Volume 02 Issue 33

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

We had a great turnout last week to welcome 2 new Rotarians to our midst, with 23 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 1 guest. Our visiting Rotarian was Rtn K.M. Chan from the RC of Hong Kong and our guest was PP Papu’s son Mukesh who is becoming a familiar face at our luncheons. Is he another new member in the making, we wonder?

SAA Frank reported that with so many members, donations to the box totalled HK$1,150. He commented that it was nice to see that the Welcoming Committee had arrived early and reminded members to check the website or The Sampan every week for the Welcoming Committee schedule. If you are unable to attend on the day of your rotation, please do be sure to try and arrange a replacement – especially since he will be instituting fines for those who are delinquent in this duty.

We then moved on to the best part of the meeting – the inductions of Ian Petersen, who was nominated by PP Gilbert, and Terry Hart, who was nominated by VP Nic. (Bio’s of both our new members follow under “Members News”.) President Ramesh confirmed that each had been briefed on the obligations and privileges of being a Rotarian and after receiving their pins, they were each presented with plaques showing the Object of Rotary and The Four-Way Test, as well as the ABC of Rotary booklet.

Our 2 proud new members with their nominators

Both then gave a brief speech of thanks with Rtn Ian remarking that he had always enjoyed our hospitality as a guest and Rtn Terry telling us that he had talked to a number of clubs but felt that he had made the right choice with the Rotary Club of Kowloon North (which, of course, he has!).

Rtn Ian’s classification is Transportation and Rtn Terry’s is Financial Management.

Finally, on behalf of PP Bruce, President Ramesh appealed for any members who have contacts in the cinema business, to please see if they can arrange any items for the Annual Ball (to be held on 18th May).

Till next week …

Yours in Rotary,
Nicole Burt


Last Week’s Speaker (Friday 1st March) Mr Philip Alberts of TCL Investigations who gave us an illuminating talk entitled “What you always wanted to know about Private Eyes but were afraid to ask”. Originally from Perth in Western Australia, he became a licensed Private Inquiry Agent in 1980 and built a strong investigation business specialising in representing the interests of plaintiffs in personal injuries cases before selling his business and moving to HK in 1994, where he formed TCL Investigations. His work is now far more international and commercial in scope, covering asset and debtor location, corporate due diligence and competitive intelligence. Phil is a member of the Council of International Investigators, The World Association of Detectives and the American Society for Industrial Security. He was formerly a member of the Rotary Club of West Perth, Western Australia for 8 years.

Mr Philip Alberts of TCL Investigations

Phil defined the job of an Investigator as the activity of evidence gathering. Whilst his work is not always directly related to litigation, most of it requires that evidence for use in a courtroom be kept in mind. He told us that HK is a good place for Investigators to work as they can use sound recordings in court cases and showed us a number of “tools of the trade”, including a bag camera (that looked like a clutch bag), a sound recorder (from Fortress) and a number of “bugs”.

Investigators are typically engaged by: corporations in respect of due diligence, fraud, debts, counterfeiting, pre-employment screening etc; individuals in respect of debts, divorce, custody, locating missing persons, insurance claims etc; and special needs clients such as insurance companies (because of their vulnerability to fraud), trademark owners and criminal defendents.

As an example of the typical work an Investigator might do, Phil told us of 2 cases he had worked on – one involving the unauthorised production of key rings with the Singapore Airlines logo on them, where the manufacturer was ultimately contracted to exclusively make the items for SA, turning him into a legitimate supplier – and the other, a personal injury case involving damaged equipment which injured the operator, which ultimately ended with a surprise visit to the site by Investigators who discovered a workman frantically repairing the damaged equipment.

He also related an amusing anecdote about one of his Investigators who had himself sealed into a box (with a hole for camera recording) and delivered to a supermarket where he remained all day until he had the evidence he required, before breaking out of the box and leaving!

Finally, he gave us tips on how to pick an investigator: experience, whether they understand the problem, whether they have a strategy, whether they have a camera, whether they will be able to adjust/adapt and cost.

Mr Alberts receives our club banner

This Week’s Speaker (Friday 8th March) will be Stephanie Raill, a student from Li Po Chun United World College

Friday 15th March: Mrs Lois Dougan Tretiak, Economist
Friday 22nd March: Mr David Williams, Hong Kong Police – Money Laundering


Please arrive early if you are on the Welcoming Committee as most guests and visitors arrive at 12.30 prompt.

