Volume 02 Issue 28

ear Fellow Rotarians,

We were almost overwhelmed last week with visiting Rotarians, most prolifically from the Rotary Club of Tsim Sha Tsui East, from whence we were joined by President Michael Yuen, AG Peter Tze, PP Prakash Kirpalani, PP Percy Childe, PP Ivan Tong and Rtn Gary Purswani. PP C.K. Tsang joined us from the Rotary Club of Kowloon Golden Mile and we were pleased to welcome back Rtn Heinz Bachmann from the Rotary Club of Uster in Switzerland, who last visited us in August. It made for quite a party and latecomers were left with nowhere else to sit but at the head table. Better come early this week!

“Surrounded” – President Ramesh with the TST East bunch

We also welcomed PP Papu’s guest, his cousin Mr Mohan Lalla from Canada.

Our acting Sergeants at Arms – Hon Treasurer Albert – reported that donations to the box totalled HK$570, although this may have been swelled by fining Hon Secretary Chris who “fluffed his lines” when introducing the “pack” of visitors.

Hon Sec Chris attempts to keep track of who is who

A number of members made brief reports and these are included under the News section.

Finally, many Rotary Clubs put more INTERNATIONAL into their weekly meetings by recognizing a fellow Rotary Club from another country. We do this when we are fortunate enough to host Rotarians visiting from overseas. To facilitate this, the Breadbasket (a monthly newsletter prepared by “Rotarians On The Internet”) presents data on several clubs each month – not because they are the biggest or the best – but chosen from their files at random with the aim of recognising clubs from all corners of the Rotary World. I have therefore started a new section in The Sampan, called Rotary World. I hope you find it interesting.

Till next week…

Yours in Rotary,
Nicole Burt


Last Week (18th January) Stephanie Kumaria joined us to tell us about ‘The Samaritans’. Stephanie is the current Director of the Samaritans’ Multi-lingual Suicide Prevention Service – one of three Suicide Prevention Services in Hong Kong, but the only one that operates in English, Cantonese and Mandarin as well as having access to speakers of almost all the Asian languages and several European languages. The Branch also has the only Samaritan E-mail Service in Hong Kong and is operated almost entirely by volunteers (there is only one paid member of staff).

Due to the culture of complete confidentiality, volunteers do not advertise the fact that they work for The Samaritans. Whilst this promotes trust for people with problems, it does mean that fund-raising is difficult, especially since suicide is such an emotive and difficult subject to discuss.

Stephanie Kumaria from The Samaritans

The Samaritans will be 50 years old next year and have been operating in Hong Kong for 40 years. Stephanie told us that the Branch does not just operate a hotline, they also carry out preventative work in high schools, working with the Kely Support Group and Outward Bound to build confidence in young people (mainly in the 17 year-old age group) and to promote a system of “kids helping kids”.

The Branch deals with approximately 70 calls per day from despairing people, 20% of which are suicidal. Over 1,000 people per year, commit suicide in Hong Kong. They come from all age groups but HK has by far the highest elderly suicide rate in the world and a worryingly high rate amongst children – some as young as 9 years old. Suicide kills, on average, 3 people per day in Hong Kong and is the major cause of death in young adults.

We were given leaflets outlining the 13 danger signs of suicide risk, which are:
1. Caller withdrawn, caanot relate to you. Medical aid may be needed.
2. Family history of suicide.
3. Earlier attempts at suicide (such people are at risk for up to a year after attempting suicide).
4. Definite idea of how suicide would be committed. The tidying up of affairs indicates suicide is being planned.
5. Anxious tone to depressive picture.
6. Dependence on alcohol or drugs.
7. Some painful physical illness and long sleep disturbance.
8. Feeling of uselessness. In elderly, lack of acceptance of retirement.
9. Isolation, loneliness and uprooting.
10. The possibility of having to live with few human contacts.
11. Lack of a philosophy of life such as a comforting type of religious faith.
12. Financial worries.
13. Within the period of the rise and fall in mood, the most dangerous time is often when the caller appears better. Now he has enough energy to kill himself.

Surprisingly, the Samaritans do not try and talk people out of committing suicide. They are not trained to solve problems but to offer non-judgemental emotional support. When someone is overwhelmed, they need immediate attention – listening attention – which can be the difference between life and death as, whilst thinking about suicide may be a reasonably long-term thing, the actual impulse to act and take one’s life only lasts about 20 minutes. If the caller is willing to provide personal details such as an address, follow-up attention (and, if necessary, medical attention) will be offered but not insisted upon.

