Volume 02 Issue 12
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
Last week’s meeting was not our usual happy event, but rather somber and tinged with sadness at the horror of events earlier in the week in the United States. President Ramesh opened the meeting with a call for 2 minutes silence to honour the memory of the victims, which we stood and observed. He offered a prayer for the victims and their families, that they find solace. He then summarised a message from Rotary International to all Rotarians, which is copied here below.
Club Secretary Chris then introduced a man who was known to many who attended the meeting, as he is a previous member himself. Mr Brian Clothier attended as a guest of Sgt. at Arms Frank and was welcomed by all.
Sgt at Arms Frank with former member Brian Clothier
President Ramesh went on to advise members that one of the projects introduced at The Rotary Foundation Seminar on 8th September, was the PolioPlus Project. Our club is donating US$1,000 to this very worthwhile cause and if any members wish to make contributions, they should contact him for the necessary forms. Full information about PolioPlus can be found at the following link:
He also reported to us, the progress made so far with Ana Margarida, the 4 year old Filipina girl for whom the Rotary Club of Macau are trying to raise funds for a desperately needed operation. A progress report from PP Stella is copied below.
Finally, Sgt at Arms Frank reported that this week’s donations (and fines!) to the box totalled HK$580.
Till next week everyone …
Yours in Rotary,
SPEAKERS THIS MONTH
Last Week’s Speaker (14th September) was Mr John Bowden, the Managing Director of BDM Ltd and Guangzhou Ba Da Ming Ltd, who was representing SOS. His presentation covered the background to SOS, its aims and methods and the Route 7 issue.
Guest speaker, Mr John Bowden
SOS – which stands for the Save Our Shorelines society – is a grass-roots, non-profit making organisation encouraged and assisted by Christine Loh and Lisa Hopkinson of the Civic Exchange, that originated from a group of citizens who cherish the beauty and value of natural shorelines and who became concerned about the continued destruction of Hong Kong’s shorelines. John himself was born and raised in Hong Kong and became involved in the organisation when he objected to Route 7 and the (now discontinued) Green Island reclamation which are/were planned for the Victoria Road area of Pokfulam where he lives.
The group, which has grown to over 200 people, came together to stop the destruction of Hong Kong’s natural shorelines and to propose positive alternatives to the developments that threaten them. John showed us a series of maps and photographs of Hong Kong’s 350 miles of coastline, which graphically illustrated how 25% of the natural shoreline has already been converted to ugly perimeter development, with significantly more development planned in terms of reclamation and roads. Not only is this destroying the shoreline but also the diverse ecologies which used to thrive there, such as the pink dolphin. The group recognises that progress cannot be halted and they therefore look at alternatives to propose to the Government – such as more careful land management and the reuse of old land, alternate land rights for villagers and the use of rail instead of road.
Since their particular focus is currently Route 7 – a 6 line highway planned from Western District to the new Cyberport, with a possible extension at some point in the future to Ap Lei Chau – John explained to us the Group’s arguments against this road route and showed us how and why rail would be a better alternative. Quite apart from how ugly it would be, the increased pollution and noise from the proposed road would have a significant adverse affect on the hospitals, schools, playing fields and residents directly adjacent to it.
He also outlined some of the studies SOS have conducted which show that rail would be a cheap feasible option, but would require a change in Government funding policies. Whilst claiming to favour rail over road, the Government currently subsidises new roads but not rail links and say their findings on this issue, show that residents need and want Route 7. However, when asked by SOS, Wah Fu residents showed a real interest in rail over road and even the Cyberport indicated that it did not wish to have a noisy road in front of its residential development. SOS also found that many senior Exco/Legco people and District Councils had made assumptions about the rail/road options that were not correct and therefore their aim is to encourage open debate in all levels of Government.
PP Bruce thanked John for a very interesting and eye-opening presentation. As a resident of Pokfulam who will also be directly and adversely affected by Route 7, I for one will be following developments with great interest.
Pres. Ramesh presents John Bowden with our club banner
This Week’s Speaker (21st September) will be Dr Fiona Brook from Ocean Park, who will discuss “Dolphin Breeding at Ocean Park”. Dr Brook is a leading specialist in veterinary ultrasound and has been working with the dolphins at Ocean Park for more than 10 years. This should be a fascinating talk, so mark the date in your diary.
Friday 28th September: Mr Alfred Lau – Town Planning: Hong Kong 2030
SPEAKERS NEXT MONTH
Friday 5th October: CLUB ASSEMBLY
Friday 12th October: Mr Klaus Heyman – Music and the Internet
Friday 19th October: A Director from “Hong Kong ADVENTURESHIP”
NEWS – NEWS – NEWS
World’s Rotarians feel pain of U.S. terror attack victims – Rotary International report
Thousands are feared dead in the United States cities of New York and Washington, D.C. as a result of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September. Rotarians across the world have responded to these horrifying events with an outpouring of condolences and offers of support to the victims of this tragedy.
Rotary International President Richard D. King has also sent out a special message to the victims of the attacks on behalf of all the world’s Rotarians. “At this early stage, we do not yet know what losses our own Rotary family may have experienced, but I am quite certain that all Rotarians stand united in offering sympathy and support,” he says. ” These events demonstrate all the more the importance of keeping our organization growing and thriving. Where Rotary exists in the world, there is a greater chance for peace. By swelling the ranks of Rotarians dedicated to peace, we can further strengthen Rotary’s mission to foster international understanding and goodwill.”
