Volume 02 Issue 10

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

It was nice to see back some faces we have been missing over the last few weeks – our fellow Rotarians Peter Daswani, Howard Davies, Peter Lo and Chris Richardson, who were all welcomed back by President Ramesh, himself resplendent in a bright sea green shirt and red tie. (I guess he wanted to stand out in the crowd!).

We also had a number of visiting Rotarians (all Past Presidents) with us this week – PP Robin S.W. Ching, PP Joseph Kwan and PP Ramadasan, all from the RC of Kowloon Golden Mile; District Secretary Jones Wong of the RC of Mid-Levels; and IPP T Suzuki from our sister club Ama Rotary Club, Japan. Unfortunately, IPP Suzuki-san had to leave us at 1.00 for a business meeting, but before he left, he gave a short address of thanks and appreciation for our friendship. He mentioned the special fellowship he felt for those Rotarians of Kowloon-North whom he had met on previous occasions – in particular IPP Bill, with whom he shared his year of Presidency, PP Bruce and PP Steve. He had brought with him a message from the incumbent President of his Club which is reproduced under Fellowship News below.

Our guests this week were Ms Joanna Droop – a barrister from the UK who is working in Hong Kong over the summer, at the same law firm as PP Gilbert – and Mr David Murphy from the Hong Kong Open University, who joined us as a guest of VP Nic. Welcome and we hope you will both join us again!

President Ramesh presents a club banner to guest Ms Joanna Droop.

It should be noted here, that after the introduction of our guests, PP Gary proposed that our Hon. Secretary Chris should be fined this week as he had addressed a Rotarian as “Mister”. Yikes! I’d better watch out. He paid up with good grace, to the rowdy remarks of several of his fellow Rotarians.

Hon Sec Chris receives his birthday gift

Our birthday boys this week were Hon. Secretary Chris and Rtn Nigel, who were both presented with a gift and a very tuneful “Happy Birthday”.

President Ramesh went on to remind us of the District Swimming Gala on Sunday 23rd September and the District Vocational Service Seminar, details of which follow under District News. Although Rtn Dan will represent our Club at this Seminar as Vocational Service Member, all Rotarians are welcome to attend.

President Ramesh congratulates Rtn Nigel on his birthday

After the address by our guest speaker Mr Mason Hung, he was asked to draw the winning ticket of our final raffle. We raised HK$1,030 for the prize of a fine bottle of wine from IPP Bill’s winery, which was won by PP Gary. The box goes back to Sgt at Arms Frank next week!

Till then.

Yours in Rotary,
Nicole Burt


Last Week’s Speaker (31st August) was Mr Mason Hung, Senior Manager – Product & Service Management, of the HK Tourism Board whose talk was entitled “City of Life. Hong Kong Is It!” Accompanying him was Ms. Olga Yuen also from H.K.T.B.

Our guest speaker – Mr Mason Hung

Despite a few technical problems at the beginning of his presentation, Mr Hung gave us a good insight into the major campaign which was launched by the Hong Kong Tourism Board in April of this year, entitled City of Life – Hong Kong Is It. In association with the Home Affairs Dept., the Dept of Leisure & Cultural Services, the Tourism Commission and the 18 District Councils of Hong Kong, with the sponsorship of the Jockey Club, the campaign aims to enhance Hong Kong’s reputation, increase the volume of overseas visitors, encourage both visitors and locals to explore Hong Kong and to foster a culture of hospitality.

Our guest speaker – Mr Mason Hung

The 2-year program is highlighted by the following 5 major events:-

9th December 2001 to February 2002 – Hong Kong Lights Up
The HKTB plans to hold a “Lighting Ceremony” and hopes the Christmas lights this year will be grander than in previous years. To this end, they plan to run competitions for the best lighting decorations during the Christmas and Chinese New Year periods.

12th February 2002 – Chinese New Year Parade
Building on the success of previous years, the parade will feature participants from many different countries as well as locals. The traditional flower market held in Victoria Park to celebrate the start of the New Year, will be on a much larger scale and, of course, the fireworks bonanza will remain a staple of the celebrations.

4th to 17th March 2002 – Hong Kong Flower Extravanganza
The first of, what is planned to be, an annual flower show in Victoria Park.

