Volume 02 Issue 46
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
We had a full house last week with 20 members, 3 visiting Rotarians and 3 guests. Acting Secretary PP MS introduced our visiting Rotarians – all of whom hailed from Germany; PP Rolf Mengel and PP Dr Eric Shuster from the Rotary Club of Ingelheim am Rein in Germany and PP Dr Ingo Budiman from the Rotary Club of Bingen Am Rein. PP Rolf Mengel presented his club’s banner which he explained showed a picture of Charles Allemagne (the greatest of all Hapsburg emperors) and PP Dr Ingo Budiman, instead of a banner, presented us with a very nice picture of his hometown Bingen Am Rein.
PP Dr Ingo Budiman with a picture of Bingen Am Rein
Our guests last week were Maureen Boost, who has visited us on several occasions as the guest of VP Nic. We anticipate seeing a lot more of Maureen in the not too distant future. PP Gilbert then introduced his guests, Mr Malcolm Milne (a former Rotarian) and PP Gilbert’s wife Jane – better known to some of us as Felicity Shagwell.
With such a good turnout SAA Frank was a “happy teddy”, having imposed no fines and collected donations totalling HK$1,480.
The highlight of the meeting for me, was being named a Paul Harris Fellow for which I received nicely presented certificate, a pin and a medallion. However, since I was not wearing a jacket, President Ramesh was in a bit of a quandary as to where to put the pin!!
Rtn Nicole becomes a Paul Harris Fellow
That’s it till next week. For those of you off on your summer vacations, I wish you safe journeys and happy holidays and we look forward to your return.
President Ramesh with our 3 visiting Rotarians
Yours in Rotary,
Rotarian Nicole Burt
SPEAKERS THIS MONTH
Last Week’s Speaker (Friday 14th June) Sally Begbie of Crossroads International was our guest speaker last week. Since 1979, Sally Begbie and her husband Malcolm, have worked among the needy in Asia and Europe, with China their particular focus. The two have worked alongside groups serving in the welfare arena, using their areas of expertise (Sally’s training is in Public Relations and Malcolm’s in Chartered Accountancy). Since 1994 however, increasing numbers of these groups have requested the shipment of goods and thus, Crossroads was begun – taking all involved with it, by surprise.
Sally Begbie from Crossroads International
Malcolm and Sally have two children aged 24 and 22, both of whom plan to serve China in the welfare arena. In 1999, Sally and Malcolm were named Paul Harris Fellows by Rotary International in appreciation of their work.
Since most of us know of Crossroads and what they do, Sally first gave us a brief introduction by way of a film clip made by CNN and told us that from 170 sq.feet in 1995, Crossroads has grown at a phenomenal rate and now uses more than 155,000 square feet at the old Kai Tak Airport (for which the government charges them a token HK$1 per annum in rent). The team of 35 full-time volunteer staff and some 300 community volunteers, process requests from 80 countries worldwide.
However, despite their huge warehouse, Crossroads daily faces the frustration of having to say “no” to both people or organisations wishing to donate goods and to welfare organisations desperately requesting shipments. Goods flood into the warehouse or offers of donations are made from all over the world. Requests flood into the warehouse. In theory, they should have an empty warehouse. In actuality, they have a full one. The problem? They do not have enough people to process the goods at the needed rate. Sally related the frustrating story of a manufacturer of children’s cots who needed to dispose of 4 containers of brand new items that were surplus – however, they had a deadline for collection and since this could not be met by Crossroads, they ended up as landfill in the New Territories.
Thus, Global Hands – an internet concept – was born. Global Hands aims to become a one-stop-shop, a comprehensive network for all parties involved in the gifts-in-kind spectrum. (HAND is an acronym for Humanitarian Aid Network for Distribution.) At present, there is no truly global network for those in the gifts-in-kind (GIK) arena and as a result, many organisations bump up against a series of issues that makes their job harder.
