Old China Hands lunch on 2 June 2017

Start of the summer season?

Either people are busy or going away, our Old China Hands lunch on 2 June 2017 nevertheless had its nice crowd of over 20 people.
We were also happy to see once more our friend Colin before he REALLY leaves us for his homeland. We will miss him and his networking.

Next lunch

Next lunch is Friday 7 July, right in the middle of Beijing sauna weather. Curious to see how many will be still standing to come and sit with us!

The 2017 Rotaract Gatsby Gala

Team work and enthusiasm

The 2017 Rotaract Gatsby Gala turned out to be a smash, a real success. Our two Rotaract Clubs in Beijing managed the impossible, we were still a bit lost a day before the event but thanks to the enthusiasm of so many involved it was a success. I won’t even try to give names because it was real team work.
As last year the event was held on Saturday 24 June 2017 in the Conrad Beijing Hotel, a nice inside plus outdoors setting. The rain gods were in our favor too, the previous days Beijing saw torrential rains and a major pool party was cancelled the same day by the government because of concerns with the downpours. We nicely escaped it all.
All worked together to promote the evening and to get sponsors on board. See the backdrop with the sponsor list.
See here the promo video (thanks Deliah!!!)

The 2017 Rotaract Gatsby Gala

I will not try to give a “report” here. The pictures and the clips tell the story, just look at all the SMILES.
It was a fun night, nice snacks, lots of beer and wine.

(Pics by Gilbert, Sophie and others)
And dancing went on till late!

(clips by Sophie and others)
Thanks to the great efforts of our Rotaractors, and thanks to the (few) Rotarians who joined the fun.
We now already look forward to the next year’s repeat of The 2017 Rotaract Gatsby Gala!

Rotary Clubs joined for the Rotary Red Lantern Banquet 2017

The Banquet

The three Beijing Rotary Clubs joined for the Rotary Red Lantern Banquet 2017, on Saturday 25 February 2017.
It was supposed to be a ball, a charity, something like that. It became then a “banquet”, unfortunately not as copious as a Chinese full blast banquet (you hate it or you love it).
Setting was the Four Seasons Hotel, the ballroom decoration was pretty nice.
As far as the food was concerned, some kind of high-level Chinese dishes, that means large plates, little content and afterwards need to head for some late night snacks. Some tried to eat enough of the bread. Some (including me) went for the nice red wine, just to get high and forget about food. Our club felt squeezed in a faraway corner.

gallery

I am black-listed

I did complain about the logistics: a video shooting that was lousy and useless, and blocked access to the raffle and auction prizes. No reference to the projects we are backing. Lighting positioned too low. Some questionable speech (common for most balls actually). Auctions with little appeal, take too much time and fail to excite the audience, up to the point one simply misses the relevant auction items. And more.
As I have been through a number of balls and other events, I know what it takes and I was unhappy with the issues. Good I did not invite my VIPs as I did for other balls.
Yeah, complaining got me shot down so all my pictures as well as of other “complaining parties” were removed, so, I mostly have the pics I got myself and the ones I selected. You won’t see anything of us in the “official photo gallery” (whatever that means).

Balls are a challenge

One can even question the purpose to organize a ball. It demands a huge investment in volunteering and a semi-military approach and precision, but with often too few returns. One could simply require club members to spit up some money and cancel the ball. More efficient. There are too many balls in Beijing vying for attention and sponsorship. Then paying big bucks to eat a so-so dinner, no dancing, no fun music – next time: no thanks. I even have no idea what our “banquet” brought as benefits.
Well at least we had our Rotaractors acting great as volunteers and nice people at our table.

Rotary in action in Beijing in May

Some updates on Rotary in Beijing and China

Rotary in action in Beijing in May, a number of events to mention here.
We have now a new Interact Club, in the International School of Beijing. The Club is sponsored by the Beijing Rotary Chaoyang Club. The Dulwich College Beijing also has an Interact Club, sponsored since 2007 by the Beijing Rotary Club.

Also to mention: Dalian has a new Rotaract Club for students and young professionals age 18 – 30, sponsored by Rotary Club of Dalian. On 20 May the Rotary Club of Dalian will celebrate one year!
Changchun also has a Rotaract Club now.

Rotary lunch 9 May

I was the Sergeant-at-Arms, once more.
We had as speaker Dr. Zhang Tiejun, Hebei Children’s Hospital talking about the GOL Hypo Project. Hebei Children’s Hospital is our long term partner in the Gift of Life project. Originally a heart surgery program for underprivileged children, GOL has from 2015 supported the surgery of six children suffering from hypospadias.

According to Dr. Zhang hypospadias is not a rare condition in China. About 50,000 boys are born each year with symptoms. The rate is 1/300 and rising. Treatment often involves multiple and specialized surgeries. Hebei Children’s Hospital dispatches pediatric urologists to rural areas to examine children with defects, educating families about seeking medical treatment and advice from experts. They also provide clinical training to rural county surgeons. With the implementation of the GOL-Hypo project, the hospital now has 6 surgeons. Helped by the deployment of a medical screening van in villages, the number of successful treatments has been growing by 20% annually in the past two years.

To know more see the previous post: http://www.beijing1980.com/2017/04/13/hypospadias-surgeries-need-support/

Our club is organizing a dinner next Tuesday 16 May to celebrate the 1000th Rotary meeting in Beijing since 1996. I will miss it being out of town. Location: Italian Restaurant “La Dolce Vita” in Sanlitun, behind 3.3 Building

Social Rotaract evening in Legend Beer

On Friday 12 May our Rotaractor Vasco invited us for a drink as he will leave us soon.
I joined along with Rotarian Sven.
As usual a lively evening, lots of beer and Jägermeister.

See the pics of the evening, part of the group.

May Babies Party in Ossie

A special birthday party

The May Babies Party in Ossie was on Saturday 13 May to celebrate the birthdays of William, Peter and Veronica. Some 40 friends joined the lively party with the free flow of beer, wine and snacks.
The great thing about the party was that many people knew each other, quite a number being part of our Old China Hands Monthly Lunch.

Ossie (Aussie) Restaurant & Bar (澳西酒庄&餐吧)

At Aussie Wine Bar they serve an array of wines, beers and authentic culinary dishes ranging from traditional western food to Outback Aussie Steaks. Ossie is the “official” name as Aussie was not legally accepted in Beijing…
To reach: very close to Guangqumenwai subway station, Line 7 exit B
See: https://www.facebook.com/aussiewinebar/
For me the first time to visit the bar but all were impressed with the service of Steve and the staff.