July to August 2002 – Mega HK Sale
This concept is based upon the success of the Dubai Shopping Festival and the HKTB has already had some success in persuading retailers (both large and small) to support the concept.

Early 2003 – City of Life Street Carnival
Although no date has yet been set, the plan is for the streets of Central to be closed over a weekend period and for a carnival to be held.

In addition to these major events, Mr Hung told us how they plan to promote one district each month, starting with Yau Tsim Mong (Yau Ma Tei, TST & Mongkok). Many of us may have already seen the ads for visits to the historical Clocktower on the TST waterfront and in addition to this there will be “Music in the City” and F&B promotions in the district hotels. The HKTB plan to communicate these promotions to visitors upon their arrival in HK, as well as through their website and the various hotels. They hope to encourage local residents to relate stories and legends about the districts they live in to the local media in a bid to encourage locals to support their efforts. He showed us a short film clip showcasing Hong Kong and the upcoming events which is currently being shown on flights into Hong Kong and to travel agencies.

Mr Hung may have had some regrets about opening the floor to questions after his presentation, but he took some very tough questions in good spirit and even took note of a suggestion from PP Bruce regarding changing the negative attitudes of many HK shopkeepers (surely not an easy task, nor one to be accomplished overnight), which he promised to present to the HKTB.

The presentation was clearly one which provoked food for thought, as even though the meeting ran over by 10 minutes, I did not notice anyone leaving before time. A vote of thanks was made by PDG Joseph.

Please Note: There has been a change of schedule and Dr Fiona Brook will now address us on Friday 21st September.

This Week’s Speaker (7th September) will be Mr. Wong chan-Kwong, Sam from the Marine Department – which should follow on well from our speakers over the past 2 weeks – who will talk to us about the normal role/function of the Marine Department for the Port of Hong Kong and he has promised an impressive video presentation.

Friday 14th September: Ms Lisa Hopkinson, SOS (Save Our Shorelines): Route 7
Friday 21st September: Dr Fiona Brook, Ocean Park: Dolphin Breeding at Ocean Park



Rotary Friendship Exchange Program

A Rotary Friendship Exchange is now being offered by a Rotarian in Australia.

Rotary Friendship Exchange is Rotary’s exchange program for Rotarians and their families and allows Rotarians the opportunity to experience another culture firsthand in the homes of Rotarians in other countries. The exchanges are reciprocal and last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Participating in a Friendship Exchange offers Rotarians an opportunity to make a personal contribution to advancing world understanding while expanding their own horizons. Since the program’s inception in 1984, thousands of Rotarians have availed themselves of this unique culture opportunity and many long-standing friendships have resulted.

There are 2 types of Friendship Exchanges. The first is a club-to-club visitor program in which individual Rotarians, who may be accompanied by family members, spend a few days in the home of a Rotarian in another country. It is expected that guests who participate in this type of exchange will reciprocate by serving as hosts for later exchanges. These exchanges offer a nice highlight to a family trip, or add an enjoyable respite in business travel. These exchanges are not intended to save costs by replacing hotel stays.

The second type of exchange is a district-to-district team in which four to six Rotary couples visit several communities in a host district for a period of up to one month. The number of couples and/or length of stay may be varied by agreement of the districts involved. The following year, the guest district hosts a team from the host district. The team program is the ultimate personalized group tour.

The R.I. Board of Directors encourages districts, where feasible, to consider arranging uni-vocational exchanges. These exchanges take place between host and guest Rotarians of the same profession and offer an exciting opportunity to see how colleagues carry out their work in other countries. Uni-vocational exchanges can take place under either the visitor or team program.

All Friendship Exchanges are arranged through District Rotary Exchange Chairmen, and it is expected that all exchanges will be reciprocal. Rotarians and immediate family members only (spouse and children) are eligible for the visitor program. For the team exchange program, only Rotarians and their spouses are eligible.

Rotary Friendship Exchange is funded entirely by the individuals who participate. Generally, guests are responsible for their travel expenses and personal spending (souvenirs, etc.). Hosts are expected to provide housing, meals and sightseeing — the same courtesies that would be extended to a visiting friend.

