Club meeting — Club Assembly and Vaccine Updates

On March 11, our Club met via Zoom due to a spike in the number of Covid cases in Hong Kong. Before the meeting began, a few of us enjoyed a bit of virtual fellowship, sharing stories about passing time at night during this ongoing pandemic. After our customary Rotary song and imagined ringing of the Rotary bell, our meeting began. President Mark quickly went through Club and District activities. Thereafter, control was passed to President Elect Sam, who called the start of Club Assembly. Treasurer Barry gave a detailed overview of our Club finances, and answered questions from members regarding certain expense items. President Elect Sam gave us updates of his plan for Walkathon with Scouts and Club Anniversary gathering, which could be physical or via Zoom. President Elect Sam also announced the date of our next Club Assembly, June 24. After President Elect Sam closed our Club Assembly, Rotarian Kelvin briefed us, with the balance of our meeting time, on the current vaccination program. Rotarian Kelvin explained, in layman terms, the science behind the two vaccines now available in Hong Kong, and the other vaccines currently deployed in other parts of the world. He also shared with us…

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Club meeting — vaccines for SARS-CoV-2

On December 10, our Club met on Zoom due to worsening pandemic conditions in Hong Kong. Rotarian Eliza, having just returned to Hong Kong from New Zealand, joined our meeting from her quarantine hotel and shared with us her life under quarantine. Our speaker of the day was Rotarian Kelvin Yeung, Professor at HKU LKS Faculty of Medicine. Rotarian Kelvin’s topic was current development of vaccines to combat Covid-19. Using his research skills and connections to experts at HKU, Rotarian Kelvin prepared for and presented a well-researched yet layman explanation of vaccine developments around the world. In particular, Rotarian Kelvin differentiated between the various approaches of vaccines under clinical trials, and debunked certain misinformation about vaccines. Analogically, the current vaccine candidates are like different weapon types using different attack approaches, though aiming at the same enemy. Their chemical structures and biological mechanisms are very different, as are their shelf lives, storage requirements and need for further booster shots. The bottom line is that vaccine development is one critical and important step in the fight against the virus, but not the only one. Other steps are important too, including proper use of masks, good hygiene, and social distancing. Until vaccines are…

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Club meeting — experiential learning and peace initiatives at Li Po Chun United World College

On November 12, our Club met for lunch at our usual meeting venue, Regal Hong Kong Hotel. To ensure proper social distancing, Regal has given us a large room, with 6-person tables separated by ample spaces. After the usual reports and announcements from President Mark, Past President WT introduced our speaker, Arnett Edwards. Principal Edwards is school principal of Li Po Chun United World College (“LPCUWC”) of Hong Kong. Located in an idyllic part of Ma On Shan, LPCUWC has nurtured many responsible citizens in the past 20+ years. Many graduates of LPCUWC went on to do great things, from managing large NGOs to setting up an eye clinic in Africa. Principal Edwards shared with members and guests the philosophy of LPCUWC’s education, both inside and outside of the classroom. Some of the ideals espoused by its graduates include: international understanding, celebration of difference, integrity, service, compassion etc. – these ideals surely resonate with Rotary’s core principles and values. Principal Edwards shared the stage with Mr. Adrian Kwong, who is currently responsible for the school’s outreach programs. Mr. Kwong shared with members and guests the school’s various peace initiatives, including those with Rotary and Rotaract. Towards the end of the…

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Rotary Cares Food Aid 2020 Kickoff Ceremony

As the pandemic rages on, nearly all sectors across the economy are deeply affected. Sole bread winners of families toeing on or below the poverty line are losing their jobs or having their wages significantly reduced. The wait for help from social welfare and food banks is getting longer and longer. Savings are being depleted. Many families are increasingly struggling to put food on the table. In Kwun Tong District, which is ranked, in terms of poverty situation, in the bottom-3 amongst all Districts in Hong Kong, livelihoods for many families are already challenging before the pandemic. Pandemic makes survival much more difficult. As such, our Club is partnering with Caritas Community Centre – Ngau Tau Kok (“Caritas”) to distribute, beginning in mid-September, food coupons to around 250 grassroots families and families living in subdivided units in Kwun Tong District identified to be in most urgent need of help. The coupons are designed to bridge the gap between applying for and receiving governmental and other assistance. A small kickoff ceremony was held at Caritas on September 17. Those in attendance included: President Mark and Catherine, Charter President Patrick, Past Presidents Eddie, Grace, Angela, and Webster, President Elect Sam, and Rotarian…

