Volume 02 Issue 44
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
With PP Gilbert off to Japan to see the World Cup the meeting was very quiet last week! We missed SAA Frank too, since we were joined by visiting Rotarian Hon. Sec. Rudolf Schmeing from the Rotary Club of Bocholt in Germany. After the traditional exchange of banners, Rtn Rudolf told us that there are 55 members in his Club, none of whom are women (I think to his disappointment). He has been Club Secretary for the past 5 years and bulletin editor for 4 of those years – leading me to wonder if he is a sucker for punishment. However, he will be handing over the mantle to someone else this year and taking a well-deserved rest from such responsibilities. Rtn Rudolf is in Hong Kong on vacation and as he is in the construction industry, told us that he was very impressed with all the skyscrapers here.
Hon. Sec. Rudolf Schmeing from the Rotary Club of Bocholt
PP Bruce handed round the photos from Camp Hollywood, together with the order forms. The Rotary Club of Macau are holding their annual ball on 8th June and as PP Choi from that Club won a case of IPP Bill’s Chateau Pomeaux in the raffle, PP Bruce asked that anyone attending the ball, take with them 2 bottles of the wine for PP Choi. As added incentive, IPP Bill has generously donated a bottle of wine to anyone who assists in getting PP Choi’s prize to him.
In addition to this generosity, those of us attending the meeting last Friday also got to sample some of the wine – which, I have to say, is delicious!
Last week’s meeting was also the occasion of a very special presentation to Mr P.L. Chan from St James Settlement, to whom the Club has donated HK$50,000 this Rotary year and visited twice. Attending as the guest of Rtn Brian, Mr P.L. Chan was recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow in honour of his devoted service and presented by three emblems of appreciation given to a Paul Harris Fellow – a certificate, a medallion and a pin – by President Ramesh. (See Club News for full details).
Till next week …
Yours in Rotary,
Rotarian Nicole Burt
SPEAKERS THIS MONTH
Last Week’s Speaker (Friday 31st May) was Joseph Lo, who is the aviation and transport correspondent of the South China Morning Post, where he has covered the Asian airline industry for almost four years, prior to which he reported on HK’s property industry and Asia’s leading business conglomerates. Joseph, a Hong Kong native, is a graduate of the economics and geography departments of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He has written on most aspects of aviation, with a particular interest in airline economics and liberalisation, which is fast changing one of the world’s most protected industries.
Our guest speaker – Mr Joseph Lo of the SCMP
His talk was entitled Hong Kong’s Air Transport Future: A Pearl in the Delta.
Joseph told us that for some time now HK has been engaged in active discussions with the US to further liberalise the agreement governing civil air services between the two. The US has put pressure on HK to accept its version of air services liberalisation – called Open Skies. Both the US Government and its airlines and the HK Government together with Cathay Pacific and its partner airlines have been vying for media attention in this debate, indicating the importance that HK plays as a market and a base for major international air transport.
Presenting Joseph with our club banner
Joseph explained the definition of Open Skies as:
· open route access, i.e. airlines from either countries can fly to any point in the other with full traffic rights;
· unlimited Fifth Freedom rights, i.e. airlines have the unlimited right to pick up passengers en route to a third country (although this is only beneficial to US carriers as there is nowhere to fly on to from the US, except one or two destinations in Canada and Mexico);
· airlines are free to code share or make other commercial agreements, which is what Cathay Pacific wants to do with American Airlines.
Whilst advocates claim this type of Open Skies treaty with the US will help secure HK’s status as the region’s most competitive air transport hub, one of the three main markets in Asia to have adopted Open Skies is Singapore. Their experience of Open Skies liberalisation has not brought them the economic benefits they may have expected and Singapore has failed to become the region’s preeminent air transport hub.
Three of the most important rights not included in Open Skies are:
· Cabotage – which will allow foreign carriers to provide domestic air services between two points within the same country;
· Seventh Freedon rights, which give airlines the right to operate between points in two completely foreign countries, entirely outside of their home country; and
· Unrestricted foreign investment in the industry (currently capped at 25% in the US and virtually all other countries).
