Volume 02 Issue 11

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

It was wonderful to have such an improved turnout this week as many of you returned from your vacations. President Ramesh – with his usual inimitable style – looked ready to take off for a vacation, clad in brilliant orange shirt and “traffic lights” tie!

President Ramesh kicked off the meeting with a warm welcome back to all of those Rotarians back in our ranks and then Club Secretary Chris welcomed our visiting Rotarians, PE Nanu Lachman from RC Kowloon Golden Mile and PP Kevin Parken from RC Campbelltown, South Australia (which is in the Adelaide area).

In making his report, Sgt. at Arms Frank noted that the collection this week amounted to HK$1,010 although he was already eyeing up one or two members with thoughts of increasing this through fines!! (Beware.) Clearly he had paid attention to last week’s edition of The Sampan and was afraid he may be fined himself, since his beard was missing this week – as was IPP Bill’s!

President Ramesh reminded members of the e-mail which he sent out this week from The Rotary Club of Macau, which has received a plea from a group of people called “Solidarity Group”, to help a little Filipina aged 4, Ana Margarida who was born in 1997 with a congenital heart disease and who, after a heart operation at only 9 days old, must now receive another at a cost of around HK$300,000.00. Our club made a donation of HK$10,000 and Sgt. at Arms Frank also donated HK$3,000.

After hearing from our speaker this week, IPP Bill also gave us a short but very interesting talk on his recent visit to the Rotary Club of Ulan Batuur in Mongolia, as part of the District Governor’s official delegation. Unfortunately, time constraints meant that we could not hear all we wanted to about his trip, but he has promised The Sampan a report which I hope will be included in next week’s issue.

Yours in Rotary,
Nicole Burt


Last Week’s Speaker (7th September) was Mr. Wong chan-Kwong Sam, who spoke about the particular role as a harbour authority, that the Marine Department plays in the Port of Hong Kong. Mr Wong is a a Marine Officer whose lecturer 15 years ago was our VP Nic. His first posting was with the Harbour Patrol Section and he is now attached to the Planning and Development Section.

Our guest speaker, Mr Wong chan-Kwong Sam

As part of his presentation, Mr Wong showed us a very interesting 10 minute video which was a good introduction to “the port that never sleeps”.

The Port of Hong Kong has always been the prime factor in the development and prosperity of Hong Kong. It handles the largest proportion of Hong Kong’s trade and is one of the busiest and best known container ports in the world. It is also one of the busiest in terms of vessel arrivals and departures, and cargo and passenger throughput.

President Ramesh presents a banner to Mr Wong

Hong Kong does not have a Port Authority, with most of the facilities being privately owned and operated. Instead, the Marine Department is a collaborative effort between the Government of the HKSAR and industry, combining business savvy with political systems. Being the administrator of the port, the principal function of the Marine Department is to ensure the safe operation of the port and all of Hong Kong waters, as well as the administration of the Hong Kong Shipping Register. Amongst their responsibilities are:

· Navigational safety for both cargo vessels and passenger vessels travelling to Macau and other Asian ports – the Department investigates accidents relating to both these types of vessels;
· Ensuring the compliance of safety and environmental protection standards by ships entering Hong Kong’s harbour and surrounding waters
· The protection of marine ecology – the Department maintains a pollution control unit providing free refuse collection;
· Harbour management – there are rules guiding the types of vessels which are allowed into the harbour. For example, oil tankers which are empty are granted passage through the harbour but those which are not are guided to the oil terminals. It is also essential for Hong Kong’s reputation as one of Asia’s prime ports, that there is a quick and safe turnaround of container vessels;
· Sea Search & Rescue – these are conducted in coordination, if necessary, with the PLA and/or Guangdong authorities.

In addition to these, the Marine Department liaises regularly with neighbouring ports and acts as a consultant regarding their infrastructure, facilities and marine safety programmes.

Rtn Howard gave a vote of thanks after this interesting presentation.

Rotarian Howard gives a vote of thanks

This Week’s Speaker (14th September) will Mr John Bowden representing SOS (Save Our Shorelines Society) who will be talking to us about the initiatives of SOS in respect of Route 7 which is planned to be built along the shoreline from Western to Wah Fu.

Friday 21st September: Dr Fiona Brook from Ocean Park : “Dolphin Breeding at Ocean Park”
Friday 28th September: TBA

PE David, Rtn Nicole, Mr Wong and Rtn Howard



The Rotary Foundation Seminar was held on Saturday 8th September at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine in Aberdeen. This was my first experience of such a seminar and I found it very interesting and informative.