President Ramesh presents Stephanie with the club banner

IPP Bill offered a vote of thanks from the Club.
This Week (Friday 25th January) PP Joop Litmaath from the Rotary Club of Hong Kong, will be discussing Membership Development

Friday 1st February: Albert Chan, Oxfam – Oxfam
Friday 8th February: Dennice Allen, Invest IT Limited, London – IT in the Finance industry: HK vs the UK and the approach used by each region


Friday 18th January: Bill Benter & Chris Wong
Friday 25th January: Papu Butani & Gilbert Collins
Friday 1st February: Gary Harilela & Robert Ho



Make History by Naming Rotary Centennial Book
The RI Centennial History Book is due to be published by July 2004. One of several major efforts leading up to the celebration of Rotary’s 100th birthday in 2005, it is aimed at providing a complete history of Rotary’s first 100 years. To make the selection of the book’s title a truly collaborative effort, the members of the Centennial History Book Committee and the editors of The Rotarian magazine invite Rotarians everywhere to submit creative names for consideration. All entries become the property of Rotary International, and winners will be selected by the Centennial History Book Committee, aided by the editorial staff of The Rotarian. The top five entrants will receive free leather-bound copies of the centennial book, autographed by past RI presidents.

To participate in this historic naming contest, submit your entry by 31 July 2002 to the Editor-in-Chief, The Rotarian, by mail: 1560 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201, USA. Submissions can also be made online.

Rotarian Initiatives Preserve Planet Earth
Since its inception more than a decade ago, Preserve Planet Earth has remained one of Rotarians’ most popular service activities. Recent club projects demonstrate how Rotarians continue to protect the environment as well as beautify local communities:

The Rotary Club of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India, developed a park specially designed for senior citizens. The large park features gardens, a walking path, and benches for those who just want to sit and enjoy the natural beauty.

The Rotary Club of Taipei Tienmou, Taiwan, brought a sense of playfulness to an environmental project with the creation of a large maze garden. Since the first tree planting late last year, the project has been extensively covered by the local media and more than 900 people have planted trees.

The Rotary Club of Koga East, Japan, last year cultivated several thousand stalks of corn in the suburbs, and more than 800 people attended a harvest festival. The children who gathered the corn learned firsthand about the importance of the environment in the food chain.

The Rotary Club of Milano Scala, Italy, launched “100,000 Plants for Milan,” a project to decrease air pollution and improve the landscape. The club increased its impact by partnering with local government agencies and environmental and health organizations.


Fund Raising Gala Premiere for the MEP Project

PDG Joseph introduced the Millenium Entrepreneurship Programme, of which he leads the organising committee this year. This is a programme undertaken by the Rotary Clubs of Kowloon Northwest and Kingspark Hong Kong, together with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Hong Kong Youth Institute, to provide secondary school students with information technology and business training through the preparation of business plans under the coaching of real business people. The MEP was first launched by the C.I.M.A. last year and generated a lot of interest, with the result that the two Rotary Clubs and the H.K.Y.I. have joined as sponsors this year, to enable this vocational training to continue.

Apart from providing a pool of existing businesses to coach students in relation to how business is done, the 2 Rotary Clubs are also responsible for raising the requisite funds for this meaningful project. The fund raising exercise will take the form of a gala premiere for a Walt Disney movie – Monsters Inc – to be held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wanchai, at 7.30 pm on 8th February. The film distributor has promised to arrange for some of the Walt Disney characters featured in the film to greet and pose for pictures with the children, making this a memorable evening.

Since this gala premiere is to be held on the Friday night at the beginning of the Chinese New Year holidays, it provides an excellent opportunity for you and your family to enjoy a movie together as well as doing some meaningful service. Please urgently contact PDG Joseph if you require tickets.


Cancellation Of Meeting

Since Friday 15th February will be the 4th day of the Chinese New Year and a lot of members are likely to be out of town, the luncheon meeting will be cancelled on that day.

