Charter night special for Hong Kong Rotaract club
Lance Kwok (left), charter president of the Rotaract Club of Happy Valley, and Past RI President William B. "Bill" Boyd during the club's charter night ceremony. Photo courtesy Happy Valley Rotaract Club
The Rotaract Club of Happy Valley, Hong Kong, received a special honor on its charter night, 11 September.
Past RI President William B. "Bill" Boyd and his wife, Lorna, served as guests of honor for the event, delivering the Rotaract Certificate of Organization to charter president Lance Kwok before 300 Rotarians, Interactors, Rotaractors, Foundation alumni, and friends of Rotary at the Hong Kong Regal Hotel.
Boyd and his wife, who were en route from Chicago to their home in Auckland, New Zealand, were in Hong Kong to visit Rotarian friends. Boyd said the Rotaractors' enthusiasm made the evening memorable.
"They were really excited about being Rotaractors and being members of the family of Rotary," he recalled. "You could feel the energy in the room."
The Happy Valley Rotaractors join 46 other Rotaract clubs in District 3450 (Hong Kong, Macau, and Mongolia). Past District Governor Tony Wong said the Happy Valley club was formed by a group of Rotaract officers from a university-based club who wanted to charter a community-based club so they could remain involved in Rotaract after they graduated.
Rotarian Winnie Yuen, president of the sponsoring Rotary Club of Happy Valley, said the club selected 11 September for the charter ceremony to show that they have not forgotten the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001, and to demonstrate their commitment to peace.
"As Rotarians, we are striving hard for a peaceful and better world focusing strongly on humanitarian services and world understanding," she said.
Yuen noted that her Rotary club received its charter from Past RI President Luis Giay 14 years ago.
In his address, Boyd encouraged the Rotaractors and assembled guests to use their service opportunities to make a difference in people's lives.
"A lot of people don't have a lot of hope," Boyd said, recalling his remarks during an interview at RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA. "They don't have the opportunity to improve their lot in life. Rotary can come in and touch their lives and give them that hope."
"So will a Rotaract club like this one," he added. "They will improve people's lives, and in the process, they will extend themselves and put themselves in the company of people who are just like themselves, who are committed to making a difference."
Boyd said he is confident the Happy Valley Rotaract club has a good future ahead of it. "It's a very good example of a Rotaract club," he said. "When you can feel that energy emanating out of a group, you can just tell they have enthusiasm and empathy."
During the 11 September ceremony, Kwok presented a US$200 donation to The Rotary Foundation on behalf of his newly chartered club.
"The nicest gift you can give a chairman is a gift to the Foundation," said Boyd, who is Rotary Foundation trustee chair-elect. "It indicates the club, even on its charter night, is thinking more widely than itself and is starting to reach out."
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