Global Hands’ goals are:
· To make it easy to find groups that need unwanted goods;
· To provide logistical and freight information, online and offline assistance, together with hyper-links to other relevant sites;
· To network with groups willing to fund/facilitate transactions of this kind;
· To help equip projects through donated goods and help alleviate competition for the charitable dollar;
· To provide a place where GIK needs can be profiled so that potential donors can respond;
· To provide information on others’ findings, as well as to act as a forum for such issues.
Sally finished her presentation by thanking the Club for our involvement with Crossroads to date, and IPP Bill and PP Bruce’s son Andrew Stinson for their invaluable involvement in hosting and assisting with the design of the Crossroads and the Global Hands websites.
Finally, it was agreed that on 29th June, members of the Club would perform Community Service by helping load goods for the needy at the Crossroads warehouse.
Friday 21st June: Cliff Duddle; Legal Correspondent, SCMP – “One Country, Two legal systems: Five years of controversy”
Friday 28th June: Dr H dos Santos; Health Director at HK Adventist Hospital – “The diet for the 21st century”
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!)
21st Jun: Nigel Montague & Frank Kleintech
28th Jun: Tommy Tam & Susan Young
5th July: Meeting replaced by District Installation on 4th July
NEWS – NEWS – NEWS
What is PolioPlus Partners?
Through PolioPlus Partners, Rotary members in polio-free countries can walk side by side with those who are actively working in their communities to find the children, educate their parents and distribute vaccine to immunization posts. PolioPlus Partners provide the necessary tools to achieve a world a without polio.
Providing Items for Immunization Activities
Rotary members can assist with immunization activities by providing items that preserve or help distribute the oral polio vaccine, T-shirts, caps and other promotional items to identify the health workers and volunteers.
Other items for immunization activities include radio and television advertisements, balloons, battery operated megaphones to communicate with the villagers on immunization days and billboards and posters to announce the time and place of the immunization.
Providing Items for Eradication Activities
Equally important to immunizing children against polio, is proving that the virus is no longer in circulation within a community, region and country. Rotary members provide special containers to preserve and transport specimens to laboratories, which are suspected to be infected with polio. Partners also provide supplies for the global network of 80 laboratories. Finally, PolioPlus Partners provides computers and other equipment to communicate data from country to laboratory and around the world to coordinate regional and national eradication activities.
To ensure the integrity of important polio eradication projects, request are carefully monitored and approved by Rotary and the World Health Organization in coordination with Rotary National PolioPlus Committee Chairmen. Laboratory projects are submitted to the Partners program after careful review and authorization by the World Health Organization.
More about PolioPlus Partners next week.
CAMP QUALITY DAY TRIP (PP Bruce Stinson)
On Saturday 15th June, IPP Bill, PP Bruce and his wife Ann joined just over 100 Camp Quality campers and volunteers, as they descended on the Po Leung Kuk Jockey Club Holiday Camp at Yuen Long.
106 happy Campers
Despite the very hot day the children had a marvellous time, enjoying the wide range of facilities the camp has to offer. Archery, rock climbing, table tennis and swimming kept the most active ones busy while there were a number of craft options available to the less adventurous.
A young CQ camper concentrates on her work
This day trip was the final outing for the children before the big summer camp in August. The summer camp is one of the major highlights on the Camp Quality calendar and will be fully funded by monies raised at the recent “Camp Hollywood” ball.
THE WEEKLY ABC’s OF ROTARY
ROTARY YOUTH LEADERSHIP AWARDS (RYLA)
Each summer thousands of young people are selected to attend Rotary-sponsored leadership camps or seminars in the United States, Australia, Canada, India, France, Argentina, Korea and numerous other countries. In an informal out-of-doors atmosphere, 50 to 75 outstanding young men and/or women spend a week in a challenging program of discussions, inspirational addresses, leadership training and social activities designed to enhance personal development, leadership skills and good citizenship. The official name of this activity is the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program (RYLA), although the event is occasionally referred to as Camp Royal, Camp Enterprise, Youth Leaders Seminars, Youth Conferences or other terms.