Whilst foreign carriers may be allowed to operate freely to whatever Asian destinations they like from Chek Lap Kok, Beijing in unlikely to allow foreign carriers to cabotage with China from HK for many decades and whilst HK may be a Special Administrative Region, it is still part of China.
Joseph went on to talk about the threats to HK from Guangzhou’s new 20 billion yuan Baiyun International Airport – billed as “China’s largest, most advanced and modern international airport”. Due to begin limited operations late next year, by 2010 it is expected to process 25 million passengers and one million tonnes of cargo a year. With some 80% of HACTL’s throughput linked to Guangdong, HK has much to lose if its cargo and passengers become bypassed in favour of Guangzhou and other mainland airports, thereby arguing for the building of far more extensive transportation links between HK and the rest of China.
He argued that for Hong Kong’s continued prosperity, the key issue is not Open Skies and letting foreign carriers have more access, but how to gain a fair slice of China’s growth without losing any of our existing share.
Friday 7th June: TBA
Friday 14th June: TBA
Friday 21st June: Cliff Duddle; Legal Correspondent, SCMP – Legal Issues
Please arrive early if you are on the Welcoming Committee as most guests and visitors arrive at 12.30 prompt. If you are unable to attend on that day, please ensure you make arrangements for a replacement (or else face the wrath of our Sergeant at Arms and his fine box!)
07th Jun: Terry Hart & Michael Harilela
14th Jun: Ian Petersen & Daniel Hackston
21st Jun: Nigel Montague & Frank Kleintech
28th Jun: Tommy Tam & Susan Young
NEWS – NEWS – NEWS
MORE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT POLIOPLUS
Q: What is an NID?
A: National Immunization Days aim to interrupt the circulation of the wild polio virus by immunizing every child in the highest risk age group (normally under the age of five) quickly and effectively by flooding a country with the oral polio vaccine. In countries where polio is endemic, this usually involves organizing two rounds of National Immunization Days a year – one month apart – for a period of at least three years. The aim is to catch children who are non-immunized, or only partially protected and boost the immunity of children already immunized. This way, every child in the most susceptible age group is protected against polio at the same time – instantly depriving the virus of the fertile seedbed to thrive.
Q: What is social mobilization?
A: Social mobilization is organized community activities designed to help make effective the immunization, surveillance and polio eradication goals at regional, national and local levels. It is the name given to the vast cooperative effort of public and private organizations comprising the thousands of individual elements necessary to make National Immunization Day campaigns successful. Rotary International’s definition of social mobilization includes the following activities:
· Publicity campaigns concerning immunization days.
· Logistical support at immunization centers such as record keeping, care and service for those awaiting immunization and to those conducting immunizations.
· Transportation of personnel or materials to immunization centers.
· Education of medical and health care personnel, community leaders, parents and the general public in the importance of polio immunization and eradication and ways in which they can help achieve goals.
Q: What is surveillance?
A: This hefty term essentially refers to the monitoring at the local, national, regional and global level of the incidence and transmission of polio. This absolutely critical element of polio eradication involves rapid collection and assessment of a stool sample of a child who is suspected to have polio. This work begins with reporting of suspected cases of polio by health workers and pediatricians at the local level. Stool specimens are obtained from children suspected to have polio. A network of more than 80 laboratories around the world performs analysis of such samples. The work is anything but glamorous. However, it will become increasingly important as we approach the achievement of a polio-free world.
Q: What is the “Plus” in PolioPlus?
A: The “Plus” in PolioPlus has evolved over time. Today it refers to the legacy that the global polio eradication initiative has created which can be applied to future health concerns. Lessons learned from this historic 20 year-drive include:
· Massive public education drives to promote immunization activities;
· Vaccine deployment strategies to reach children in remote or isolated regions;
· Tools such as vaccine carriers to protect vaccine in harsh temperatures and specimen containers needed to preserve the integrity of samples;
· The public-private partnerships formed to fortify national government’s health programs will serve as a model for years to come;
· Strengthened worldwide laboratory network will continue to support disease surveillance efforts long after polio has been eradicated; and
· Most importantly, the global polio eradication program has paved the way for cease-fire truce agreements in a number of warring nations, negotiating major humanitarian assistance in fragile environments.
