By Secretary and President-Nominee Kitty Chan of Rotary Club of New Territories
The historical background of the establishment of Rotary Club of New Territories
Hong Kong had walked through many critical changes since the old days. The New Territories has transformed into a modern satellite city from a simple village. For the sake of satisfying the needs of the community, the District Governor of Rotary International District 3450 invited the Rotary Club of Kowloon (RCK) to set up an organizing committee for the “Establishment of Rotary Club of New Territories (RCNT)” 50 years ago. The Past President (PP) of RCK Hui Lok Kwun(許樂郡) served as the Chair of the organizing committee. PP Harilela (夏利厘拉) and PP Cole (柯樂) were appointed as members. With great support from the then Commissioner of the Home Affairs Department, Sir Donald Collin Cumyn Luddington (陸鼎堂), as well as the Heung Yee Kuk of the New Territories, many professional elites, local leaders and outstanding persons in the industrial and commercial sectors from the New Territories joined as Charter members and formed RCNT.
“Service Above Self” followed by Rotary Club of New Territories since its establishment on November 15, 1969
RCNT was established by Charter President Chan Yat Sun (陳日新). The inauguration ceremony was held on 15 November 1969. Under the leadership of Charter members PP Benton Cheung Yan Lung (張人龍), PP Pang Hang Yin (彭鏗然), PP Lo Chi Chung (盧志忠), PP Ku Dou Sing (古道誠), PP Ho Sun Kuen (何新權), PP Vito Li Hok Chau (李學疇), PP Ho Sun Wing (何新榮), etc, all the upcoming PPs adhered to the mission of “Service Above All” to provide disaster relief, to help those in distress, and to build educational institutes for the society. The service boundary was said to be far-reaching. With the outstanding leadership of PPs, unconditional contribution of all Rotarians and big support from different sectors of the society, RCNT grew up sturdily and actualized the Rotarian spirit of “Service Above Self”. Apart from encouraging all members to observe the four-way test in a professional manner which is also the highest ethical standard, RCNT also provides five major charity services, namely club affairs, occupation, community, international and youth services.
Uninterrupted services during the epidemic for Rotary Club of New Territories to fight the epidemic together with the public
RCNT always took up the responsibility of serving the community throughout the past 50 years. Although there were so many restrictions due to the pandemic in the past year, our service projects progressed and extended in terms of quality and quantity. The service content also kept abreast of the development of the society. RCNT organised and supported a variety of community services, including a series of events related to fighting against the epidemic and facilitating youth projects. In the early stage during the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic, many frontline workers and disadvantaged groups lacked of the protective measures. In this connection, RCNT actively arranged and involved in the distribution of the face masks to the public, and also supplied food and anti-virus resources to the community centers as a means to help those people at grassroots level. Through the love and care in these donation activities, we hope to confront the epidemic hand in hand. Meanwhile, RCNT also organised some mental health and environmental ecology related programmes in order to relieve the anti-pandemic fatigue in a relaxed manner yet with strong healing power. As regard to the youth service projects, Rotarians in our club also actively participated in voluntary teaching and counseling of rehabilitated persons. Through supporting life education, we hope to promote peace and friendship in the community.
A 50th anniversary Rotary Club of New Territories service fund established to support more service projects
The society advances rapidly. The current appearance of Hong Kong is totally different from that of 50 years ago. Nonetheless, the under-privileged groups who need our assistance are still present and they look for our prompt helping hands to solve their real-life difficulties. The pressure and problems they are facing are exceptionally worse under the ongoing epidemic.
Our fundamental philosophy of servicing others has never been changed. As RCNT celebrating its 50th anniversary, we shall continue to uphold our primary mission of “Service Above All”. To commemorate this special occasion, the President, PPs and Rotarians all agreed to set up a “RCNT Services Fund” to raise additional monetary resources as investment “seed money”. The whole sum of annual investment return will then be used to support all kinds of planned social services projects, which offers more flexibility to the President of that year in executing these projects. In this way, each project can be done better and will be delivered in a deeper and wider perspective, enabling higher efficiency in long run.
RCNT will establish a Funding Committee, its ex-officio members include the President, President-elect and Vice President, as well as five PPs who serve as the Funding Committee members. The Funding Committee is responsible for Fund investing and ensuring that the Fund is properly used in the operation of the service projects. There is an Investment Committee, composing of three members, under the Funding Committee, to ensure that the “seed money” is capitally protected, the Fund is operated in a smooth manner, the return can align with the market situation and the best return can be acquired from the investment strategy.
Matching donation up to HK$1 million by PP Haywood Cheung to raise fund for the RCNT Service Fund in the name of Charter member PP Benton Cheung Yan Lung
The first phase of establishing the Fund is to consolidate the donation of “seed money”. The target of fundraising amount is about 1.5 to 2 million Hong Kong dollars. Donors should possess our common ideology of “Service Above All”, and also those who are willing to support the social services of RCNT. As a gesture and initiative to show great support to the “seed money” fundraising exercise, PP Haywood Cheung has already promised to contribute a corresponding amount of matching donation in the first phase, in the name of Charter member PP Benton Cheung Yan Lung, capped at the ceiling of 1 million Hong Kong dollars.
Your support required for Rotary Club of New Territories Service Fund to raise fund for charity
As a Rotary Club accompanying Hong Kong for half a century, RCNT witnessed the change of an era and experienced all kinds of hardships. Having gone through the histories of different epochs, many things have been changed. The only thing that remains the same is the passion and enthusiasm of RCNT to serve its community. When reminiscing the past, RCNT actually bears a more important yet challenging role and mission. While hoping that we can pass our inheritance to the future, we also wish that members in different business sectors can recognise our effort by making a donation to the RCNT Services Fund, with a view to bring long term benefits to the region and different disadvantaged groups of people in the community.
All the best wishes to RCNT for a bright, shining and burgeoning future. Look forward to more glorious and prosperous 50 years ahead to come!