For those who would like to participate, please inform your home club president and send in the contact details, plus the countries you are intending to visit, to the District Chairman as follows: Herbert K. LAU, District Chairman – Rotary Friendship Exchange
Tel: (852) 2390 7888 / 9310 4873
Fax: (852) 2797 0763 / 2890 5263
e-mail : herbilau@netvigator.com

Council on Legislation

PDG Anthony Hung attended our meeting on Friday 24th August to tell us about the 2001 Kuala Lumpur Rotary Institute. He also spoke to us about Rotary’s Council on Legislation and the legislative changes that came into effect from 1st July 2001.

Whilst the HK Government of the SAR Legislative Council meets frequently in a year, the Council on Legislation of RI meets only once every 3 years, with the last such meeting being earlier this year in Chicago, USA – close to the RI Headquarters.

This year saw the highest numbers of Enactments and Resolutions. Of 631 proposed, only 98 were passed whilst the remainder were either rejected or withdrawn. Of the legislations which were passed, only the following 13 have a direct effect on our District Clubs:

1. To allow the Club Board to cancel up to 4 meetings in a year;
2. To allow cancellation of a regular meeting due to the death of a Club member;
3. To remove the automatic termination provisions for failing to attend 60% of regular meetings;
4. To allow attendance credit for a member who attends less than 60% of a regular meeting when the member is unexpectedly called away from a meeting;
5. To allow attendance credit for attending a Club sponsored community event or meeting or a Club Board or Service Committee meeting;
6. To provide for a new Club office – Secretary-Elect;
7. To reduce the types of membership in Clubs to “active” and “honorary” (although this will not affect existing members in other categories);
8. To allow for transfer of membership;
9. To preclude clubs from limiting membership based on gender;
10. To provide that no person shall simultaneously be a Rotarian and a Rotaractor; likewise, no Rotarian shall hold the office of Honorary membership simultaneously in the same club;
11. To provide for termination of membership at the discretion of the Board for failure to pay dues in a timely manner;
12. To elect representatives to the COL two year preceding a COL meeting;
13. To collect US$1.00 per year per member to degray the costs of COL.

More information on the legislations which were passed, can be found here.


District Vocational Service Seminar

Vocational Service is the Second Avenue of Service and it’s importance is too often neglected. One of the Objects of Rotary is to encourage and foster high ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society. DG Johnson Chu places great emphasis on Vocational Serive and as October is Vocational Service Month, the RC of Peninsula has been asked to host the District Vocational Service Seminar within the framework of a luncheon meeting on Tuesday 30th October at the Hong Kong Hotel from 12.30 pm – 2.00 pm.

There is no fee payable – all you need do is attend and pay for your lunch. Please make the effort to attend this seminar and let President Ramesh know if you are able so that numbers of attendees may be recorded.


President Kotaro Kurono (Ama Rotary Club Japan)

IPP T Suzuki from our sister club Ama Rotary Club, Japan, brought with him the following greeting and message of fellowship from President Kotaro Kurono:-

“Dear Mr Ramesh Chugani and all the members of Kowloon North Rotary Club

I would like to take this opportunity to send my message to you the history between Kowloon North Rotary Club and our Ama club. We have been continued more than 20 years as a sister club. Of course, during these years, we did not often communicate constantly. But we believe, we were keeping very good partnership. Especially our latest president Mr Suzuki was doing his best to make strength relationship for these two clubs. Your previous president Mr Steve Lan also come to Japan many times and visit our club to make the opportunity to talk with many member of Ama club. Recently, former president Mr Asano and several members of ours joined the dinner party with the president of Rotary International & your club. This May, Mr William Benter and Mr Steve Lan visited Ama club. Mr Benter made the speech as the President of Kowloon North Rotary club. It was very nice speech and we had a very good feeling with his handsome face. Mr Lan did the lecture regarding “Hong Kong – Past, Present and Future”. It’s also good speech, too. We were thinking about the different situation and future between Japan and Hong Kong.

I am thinking that it’s very important to let have an international mind for Rotarian. In this point, your club has already working as international club and we would like to communicate with your club and members more often and closely from now on. In this occasion, I would bery appreciated their visit of Ama Rotary club and I would like to visit your club very near future.

Sincerely yours,

Kotaro Kurono
President of Ama Rotary club Japan.”


