Speech made by Francis Budge, Chairman HKIE UK Chapter
Saturday 18 February 2017, Phoenix Palace Restaurant, London, UK.
WELCOME TO THE HKIE UK CHAPTER CHINESE NEW YEAR LUNCH 2017, THE YEAR OF THE ROOSTER
Our activities can now be tracked on our website www.hkie.org.uk . Thank you Yan Zhou for all your efforts in setting this up and being our web master and also thank you to all who have contributed material for Yan to upload.The HKIE UK Chapter has had a busy year since the last CNY lunch.
Last May we had the pleasure of dining with Mr Gregory So, HK Govt’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (SCED), thanks to the HKETO who arranged the meeting. He talked about China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative and we were able to explain how the HKIE UK chapter can facilitate interest and develop wider knowledge of this concept.
In June I spoke at the HKAS ‘Engineering in Hong Kong Seminar, at HKETO Bedford Square. The audience was very interested at the scale and variety of projects ongoing and planned in HK and the opportunities for young professionals there.
The HKIE UK Chapter entered a team in the London International Dragon Boat Festival on 26 June 2016 at the Royal Albert Dock. The Flying Dragon, captained by To Sum Chan, reached the semi-finals but the exertions proved too much for our hardy heroes and heroines to go any further.
September was a busy month. On the 400th anniversary of the Great Fire of London (4th September 2016) Lester Hillman took a party around the key sites and talked of the opportunities arising from the devastation which changed London so much.
Later that month we met Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary of the HKSAR Government, when she received her Hon. Fellowship of The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). The reception in her honour at One Great George Street was hosted by the ICE and the HK Economic & Trade Office London (HKETOL). It was attended by leading figures and professionals in the UK construction industry.
That evening, members of our committee together with the HKIE President, Ir. Joseph Choi attended the HKETO Dinner at The Dorchester where Mrs Lam spoke again about the strength of the HK economy and plans in place for a bright infrastructure-led future.
The following day, 27 September, the third day of the HKIE President’s visit, the UK Chapter held a reception at the IoD where Ir. Joseph Choi, assisted by Mrs Monica Yuen, spoke about the ambitious on-going engineering projects in HK. This was followed by a dinner in his honour at the same venue.
We are very grateful to the HKETO and HKTDC for their wonderful support of the HKIE UK Chapter. Priscilla, David, Daisy; please accept our heartfelt thanks from all of us to you and your staff for all you do for us. We were delighted to be part of your Xmas celebrations and, more recently, your CNY ‘Year of the Rooster’ celebrations. Thank you for your kindness.
Throughout the year we enjoyed the fine collaboration, which has gained momentum, with IPENZ and Engineers Australia. Thank you Elizabeth (who couldn’t be with us today), Nerissa, Jonathan and Selwyn for making this co-operation between the UK Chapters of these professional organisations so successful. We hope this year this co-operation will expand further with Engineers Ireland and I am pleased Maurice could join us today.
Also, as Chairman, I want to thank my committee members for all the efforts put into attending meetings and making all our activities successful. Sauming has been our Secretary for 12 years and this role has now been handed over to To-Sum. Especial thanks to you, Sauming, and thank you, To-Sum, for taking on this important role.
As you can see, the ‘Year of the Monkey’ was busy and successful. Our plans for the ‘Year of the Rooster’ include talks to University students (Surrey, Birmingham), an HKAS talk on 15th June, the dragon boat festival at the end of June, and participating in the HKETO celebrations marking the 20 years since the hand-over of HK to China. The next HKIE President will be visiting us in October this year and his reception will be on the 11th October.
So please raise your glasses to the HKIE and for a happy and healthy ‘Year of the Rooster’.
Cheers and thank you.
Chairman, HKIE UK Chapter