8th March: Nicole Burt & M S Kalra
15th March: Raju Wadhwani & Daniel Hackston
22nd March: Nigel Montague & Albert Lam
29th March: Meeting Cancelled due to Easter



PolioPlus Highlights

As of 1st December 2001, only 506 cases of polio had been reported for 2001, down from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988. Synchronised National Immunization Days in 16 West African countries in October 2001, targeted 80 million children. A similar effort in 2000 dramatically reduced transmission of the wild polio virus there.


Attendance Record

Bad news to report – out of 49 clubs in the District, the Rotary Club of Kowloon North ranks 46th in membership attendance for the Rotary year 2001-2002, with an average attendance of only 48.67%. I know we can’t always attend the regular Friday luncheon meeting for business or other practical reasons, but these figures include make-ups. So come on folks, let’s try and improve our record and move up in the ranks. We still have some time left in this Rotary year to improve our attendance. And don’t forget, if you can’t physically attend a meeting, you can always do a make-up online with Rotary eClub One at the following address, where you will even get a make-up card:


2 new members were inducted last week bringing Club membership to 37. A brief introduction to them both follows.

New Rtn Terry Hart

Rotarian Terry Hart was born in London on 6th April 1958. He was a University lecturer in Leicester, England before moving to Darwin, Australia for 2 years. He then spent 15 years travelling in and out of HK, during which time he lived in Shanghai for almost 3 years. He has been resident in Hong Kong for a year and works for MLI Ltd, Life & Investments as a Senior Consultant. Terry is a member of the Britcham Executive Committee (Chair Social & Charities) and amongst his other achievements, has been involved in semi-pro & professional acting and represented Great Britain in a Festival in Belgium. He also played rugby for the Leicester Tigers & captained England as a student. With his experience, he coached last year’s Hong Kong Rugby Seven’s and is coach to The XV’s Hong Kong Rugby World Cup squad this year. (So, for those of you who want one of the always hard to get Sevens tickets, he and Rtn Dan are the men to cultivate!)

New Rtn Ian Petersen

Rotarian Ian Petersen (affectionately known as “Jumbo” according to PP Gilbert) comes originally from England, although is parents are from Denmark – hence his full name: Ian Bjarne Ingerslev Petersen. He has lived in HK since 1980 and is married to Diana, with whom he has 2 young daughters, Isla and Rhona. Ian was educated in engineering and management at Durham University in England and the University of Pennsylvania in the USA. He held various senior positions in the Administrative Service of the Hong Kong Government for 17 years before joining the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation in July 1997 where he is now responsible both for implementation of the Corporation’s long term freight rail business development strategy and for running the existing freight rail business in HK and mainland China. He is currently a Member of both the HK Trade Development Council’s Trade Related Services Advisory Committee and the Physical Logistics Project Group of the recently formed HK Logistics Council. Ian is a keen sportsman and, although he is in the twilight of his rugby career, is an active golfer, gym-user and water-skier and is a member of the Hong Kong Club, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and the Hong Kong Football Club. He tells us he enjoys exploration, reading, films, theatre, music and a good joke!


Don’t forget our Fellowship Champagne Brunch from 11.30 – 3.00 at the HK Football Club in Happy Valley on Sunday. With 34 of us attending, it promises to be a fun way to spend a Sunday. The price for what is touted to be the best brunch in Hong Kong, is HK$135 for adults and HK$94 for children.


“A hypocrite is one who sets good examples when he has an audience”


Sunday 3rd March:
1857 – Britain and France declared war on China.
1887 – Anne Sullivan begins teaching 6 year old blind-deaf Helen Keller.
1939 – In Bombay, Ghandi began a fast to protest the state’s autocratic rule.

Monday 4th March:
1914 – Doctor Fillatre successfully separated Siamese twins.
1933 – US President Roosevelt gave his inauguration speech in which he said “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”
1936 – 1st flight of the airship Hindenburg took place in Germany.

Tuesday 5th March:
1770 – “The Boston Massacre” took place when British troops fired on a crowd in Boston killing five people. Two British troops were later convicted of manslaughter.
1864 – For the first time, Oxford met Cambridge in track and field competition in England.
1998 – NASA announced that an orbiting craft found enough water on the moon to support a human colony and rocket fueling station.

