2012 – 2013 Istvan Horvath

The year was dedicated to Peace Through Service with the leaderships of Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka, HK DG Kenneth Wong, and AG Vincent Lam.

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President Tanaka defined the Rotary Year theme “Peace Through Service” as “Peace is not something that can only be achieved through agreements, by governments, or through heroic struggles. It is something that we can find and that we can achieve, every day and in many simple ways. When we see the needs of others as more important than our own needs — when we focus our energies on a shared goal that is for the good of all — this changes everything. It changes our priorities in a completely fundamental way. And it changes how we understand the idea of peace.”

The first lunche-on meeting on 6th July was dedicated to the development of our plans for the year 2012-13. Our members agreed to participate in our activities and provide help and a peace of mind to those who need most. The District Installation proceeded according to the careful planning of the District on 13th July 2012 and I became President.

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Our regular luncheons at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile started with a visit by Prof. Yun Lam of City University of Hong Kong on 20th July. He described how we can learn from worms and fish in respect of regenerating our bodies again and again, an important issue for most of our members. The Board Members of the Rotaract Club of HKPolyU Students Union visited us on 3rd August to describe their plans for the year. On 10th August, Prof. Dennis Lo (Chinese University of Hong Kong), one of the most creative scientists of Hong Kong, gave a lecture on the past, present and future of the non-invasive prenatal diagnosis that he has developed over the years: from a “dream” to the “reality” today. On August 17th, PP Bob introduced Ms. Renee Chan, who was inducted as a new Member of the Club. Our very own Rotarian Alice Lau discussed an important financial instrument, the “Trust”.

An exciting fellowship was organized at the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre with the help of Prof. Jeffrey Shaw, the Dean of the School of Creative Media of the City University of Hong Kong on 24th August. Besides the good food and drinks, we visited the permanent exhibition and experienced some of the new creative media tools.

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Acupuncturist Marcus Gadau of Baptist University visited us on 31st August to describe and demonstrate how the “Magic Needles” can help and “How Traditional is Traditional Chinese Medicine?”. On 7th September, we learned about the joy of singing from Ciara Shannon of the Cecilian Singers. The sound of the voice was replaced with the “Rule of Law” a week later on 14th September, when Colin Cohen of Boase Cohen & Collins, Solicitors & Notaries asked and answered an important question: “Are We All Equal before the Law?”

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Bill Crews of the The Exodus Foundation visited us on 21st September and explained the history behind the establishment of The Hubs, now in Sydney, Bangkok and Hong Kong. We spent a nice lunch with AG Vincent Lam and Curtis Mak on 5th October. The Area 7 clubs were to support Curtis to attend the Peace Forum in Hawaii. On 12th October, our very own PP Maureen described the status of our projects in Tanzania. A glittering ceremony was held during a Cocktail Reception on 10th October in the Holiday Inn Golden Mile Chrystal Ballroom. His Excellency PP Gary N. Harlilela JP, Honorary Consul of Niger in Hong Kong, was bestowed with the distinction of “Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite du Niger” by the President of the Republic of Niger, His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou. The Ambassador of Niger to the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Dambina Bawa presented the Medal on behalf of the President.

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The traditional trip for vision screening for children in Guangxi was successfully completed again under the leadership of Prof. Pauline Cho of the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong and PP Maureen from 14th to 17th October. Ms. E. Cheung of Animals Asia gave an eye opening presentation on “Saving the Moon Bears” on 9th October. Ms. Miranda Wang, an Ambassadorial Scholar, introduced herself on 26th October and Dr. Fung revealed how to create fine art objects from scientific scans on 2nd November. DG Kenneth Wong visited our club on 9th November.

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On 16th November, Philco Wong of MTRCL described the development of the Shatin to Central Link Railway project and answered many questions about the future transportation needs of Hong Kong. The 23rd November was a very special day as our very own Nic Robinson was surprised with the opportunity to fire the Nood Day Gun in honours of his 80th birthday.

On 14th December, we entertained the Residents from the China Coast Community with a Christmas Lunch at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile. Green Santa, in his original garments, duly performed the present giving. Lunch consisted of Indian cuisine that was much appreciated as well as the beautiful singing of our very own Rotarian Renne Chan.

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Our newly inducted Rotarian gave a talk about Iran’s Society on 2nd December. His mother had emigrated from Iran to Germany many years ago but he and his family visit his relatives in Iran frequently. This was a fascinating description of the current way of life in Iran. Mr. Paco LAM Pak Ho gave a presentation on 28th December seeking RCKN endorsement of his future vision plan to enable him to apply for a grant to undertake a Masters Degree (MSc) in Aerospace Technology at the University of Cranfield in UK.