The full text of President King’s message and a small sample of the messages of condolence and support from Rotarians are available on the RI Web site.
As the Rotary clubs and districts in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas assess the extent of victims’ needs and initiate projects to help their communities begin to recover, Rotarians might consider working directly with the following organizations that are equipped to respond quickly to such disasters (US only organisations not included) :
· The United Way of New York and the New York Community Trust, which have established The September Eleventh Fund to receive donations (c/o United Way, 2 Park Ave, New York, NY 10016, USA; or on the Web at http://www.uwnyc.org);
· Feed The Children, which is accepting donations on the Web athttp://www.feedthechildren.org;
· or obtain more information on helping victims of the attacks fromhttp://www.helping.org.
Also, as we learn of Rotary club and district projects related to the tragedy that need support, Rotary International will provide updates via the RI Web and other appropriate communication vehicles.
Please note that in response to these events, Rotary International President Richard D. King and General Secretary Ed Futa will be evaluating the status of travel safety as it relates to upcoming RI meetings. At this time, all RI meetings and conferences remain scheduled as planned.
Rotary Photo Contest – Final Call
Each year, Rotary International runs a photo contest. The deadline to enter the 2000-01 Rotary photo contest is almost here. Rotary clubs interested in sharing their club projects with the world and winning cash prizes to support club projects should note the 1 October 2001 postmark deadline.
Eligible photos must be dated not earlier than January 1999 and fall in the following categories: Rotary club projects (community and international service); Youth Exchange (Rotaract/ Interact/ RYLA); Outstanding Rotarians (professional/special interests/volunteer); and The Rotary Foundation of RI.
Cash prizes will be awarded to clubs with winning entries: US$500 for the grand prize photo, and $200 and $100 for first- and second-place photos in each category. In addition, the grand prize photo will be published on an upcoming cover of The Rotarian magazine.
Color prints, 35 mm slides, transparencies, and high-resolution digital files (at least 300 dpi) on disk with a copy printed in color on photographic paper will be accepted until 1 October 2001. Each photo must be accompanied by a description of 250 words or less.
Do we have any entries? They should be sent to:
Photo Contest, The Rotarian, Rotary International, 1560 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201 USA.
PP Stella of the Rotary Club of Macau, sent us the following e-mail regarding Ana Margarida, from which I have removed some of the medical details. If anyone would like to see the full copy, they can contact me.
“Thanks for your concern of the little girl. I’ve just received the medical report from Dr P. Leung, the paediatric cardiologist we’ve consulted on Wednesday.
Medical Report from Dr. P. Leung
For early cardiac catheterization to define the patency of shunt. In any case the severe desaturation (Sat 61%) warrants another eary modified Blalock-Taussig shunt operation to tie over this period. This could be followed by a more definitive Rastelli type of peration of closing the VSD and using a conduit to re-establish RV to Pulmonary artery continuity.
I was told by Dr Leung that this follow up operation can be done in the next 2-3 years. This operation will take place in the HK Adventist Hospital. The hospital has agreed to give 25% discount for all the service rendered by the hospital. That means for the time being we need around HK$200,000 for this operation of caterization and shunt. We have raised up till now around $150,000. As the case is urgent, I am trying to arrange the girl to get into the hospital on Monday and the operation will be done on Tuesday. The girl and the mother is now staying in the shelter of the Missionary of Charity at Shamshuipo, Nam Cheong Estate.”
Yours in Rotary
A Rogue’s Gallery of photos from our Rock ‘n Roll Fundraising Evening in July is nowavailable on our website
BIRTHDAYS THIS MONTH
20th September: Birthday greetings this week go to PP Gilbert, who shares his birthday with jazz composer Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton (1890), psychologist & television personality Dr. Joyce Brothers (1928) and sultry Italian actress Sophia Loren (1934).
On this day in history ….
1519 – Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan left Spain to find a route to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. Magellan was killed during the trip, but one of his ships eventually made the journey.
1977 – The first of the “boat people” arrived in San Francisco from Southeast Asia under a new US resettlement program.
1980 – A long-term border dispute erupted into full-scale war when Iraq attacked Iran. A cease-fire was not in effect until August 1988.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Sunday 23rd September: This weekend, the District Swimming Gala 2001-2002 will be held at Ma On Shan Swimming Pool from 11.00 am – 6.00 pm. This should be a fun-filled fellowship occasion for all Rotarians and their family members – it’s not too late to go along and join in the fun.
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 members 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.
FROM THE BREADBASKET
Seattle Special Olympics
(submitted by Dr Prakash Patel, RC Surat East RD 3060)
A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash but with a relish, to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry.
The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back. Every one of them. One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, “This will make it better.” Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.
Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.
People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
AND FINALLY ….
Some quotes from those who share their birthdays with PP Gilbert:
Dr Joyce Brothers –
· “Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery. ”
· “The person interested in success has to learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top.”
Sophia Loren –
· “A woman’s dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view. ”
· “Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner.”
· “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti. “