RECOGNITION OF MR P.L. CHAN AS A PAUL HARRIS FELLOW
The presentation of Paul Harris Fellow recognition is The Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programs. It is named for our founder, Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International with three business associates in 1905.
Rotarians often designate a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives of The Rotary Foundation and it was the Rotary Club of Kowloon North’s honor and pleasure to recognise Mr P.L. Chan as a Paul Harris Fellow as a special expression of our appreciation for his dedicated service to the elderly and his commitment to our common goals of world understanding and peace.
Rtn Brian introduced his honored guest, who is married with one son studying in the USA.
Mr P.L. Chan graduated from the Institute for Social Work Training (now renamed Social Work Dept of PolyU) in 1975 from where he joined the Elderly Service where he still works, specialising in those who receive no subsidies from the Government.
Recognition of Mr P.L. Chan as a Paul Harris Fellow
The work depends on institutional and personal donations and is assisted by 500 volunteer workers. Some of the services offered by The Elderly Service are:
· “The Voice” – first produced in 1976 and the first free Chinese magazine for the elderly, in the world;
· The Handyman Program for the Elderly – offering household repair and maintenance services, which utilises the services of 270 volunteers, many of whom are qualified, professional workers. This service, launched in 1984, is the first of it kind in Asia targeting old people who are living alone or staying with spouses and living in substandard apartments, or in some other undesirable situation such as living in buildings which have been adversely affected by landslides;
· Electrical Appliances for the Elderly – the goal of this project is to provide the most needed electrical appliances to the elderly for the improvement of their quality of life;
· Outreach Service for the Elderly – such as health checks, legal and funeral advice. The service also offers a photo service for use as, what in Cantonese is termed as “Photo in front of the car”, in funerals;
· In 1977 the first team to visit the elderly living alone, was established;
· Advocated the Elderly Alarm project in 1996.
Mr P.L. Chan has instituted many “firsts” in the Service and has a long and devoted service record.
THE WEEKLY ABC’s OF ROTARY
NO PERSONAL PRIVILEGES
Frequently, friends ask whether Rotarians receive special business benefits from their Rotary membership. Should Rotarians expect a special discount or some preferential service just because they are dealing with a fellow Rotarian?
The answer is clearly “no.”
The Rotary Manual of Procedure expressly states the Rotary position on this matter. The policy, originally approved by the RI Board of Directors in 1933, is that in business and professional relations “a Rotarian should not expect, and far less should he ask for, more consideration or advantages from a fellow Rotarian than the latter would give to any other business or professional associate with whom he has business relations.”
Over 50 years ago the concept was expressed that “true friends demand nothing of one another, and any abuse of the confidence of friendship for profit is foreign to the spirit of Rotary.”
On the other hand, if new or increased business comes as the natural result of friendship created in Rotary, it is the same normal development which takes place outside of Rotary as well as inside, so it is not an infringement on the ethics of Rotary membership.
It is important to remember that the primary purpose of Rotary membership is to provide each member with a unique opportunity to serve others, and membership is not intended as a means for personal profit or special privileges.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it.
– Alfred Hitchcock
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Sunday 2nd June
1865 – In an event generally regarded as marking the end of the U.S. Civil War, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signed the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators and the last Confederate army ceased to exist, bringing a formal end to the bloodiest four years in U.S. history.
1896 – The Radio was patented by Guglielmo Marconi.
1953 – Queen Elizabeth II was formally crowned monarch of the United Kingdom in a lavish ceremony steeped in traditions that date back a millennium.
Monday 3rd June
1937 – In France, the duke of Windsor–formerly King Edward VIII of Great Britain and Northern Ireland–married Wallis Warfield, the American divorcée for whom he abdicated the British throne in December 1936.
1965 – 120 miles above the earth, Major Edward White II opened the hatch of the Gemini 4 and stepped out of the capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to walk in space. He had been preceded by Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei A. Leonov, who on March 18 1965, was the first man ever to walk in space.
1989 – The crackdown at Tiananmen began — with protests for democratic reforms entering their seventh week, the Chinese government authorized its soldiers and tanks to reclaim Beijing’s Tiananmen Square at all costs.
