President's Message

The Oxford and Cambridge Society of Hong Kong President’s Report for the Year 2018-2019, for the AGM on 27th April 2019

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I have the pleasure of delivering the President’s Report for The Oxford and
Cambridge Society of Hong Kong for the year 2018-2019.
 
Purpose
For many years we have been one of the most active and thriving Oxford and Cambridge alumni organisations in the world, serving alumni residing in Hong Kong. Over the past twelve months, we have been able to maintain and reinforce this success. I am proud that today we represent a diverse community of graduates as well as students from different academic backgrounds and fields of specialisation.
 
Our purposes as a society remain unchanged: to build links between Hong Kong and the UK with a focus on Oxford and Cambridge; to promote interaction and exchanges among alumni; and to undertake charitable endeavours for the benefit of society through offering project-based scholarships to Oxford and Cambridge’s Hong Kong students of limited means, whilst supporting various charities through fundraising.
 
Membership
We have worked emphatically on membership drive this year. The membership currently stands at 791 members. Of this total, 55% attended Oxford and 45% Cambridge. Some attended both. We continue to encourage more graduates to join as members partly through close cooperation with official university bodies such as University of Oxford China Office Limited, and partly through widening the range of academic, social, cultural and sporting events we organise.
 
Committee and Administration
I would like to thank all members of the Society’s Committee for their support and assistance over the past year. Without such an outstanding and hard-working committee, it would not have been possible to hold so many events within twelve months. I must extend particular thanks to: our two patrons, Sir David Akers-Jones and Sir David KP Li; Immediate Past President Arthur Shek; Vice-President Edward Ma, Jr.; Stephen Liu as Honorary Treasurer; and of course David Fu, our Honorary Secretary, whose tireless and inimitable efforts have been invaluable to the efficient running of the Society.
 
Allow me to convey my thanks to all the rest of the Committee and mention them by name: Natasha Brown, David Ching, Kenneth Fok, Lizzie Fraser, Andrew Haskins, Arthur Law, Howard Leung, Roger Lin, James Liu, Rupert McCowan, Michael Ng, Arun Nigam, Dr. Christopher See, Mong Thien Shim, Gail Southward, Josephine Tsoi, Richard Tsun, Michael Chi On Wong, Yong Kai Wong, Joanna Yeo and Jonathan Young.
 
Lastly, I must also express my sincerest thanks to our administrator Irene Lee for her constant and diligent maintenance of our website, membership list, communication works and, last but not least, her support of various events.
 
Events
As one of the most active alumni societies in Hong Kong, it is the responsibility of our Committee to deliver a broad and diverse programme of activities to our members. I am proud and pleased that we have continued to do so, holding 32 events over the course of the year and supporting some additional ones. I cannot mention all of our events in this report, but I have pleasure in pointing to some of the particular highlights.
 
The year began in April 2018 with our traditional Boat Race Dinner, which was attended by some 156 guests. We were delighted to have Mr. Robert Bunker (Downing College, Cambridge) proposing the toast to Oxford University, and Mr. Robbie McRobbie (St Edmund Hall, Oxford) proposing the toast to Cambridge University.
 
We held a fashion event, a speaker lunch with Dr. William Lo, JP (Vice Chairman of Kidsland International Holdings), and a celebration of the royal wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle in May 2018. This was followed by a joint drinks event with Sir Edward Youde Scholars Association and British Chevening Scholars (Hong Kong) Association in June, our ever-successful Garden Party at the Hong Kong Cricket Club and our popular and now traditional True Blue Dinner at the Java Road Cooked Food Centre in July, and a succession of mixer drinks, dinners of the student societies, latte art and hand drip coffee workshop, annual rowing regatta, drinks receptions with Dame Fiona Reynolds (Master of Emmanuel, Cambridge) and Professor Nicola Padfield (Master of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge), speaker dinner with Mr. David Chin (UBS Head of Corporate Client Solutions, Asia-Pacific), Chinese calligraphy workshop, talk by Professor Alex Nicholls (Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School, Oxford), wine masterclass and hiking trip to Lantau.
 
We held our classic Christmas cocktail party at the Hong Kong Club on 11th December 2018. Attendance was high; the servings of Swiss Raclette cheese and honey glazed York ham remained a hit; and we raised a considerable sum for ImpactHK, a charity dedicated to supporting the homeless in Hong Kong.
 
The Society started 2019 with a mentorship programme lunch and a mixer drinks evening in January. In late January, we held our regular Chinese New Year Dinner at Luk Yu Teahouse Restaurant, which was organised as impeccably as ever by our Honorary Secretary David Fu.
In February and March, we held another Chinese calligraphy workshop, viewing of exhibition of Chinese paintings and calligraphy by Mr Ou Da-wei, a mixer drinks evening, a speaker lunch with Mr. George Yeo (Chairman, Kerry Logistics Network), film screening of “Spitsbergen Retraced: A Journey Across Time and Ice” (in collaboration with Royal Geographical Society), a cocktail reception and talk with Sir Nigel Shadbolt (Principal of Jesus College, Oxford) and a joint mixer drinks evening together with alumni of Harvard and Stanford Universities.
 
Scholarships
The Committee allocated about HK$79,050 for scholarship grant awards for this year to four students studying in Oxford and Cambridge. The awards are summarised as follows:
 
(1) HUNG, Tin Hang (Henry) (Oxford): To develop a genomic library for Dalbergia and fund research field trip to Vietnam to examine forestry practices and collect samples in the region.
 
(2) TSE, Kelly Yin Nga (Oxford): To participate in a three-part series of conference presentations as a panel organiser, chair and presenter in the field of Law and Literature in the U.S., Canada and Portugal.
 
(3) TSUI, Che Chun (Alex) (Oxford): To attend academic conferences in the topic of ion channels in either in the US or in Portugal.
 
(4) ZHANG, Mantong Amanda (Oxford): To conduct fieldwork in Hebei for “Loyalty, Secrecy and Revolutionary Work: Female Underground Communists and Narratives about Chinese Female Spies before and after 1949”.
 
The projects should deepen the recipients’ learning experience, enabling them to make a difference in the world or make significant contributions to the disadvantaged through their volunteer work.
 
Final Word
It has been an honour as well as a pleasure to serve as the President of the Society. It only remains for me to thank all the Society’s members for their friendship and continuous support. Please join me in wishing the incoming President and Vice- President every success in the year ahead.
 
Julian Marland
President 2018-2019
27th April 2019