The day started with a welcome from DG Johnson Chu who outlined the aims and purpose of The Rotary Foundation whose mission is to support the efforts of Rotary International in the fulfillment of the Object of Rotary, Rotary’s mission, and the achievement of world understanding and peace through local, national, and international humanitarian, educational, and cultural programs.

The 1st Session was conducted by PDG Jackson Hsieh of Taiwan and the 2nd Session by PDG Raymond Wong (who was an outstanding speaker). Between them and their use of fast-paced and interesting videos, they educated us on the different programs of The Foundation:

PolioPlus and PolioPlus Partners: I’m sure most of you are aware that Rotary International has pledged to eradicate polio worldwide by our centennial year – 2005. However, you may not know that since the Program’s inception in 1985, more than 2 billion children have received oral polio vaccine through the direct efforts of Rotarians and Rotary volunteers. At the time, there were 125 polio-endemic countries. In 2000, that figure had reduced to just 30 and there has been a 99% decline in cases worldwide. In 1988 there were 350,000 polio cases reported and in 2000, just 3,500. PDG Raymond explained some of the different social mobilisation and surveillance activities that were being undertaken in polio-endemic countries and showed how even a small donation to this program, can be put to good use. Folks, I could go on and on about this – it was, for me, the highlight of the Seminar. However, you can read more at the following link: http://www.rotary.org/foundation/programs.html.

They also covered 3-H Grants (Health, Hunger and Humanity), the mechanics of Matching Grants and Helping Grants and how to successfully apply for them, Rotary Peace Programs, Paul Harris Fellow contribution recognition awards, and the SHARE system, whereby whatever you contribute today, comes back to the District within 4 years.

Club Sec. Chris reports on the 3rd Session – Educational Programs and Fund Development, which was held after lunch.

PDG Anthony Hung, District Rotary Foundation Chairman was moderator for 3 panelists with the following themes or subjects:
PP. Alexander Mak (Scholarship and Scholars)
1PP. David Loie (Group Study Exchange) and team member
PP Alex Li (Foundation Alumni)

The speakers each outlined the themes / subjects and gave attendees very good insight into how candidates might qualify and the objectives sought by ‘Rotary’ in sponsoring such schemes. Great focus was placed upon the expectation of students acting as Ambassador for Rotary and bringing their experiences back to Hong Kong to be shared by others. Fundamentally, to adopt the “service above self” requirement. Rtn Polly Hui gave a very interesting talk about her experiences in UK under a Scholarship at the University of Sussex.

Rtn David informed us of his experience as a team member of GSE and introduced Rtn Sonia Wong who was part of that team who spoke of their shared experiences in Tennessee.

Finally PP Alex Li gave a very interesting talk about Foundation Alumni – who they are and what should be their aims and expectations etc., notably in respect of Rotary. Sadly research showed that that less than 10% of Alumni kept in touch with Rotary. He exhorted Club Directors to do their part in maintaining contact with Alumni and encouraging their continued participation.


The 6th annual “Stride for a Cure” (previously known as “Terry Fox Run”) of the Hong Kong Cancer Fund will be held on Sunday, November 4th. As usual, our Club is one of the major sponsors and active participation from our members and their families is anticipated. In order to have the team members’ list, would any interested parties please send the following details for registration to International Service member, Brian Wong at (fax) 29790106 or (e-mail) brianw@alumni.cuhk.edu.hk by September 26th 2001. (Further details will be announced once available.)

Name (Surname First) :
5 km or 12 km :
Daytime contact phone no. :
E-mail address or fax number :
In case of emergency, please contact __________ at phone no. ________


Monday 10th September:
1813 – The first defeat of British naval squadron occurred in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. The leader of the US fleet sent the famous message “We have met the enemy, and they are ours” to US General William Henry Harrison.
1897 – British police arrest George Smith for drunken driving. It was the first arrest for Driving While Under the Influence.
1921 – The Ayus Autobahn in Germany opened near Berlin. The road is known for its nonexistent speed limit.

Tuesday 11th September:
1297 – Scotsman William Wallace defeated the English forces of Sir Hugh de Cressingham at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. (Anyone seen Braveheart?)
1973 – Chilean President Salvador Allende died in a violent coup. Police said he committed suicide. The coup was widely believed to have been linked to the CIA.
1985 – A US satellite passed through the tail of the Giacobini-Zinner comet. It was the first on-the-spot sampling of a comet.

