Volume 02 Issue 08

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

President Ramesh opened this week’s meeting by welcoming back those Rotarians who have been out of town or who could not make last week’s meeting. With our guest and visiting Rotarians, the room was fuller this week. Rtn. Papu introduced to us his son Mukesh Butani and Hon. Sec. Chris introduced this week’s visiting Rotarians – Rtn. Hector Domingo from the RC of Rizal Mid East in the Philippines, Rtn Heinz Bachmann from the RC of Uster in Switzerland and Mr. Haru W. Ramchandani from the RC of Bangalore – with whom President Ramesh exchanged banners.

Exchanging banners with visiting Rotarians

PP MS Kalra was celebrating his birthday on the very day of our weekly luncheon meeting and Rtn Sham’s birthday was on Sunday 19th. They were each presented with gifts and President Ramesh invited them to nominate someone to sing them “Happy Birthday”. Unfortunately for our President, it backfired on him, since he was the one nominated. However, to keep him company, we all sang along. A little out of tune again this week – you guys who’ve been away haven’t been practicing, have you!

PP MS Kalra then told us about his visit last week to our sister club, The Rotary Club of Jurong Town in Singapore, in honour of their 30th anniversary celebrations. He took with him a digital camera which he gifted to them on behalf of our Club.

The meeting venue of the RC of Jurong Town is in one of the buildings at the National University of Singapore, which is approximately 30 minutes from downtown. Once there however, he needed another 15 minutes or so just to find the correct building on the huge campus! President Steven Lee was very happy to host him and asked him to pass on their Club’s thanks for the camera, as well as his regards to PP Gilbert, whom many of their members remember well – whether because of his status as a visitor or his drinking prowess, we are not quite sure!

This week, we continued selling raffle tickets at HK$20 per ticket (instead of donations to the box) and raised HK$1,080. Our guest speaker Mr David Robinson drew the ticket and the prize – another of the gifts donated to us by The Rotary Club of Mandaluyong – was won by VP Nic. Don’t forget, we still have another “mystery” gift plus the bottle of wine which IPP Bill donated from his winery, to raffle in the coming weeks.

VP Nic, winner of this week’s raffle.

Finally, after consultation with our members, the idea of changing one of our monthly meetings to a Thursday evening meeting has been dropped. Unfortunately, some members are not able to attend on Thursday evenings. Instead we will be organizing regular monthly evening fellowship meetings in addition to our regular Friday meetings.

Yours in Rotary,
Nicole Burt


Last Week’s Speaker (17th August): VP Nic (returned from his long vacation) introduced our guest speaker last week – Mr David Robinson (sometimes referred to as “Fragrant Dave”) who is the proprietor and editor of Fragrant Harbour, the definitive publication dealing with things nautical in Hong Kong. David has been in Hong Kong since 1982 and from it’s humble beginnings as a 4-page spread sheet when he started publishing it in 1985, Fragrant Harbour (which is the direct translation of Hong Kong) has grown to a glossy magazine.

David began by telling us that he had a strong enjoyment of the sea, going back to his younger days in his native South Africa when he joined the military in the hopes of a naval posting with the South African Navy, but got sent to the desert instead! His inspiration for starting Fragrant Harbour was that he was surprised and disappointed in the general lack of awareness of Hong Kong’s harbour and port – which is, in fact, significantly larger than that of Singapore – and felt it did not get the respect it deserved. Fragrant Harbour sponsors several big regattas and maintains the largest maritime library in Hong Kong and David told us that he feels very strongly that the people of Hong Kong should encourage and push for more regattas and sea festivals in order to save the harbour – with the added benefit of attracting more tourists. His enthusiasm for Hong Kong and it’s waters was very evident from the wonderfully diverse selection of slides he brought to show us – each of which had it’s own interesting little story.

This Week’s Speaker (24th August) will be Mr Richard Willis of Pand O Travel who will pose the question “Do we need a Second Passenger Terminal?”

Friday 31st August: TBA



2001 Kuala Lumpur Rotary Institute

This week, PDG Anthony Hung will be visiting our Club and, together with President Ramesh, will be talking to us about the 2001 Kuala Lumpur Rotary Institute as well as other new developments within Rotary – in particular, important changes to our Constitution.