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The year 2013 started well as Immediate Past Governor, David Harilela visited us on 4th January. He inspired us with his vision and progress on his initiative to select “The One”, a global search to identify a Mother Teresa. If you ever need to restore your faith in human nature just read the electronic version of the brochure or visit the dedicated website of “The One”. There are excellent examples of extreme selflessness and generosity in both. On 11th January, I described my plans for the 2nd half of the Rotary year. This included our Annual Fund Raising Ball to be held at the Hong Kong Football Club on Saturday, 8th June. Mathew Cheung, Mai Po Centre Manager and Tony Hung, Conservation Officer of the WWF-HK gave a talk about their conservation work on 18th January. It was clear that there was much to see at Mai Po and RCKN Members were invited to visit the Mai Po Centre in the near future. Ambassadorial Scholar, Marlynne Bidos Esq. from the USA visited us on 25th January. She spoke about her parents’ origins in Haiti and how they had emigrated from Haiti to USA in the 1970′s. Her Ambassadorial Scholarship sponsors are the Rotary Club of Harlem and the Rotary Club of Riverdale. The Rotary Club of Peninsula hosted her in Hong Kong.

The Hub of Hong Kong in Sham Shui Po was established by the hard work and support of Bill Crews, David Boehm, PP Bruce, PP Emba and many others. Its soft opening was on 26th January. The Hub of Hong Kong provides a place for children who are either homeless or in very difficult circumstances at home to go to receive food, clothing and various other kinds of support and shelter.

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IPP Estella Sung of the RC of Peninsula Sunrise visited us on 1st February and shared her experience as a President. PP Angela enlightened our lunch with funny medical jokes on 15th February. Prof. Shin Lin of the University of California, Irvine gave a lecture on 22nd February and demonstrated his “Research on a fundamental principle of Tai Chi/Chi Gong and Traditional Chinese Medicine: Blood is the mother of Qi”.

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We visited the Mai Po Visitor Centre on 23rd February. We met at 9:00 am for a 4-hour guided walk around the Mai Po Marshes, the wetland nature reserve in the North-west New Territories. Mai Po is an internationally significant wetland, which is listed by the Ramsar Convention, and supports globally important numbers of wetland birds, which chiefly arrive in winter and during spring and autumn migrations. Every year in winter, thousands of migratory birds visit and stay at Mai Po and the Deep Bay area, before flying North for breeding. An experienced guide conducted the tour to enable us to appreciate the mangrove as well as other wildlife in Deep Bay. We walked on the longest boardwalk in Mai Po and bird watched on floating bird hides overlooking Deep Bay.

Stefano Bassanese, the General Manager of the Restaurant Domani in Admiralty related “Three Stories of My Life” on 1st March. To our surprise these stories were not about his restaurant, but the important environmental issues the world is facing with its rapidly growing population.

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Ambassadorial Scholar, Dr. Samantha Gale visited us on 8th March and talked about her “Background, vision for the future, what drives me and how Rotary has helped me”. The RCKN meeting on 15th March was replaced by Area 7 Clubs Joint Meeting on 12th March. The keynote speaker was Mr. Paul Chan Mo Po, Secretary for Development. Artemis Couroupaki from Greece provided some guidance on Mediterranean food on 22nd March. Glen Carter II visited us on 5th April and Adrien Choux talked about “The Chinese Timekeeper” on 12th April. Dr. Matthew LAU Tsz Wing described all the issues concerning sleep apnoea on 19th April. Prof. Ronnie Mintjens discussed his novel about South Africa on 26th April. On 3rd May, Antony Pang, General Manager of Dialogue in the Dark, introduced the concept of experiencing the complete lack of light, e.g. total darkness. An inbound GSE Team from RI District 9640 with Team Leader PP Terry Brown visited us on 10th May. Simon Heung described Hong Kong’s digital broadcasting on 31th May. Daniela Pelonara from Greece introduced the aromatherapy on 7th June. The RCKN’s Annual Ball was held on 8th June with the theme “Flower Power (Summer of Peace and Love)”. Indeed, our members travelled back to the sixties and had a great time.

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Prof. Xun-Li Wang of the City University of Hong Kong gave a talk on 21st June on the topic “No joking – Dongguan is becoming an international hub for materials research”. The last meeting on 28th June was dedicated to a review of the Rotary Year 2012-2013 and hand over of the presidency to IP Rainer. Since two members resigned, two new members, were inducted, and one member, Mike Wong, was transferred from RC Würzburg, the club increased its membership from 33 to 34.

We were active this year and many projects were successfully continued or completed:

TRF – Paul Harris Fellowship 27,300
TRF – Polio Eradication 2,340
CNCF – Child Education Sponsorship 173,400
CNCF – doctor, medical supplies & treatment 71,000
Vision screening for children in China 17,000
China Coast Community 24,500
Guangxi Vision Screening 49,660
Joint Area 7 Water Project 6,120
Mufindi Aids Orphans Clinic 134,000
Longgui School Repairs 21,311
Rotary Global Peace Forum 3,125
Mutendi Project in Zambia 23, 976
Total 553, 790

I thanked the Club Officers and members for their hard work and support throughout the year:

Club Officers
Immediate Past President Emba Leung
President-elect Nadja Alexander (Rainer )
Vice-President Cindy Chu
Treasurer Ian Petersen
Secretary Gordon Chin
Membership Ramesh Chugani & David Lindsay
Public Image Tibor Huber
Administration Bob Lloyd
Service Projects Maureen Boost & Emba Leung
The Rotary Foundation Nadja Alexander
Fellowship Bruce Stinson & Angela Wong
Vocational Service David Wright
Website & Sampan Bob Lloyd & Emba Leung

The lunch and Rotary Year were closed by transferring the presidency to IP Rainer and wishing him a successful and rewarding year 2013-2014!