Wednesday 12th September:
1922 – The Episcopal Church removed the word “Obey” from the bride’s section of wedding vows.
1940 – The Lascaux paintings are discovered in France. The cave paintings are 17,000 years old and are some of the best examples of art from the Paleolithic period.
1977 – South African anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko died at the age of 30. The student leader died while in police custody which triggered an international outcry.

Thursday 13th September:
1943 – Chiang Kai-shek became the leader of China.
1970 – The first New York City Marathon took place. Fireman Gary Muhrucke won the race.
1988 – Forecasters reported that Hurricane Gilbert’s barometric pressure measured 26.13. It was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.

Friday 14th September:
1741 – George Handel completed “The Messiah” in time for an orphan’s charity concert.
1812 – Moscow was set on fire by Russians after Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops invaded.
1927 – Isadora Duncan died when her long scarf became entangled in the wheel of her car.

Saturday 15th September:
1923 – Oklahoma was placed under martial law by Gov. John Calloway Walton due to terrorist activity by the Ku Klux Klan. After this declaration national newspapers began to expose the Klan and its criminal activities.
1940 – The German Luftwaffe suffered the loss of 185 planes in the Battle of Britain. The change in tide forced Hitler to abandon his plans for invading Britain.
1944 – Glenn Miller disappeared over the English Channel. He had volunteered for the US Army and had left for war on 27th September 1942.

Sunday 16th September:
1620 – The Mayflower departed from Plymouth, England. The ship arrived at Provincetown, MA on November 21st and then at Plymouth, MA on December 26th. There were 102 passengers onboard.
1982 – In west Beirut, the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children began in refugee camps of the Lebanese Christian militiamen.
1987 – The Montreal Protocol was signed by 24 countries in an effort to save the Earth’s ozone layer by reducing emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000. (They don’t appear to have succeeded!)


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.

Sunday 28th October: District Ten Pin Bowling Tournament hosted by The Rotary Club of Kwai Chung at Mei Foo Super Fun Bowl.

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.

Sunday 4th November: The 6th annual “Stride for a Cure” of the Hong Kong Cancer Fund.

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


A Recipe for Success

One stormy night many years ago, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night. “Could you possibly give us a room here?” the husband asked.

The clerk, a friendly young man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town. “All of our rooms are taken,” the clerk said. “But I can’t send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o’clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It’s not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night.” When the couple declined, the young man pressed on. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll make out just fine.”

So the couple agreed. As he paid his bill the next morning, the elderly man said to the clerk, “You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States. Maybe someday I’ll build one for you.”

The clerk looked at them and smiled. The three of them had a good laugh. As they drove away, the elderly couple agreed that the helpful clerk was indeed exceptional, as finding people who are both friendly and helpful isn’t easy.

Two years passed. The clerk had almost forgotten the incident when he received a letter from the old man. It recalled that stormy night and enclosed a round-trip ticket to New York, asking the young man to pay them a visit. The old man met him in New York, and led him to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. He then pointed to a great new building there, a palace of reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers thrusting up to the sky. “That,” said the older man, “is the hotel I have just built for you to manage.”

“You must be joking,” the young man said.
“I can assure you I am not,” said the older man, a sly smile playing around his mouth.

The older man’s name was William Waldorf Astor, and the magnificent structure was the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The young clerk who became its first manager was George C. Boldt. This young clerk never foresaw the turn of events that would lead him to become the manager of one of the world’s most glamorous hotels.

And the lesson is……….treat everyone with love, grace and respect, and you cannot fail!


This news item brought to mind Christian Havrehed’s and Sun Haibin’s upcoming efforts in the Atlantic Rowing Challenge (on which The Sampan will be keeping you up to date) …
Lone canoeist paddles Atlantic
A former SAS soldier has become the first person to paddle across the Atlantic in a kayak, landing in Ireland after a marathon 75-day crossing. Peter Bray, 40, from south Wales, landed his 24ft sea canoe in County Mayo late on Wednesday, and promptly celebrated his record achievement with a pint of Guinness at the nearest pub.

Exhausted but grinning, Bray told a welcoming party that he was “elated” to have succeeded in the 3,000 mile (4,828 km) transatlantic challenge. Bray, a former member of the SAS and now a lecturer in outdoor pursuits, sunk his life savings into the challenge and elected to undertake the voyage entirely alone, without the back-up of a support vessel.

He set off from Newfoundland in June and battled eight storms, dodged supertankers and icebergs and suffered the loss of an anchor before making landfall near Porturlin.