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Volume 02 Issue 41

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

Last week we were joined by visiting Rotarians PP Nigel Dyson from the Rotary Club of Kelvedon, UK and Rtn Mariana Liu from the Rotary Club of Monterey Park, USA. After our customary exchange of banners, PP Nigel greeted the club and told us that during his many visits to Hong Kong, he has visited numerous different clubs.

PP Nigel Dyson

SAA Frank reported that donations to the box totalled HK$350.

He was then invited to tell us about a child-care centre in Bangkok which is receiving support from our Club and which had been visited by PP Michael when he was in Bangkok recently. (More detail next week).

That’s all for now – sorry this is short and sweet this week, but I’ve been busy with some Ball Committee work. See you there.

Yours in Rotary,
Rotarian Nicole Burt


SPEAKERS THIS MONTH

Last Week’s Speaker (Friday 10th May) was Mr Herbert Lee of Speakers, Training & Consultants who gave us a talk entitled “Be a Better Performer”.

Herbert is a world-class, award-winning speaker with over 20 years experience giving workshops and seminars. He joined Toastmasters International in November 1980 in Canada and is now accredited at the Advanced Toastmaster Silver level.

Mr. Herbert Lee

Herbert likes to create programs that are entertaining and useful; but more importantly, easy to use and with immediate results for participants. He certainly achieved that during his talk – telling us that one of the secrets of good public speaking was to identify with your audience and strip yourself of unecessary pretensions, which he proceeded to do by removing his tie and then his shirt … all without removing his jacket!

Friday 17th May: No speaker – CLOSED MEETING FOR IMPORTANT CLUB ASSEMBLY
Friday 24th May: Christian Havrehed; The Yantu Project – A Life on the Ocean Wave! (Atlantic Rowers)
Friday 31st May: Joseph Lo; SCMP – Open Skies Policy; Airways & the Right to Fly


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!)

17th May: Papu Butani & Gilbert Collins
24th May: Gary Harilela & Robert Ho
31st May: May Chan & Joseph Lee


NEWS – NEWS – NEWS

ROTARY NEWS

Afghanistan NIDs reach 6 million children

Nearly 6 million Afghan children were administered the oral polio vaccine during National Immunization Days (NIDs) on 16-18 April. Participating in the house-to-house effort as vaccinators, mobilizers, supervisors and monitors, some 60,000 Afghan volunteers and health workers brought their country a step closer to the goal of polio eradication.

“We are on the verge of claiming an important victory for all of Afghanistan, and indeed for the world,” said Afghan Public Health Minister Suhalia Seddiq, in a joint press release with WHO. “Working together, we are making sure that Afghanistan will become a healthier place for children. We appreciate the work of all the partners and donors who have provided us support for this important cause.”

For more photos from IPP Bill’s report click here.

According to the press release, only one case of polio, involving an 18-month old boy in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar, has been detected. In 2001, 11 cases were reported in just seven of Afghanistan’s 331 districts.

“This progress demonstrates that despite all the odds, we can eliminate polio from Afghanistan if we continue to tackle the problem in a determined way,” said Dr. Eric Laroche, UNICEF’s Country Representative for Afghanistan. “Afghans have demonstrated a tremendous commitment to protecting their children against polio. I have great hope that Afghanistan will be able to reach the goal of stopping transmission of the wild poliovirus by the end of 2002,” said Dr. Said Salah Youssouf, WHO country representative for Afghanistan.

Unlike in the past, there was something different about the latest NIDs-women participated in droves. In Kabul, the Afghan capital, as many as 70 percent of the volunteers and health workers were women.

Since 1994, when the first NIDs were launched in Afghanistan, Rotarians have assisted by contributing funds and, sometimes under the most difficult situations, participating in immunization activities. To date, The Rotary Foundation has contributed more than US$5 million towards polio-eradication efforts in the country.


CLUB NEWS

Camp Hollywood

Don’t miss this exciting night of glitz, glamour and fun!

Our Annual Fundraising Ball, “Camp Hollywood”, will be held at The Football Club on Saturday 18th May from 7.30 pm until late. If you have not already confirmed your attendance to PP Bruce, please do so immediately so that he can sort out table assignments. This is our most important fund-raising activity of the year and the proceeds will be used to support Camp Quality’s Hong Kong Summer Camp. So, if you have not yet paid for the tickets allocated to you (a mandatory 4 per member regardless of attendance) please PAY UP! VP Nic is waiting for your cheque.

PP Bruce gives an update on “Camp Hollywood”


Trip to the Orphanage in Nanchang

The Club website recently received a couple of letters from couples in America who have read the report of our trip to Nanchang in February. They certainly made my day and renewed my enthusiasm – I hope you all feel the same.

From Jim & Ann DeLange

Dear Nicole,

It was so much fun to see the pictures and read about your group’s trip to Nanchang! My daughter, LiJen (her chinese name is Li Li Juan), lived there for 7 years before we adopted her in 1996. With the help of Cathy Yu and Jian Chen from Holt we were able to visit LiJen’s orphanage when we went to get her in ’96. We were very impressed with the care the kids received from the staff, and believe that the good care she received has helped her adjust so well to life with parents and 3 brothers!

We just wanted to tell your group thank you for investing in the lives of those special kids. We have experienced first-hand the benefits of caring people like you!

Jim & Ann DeLange
Cedarville, Ohio

From Susan Eubanks

Hello from the United States –

We have two little girls adopted from China, Sarah Rose “Rosie” 18 months, and Emma Catherine, 3 1/2. We weren’t able to see Emma’s orphanage, and are always interested in hearing about different orphanages in China. It sounds like you went to a really nice one.

Thank you for taking the time and having the interest in taking care of these little girls. I don’t think that most of them actually get adopted, at least internationally. We have heard that less than 12% get adopted. It is a tough life for the ones who aren’t adopted.