Monday 3rd September:
1189 (Sunday) – England’s King Richard I was crowned in Westminster.
1967 (Sunday) – In Sweden motorist stopped driving on the left side of the road and began driving on the right side. (Can you imagine the chaos!)
1994 (Saturday) – In Alaska, two teenagers were exiled by an American Indian Tribal panel. The teenagers were sent to an uninhabited island for one year for beating and robbing a pizza delivery man. (And you thought Singapore was tough!)

Tuesday 4th September:
476 (Saturday) – Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of the western Roman Empire, was deposed when Odoacer proclaimed himself King of Italy.
1530 (Sunday) – Russian Czar Ivan “The Terrible” was born.
1886 (Saturday) – Geronimo, and the Apache Indians he led, surrendered in Skeleton Canyon in Arizona to Gen. Nelson Miles.

Wednesday 5th September:
1698 (Friday) – Russia’s Peter the Great imposed a tax on beards. (Watch out Frank!)
1930 (Friday) – Charles Creighton and James Hagris completed the drive from New York City to Los Angeles and back to New York City all in reverse gear. The trip took 42 days in their 1929 Ford Model A.
1997 (Friday) – Mother Teresa died in Calcutta, India, at the age of 87.

Thursday 6th September:
1620 (Sunday) – The Pilgrims left on the Mayflower from Plymouth, England to settle in the New World.
1941 (Saturday) – Jews in German-occupied areas were ordered to wear the Star of David with the word “Jew” inscribed. The order only applied to Jews over the age of 6.
1991 (Friday) – The name St. Petersburg was restored to Russia’s second largest city. The city was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great. The name has previously been Petrograd (1914) and Leningrad (1924).

Friday 7th September:
1533 (Sunday) – Queen Elizabeth I, of England, was born in Greenwich.
1901 (Saturday) – The Boxer Rebellion began in China ending the Peace of Beijing.
1986 (Sunday) – Desmond Tutu was the first black to be installed to lead the Anglican Church in southern Africa.

Saturday 8th September:
1664 (Monday) – The Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who then renamed it New York.
1866 (Saturday) – The first recorded birth of sextuplets took place in Chicago. The parents were James and Jennie Bushnell.
1966 (Thursday) – NBC-TV aired the first episode of “Star Trek” entitled “The Man Trap”.

Sunday 9th September:
490 B.C. – The Battle of Marathon took place between the invading Persian army and the Athenian Army. The marathon race was derived from the events that occurred surrounding this battle.
1976 (Thursday) – Communist Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung, died at the age of 82.
1982 (Thursday) – Princess Grace of Monaco died from injuries suffered when her car plunged off a mountain road.


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. Even if you don’t participate in the races, this is going to be a fun-filled fellowship occasion for all Rotarians and their family members, so why not go along and join in.

Friday October 5th: This particular Friday luncheon will be the occasion of our Club Assembly. This is an important one folks and all members who are in town should attend – especially those who are the Club Directors.

Friday 19th – Sunday 21st October: 2001 Kuala Lumpur Rotary Institute. There are already more than 300 registered, so register quickly if you wish to attend as space may be limited.

Tuesday 30th October: The District Vocational Service Seminar, hosted by Rotary Club of Peninsula, will be held at their regular luncheon meeting at the Hong Kong Hotel from 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm.

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

Sunday 23rd – Wednesday 26th June 2002: Rotary International Convention, Barcelona, Spain


Here is a supposedly true story someone found regarding exams at Cambridge University. It seems that during an examination one day a bright young student popped up and asked the proctor to bring him Cakes and Ale. The following dialogue ensued:

Proctor: I beg your pardon?
Student: Sir, I request that you bring me Cakes and Ale.
Proctor: Sorry, no.
Student: Sir, I really must insist. I request and require that you bring me Cakes and Ale.

At this point, the student produced a copy of the four hundred year old Laws of Cambridge, written in Latin and still nominally in effect, and pointed to the section which read (roughly translated): “Gentlemen sitting examinations may request and require Cakes and Ale.”

Pepsi and hamburgers were judged the modern equivalent, and the student sat there, writing his examination and happily slurping away.

Three weeks later, the same student was fined five pounds for not wearing a sword to the examination.


Some rules for life

Never-under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.”

You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.