Annual Fund Raising Ball

PP Bruce updated members on the latest news of the annual Fund Raiser. Following a break over the festive season, the Annual Ball Committee is back in full swing with good support from members. The general theme of the evening will be Hollywood (come dressed as either your favourite star or a character from your favourite movie), with the name yet to be determined, and it will be held on Saturday 27th April at the Football Club. We will be looking for donations of raffle and table prizes so please let PP Bruce know if you wish to make a donation. The general feeling is that this is going to be an evening to be remembered since enquiries are already being received for tickets, so don’t leave it too late to get your reservations in this year.


The Rotary Wheelers

Our wonderful team of trailwalkers has made Trailwalk history, by raising the most amount of money ever for either an organisation (e.g. the Medical Association) or a corporate sponsor (e.g. the banks)! They will be presenting a cheque for HK$1.3 million early next month at a special presentation attended by the press. All this from 8 feet attached to 4 very determined guys! PE David gave thanks to his co-walkers, in particular IPP Bill, for helping raise this record amount.


“Nothing beats reading a good book when there is work to do.”


Sunday 20th January
1265 – The first English parliament met in Westminster Hall.
1841 – The island of Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain. It returned to Chinese control in July 1997.
1981 – Iran released 52 Americans that had been held hostage for 444 days. The release occurred minutes after the US presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.

Monday 21st January
1793 – During the French Revolution, King Louis XVI was executed on the guillotine. He had been condemned for treason.
1911 – The first Monte Carlo car rally was held. It was won seven days later by Frenchman Henri Rougier.
1924 – Soviet leader Lenin died. Joseph Stalin began a purge of his rivals for the leadership of the Soviet Union.

Tuesday 22nd January
1666 – Shah Jahan, a descendant of Genghis Khan and Timur, died at the age of 74. He was the Mogul emperor of India that built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz-i-Mahal.
1771 – The Falkland Islands were ceded to Britain by Spain.
1901 – Queen Victoria of England died after reigning for nearly 64 years. Edward VII, her son, succeeded her.

Wednesday 23rd January
0638 – Start of the Islamic calendar.
1556 – A most deadly earthquake in Shanxi Province, China, killed about 830,000 people.
1950 – The Israeli Knesset approved a resolution proclaiming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Thursday 24th January
AD 76 – The birth of Roman Emperor Hadrian, who ordered the building of Hadrian’s Wall. The wall, at 73.5 miles (118.3 km) long, demarcated the northern boundary and defense line of Roman Britain and is one of the largest and most significant remains of the Roman occupation.
1328 – King Edward III of England marries Philippa of Henegouwen
1908 – In England, the first Boy Scout troop was organized by Robert Baden-Powell.

Friday 25th January
1533 – England’s King Henry VIII secretly married his second wife Anne Boleyn. Boleyn later gave birth to Elizabeth I.
1971 – Maj. Gen. Idi Amin led a coup that deposed Milton Obote and became president of Uganda.
1981 – Jiang Qing, Mao’s widow, was tried for treason and received a death sentence, which was subsequently commuted to life imprisonment.

Saturday 26th January
1500 – Vicente Yáñez Pinzón discovered Brazil.
1784 – In a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the eagle as the symbol of America. He wanted the symbol to be the turkey. (This was a time when turkeys were smart birds that lived in the wild and not the stupid things bred for Thanksgiving dinner.)
1905 – The Cullinan diamond, weighing 114 lbs, was found by Captain Wells at the Premier Mine, near Pretoria, South Africa.


Sunday 27th January: Club visit to St James Settlement at 10.00 am to inspect the decoration and maintenance of flats for the elderly.

Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd February: Visit to orphans in Nanchang, China with Holt China Children’s Services, to deliver Chinese New Year gifts and other needed provisions. Departing HK at 11.25 am on 1st Feb and returning at 10.15 am on 3rd Feb

Saturday 23rd February 1905: Rotary movement was born

Saturday 23rd February: Rotary World Understanding and Peace Day.

Sunday 3rd March: The District Badminton Tournament 2001-2002 is being organised by the RC of Peninsula South, at Western Park Indoor Games Hall. The tournament will start at 9.00 am and is expected to finish by 4.00 pm. The fees are HK$250 per person per event, with water and a sandwich lunch included. The events will be Men’s Doubles, Men’s Singles, Ladies’ Doubles, Ladies’ Singles and Mixed Doubles. For enquiries contact P.F. Tsui at Tel : 93054112, Email : pftsui@hotmail.com.

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th March: The District Conference will be held at the Shangri-la Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui East on 16th & 17th March 2002. The official Conference opening will begin at 2.00 pm on Saturday 16th.

Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th March: Rotary International Asian Presidential Conference will be held at The Grand Hotel in Taipei.

Sunday 21st April: District Tree Planting Day

Saturday 27th April: Annual Fund Raising Ball to be held at The Football Club in Happy Valley.


The Rotary Club of Toronto-Parkdale is a 23 member club located in the picturesque Victorian Village of Parkdale, Toronto, Canada. In its short history, the Club has garnered District 7070 Awards for both its community and international service projects. Their first major community project was the establishment of the Redwood Shelter for women and children fleeing family violence. The Redwood Shelter opened its doors in 1993 and the Club recently held its annual Christmas Evening Party at the Redwood Shelter. Several club members also hosted dinner parties on Friday Nov 30th as part of the world-wide Night of 1,000 Dinners to raise monies for landmine clearing, to which the Canadian Government matched dollar for dollar, funds raised at Canadian hosted events. They meet every Thursday morning for breakfast at the Boulevard Club, south side of Parkdale, along the Western beach on the north shore of Lake Ontario.

The RC of Toronto-Parkdale can be checked out at www.toronto-parkdalerotary.com


Polio Plus – The Beginnings
(Contributed by PP Ron Nethercutt, )
Rotary Club of Mabalacat, District 3790

Did you know that the Rotary Polio Plus program began in the Philippines, and that RC Mabalacat laid the cornerstone for that event?

In 1983 the Rotary Club of Mabalacat under President Bruce McTavish conducted a comprehensive drive that immunized thousands of children in Mabalacat, a city in the province of Pampanga, about one hundred kilometers north of Manila. With the success of that initial drive, plans were made for future immunizations in later years.

In 1985 Rotary International announced its polio plus drive signaling the beginning of a worldwide effort. In 1986 RI finalized their project plans and Angeles City/Mabalacat was selected as a pilot area for polio plus in the Philippines. The three Mabalacat Presidents who succeeded President Bruce, PP Rod Uyengco, IPP Dave Rosmer, and President Paul Bevan, all played key roles in the initial planning under PDG Ben Henson (MD) and PP Ted Suarez of RC Angeles.

President Paul began planning for the polio plus immunization drive in Mabalacat while the one in Angeles was still continuing, and he received assurances of support from all the area Rotary Clubs. The Ministry of Health for Region III and the Pampanga Rural Health Office assisted with remaining details. CP Pieng Hipolito, of RC Mabalacat, chaired the executive committee. Chairman for the physical setup, Dr., and incoming VP, Erasto Aquino played a pivotal as head of Mabalacat Hospital. As such, he was able to call on medical officers and midwives under his jurisdiction to complete an initial survey that showed who would be targeted. His staff also completed maps of each barrio (small community) and assisted in coordinating with barangay (small government unit) officials.

The Mayor’s office also was involved and secured the cooperation of barangay captains. Finally several key issues, such as medicine and medical procedures had to be coordinated with the Minister of Health for Region III office, the Pampanga Rural Health Office, and the Angeles City Health Office. The latter was especially helpful in providing materials and medicine that were not available. In addition, the Angeles University Foundation School of Nursing provided 100 student nurses to assist with the project.

On Sunday morning, February 15, 1987, workers at Mabalacat hospital and began assembling the drug packets that would go with each of the eighteen teams to thirty immunization sites. Each team consisted of one Rotarian and several midwives, student nurses, and barangay health workers. Each team leader had been briefed in advance and received maps directing him to his barrio and had visited the site to insure that all was in readiness.

Now, nearly fifteen years later, the world has only a few places in which the dreaded disease of polio still exists. Rotary International has declared the year 2005 to be the year that this terrible disease is to be erased from the face of the earth. The Rotary Club Mabalacat can proudly say that it played an instrumental role in the beginning of this most notable goal.


A group of professional psychologists posed the question “What does love mean?” to a group of four to eight-year-olds. The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined:

· “Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way.”
· “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”
· “Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.”
· “Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.”
· “Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.”
· “Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.”
· “Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken.”
· “Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.”
· “Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.”
· “I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.”
· “I let my big sister pick on me because my Mom says she only picks on me because she loves me. So I pick on my baby sister because I love her.”
· “Love cards like Valentine’s cards say stuff on them that we’d like to say ourselves, but we wouldn’t be caught dead saying.”
· “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”