The RYLA program began in Australia in 1959, when young people throughout the state of Queensland were selected to meet with Princess Alexandra, the young cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. The Rotarians of Brisbane, who hosted the participants, were impressed with the quality of the young leaders. It was decided to bring youth leaders together each year for a week of social, cultural and educational activities. The RYLA program gradually grew throughout all the Rotary districts of Australia and New Zealand. In 1971, the RI Board of Directors adopted RYLA as an official program of Rotary International.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“Reincarnation means you never get away with anything”
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Sunday 16th June
1961 – Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, defected to the West whilst he was in Paris.
1963 – Aboard Vostok 6, Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel into space. After 48 orbits and 71 hours, she returned to earth, having spent more time in space than all U.S. astronauts combined to that date.
1977 – Leonid Ilich Brezhnev, first secretary of the Soviet Communist Party since 1964, was elected president of the Supreme Soviet, thereby becoming both head of party and head of state.
Monday 17th June
1579 – During his circumnavigation of the world in his ship the “Golden Hind”, English seaman Francis Drake anchored in a harbor just north of present-day San Francisco, California, and claimed the territory, which he called Nova Albion, for Queen Elizabeth I.
1972 – In the early morning five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate, an office-hotel-apartment complex in Washington, D.C.
1994 – After a dramatic flight from justice witnessed by millions on live television, former football star and actor O.J. Simpson surrendered to Los Angeles police who charged him with the double-murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
Tuesday 18th June
1815 – At Waterloo in Belgium, Napoleon Bonaparte suffered defeat at the hands of the Duke of Wellington, bringing an end to the Napoleonic era of European history.
1948 – The United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted its International Declaration of Human Rights.
1983 – From Cape Canaveral, Florida, the space shuttle Challenger was launched into space on its second mission. Aboard the shuttle was Dr. Sally Ride, who as a mission specialist became the first American woman to travel into space.
Wednesday 19th June
1536 – Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, was executed (beheaded) on patently false charges of witchcraft, incest and adultery. Her daughter, Elizabeth, would become England’s greatest queen.
1867 – Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, installed as emperor of Mexico by French Emperor Napoleon III in 1864, was executed on the orders of Benito Juarez, the president of the Mexican Republic.
1885 – The Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, arrived in New York City’s harbor.
Thursday 20th June
1900 – In response to widespread foreign encroachment upon China’s national affairs, Chinese nationalists launched the so-called Boxer Rebellion in Peking. Calling themselves I Ho Ch’uan, or “the Righteous and Harmonious Fists,” the nationalists occupied Peking, killed several Westerners and besieged the foreign legations in the diplomatic quarter of the city.
1909 – High over Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Roger Burnham and Eleanor Waring celebrate their nuptials with the world’s first hot-air balloon wedding.
1947 – Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, the man who brought organized crime to the West Coast, was shot and killed at his mistress Virginia Hill’s home in Beverly Hills, California.
Friday 21st June
1633 – Galileo Galilei is forced by the Inquisition to “abjure, curse, & detest” his Copernican heliocentric views.
1964 – Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney were killed by a Ku Klux Klan lynch mob near Meridian, Mississippi. The three young civil rights workers were working to register black voters in Mississippi, thus inspiring the ire of the local Klan.
1982 – John W. Hinckley, Jr., who on 30th March 1981, shot President Ronald Reagan and three others outside a Washington, D.C., hotel, was found not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity.
Saturday 22nd June
1611 – After spending a winter trapped by ice in present-day Hudson Bay, the starving crew of the Discovery mutinied against its captain, English navigator Henry Hudson, and set him, his teenage son, and seven supporters adrift in a small, open boat. Hudson and the eight others were never seen again.
1945 – During World War II, the U.S. 10th Army overcame the last major pockets of Japanese resistance on Okinawa Island, ending one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.
1969 – Judy Garland died from an accidental overdose of prescription sleeping aids. She was 47.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
23rd – 26th June: The 93rd RI Annual Convention will be held in Barcelona, Spain.
Saturday 28th June: 10.30 am Community Service project – come along with your friends and family and help load goods for shipping to the needy at the Crossroads International warehouse at the old Kai Tak Airport. The plan is to be there all day, but if you can only manage a half day, do still come along. A Fellowship will probably be held afterwards so watch this space for more news.
