previous 50 minutes, he has managed to alienate, infuriate, and betray most of Texas, and all of his relatives. Then a door in the outer office opens and someone enters. “Who’s there?” J.R. asks. BLAM! He clutches his chest. BLAM! He hits the floor, exhales and…dies? The following November, more than 80 million viewers — nearly as many as voted in the presidential election that month — tuned in to Dallas for the resolution of this tantalizing cliffhanger. In case you forgot: It was Kristin (his sister-in-law) who shot J.R.


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

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 19th May: “Walking Along with Rotary”, a locally produced documentary about Rotary in District 3450, will be shown on TVB Jade from 10.30 pm – 11.30 pm.

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

Another Rotarian Explains : “Why I am a Rotarian”
Hugh Archer, President RI 1989-90
RC of Dearborn Mi. USA

The story is told about young lawyer Abraham Lincoln returning to his overnight quarters after a busy day in a country courthouse. He was driving a horse-drawn buckboard and was accompanied by his opposing counsel. It had rained all day and the muddy road with its mucky side ditches presented a dismal picture. As they rode along, they came upon a sow entrapped in the ditch under a rail fence. Squealing with frustration, she was losing the battle to free herself Abe drove on a few yards but then stopped the buckboard. he climbed down into the muck lifted the rail and the sow clambered out of her muddy prison.

Back on the buckboard, he resumed their journey. “That was a very unselfish deed, Mr. Lincoln.” said his companion. “It was a selfish deed,” replied Abe, “Had I not freed the sow, I would have lain awake tonight wondering about her fate.”

So it is with Rotarians. Aware that they have the ability to improve the quality of life of people around them, they know that their personal self esteem and well-being requires that they act. They act for a selfish reason. They receive personal pleasure in being a Rotarian. They want to sleep better at night.

All Rotarians have a broad streak of compassion in their psyche. They like to associate with others similarly endowed. They find that being in Rotary gives them access to others like themselves. The result is a worldwide endeavor interested only in increasing the quality of life. Worldwide. . . yes.

But mindful that the “world” starts right at home and with the neighbor next door.

That’s why I am a Rotarian, When somebody has a brighter future because I did something helpful for them, I feel “better.” I like to have personal self esteem, I need the respect of my companions and Rotary gives me the opportunity to earn their respect. I want to associate with people whose actions I admire – like Rotarians, and I want to be like them. I want to enjoy life.

It helps to be a Rotarian.


AND FINALLY ….

”I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe-I believe what I believe is right.” George Bush – Rome, July 22, 2001