Tuesday 4th June
1615 – The fortress of Osaka, Japan, fell to shogun Ieyasu after a six month siege.
1939 – The first shopping cart was introduced by Sylvan Goldman in Oklahoma City, OK. It was actually a folding chair that had been mounted on wheels.
1940 – The evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk on the Belgian coast ended as German forces captured the beach port. The nine-day evacuation, the largest of its kind in history and an unexpected success, saved 338,000 Allied troops from capture by the Nazis.
Wednesday 5th June
1963 – British Secretary of War John Profumo resigned his post following revelations that he had lied to the House of Commons about his sexual affair with Christine Keeler, an alleged prostitute who was also involved with Yevgeny “Eugene” Ivanov, a Soviet naval attaché who some suspected was a spy.
1967 – Israel responded to an ominous build-up of Arab forces along its borders by launching simultaneous attacks against Egypt and Syria, beginning the Six-Day War during which Israel more than doubled its size.
1968 – At 12:50 a.m. PDT, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a presidential candidate, was shot three times in a hail of gunfire in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
Thursday 6th June
1683 – The Ashmolean, the world’s first university museum, opened in Oxford, England. The first modern museum, the Ashmolean was designed to display its collections, organized so that Oxford University could use it for teaching purposes, and was regularly opened to the public.
1966 – James H. Meredith, who in 1962 became the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi, was shot by a sniper shortly after beginning a lone civil rights march known as the “March Against Fear,” from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi, in an attempt to encourage voter registration by African Americans in the South.
1984 – In a bloody climax to two years of fighting between the Indian government and Sikh separatists, Indian army troops fought their way into the besieged Golden Temple compound in Amritsar–the holiest shrine of Sikhism–and killed at least 500 Sikh rebels.
Friday 7th June
1893 – In an event that would have dramatic repercussions for the people of India, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a young Indian lawyer working in South Africa, refused to comply with racial segregation rules on a South African train and was forcibly ejected at Pietermaritzburg. It was his first act of non-violent civil disobedience.
1900 – Boxer rebels cut the rail links between Peking and Tientsin in China.
1942 – The Battle of Midway–one of the most decisive U.S. victories in its war against Japan–came to an end after a 4-day sea and air battle during which the outnumbered U.S. Pacific Fleet succeeded in destroying four Japanese aircraft carriers with the loss of only one of its own.
Saturday 8th June
0452 – Italy was invaded by Attila the Hun.
0793 – The Vikings raided the Northumbrian coast of England.
1967 – During the Six-Day War, Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty in international waters off Egypt’s Gaza Strip. The intelligence ship, well-marked as an American vessel and only lightly armed, was attacked first by Israeli aircraft that fired napalm and rockets at the ship then by Israeli torpedo boats. Heavily damaged, the ship launched three lifeboats, but these were also attacked–a violation of international law.
1968 – Three days after falling prey to an assassin in California, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, just 30 yards from the grave of his assassinated older brother, President John F. Kennedy.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Sunday 2nd June: World Environmental Day 2002 – The Environmental Campaign Committee (ECC) and Environmental Department (EPD) have jointly organized the World Environmental Day on 2 June 2002 (Sunday) from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Convention Hall, 2/F, Old Wing, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The event will be open to the public free of charge, as they wish to promote public awareness on “Waste Reduction and Clean Air”. 500 admission tickets of World Environmental Day 2002 have been prepared in the Rotary Information Centre for your collection should you wish to attend.
Sunday 9th June: “Walking Along with Rotary” – a locally produced documentary about Rotary in District 3450, will be shown on TVB Jade from 9.00 – 9.45 pm. If you’re not going to be home, don’t forget to set your videos for this one.
23rd – 26th June: The 93rd RI Annual Convention will be held in Barcelona, Spain.
Thursday 4th July: The District Installation will be held at The Convention & Exhibition Centre in Wanchai. Rotarians from District 3830 (Makati, Philippines) will also be attending to officially renew the agreement between our two Districts.
9th – 11th August: President Bhichai Rattakul’s Presidential Conference of Peace and Development, will be held at the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Malaysia. The main themes will be: Peace and conflict resolution and the Rotary Centers for International Studies. Other topics will include a Project Partnering Fair and polio updates.