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
(Submitted by Rajakumar Venkatapathy)
Imagine that you are 14yrs again. The age when you are just beginning to experience what life has to offer. The age when you can run and play with your friends, without a second thought, without a care in the world…… The age to be carefree, to have fun, to play, to laugh, to learn , to LIVE………
Now think of a world where you are cut off from all of this. Cut off from the laughter and fun. Imagine the frustration of sitting by the wayside while your friends laugh and run about. Imagine being too sick and ill to attend school. Imagine being breathless all the time, unable to even do simple acts of day to day living. Imagine………..
This was the life of Dennis. A young 14 yr. old boy from Uganda. He was brought up in a loving but poverty struck family in war torn Kampala. For him, EVERY DAY was a struggle for existence. At a very young age, Dennis fell very sick with fever and swollen joints. After a few years, his parents noticed that hew was underweight and very quiet for his age. He fell sick very easily with frequent chest colds and attacks of breathlessness. They were worried and took him to the nearest Doctor. The Doctor asked them to go to Entebbe, the only Ugandan city which had a heart specialist. Dennis was 9 at this time.
His parents collected enough money for the long trip and took him there, hoping for a cure. The heart specialist told them that Dennis had Rheumatic Heart Disease and that his mitral valve was damaged. Only surgical replacement of the diseased valve could save him. The Doctor estimated that $10,000 would be required as the facilities to perform the complex surgery were unavailable in Uganda. Dennis parents could not afford such a huge amount. They had a large family of 9 to support with the meager income the earned through subsistence farming. They could turn to no-one for help, not even their government as the country was in a state of turmoil and civil war. So with heavy hearts, they returned home. Dennis lived with the constant shadow of death over his young, innocent head.
5yrs later, a silver lining appeared in the form of his elder sister Jaquiline, who had won a scholarship to study in Germany. Although she could barely make ends meet with her students stipend, she tried to collect the required money for Dennis’ operation. She spent all her spare time tirelessly meeting various clubs and organizations.
During her second year in Germany, Dennis had a very bad attack. He became breathless, his whole body became swollen and his heart went into failure. The doctors predicted that he would not live very long without corrective heart surgery. Jaquiline then stepped up the tempo of her desperate quest. She was beginning to lose hope.
Then, one day, as she was scouring the Internet for possible aid, she came across a message by a Rotarian, which lead her to the GIFT OF LIFE INDIA website, http://www.kovaiheart.org . although the project appeared to provide free heart surgery only for children with congenital heart defects, she decided to write to them any way.
When Dennis’ Story was told to the Board of the Rotary Clubs of Coimbatore East and Saicity, they did not hesitate to help. Rt.V.Rajakumar immediately sent out an appeal to his fellow Rotarians. Help poured in from all corners of the world. In the true Rotarian spirit, many individual Rotarians and their clubs came forward to help. A large share of the burden was borne by THE EXPATRIATE ROTARIAN FRIENDS (ERAF) of Shanghai, China, and Rt.Conrad of the Rotary Club of Heidelburg, Germany.
Everyone was encouraged by the overwhelming response, and tentative dates for the surgery were fixed. The dream was to become a reality.
On April 28th,two days after he landed in India with his guardian, Dennis was operated on in Coimbatore, by the eminent Cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon Dr.S.Balasundaram MS, FRCS (Edin), FACC(USA),FICS,FCCP, and his dedicated team of Doctors of Kovai Heart Foundation. The Rotarian families of Coimbatore District rallied together in an exemplary manner to make Dennis 1 1/2 month stay in India pleasant.
Dennis was the 34th child to benefit from the “Gift of Life India” project. This innovative program helps young children from economically disadvantaged families to undergo free, life saving heart surgery.
AND FINALLY ….
When a car skidded on wet pavement and struck a telephone pole, several bystanders ran over to help the driver. A woman was the first to reach the victim, but a man rushed in and pushed her aside.
‘Step aside, lady,’ he barked. ‘I’ve taken a course in first-aid!’
The women watched for a few minutes, then tapped him on the shoulder.
‘Pardon me,’ she said. ‘But when you get to the part about calling a doctor, I’m right here.’