The experience with our daughters has changed my perspective on life. I don’t know if any of you have been to the United States – probably many of you have, or are citizens – but we have so much here, and life is at such a fast pace. Seeing those little babies lined up in cribs in China taught me that things aren’t important, people are so much more important. And it has also helped me to be open to people of all cultures in a way that it wasn’t before. As a result, I quit my 60+ hour/week job to stay home with my little girls, we live in an extremely modest house, and – I am having the time of my life.

God bless you all.

Susan Eubanks
Atlanta, Georgia USA


THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction.
– Blaise Pascal


THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

Sunday 12th May
1820 – Florence Nightingale – a health activist and nurse who promoted the nursing profession and contributed to modern nursing procedures – was born.
1937 – At London’s Westminster Abbey, George VI and his consort, Lady Elizabeth, were crowned king and queen of the United Kingdom after his elder brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated on December 11, 1936.
1982 – In Fatima, Portugal, security guards overpowered a Spanish priest armed with a bayonet who was trying to reach and attack Pope John Paul II.

Monday 13th May
1568 – At the Battle of Langside, the forces of Mary Queen of Scots were defeated by a confederacy of Scottish Protestants under James Stewart, the regent of her son, King James VI of Scotland.
1607 – 100 English colonists settled along the west bank of the James River in Virginia to found Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America.
1981 – Near the start of his weekly general audience in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded while passing through the square in an open car.

Tuesday 14th May
1796 – Edward Jenner, an English country doctor from Gloucestershire, administered the world’s first vaccination as a preventive treatment for smallpox, a disease that had killed millions of people over the centuries.
1948 – In Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years.
1973 – Skylab, America’s first space station, was successfully launched into an orbit around the earth. Eleven days later, U.S. astronauts Charles Conrad, Joseph Kerwin, and Paul Weitz made a rendezvous with Skylab.

Wednesday 15th May
1756 – The Seven Years War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, officially began when England declares war on France (fighting and skirmishes between England and France had been going on in North America for years).
1970 – Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green, two black students at Jackson State University in Mississippi, were killed when police opened fire during student protests.
1988 – Soviet forces began their withdrawal from Afghanistan. Soviet forces had been there for more than eight years.

Thursday 16th May
1770 – At Versailles, Louis, the French dauphin, married Marie Antoinette, the daughter of Austrian Archduchess Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I.
1975 – Via the southeast ridge route, Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.
1997 – In Zaire, President Mobutu Sese Seko gave control of the country to rebel forces ending 32 years of autocratic rule.

Friday 17th May
1540 – Afghan chief Sher Khan defeated Mongul Emperor Humayun at Kanauj.
1954 – The US Supreme Court unanimously ruled for school integration in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. The ruling declared that racially segregated schools were inherently unequal.
1970 – Norwegian ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl and a multinational crew set out from Morocco across the Atlantic Ocean in Ra II, a papyrus sailing craft modeled after ancient Egyptian sailing vessels. The Ra II crossed the 4,000 miles of ocean to Barbados in 57 days.

Saturday 18th May
1652 – A law was passed in Rhode Island, US which was the first State to make slavery illegal in North America.
1974 – In the Rajasthan Desert in the state of Pokhran, India successfully detonated its first nuclear weapon, a fission bomb similar in explosive power to the U.S. atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
1980 – At 8:32 a.m. PDT, Mount St. Helens, a volcanic peak in southwestern Washington, suffered a massive eruption, killing 57 people and devastating some 210 square miles of wilderness.


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Sunday 9th June: “Walking Along with Rotary” – a locally produced documentary about Rotary in District 3450, has been rescheduled and will be shown on TVB Jade from 9.00 – 9.45 pm.

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

Thursday 4th July: District Installation, Convention & Exhibition Centre, Wanchai

9th – 11th August: Presidential Conference of Peace and Development at the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Malaysia. The main themes will be: Peace and conflict resolution and the Rotary Centers for International Studies. Other topics will include a Project Partnering Fair and polio updates.

Saturday 7th September: Rotary Foundation Seminar, New World Renaissance Hotel

19th – 20th December: Intercity Meeting to be attended by 2002-2003 RI President Bhichai Rattakull

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


FROM THE BREADBASKET

A Report from Norway
(Submitted by Paul Johnsen)

In Norway we have a – hopefully – temporary halt in a fantastic project that was started by one of 26 Rotary Clubs in Oslo. They invite 6 Palestinian and 6 Israeli hand-picked students to 6 weeks stay at the Oslo University Summer School. Nearly 100 students have been through this program. Amongst the conditions from the club has been that the students should live together through the 6 weeks, 1 Israeli and 1 Palestinian student in each room.

The week-ends are spent with Rotary families, and the students are supposed to sleep in the same room, one from each of the two cultures (girl/girl and boy/boy).

As a PDG with many different assignments in Rotary in Norway I have had the privilege to meet several of the students and taken part in farewell dinners before they return to The Middle East. Two years ago a female, pharmaceutical, Iraeli student told me at this dinner – she was moved and used these words:

“I have got a new friend during these 6 weeks at the University of Oslo. This new friend is my room-mate. And she is a Palestinian. I have never known any Palestinian before.”

The halt in this program is caused by the fact that the Palestinians risk their lives if they cooperate with an Israeli – at the moment. But the club is ready to continue its program as soon as the possibilities are there. This program has proven to work by putting two people in the same room. (Not all married couples will feel convinced about this – but it works with students of the same sex – and definitely in areas of unrest. We have the same experiences with people from Yugoslavia.)

Give them time – in the same room. Peace may be as simple as that.


AND FINALLY ….

“The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick”
is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language – try it!