Club meeting — Connecting with and helping refugee families in Hong Kong

Our Club continued to meet on Zoom due to pandemic conditions and gathering restrictions in Hong Kong. Past President Douglas Hsia, our Club’s Y2K President (RY1999-2000), joined from California. Everyone was pleasantly surprised by his presence and most happy to welcome Douglas back!

The meeting began with the usual report by Club President, but not before Past President WT led a virtual chorus to celebrate Past President Angela’s birthday, in a few days. Thereafter, Douglas was invited to update us about his life in sunny northern California. Now belonging to the Rotary Club of Walnut Grove, Douglas told us that, like us in Hong Kong, the current global pandemic also made physical meeting difficult in California. He also mentioned that he was his Club’s lone representative at the RI Convention in Atlanta – our Club also had one representative that year – but did not remember meeting any Rotarians from Hong Kong. Personally, he found living in Walnut Grove, a designated U.S. Historical District, fascinating. A Chinese-American history buff himself, Douglas explained that Walnut Grove was steeped in Chinese-American history and traditions. Douglas ended his sharing by hoping to visit us in the future, whether physically or via Zoom.

Next up was Mr. Maurice Yeung, an acoustic engineer with a passion to serve. He is an active member of Society of St Vincent de Paul (“SSVP”), an international voluntary organization focused on visiting and helping the poorest of the poor in our society. Maurice said that SSVP’s main mission is to provide moral, physical and spiritual support to the poor through compassionate, person-to-person contact. Maurice shared with us that, in the past few years, he has built relationships with the ethnic minority refugee population in Hong Kong, one of the most neglected groups in our city. Maurice shared the variety of difficulties faced by these refugees, including the additional baggage due to their ethnicity. Maurice ended his sharing by believing that the best approach to service is via real interpersonal contact and having an open mind to listen, care, and respond.