Wednesday 6th March:
1521 – Ferdinand Magellan discovered Guam.
1836 – The thirteen-day siege of the Alamo by Santa Anna and his army ended. The Mexican army of three thousand men defeated the 189 Texas volunteers.
1946 – Ho Chi Minh, the President of Vietnam, struck an agreement with France which recognized his country as an autonomous state within the Indochinese Federation and the French Union.

Thursday 7th March:
322 BC – Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, died.
1530 – King Henry VIII’s divorce request is denied by the Pope. Henry then declares that he, not the Pope, is supreme head of England’s church.
1906 – Finland became the first country to give women the right to vote.

Friday 8th March:
1702 – England’s Queen Anne ascended the throne upon the death of King William III.
1722 – Afghan monarch Mir Mahmud occupies Persia.
1976 – 1,774 kg (largest observed) stony meteorite falls in Jilin, China.

Saturday 9th March:
1451 – Amerigo Vespucci, a German mapmaker, was born in Florence, Italy. America was named in his honor.
1562 – Kissing in public was banned in Naples (punishable by death)!
1796 – Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais were married. They were divorced in 1809.
1932 – Former Chinese emperor Henry Pu-Yi installed as head of Manchuria.


Sat 16th & Sun 17th March: The District Conference will be held at the Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel with the official Conference opening beginning at 2.00 pm on Saturday 16th. Registration forms and other information can be obtained from the District website. The conference will be preceded, as usual, by a golf tournament on 8 March and there will also be a pre-conference cruise on 10 March.

Thurs 28th March: RI Presidential visit to (Provisional) Rotary Club of Shanghai
Sat 30th March: Fundraiser for the “Gift of Life” China program by the RC of Shanghai.

10th March -10th April: Group Study Exchange (“GSE”) 2001-2002. The Incoming GSE Team from District 7750 (South Carolina, USA), will visit District 3450 from March 10 to April 10, 2002. Our Outgoing GSE Team, led by PP Simon Wong of RC of Peninsula Sunrise, will depart Hong Kong on April 10 and return on May 10.

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

Sun 21st April: District Tree Planting Day

Sat 18th May: Annual Fund Raising Ball to be held at The Football Club in Happy Valley.

Sun 23rd – Wed 26th June: The 93rd RI Annual Convention will be held in Barcelona, Spain.

1st – 4th June 2003: The 94th RI Annual Convention will be held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


(from the ROTI website)

Take a look at an apple tree. There might be five hundred apples on the tree, each with ten seeds. That’s a lot of seeds! We might ask, “Why would you need so many seeds to grow just a few more trees?”

Nature has something to teach us here. It’s telling us: “Most seeds never grow. So if you really want to make something happen, you had better try more than once.”

This might mean:

· You’ll attend twenty interviews to get one job.
· You’ll interview forty people to find one good employee.
· You’ll talk to fifty people to sell one house, car, vacuum cleaner,insurance policy, idea.
· And you might meet a hundred acquaintances to find one special friend.

When we understand the “Law of the Seed”, we don’t get so disappointed. We stop feeling like victims. Laws of nature are not things to take personally. We just need to understand them – and work with them.

IN A NUTSHELL – Successful people fail more often but they plant more seeds.


Bizarre Weddings

The wedding of the future George IV to Princess Caroline of Brunswick in 1795 was a sorry affair. So drunk that he had to be carried to the altar by his two ushers, the groom rose at one point in the ceremony as if trying to escape. His father, ‘Mad’ King George III, quickly left his seat and firmly pressed him down again. When asked by the Archbishop if there was any impediment to the marriage, the groom began to cry.

That night, after briefly visiting the marital bed, he fell asleep in the fireplace.

Princess Maria del Pozzo della Cisterno would never forget the day of her wedding to Amadeo, the Duke D’Aosta, son of the King of Italy, in Turin on May 30, 1867.

Her wardrobe mistress hanged herself; the palace gatekeeper cut his throat; the colonel leading the wedding procession collapsed from sunstroke; the stationmaster was crushed to death under the wheels of the honeymoon train; the King’s aide was killed falling from his horse; and the best man shot himself.

Otherwise, it all went smoothly…