How are you my friend?

My Dear Rotarians and Friends, in particular, my fellow club members,

I was rather thrilled when I saw for the first time “Letters from a Rotarian” in print. I had arranged for 100 copies to be delivered to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 20 July so that each outgoing and incoming president could have a copy. Amidst the excitement and confusion, I had forgotten all about it until Tony Wong came to me with a copy as hosts and guests filed out of the Grand Hall. Tony asked me to autograph the book. I gladly did. I then began a futile search for the 100 copies.

The morning after, I learnt that Peter Wong had them taken to his office after the event for safekeeping. Kenneth Chow volunteered to distribute them in the following two weeks to the presidents of last year and the present year, and he must have done, for I had received a few thank-you notes since. Kenneth is a good man indeed. Apparently, he was coming down with fever at or after District Installation. He also postponed his appointment with the dentist, and he was not feeling well at all that Saturday morning, but he had no complaints about the extra work. Kenneth does live up to Rotary’s ideals of service and I thank him for that.

More than a few of you have asked whether I feel relieved now that I am no longer District Governor. I have provided sufficient clues to answer this and related questions in my recently published book. I would therefore not repeat the answers here. One thing is clear though, I am spending more time with Rosita than before and I now seem to have much more free time. Thus, when President Raymond asked me to write a weekly column for Kingspark News – which he had decided to publish again on a weekly basis – I gladly said yes.

And what would I write? Well, we would have to find out together. As a start, I would pick up where I left off and write whatever that comes to mind. I had thought of doing some creative writing. I slept in bed last night thinking about a name for my principal protagonist. I woke up this morning without any obvious name or names, and I could not remember any dream I dreamt, if at all. I had thought of writing of, around and about you. That would upset some of you and others. It might even generate more articles for our weekly bulletin, but then our very professional editor Alexander would probably not allow that happen. I had also thought of profiling the more prominent Rotarians in the District, beginning with past governors. That should be interesting. Above all, I would like to write something that you would find interesting, something you would enjoy reading, something that would hopefully make you smile, laugh, cry and maybe even think.

Before I go on, let me thank all my own club members for the contribution to The Rotary Foundation in return for copies of “Letters from a Rotarian.” Anwer has said he would buy a dozen. He must have many friends. I hope your solidarity and will be emulated and more importantly, that your contribution to The Rotary Foundation will be habit-forming such that ours will become another 100% contributor club to the Annual Programs Fund.

Another pleasant habit-forming routine is attendance at the regular club meetings. We should seek to learn more about each other at regular meetings by attending as many of the club meetings as possible and by turning up as early as possible. And very importantly, we should find out why some members are not attending by calling them up in the same afternoon. It doesn’t matter if more than two or three call up a missing member. In fact, the more the merrier. Try this. Call up a missing member and ask him, “How are you my friend?”

Talk to you next week.

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