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Club meeting on Zoom

On July 23, our Club met on Zoom due to heightened pandemic conditions and gathering restrictions in Hong Kong. The meeting was conducted in the evening. Undeterred by the time difference, Past President Angelica Rinehart (Rotary Club of Fremont, Ohio) woke up early to join from the United States. Past President Angelica last visited us in February and March 2019. Everyone was surprised to see her and was most happy to welcome her back! The meeting, in addition to the usual report by Club President, had two highlights. The first highlight was our Club’s first-ever virtual induction of a new member. The induction began with Past President WT giving a brief introduction of our newest member: Eliza Ning. No stranger to our Club and our District, Rotarian Eliza is already an active Rotarian who has served on both the District Peace and PPE Committees. Eliza also has additional connections with our Club: Past President WT was her mediation mentor when she began studying the discipline some years ago. Furthermore, through her involvement in District’s Sustainable Seafood program, Eliza has previously worked with President Mark, Past President Grace and many of our Interactors in the past. Eliza has also worked with…

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Club meeting

On May 28, our Club met at Regal Hongkong Hotel for the first time after two months of meetings on Zoom. Thanks to Regal, special arrangements were made whereby all attendees were required to get their temperature checked and their hands alcohol-wiped before entering the venue. The large venue enabled tables to be placed far away from each other – all tables were placed well over 2 meters apart, and our Club enforced that no more than 8 members were to sit together. During the meeting, our members reported to the rest of the Club the various activities that occurred in the past few weeks: Past President Grace spoke at length about her experience distributing hot meals at Holy Cafe; Past President Samuel gave a summary of Rotarian Kelvin’s virtual fireside chat on the topic of Covid-19; and President Mark gave an update of Amity Foundation Walk for Living Water, for which our Club helped to raise more than 140,000 HKD as of May 28. Past President Peter announced that he would donate 5,000 HKD, already budgeted for PP Peter Show, back to our Club. Past President Dora also spent time to thank our good friends at our sister clubs…

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Virtual Fireside Sharing #1

Our Club experimented with a virtual fireside sharing on May 18, with Rotarian Kelvin Yeung as sharer. Kelvin is Professor in orthopaedic biomaterial research at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. Over a glass (or two!) of wine, Kelvin shared with us one of his research topics: a light-driven nano-structured system to assist the elimination of SARS-CoV-2. He also shed some light on the current development of the pandemic. The only thing possibly better than this fireside sharing is if Rotarians sat physically together while enjoying a tipple or two, but for the time being, this virtual experience would do, until better days arrive.

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Club meeting on Zoom

Our Club conducted our first-ever online meeting on Zoom on April 9. This is in part a response to government’s social distancing guidelines and recommendations on avoiding large group meetings, and in part a response to Rotary International’s recommendation on moving all physical meetings to online platforms. It turns out that many of our members are already quite familiar with the platform, and most had no issues logging on and joining the meeting. After the meeting room opened at noon, members started trickling in. Some arrived early to make sure that audio and video issues were addressed before the official start of the meeting at 1pm. Others just joined early to chat, just like our fellowship time before our physical lunch meetings. The Zoom meeting followed our usual agenda items, with members taking turns to report items of which they are in charge and/or managing. President Mark reported on the statuses of various District and Club events. Past President Grace explained and reported on the treatment of Annual Dinner Gathering Fund already received from members. Past President Webster explained the mechanics of Amity’s Walk for Living Water 2020, and reported that he already started to engage our youth to participate.…

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Care package delivery to elderly centre at Shun Lee Estate

Led by our Rotaractors at the Rotaract Club of HKU Lap Chee College International, care packages were prepared and delivered to Shun Lee Neighbourhood Elderly Centre (順利長者鄰舍中心) at Shun Lee Public Housing Estate on February 29. Each care package included a bottled drink, snack items, cooking condiments and other sanitation supplies. The food items were specially sourced to invoke memories of the tastes of a bygone past. In order to minimize cross infection during the current Coronavirus outbreak, the care packages were not delivered directly to the elderly, but instead dropped off at the centre for later distribution as the elderly slowly returns to the centre in the coming weeks. The centre staff thanked our Rotaract Club and told us that some elderly were already notified about the package and were elated to know that youngsters such as our Rotaractors think of them.

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