This is a totally new one for me and I for one, am curious about the 2001 Kuala Lumpur Rotary Institute. Let’s all make every effort to attend this important meeting.

Rotary World Peace Scholarship

Applications are now invited for the Rotary World Peace Scholarship to pursue a two-year Masters level degree in international studies, peace studies and conflict resolution at designated universities in the USA, Japan, France, England, Argentina and Australia for the 2002/2004 academic years.

Scholars will study the following important aspects of world peace:

· Mediation, Coflict Resolution and Peace – where there is war
· Understanding – where there is disharmony
· Food Security – where there is hunger
· Health Care – where there is disease
· Education – where there is illiteracy
· Conservation – where there is environmental degradation
· Sustainable Economic Development – where there is poverty

For further details on the Scholarship, please refer to the web-site http//:www.rotary.org (click on “Rotary Centers for International Studies”). In particular, please note that this scholarship is different from the other academic year and/or cultural ambassadorial scholarships granted by District 3450 annually.

Unfortunately, the scholarship is not open to Rotarians or their children, but if you know of anyone who would be suitable for and benefit from this scholarship, please note that the deadline for applications is 31st August, 2001. The Chairman of the Scholarship Sub-Committee apologises for the short notice period


Since so many members have been out of town, the following announcements about District and Fellowship news, bear repeating.

The District Rotary Foundation Seminar (DRFS)

The District Rotary Foundation Seminar will be held on 8th September. This seminar aims to educate District Rotarians about the international programs – Polio Plus, Group Study Exchange (GSE), Ambassadorial Scholarships, Matching Grants from RI and many more – of Rotary Foundation. New members especially, will benefit from this seminar as it will hopefully inspire them by introducing to them, international programs about which they may not have been aware. Long term Rotarians – in particular, office bearers – are also strongly encouraged to attend.

To encourage this, the Registration Fee has been reduced this year to HK$320 – which includes lunch and coffee break. Regional Rotary Foundation Co-ordinator PDG Jackson Hsieh from Taiwan will be a keynote speaker and District Foundation Chairman PDG Anthony Hung promises the day will provide interesting and practical knowledge.

If you are able to attend, please advise President Ramesh before 24th August (which is the cut-off date for registration) and he will fax you a registration form. You can bring the form and cheque (made payable to “Rotary Club of Tai Po”) with you to this Friday’s luncheon meeting and hand it over to PDG Anthony Hung.

The District Swimming Gala 2001-2002

The District Swimming Gala will be held on Sunday 23rd September at Ma On Shan Swimming Pool from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm and is the first sports event for the District this Rotary year. Fees will be charged on a club basis.

This is going to be a fun-filled fellowship occasion for all Rotarians and the organisers hope that as many members and their families as possible will attend and/or participate. Each participant registered for and taking part in the events should be free from any known physical impediment that would render them not suitable to take part in the swimming competition, as Rotary will not be assuming any liability in the event of an accident arising from participation. (So, if you need a rubber ring before you go near the water, don’t try this!)

Further details and registration forms are available from either President Ramesh or myself at 25316666.


The evening of Saturday 8th September will be a Race Night, (Horse Race – for those of us who are not part of the racing fraternity) and so President Ramesh has decided to organise a Fellowship Evening, at Shatin Racecourse. This will be a nice finish to the Rotary day for those members who attend the seminar, but of course the fellowship evening is open to all Club members and their spouse or guests. The cost will be approximately HK$500 per person (to be confirmed) and this will include a meal and drinks for the evening. All bets placed are at your own peril, but be assured we will ALL help you celebrate if you win!! Unfortunately, President Ramesh’s own horse will not be running, but we are hoping to organise another race event later in the year so that you can have a “flutter” on his horse then.

If enough members are able to attend, President Ramesh will be able to organise a box (minimum requirement is 30 people) or else a table (for up to 20 members), so BOOK YOUR PLACES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. The races start at 7.30 pm so we would aim to meet at 6.30 pm (full details will be available soon).

We haven’t had a fellowship evening since our Rock & Roll Fund Raising Evening at the beginning of June and most members should be back from their vacations by then, so let’s all get together. If you can’t make it for 6.30 don’t let that discourage you from attending as President Ramesh will be able to give you your entrance badge at the Friday luncheon meeting and you can join us inside.