Saturday 7th September: Rotary Foundation Seminar, New World Renaissance Hotel
19th – 20th December: Intercity Meeting to be attended by 2002-2003 RI President Bhichai Rattakul.
1st – 4th June 2003: The 94th RI Annual Convention will be held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
FROM THE BREADBASKET
“A FRIEND OF THE POOR”
(Frank Deaver, Tuscaloosa Rotary Club)
When Rotarians of Portugal’s District 1960 chose a Group Study Exchange team to visit Alabama, one of those they selected was Padre João Canha. None of us could pronounce his name. “Just call me ‘Father John,'” he said with a laugh. With his outgoing personality and engaging laughter, he claimed a broad array of new friends in Alabama. But we were his rich friends, for even the least affluent among us are many economic strata beyond his parishioners in Portugal.
During a subsequent visit to his home country, I spent a week with Father John in Alandroal-and no, I couldn’t pronounce the name of the town either, but I tried mightily to master both it and his given name.
Father John’s parish is the county of Alandroal, bordering Spain in east central Portugal. The county population is some 8000, and the namesake town has only about 2600. There is so little population because there is so little economic opportunity. Still, he ministers to twelve congregations, six services every Sunday. The town church in Alandroal and two other congregations see him every week, and the other nine are on three-week rotation.
I went with him to all of one Sunday’s services, with attendance ranging from fewer than ten to nearly a hundred. The smallest was in an improvised chapel in a tiny village and the congregation consisted of eight elderly women, one coaxing along an apparently reluctant child.
In all congregations, Father John calls each person by name. He affectionately pats the heads of infants, playfully chats with children, tenderly comforts the sick and handicapped, and personally addresses the concerns of many others. He genuinely cares, and they know it for it shows.
These are his people. He has been their shepherd for five years, and they have learned that he is truly their friend. With such hard lives, they need a friend, for they live in an atmosphere of despair, hopelessness, resignation.
Life is hard in Alandroal County because it is the leftover land, after the better properties to the north and west were claimed in earlier days. To the north are rich deposits of excellent marble, and abundant crops in fertile soil. But as far back as medieval days, that desirable land was claimed, and the less desirable to the south was excluded by artificial boundaries that became county lines.
Alandroal County consists of very thin soil covering worthless rock. Olive trees find little room to sink their roots, grain crops are sparse, and grazing land will not sustain more than small herds of sheep or goats. To such an environment, industry is not attracted and public transportation is virtually non-existent. So those people with employable skills leave; those who stay are the very poor, the illiterate, the dependent. They need a shepherd. They need a friend. And in Father John they have found both.
His sermons are rather informal, quite personal. He has no manuscript, no notes. His words and manner are encouraging, optimistic. He walks among the people as he speaks. He establishes smiling eye contact. He often calls someone by name or reaches out to touch.
Father John does not limit his shepherding to Sundays. During the week days he is among his people, actively being their friend. He honks and waves as he drives by. He sips coffee with them at sidewalk cafe tables. He teaches handicrafts to create entrepreneurial self-employment. He helps those with home-industries find markets for their crafts. He visits the sick and the handicapped. And he answers the phone or a knock at his door at all hours, whenever someone needs a friend.
Father John is not a Rotarian. There is no Rotary Club in his parish, in Alandroal County. But he was selected by District Rotary to be one of its GSE goodwill ambassadors to Alabama. And back home he is a daily goodwill ambassador among his own people. Like a good Rotarian, Father John is a true friend. In his parish, he is a true friend to his people, the poor. He is a true friend to those who desperately need a friend.
Father John, not a Rotarian, is a daily living example of living the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self.”
AND FINALLY ….
SOME ANALOGIES & METAPHORS FOUND IN HIGH SCHOOL ESSAYS
The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
Russell Beland, Springfield
McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
Paul Sabourin, Silver Spring
Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
Jennifer Hart, Arlington
The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.
Wayne Goode, Madison,AL
Even in his last years, Grandpappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
Sandra Hull, Arlington
The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
Malcolm Fleschner, Arlington
The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
Jennifer Hart, Arlington