Over the Chinese new year, Past President Gary Lim of Rotary Club of Pudu and his family visited Hong Kong from Malaysia. Our Club members showed them our usual hospitality. Thanks to liaison by Past President Dora, our Director of International Service, we went for a long hotpot dinner one evening, and a dim sum lunch in another afternoon.
On January 23, Mr. Roy Cheng, an expert in arbitration and mediation, came to our Club to share with us his experience as a mediator. He summarized how a mediator works, and how crucial it is, in this day and age of political polarization. He believed that the most important elements in mediation are: listening, and empathy. He detailed, in confidence, some of the behind-the-scenes mediation efforts to break the impasse at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in November. To thank Mr. Cheng for his sharing, Past President Peter presented a fan with calligraphy that reads “和為貴 / Treasure harmony” – a message that is much needed in today’s society.
On January 15, more than a dozen Hong Kong Harbour Rotarians and spouses were present at the naming ceremony of Patrick SC Poon Amity College at Hang Seng University of Hong Kong. Patrick SC Poon, of course, is our Club’s Charter President and well-known philanthropist. During Charter President Patrick’s speech, he mentioned that Rotary philosophy of service above self is one of his chief guiding principles when he does philanthropic deeds. Plenty other District dignitaries were present, including District Governor Wilson Cheng, Past Governors Moses Cheng (Chairman of the University’s Council), Anthony Hung, Jones Wong, Peter Wan, Ada Cheng, YC Ho, and District Governor Nominee Keith Chow.
On January 14, Service Projects Director Kelvin, together with Past Presidents Eddie Leung, Grace and Angela delivered Chinese new year pudding packages to the volunteers and staff of Yuk Chi Resource Centre. They first assembled in Causeway Bay to pick up the packages from Regal catering, and then delivered 60+ pudding packages to Yuk Chi in Tuen Mun as part of our Club’s annual tradition to show our heartfelt appreciation of the hard work of the staff and volunteers of the Centre. Our Club’s delegation was led by Service Projects Director Kelvin, who reported that the delivery was smooth and that the recipients were all very happy to greet and meet with us. The visiting Rotarians also took time to tour the Centre and learned about the Centre’s latest developments.
District Blind Bowling Tournament was held at South China Athletic Association on January 12. 12 Interactors from St. Clare’s and 5 Interactors from King’s joined President Mark, Past President Webster and Webster’s two sons to participate in this meaningful event, where Interactors learned to appreciate what we usually take for granted (eye-sight) and the perseverance and determination of those who have lost theirs. President Mark showed a real talent for throwing gutter balls and consistently missing standing pins; his scoring contribution for the day: 0. The event was of course not possible without the full support of Hong Kong’s most well-known bowler, our very own Honorary Member Vivien Lau, who was the guest of honor of the event.
On January 9, our Club invited Mr. KF Lee, a memorization expert and “mental athlete” who shared with us his upbringing and his trained talent for memorizing any patterns thrown at him. He is the Hong Kong record holder of many memorization challenges, and is skilled at memorizing random numbers, names, human faces, cards, images etc. He also believes that memorization is a skill that can be learned, and proved as such by conducting an experiment whereby Harbour members were taught a method of memorization and then were asked to memorize a sequence of random objects. Mr. Lee proved that Harbour members’ memory is not as bad as we may think! Mr. Lee also shared with us how persistence overcomes failures and difficult tasks, as exemplified by his business successes after repeated failures as well as various bike tours.
On January 7, President Mark attended District Vocational Service Seminar, hosted by our good friends at Rotary Club of Peninsula. The star speaker was Mr. Wong Kam Po (黃金寶), world champion cyclist and arguably one of Hong Kong’s greatest sporting icons at the turn of the century. Mr. Wong shared his upbringing, from a Shatin boy in a middle-class family to a cycling world champion, and all the frustration, tears, and hard work in between. Now fully retired from competitive cycling, Mr. Wong is devoting his energy and time promoting cycling and sports in general, and encouraging youngsters to chase their dreams by using his life’s history as guidepost. He is also spending a lot of time promoting Sports Legacy Scheme, a government-sanctioned scheme to help both student athletes and elite athletes who either are planning to retire or have retired to continue their involvement in sports by turning them into sports teachers so that they can continue teaching and spreading the positive values of sports and the spirit of olympism.
On December 19, our Club hosted a trifecta of meetings: Board Meeting, Club Assembly, and Annual General Meeting. At Club Assembly, President Mark shared with attendees the progress of various projects, including our Global Grant projects with Rotary Clubs of Pudu and Taoyuan Southeast. President Mark also detailed our Club’s plans to go ahead with putting together a project with Hummingfish Foundation. At Annual General Meeting, members approved, among other things, the financial accounts of RY2018-2019, expertly prepared by last year’s Treasurer Barry. After President Mark declared the closure of Annual General Meeting, our Christmas-themed party began. The dinner menu was specially designed by Regal’s catering for the occasion, with a colorful and delicious dessert spread to complement the festivity of the evening. President Mark and Rotarian Sam brought wines and whiskeys, respectively. Before tasting, our resident sommelier Past President Kay shared a bit of information and history about the wines on offer: one Chateau Montelena and one Negru de Purcari, a prized Moldovan wine brought home by President Mark when he visited Château Purcari near the Ukrainian border in Moldova half a decade ago. Members lucky enough to be sitting at Rotarian Sam’s table also got his expert take…
On December 14, President Mark and Catherine, Past President Samuel and Amy, Immediate Past President Lily, Rotarian Jason and Sara attended Home Care for Girls’ annual Christmas Party x Homecoming (關愛日). Our Club is the sponsor of the event, which was well attended by donors, families and friends of the Centre. Many girls who stayed at Home Care in the past returned, some of them even bringing their families and children! The girls gifted attendees with two performances – a hip-hop dance, and a chorus accompanied by a guitar.
On December 12, Mr. Dixon Ip, a coffee connoisseur and a certified judge in coffee events around the world, came to our Club to talk about his most passionate topic: coffee. Mr. Ip is a friend of our Club’s honorary member Prof. Tim Tong. While most of us mortals drink coffee for its caffeine, Mr. Ip approaches coffee with the scientific rigor of a world-class lab researcher and the intense passion of a restless teenager. In Mr. Ip’s eyes, coffee is not just a drink; it is an ode to all the hard work that goes into it, from the farmers cultivating the coffee plants to the roasters experimenting with varied roasting temperatures. Mr. Ip is especially passionate about the cultivation process – something that has led him to travel all around the world in search of different agricultural techniques and pre-processing styles. As a coffee judge, he has also traveled around the world for coffee and barista competitions and, in the process, has probably seen more latte art than all of us – combined. Mr. Ip believes that coffee consumption has also changed over the years. Consumers are now paying more attention to package labeling. Whereas just a decade…