If any of you have any news (or just plain gossip) you would like to share with your fellow Rotarians, please e-mail me and I will include it in The Sampan. My e-mail address is:nicoleb@omipost.omigroup.com.


19th August: On Sunday, Rtn Sham Hemandas celebrated his birthday, which he shares with pioneer aviator, Orville Wright (1871), President William “Bill” Clinton (1946) and the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry (1921)

On this day in history …

1692 – Five women and a clergyman were executed after being convicted of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts
1960 – Two dogs were launched in a satellite into Earth’s orbit by the Soviet Union. (No word on what they thought of their experience or whether they successfully returned.)
1977 – Comedian Groucho Marx died at the age of 86.

24th August: PP Gary Harilela and Club Sec. Chris Richards share their birthdays both with each other and with German “supermodel” Claudia Schiffer (1971), Palestinian Yasser Arafat (1929), and Joshua Lionel Cowen (1880), the inventor of the toy electric train.

On this (busy) day in history …

0079 – Mount Vesuvius erupted killing approximately 20,000 people. The cities of Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum were buried in volcanic ash.
0410 – The Visigoths overran Rome. This event symbolized the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
1680 – Colonel Thomas Blood died. He was the Irish adventurer that had stolen the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London in 1671.
1932 – Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the US non-stop. The trip from Los Angeles, CA to Newark, NJ took about 19 hours.
1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) went into effect. The agreement was that an attack against on one of the parties would be considered “an attack against them all.”
1968 – Keith Moon of rock band The Who, drove a Lincoln into the pool of a Holiday Inn (aren’t you relieved it wasn’t into the Holiday Inn Golden Mile, Gary!)
1989 – The US spaceprobe, Voyager 2, sent back photographs of Neptune.
1990 – Iraqui troops surrounded foreign missions in Kuwait.
1992 – China and South Korea established diplomatic relations.


Saturday 8th September: The District Rotary Foundation Seminar (DRFS) is to be held from 9 am – 3 pm at The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Jockey Club Building, Aberdeen. (See above for details.)

Saturday 8th September: “An Evening at the Races”. This fellowship evening will be at Shatin Racecourse and the races commence at 7.30 pm.

Sunday 23rd September: The District Swimming Gala 2001-2002 will be held at Ma On Shan Swimming Pool from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm.

Friday 16th November: DG Johnson Chu will be joining our Friday luncheon meeting, so be sure not to miss this one.


As I mentioned last week, I’ve been browsing the various Rotary websites. ROTI (Rotarians On The Internet) have a newsletter called “The Breadbasket” from which they invite newsletter producers to copy various articles which are submitted to them by Rotarians worldwide. I particularly liked their “Nugget of the Month” so I’ve reproduced it here.

The Power of Non-violence
(Submitted by K. Parameswaran)

Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence, in his June 9 lecture at the University of Puerto Rico, shared the following story as an example of non-violence in parenting:

“I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no neighbours, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going to town to visit friends or go to the movies. One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an all-day conference and I jumped at the chance. Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town, my father asked me to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, ‘I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together.’

After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight to the nearest movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a John Wayne double-feature that I forgot the time. It was 5:30 before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting for me, it was almost 6:00. He anxiously asked me, ‘Why are you late?’ I was so ashamed of telling him I was watching a John Wayne western movie that I said, ‘The car wasn’t ready, so I had to wait,” not realizing that he had already called the garage.

When he caught me in the lie, he said, “There’s something wrong in the way I brought you up that didn’t give you the confidence to tell me the truth. In order to figure out where I went wrong with you, I’m going to walk home 18 miles and think about it.” So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk home in the dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads. I couldn’t leave him, so for five-and-a-half hours, I drove behind him, watching my father go through this agony for a stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and there that I was never going to lie again.

I often think about that episode and wonder, if he had punished me the way we punish our children, whether I would have learned a lesson at all. I don’t think so. I would have suffered the punishment and gone on doing the same thing. But this single non-violent action was so powerful that it is still as if it happened yesterday…. that is the power of non-violence!


A little teaser question for you, to see whether you are reading your newsletter through to the end! Ask me and I’ll give you the answer at our luncheon meeting on Friday.

You are running in a race. You overtake the second runner. In what position do you finish?

Till next week …